The climbing festival of Mellow Bloc is over and was super good, super mellow....sympa as the French would say... a kind of Glastonbury music fest... but with a zest of Gorgonzola, and Mountains all around that should have been in the Lord of the Rings film. For those who where there it probably passed in a blur and they don’t need a report, it was hectic and peaceful in that crazy Italian way that I am relaxing into and growing to love. Of course the sun helped, last year it rained, which does dampen the spirits, but this year the sun pumped its energy into the people, and made them grow and blossom and smile. I had a job to do so it was a bit different for me, I had a slide show to do and was a little worried about it, it only had two bouldering slides in it, and the audience by definition was made up of boulderers. Indeed many people come to the festival who are beginners and come to learn, anyway you must understand my nervousness at my shows reception. It also came after the young prince of climbing Adam Ondra film presentation, it came so late in fact that I was inebriated, passed redemption, way passed ‘Go’ or ‘Stop’, but perhaps cosy in the arms of the night enshrouded gothic granite peaks. My work mates weren’t so confident or positive about my condition however, so five cappuccinos and a bottle of coke, were force fed into me. The show was over before I knew it, the slides a blur, clapping, happy smiley people around, visions of snowboarding Himalayan mountains, and bottles of beer. There had been some great reggae earlier and the night continued with more modern music in a huge crowded tent full of flashing light and young bodies writhing and jumping and throbbing. The only throbbing I did was in my brain, and it would surely get worse. But you know there is a price and I was going to pay it, this was a spring festival, a celebration as old as the history of people kind, shake off the winter, feel the sap rising, get going, Go big or Go home kinda thing. The night didn’t end for me, but the day did begin. The predawn is long at the head of the valley were I was, so I was up in the pale light all cold and fresh, and went running. I wove between huge Larch trees went through a tunnel between boulders a hundred foot high and went through flowered meadows, gawped at an array of waterfalls, and finally was at a high col, I sat down and surveyed my Kingdom, my big magic beautiful kingdom, the heavy cold breeze wiped tears from my eyes and told me to go back down. And so I did, down, down, down and finally croissants and a gallon of coffee my work mates were still asleep, all boyish and complain about being woken up.
special thanks to Lorenzo Belfrond for his photos
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