|Alessandro Lamberti and the closed circle. Over the last couple of months the Italian climber has freed three long-standing projects at Grotti, close to Rome: Er Cid 8c, Carpe Diem, 8b/c and King for a Day, 8b/c. |
Er Cid is of particular importance as it closes a circle - or brings to an end an era - initiated many years ago and in due course abandoned by almost all. Yes, because Er Cid belongs to that generation of GMR's, or rather, "genetically modified routes" which through chipping and gluing have been modified out of their original, natural state.
Lamberti's ascent provides food for thought, both for him and us, to reflect about the past. Not to demonise, but to further justify and motivate our present actions, which are underlined by fairplay and acceptance of nature's lines. As Lamberti puts it after his ascent:
"In my opinion modifying routes isn't only an aesthetically problem (chipped or resined routes are at times ugly to look at but often great to climb) but above all and ethical problem: it's an unfair challenge against nature (who obviously looses out) and against other climbers, as they have a harder time repeating the route that the original route setter. We are the ones who need to adapt ourselves to the rock and not vice versq should we fail. When the rock is too smooth you've simply got to get stronger or leave it completely.
We have all reconsidered our point of view and nowadays the tendency is for a complete chance. Even at Grotto new routers do the absolute minimum, to glue a hold or fix a pocket that is simply too sharp. Cid was there and waiting, it had been chipped ages ago (and it would have been pointless not to climb it) but my hard projects nowadays are all untouched. "Carpe Diem" (8b/c) and " King For a day" (8b/c), freed by me this winter, belong to this new generation of "ecological" routes: natural and therefore often painful and sharp."