Peter Moser frees old Roberto Bassi project at Celva
Sport climbing past and present: Peter Moser talks about his February 2017 first ascent of 'Progetto Bassi', an old project bolted by Roberto Bassi years ago at the historic Italian crag Celva.
Celva in Northern Italy is one of the historic winter crags on the outskirts of Trento, for more than three decades famous for its extremely technically demanding climbs and, in particular, for "L’arte di salite in alto", the art of climbing, put up in 1992 by local Rolando Larcher. Immediately next to this technical testpiece there’s another line, bolted decades ago by one of the major forces in the early ’80’s, Roberto Bassi. This riddle of time crimps was finally freed by mountain guide Peter Moser last February who told planetmountain.com that he, just like Bassi, had encountered "adventure and freedom on this ruthless slab."
PROGETTO BASSI by Peter Moser
This is the story of a pitch that goes way beyond climbing comprised of grades, rankings, heated debates, fashions and athletes. This is the story of a pitch that has witnessed time pass, the years marked by myths, legends and pure passion. The location is Celva in the Trentino region of Northern Italy, a crag I know well as it’s here that I first started climbing.
My relationship with"Progetto Bassi”started many years ago as I walked below the crag and read the name of the route L’arte di salite in alto 8c and tried to make out some holds on this compact slab.
It was impossible to ignore the even more futuristic line that blazed its way across the smoothest, apparently unclimbable part of the slab. No name at the base, no grade, only the bolts to indicate the climber’s vision. It was the project bolted years back by Roberto Bassi, a legend of mine, a true rock climbing icon. All that sufficed was that little bit of information to stare at the line and start dreaming.
Years passed and the time finally came for me to redpoint Rolando Larcher’s fantastic L’arte di salite in alto. The days spent on the route were so beautiful, often with friends, sometimes even on my own, that I decided to add some extra time and found another excuse to return to Celva. Unfortunately though the crag became popular with those hunting to tick climbs and grades, so I decided to climb elsewhere.
I returned the following year when, once again, the spotlight had moved away from this crag and tranquility ruled masterfully. Much to my surprise I noticed that 3/4 of the eternal project had been rebolted by the local climber Alessio Tait. I started trying the moves again and, pushed on by an inner rage to experience things far move vividly than usual I finally solved this puzzle. I’d freed this splendid pitch of balance, tiny crimps and tenuous underclings. Many climbers had attempted the route over the years and making the first ascent was highly satisfying.
The first question I get asked always concerns the grade. I’ve never wanted to put forward a grade, all I can say is that it is far harder than its neighbour L’arte di salite in alto. After having called this futuristic project Progetto Bassi for years, it seemed obvious not to change it’s name…
Thanks to Roberto for making me encounter adventure and freedom on this ruthless slab.