Maurizio 'Manolo' Zanolla, also known as 'The Magician' due to his exceptional slab technique, has extended his own existing route O ce l'hai... o ne hai bisogno (F8b/+) at the beautiful limestone venue of Baule, Bellunesi Dolomites, Italy.
He has named his 27 metre crimp-fest Eternit and...
'Slab' over here doesn't necessarily refer to the angle of the rock, as such. More to the monolithic nature of the rock as opposed to features... cracks, corners etc. This means that you can indeed have a vertical slab - it's only us Brits that use it to define angle. And 'chipped'? Is that what 'consolidated' means???
Yes technically, although in France they might also refer to it as a 'dévers'. For an easy angled slab (in France) they might say 'dalle inclinée'. Basically, as I said it is a slab of rock, which, if you think about it is how a non climber in Britain might describe it, and not be referring to the angle.
This is a nice demonstration how may things be lost in translation, particularly when climbing is involved:
1)“Consolidated” – Jon is very right on this one. A better translation could have been “strengthened” (I understand the hold was wobbly, so it was made stay put using – possibly, but I'm not sure - a bit of resin). Nothing was chipped - Maurizio feels quite strongly against chipping, which is quite understandable considering his North-eastern/Dolomites upbringing. And by the way, he’s very sparse in the use of bolts.
2)In Italian climbing jargon, the difference between “slabs” and “wall” is quite pronounced. “Wall” -> “muro” is used almost exclusively for small vertical/overanging reliefs that are climbed using “holds” (or “holes”) and not friction (or for an indoor climbing wall). If something is bigger than that, is a “paretina” or even a “parete”. If something (as in the case of Eternit) is made of uniformly semi-vertical, featureless rock slabs where holding on crimps is backed up by using friction, these are definitely “placche”-> “slabs” (i.e. Maurizio did not really all dyno his way up).
Maurizio/Manolo is really a living legend in Italy, of Bonatti-size fame (even if what he does is much different than Bonatti, of course). I had the luck to see him climb last year near Turin, and spend some time with him at dinner in the evening. He did climb 7b (even with a near crippling and quit painful joints problem) as people normally does walk. I was also pleasantly surprised how self effacing and charming he was (a lot of far less talented climbers are far less modest!).
If you’ve a chance try seeing one of his lectures – he does something like a story of his climbing life, great pictures and music but not a single mention of boring grades or route names!
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