Granite and plastic in Melloblocco 2017

The biggest outdoor bouldering meeting/competition/party on the planet, Melloblocco, took place last weekend in Val Masino, Northern Italy. More than 2000 climbers took part in this edition, which also included the Italian Bouldering Championship.

mirko_sotgiu_endoftheday

Like every year, lots of international stars (Alex Megos, Jorg Verhoeven, Alban Levier, Katha Saurwein, Anthony Gullsten, Kipras Baltrunas, Anna Laitinen, Barbara Zangerl…) joined thousands of climbers from all over the world (Russia, Venezuela, USA, Belgium, Austria, Spain, Germany, Finland… and, of course, Italy) to climb on the granite boulders of Val di Mello and Val Masino (right on the border between Italy and Switzerland).

Melloblocco is a climbing gathering that has a bit of competition flavor. You get points by climbing certain boulders, and whoever gets more points wins the event. But most people take part just for the fun aspect of it, and to have the chance to explore a beautiful area in the best company.

Alex Megos climbing Euclide

This year the outdoor event shared the spotlight with some hard climbing on plastic. Melloblocco hosted the Italian Bouldering Championship, with the finals taking place on Saturday. While most climbers recovered from another skin-destroying session on granite (the weather was quite good the last two days of the event, which is never a given in Melloblocco), some of the best boulderers in Italy battled for the National Title.

This victory means a lot to me, especially after the really bad World Cup season I’ve been having. Exactly this is what I needed to get motivated again to train and work hard for the next goals!! Bring it on!” Michael Piccolruaz

In the end, Michael Piccolruaz and Giorgia Tesio took the gold, with Matteo Manzoni, Andrea Ebner, Riccardo Piazza and Camilla Moroni completing the podium.

On rock, the “winners” (those who climbed more of the “official” competition boulders) where Anthony Gullsten/Jorg Verhoeven (tied with 11 boulders) and Barbara Zangerl.

Some impressions of the event from Jorg Verhoeven

After four days of bouldering, climbers left the valley with bleeding fingertips, tired bodies, and happy smiles. Another edition of Melloblocco is over and the countdown to the next one has begun.

Update: Some footage from the Italian Championships courtesy of the Italian Federation.

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