Michele Caminati, gritstone ground-up
The video of Michele Caminati climbing three gritstone routes in England: Braille Trail, Kaluza Klein and Master's Edge.
We followed the Italian with interest this winter while he was on the other side of the channel, climbing some of the most feared and famous routes on England's gritstone. With interest and intense participation, since after his apprenticeship last year (so to speak), Michele Caminati's bounty at the start of 2012 was even more important, on even harder routes where the margin for error - and the ensuing risk of seriously injuring yourself - is reduced to almost zero.
This winter Caminati pushed himself further still, at times even exceeding himself, to levels which few local climbers even have reached, repeating routes we know all too well. They are End of the Affair (that exposed arête climbed by Johnny Dawes) and The New Statesman (another hair-raising arête, practically unprotectable, climbed by John Dunne). To which are added Braille Traille (a ephemeral series of micro hold, a message written by nature which only the best may decipher), Kaluza Klein (yes, another maestro Johnny Dawes creation) and the flash ascent of Ron Fawcett's most famous climb, Master's Edge. The most famous arête in England. The route reserved for the Masters. Call it what you will, the fact of the matter is that Caminati climbed it first go and without great difficulties.
Talking of first go. Caminati ascended these final three routes ground-up. No checking out the moves on top rope beforehand, no "headpointing" as was all the rage a few years back. Yes, it's true, some of these routes were established more than 20 years ago, but we guarantee that they have lost none of their attraction nor psychological difficulties despite the enormous leaps forward that sport climbing has made.
"Ground-up means a great deal in terms of adrenaline and also risk" Caminati told Planetmountain, adding "It's certainly a slower, more difficult way of getting to grips with a climb, you've always got to deal with the unknown, but in the end it's certainly more gratifying." This is the key to Caminati's search which - we're convinced - will continue as soon as the gritstone conditions are "just right" once again.