Varazze BluBloc 2014
Christian Core reports about the 1st Varazze BluBloc, the bouldering meeting that was held at Varazze (Italy) on Saturday 5 April, 2014.
2014 has been an important year for the Varazze bouldering area, we've published the "BluBloc" climbing guidebook and we've just held its first official bouldering meeting. This event had been posted online on infoboulder.com and also on Facebook for over a month, and finally last Saturday we made it happen.
At 5:30 am on Saturday morning Marco Bagnasco explored the boulders at Antro dei Druidi, torch in hand, to check the rock was dry before calling me to say that everything was set (strangely though I was still asleep at that time). I arrived at 8.00 am, the car packed to the brim with boxes and there was a palpable, positive energy, the grass was still wet with dew, the sky blue and I was pleasantly surprised to see a huge "mass" of people busying about, preparing everything precisely, as if they'd done this a thousand times before.
The first climbers arrived at 9:30 am while some of the highly organised CAI Varazze team prepared industrial amounts of coffee; the aroma drew in even those furthest away and the table was quickly set with Nutella and jam, pizza and buns while others organised the competition goody bags, the T-shirts and registration forms.
Doctors and other members of the ambulance crew arrived to give us a hand and tried to figure out what we got up to on the problems, those who didn't climb were amazed and intrigued by this "strange" sport. In the meantime we sorted out the final details as the shuttle bus drove back and forth continuously from Alpicella, transporting more than 200 climbers in less that 2 hours. Some bouldered, others just enjoyed the moment and took photos. Climbers quickly filled the area and those with yellow T-shirts could be seen a mile off. Some sponsors chatted with the climbers while we raced around the Potala area to check everything was OK.
The event was first of all a meeting (the idea was to climb together and simply enjoy the beauty of it all), and this was followed by a competition for those who wanted to: the formula was simple, he or she who sent the most problems won. Time flew by as children played and adults fought their way up problems. Some sat down and enjoyed the buffet with my 3-year-old children, eating plenty of bread and Nutella. At 4:00 pm we began to get the first scorecards and at 5:01 pm, after having checked the sheets countless times, we started the award's ceremony.
The male and female podiums were split between youngsters and adults (it was great to see that there's a "new" generation ready to continue our long journey that has lasted years, this bodes well for the future and shows us we're not "alone"). After this came the much-awaited prize dra;, the sponsors had been generous and gave away loads of gear while the children helped us extract the numbers and hand out the prizes.
And then, just like every fun event, after crowds left just as quickly as they had come, leaving the area draped in silence. Marco, Stella, Elia, other local climbers and I stopped opposite "Gioia" where much action had taken place and, despite not having climbed ourselves, we were tired but happy. We observed the chalk marks everywhere, in our glances we relived the day's excitement, it had been great, we'd felt the need to share "our" place with others and and we'd had fun. The next day we sat down in the kitchen of Marco's Bed and Breakfast, and, highly motivated outlined how we wanted to organise the 2015 edition.
A huge thanks to all. To those who came, some even from far away to enjoy a beautiful day with us, to CAI Varazze and its remarkable oranisational skills, to the Beigua Park, the City of Varazze and to all our sponsors: Ferrino/Rock Slave, iVert, Explorer Climbing, Monvic, FinaleClimb at Finalborgo, Wild Climb and Scarpa. And, last but not least, to everyone who helped us create such an important moment for us.
by Christian Core
TOPO: Varazze boulder