Cresta Segantini, what a love. By Ivo Ferrari
Ivo Ferrari and Cresta Segantini: the ascent of the Grignetta west ridge, beautiful in both summer and winter.
Perhaps it' s a bit too early to feel the cold, to yearn for freezing temperatures, maybe though it's never too soon, every desire comes at just the right time, and if it comes early, you need to know how to wait...
I read the following:
"Grigna Meridionale - southern Grigna - located a short distance from Lake Lecco, combined with nearby Grigna Settentrionale - northern Grigna (or Grignone) is definitely very popular amongst climbers from the Lombardy region thanks to the countless climbs of all difficulties. Among these, the ascent of the Grignetta West ridge ("Cresta Segantini") is certainly the most famous and popular due to its length, difficulty and truly impressive setting. Both in summer as in winter.
From Colle Valsecchi (1898m) it presents itself as slender, split by several towers pinnacles, each with their own name, separated by steep canyons. Despite the difficulties never exceed the grade IV, the exposure on some sections, environment and overal length make this a true "mountain" climb.
The first descent of the ridge, by Giacomo Casati (solo), dates back to 13/03/1901. This was followed by other exploration attempts from below and another descent by Giuseppe Dorn, until the first integral ascent: Eugenio Moraschini and Giuseppe Clerici on 09/10/1905 who named the climb in honour of the famous expressionist painter."
CRESTA SEGANTINI WHAT A LOVE by Ivo Ferrari
The same handhold... grabbed dozens of times, pulled with the power gained in training, through habit and, with fatigue when "things don't work", that very same hold, welcoming in summer, ice cold in winter...
What could be more beautiful, after an August filled with rock climbing, sun and warm days, to yearn for some cold! Tonight, as I chopped the firewood, my thoughts led me to my favorite ridge, I heard the screech of crampons hit icy rock, felt the pain that makes you curse when blood returns to hard, insensitive fingers... What is this desire for winter? Well first of all it's the most beautiful crest in Lombardy, and despite knowing every single hold I always find myself somewhere completely different. Just a (long) stone's throw from home there's a stairway to heaven, a famous climb that in the cold season becomes the cleanest and most beautiful line I know. I like following it, alone or with friends, I enjoy being away from the hustle and bustle and, at the same time, complicating things!
"The head torch illuminates my steps, I feel the cold air enter through the cuffs of my jacket, down the neck, into the lungs with every breath. I'm alone, the moon lights up the ridge, transforming it into a huge, perfect picture frame. I puff hard, I've been trying to exit it for the last hour, I've never tried it in the dark, but... "You need to give everything a go" and I'm doing exactly that, trying, and after a short I literally fall onto Lingua, the tongue, that completely frozen sheet of of white. The expensive edges enter with pleasure, bite and provide safety, I speed up, feel less tired. Being used to artificial light begins to bear fruit, giving me pleasure.
I get on and I find myself talking to nothing, I get it I can not remember where they are, I do not care where they are, because it is the gesture that has taken over, trasportandomi in a thousand different tops, I get the language and are in the Himalayas, I move to the ridge and back in the Alps, every movement is a way that I know or who simply would like to know ... She, the Cresta, does that to me, tonight the darkness mixed with the silence of the night amplifies my "travel" .. . The becche gently leaning on the rock, I get up, trying not to stoop too fast ! The double boots to keep your feet warm, but I promised to treat them well, hot spots and well protected."
I'd like to return to the ridge every day, to train for nothing in particular, to train for the sake of it... A deafening noise brings me back to reality, after having felled the tree I've now hit a stone! The teeth make sparks fly, I've just killed the chainsaw! I return home, I've got enough firewood, chainsaw in hand and... the strong desire for winter...
A big THANK YOU to Stefano Valsecchi and Giorgio Travaglia for the beautiful pictures.
IVO FERRARI 2013
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