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Pietro Dal Prà
And what about solos?

Perhaps I'd do some things alone again, but certainly not as extreme as before. I'm sure I reached my absolute limit soloing which, in a mountain environment, is already too much!

Psychologically speaking these routes are almost too severe. On Zauberlehrling, on the Skotoni, I didn't exactly cry, but that degree of emotion was certainly there. I was on top form and extremely motivated and still I was confronted with the thought "what now? this is it!"

I now prefer to climb not alone but with a partner, someone I respect and trust, also because a given crises is never that serious when it can be shared.

Has the spirit of alpinism changed in any way?

In the last couple of years almost all sports, not just climbing, have become less charismatic, they've lost their heroic aspects. Evolution is no longer connected exclusively to the mental ability of an individual - it is now the sportsman, as a trained sports machine, that has become the driving force behind innovation and change. It's so much easier to improve if you're told exactly what to do, how and when. But individuals and their dreams have no chance of developing and establishing themselves. This is the greatest danger nowadays.

Similarly, the focus in alpinism has shifted considerably. Everything is much more normal than 10 years ago, role models whom to aspire to are now few and far between.

It's true that there are more facets to our sport and that it's even possible to climb in Palermo, but it's also true that things have levelled out, that they've lost their flavour.

Zuberlerling - arrampicata solitaria in Dolomiti

Zauberlehrling - solo in the Dolomites

What lifestyle does a climber lead?

A passion can make you miss out on a lot of things. Every now and then I ask myself if it's really worth it, because living exclusively for one goal can be extremely limiting. And also because you never live in a calm, relaxed way! You may be at work, have different obligations, but your mind continuously drifts elsewhere…

This sport is such a driving force that it can take you away from what is regarded to be the everyday, real dimension - all passions which have some artistic streak have this effect. But it's important, and this holds true for all climbers, not just those training on plastic, to be conscious of the fact that outside this strong, personal dimension there lies the rest of the world. One must realise this, otherwise one risks becoming inward looking, "sad" characters.

above and right:
Pitro Dal Prà soloing Zauberlerling, Cima Scotoni, Dolomites.
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