Simone Pedeferri: bouldering, climbing and the Melloblocco in Tour boulder problems
Interview with Simone Pedeferri, climber and historic Melloblocco route setter, one week before Melloblocco in Tour 2018 which will take place from 3 - 6 May 2018 in Cresciano and Lugano (Switzerland).
Simone Pedeferri, theres’ just one week to go before Melloblocco on Tour takes place at Cresciano and Lugano. How did you choose the competition problems?
In order to select the Cresciano boulder problems suitable for the Melloblocco I wanted to hear from the locals first of all, in order understand their point of view and share their vision and choice of lines. The basis was our desire to create something that shares the joy and beauty of climbing. This is why we chose a sort of historical ‘journey’. 8 + 8 boulder problems (6 male problems and 6 female problems + 2 for both men and women) that retraces the history of bouldering at Cresciano and, at the same time, the history of bouldering. In addition, we obviously also selected problems that are more likely to be climbed during the Melloblocco days, as well as problems I know personally and I have already climbed. Actually, this return to Cresciano is like taking a step back in time, to when I came here for the first time over 23 years ago. To the days of Fred Nicole, back in the early 90’s when you could climb shoulder to shoulder with the best in the world, those who made it to the front covers of the magazines… climbing here was a real discovery and great fun.
Talking about the joy of climbing... what is this joy for you?
It’s about how my body feels as I move across rock, regardless of whether it’s a boulder, a single pitch or a big wall. It’s that joy that after all these years still makes me climb again to the point of exhaustion...
Melloblocco on tour... what do you want to say to those who’ll come to Cresciano?
First of all, it's a really nice place. What is striking about Cresciano are all those boulders hidden away in the beautiful chestnut forest at the top of the hill. What is surprising is the quality of the rock, its exceptional grain that is so smooth it seems to have anticipated the era of plastic holds. What is noteworthy is that there are problems of all difficulties, making it an ideal climbing area for families and children. What’s more is that during the Melloblocco the forest will be in full bloom, shining in its fantastic and characteristic "young green” hues. Beautiful.
In general though, why should someone come to this Melloblocco + MBB Street Boulder?
I’d recommend they come simply because there are so many things to do. It’s a Melloblocco that is “contaminated” and, as such, it’s also a very young Melloblocco that not only contains all the different forms of modern bouldering, but also takes a look at the sport’s history. From the rocks at Cresciano, to the Street Boulder and the problems set on plastic, there’s a bit of everything. I’d say it’s a synthesis that examines the multiple aspects of bouldering and the cross-contamination, which is always something positive.
Just to get a better idea ... what does bouldering represent to you?
It’s the essence of climbing. It condenses all the climber's skills in very little space and time. Actually, it combines space and time with difficulty.
Talking about space-time ... can you tell us about the prize problems? Will Dreamtime be one of them?
Not yet ... as always we’ll reveal the problems right at the last moment. But what I can say now it that the journey will live up to Melloblocco. And also that Dreamtime won’t be on the list, because at this time of year the conditions probably aren’t good enough to climb it.
But can you tell us how you’ve prepared the problems?
The blocks have only been cleaned. All we’ve done is put on some "new clothes" for the comp. With the Forestry Commission we sorted out the landing of the various problems, in true Cresciano style: cutting and collecting all the dry branches to improve the base of boulders. We’ve doe a great job and I’d like to take this opportunity to thank both the Forestry Commission and Jimmi Palermo, who helped me a lot.
You are the historical Melloblocco route setter... what do you like about this role (and job)?
I'm happy when I sort out the boulders. So now, while working at Cresciano, I'm happy to have cleaned and cleared the problems I climbed 20 plus years ago. During these two days I’ve taken care of them and it’s been nice. I’ve given back something of what they gave me.
As well as being a climber you are also an artist. As an artist, what is your vision of climbing? And what do you need to express yourself?
I identify myself on big rock faces because climbing them is absolutely complete. I need the space ... But if I hadn’t done bouldering in the past, I wouldn’t have been able to climb the big walls that I have. I’d have had trouble visualising the moves needed to climb the crux sections.
A colour and a wish for this Mello on tour ...
The color is green, the green of Cresciano’s chestnut trees. And my wish, as always, is that people have fun. Because that’s what climbing is all about. Having fun!
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