Everybody knows climbing legend Yuji Hirayama. I was not so acquainted with him, but I had no doubt that, being Japanese, he would often smile and have pleasing manners.
Yuji came to visit at the Outdoor Fair in Friedrichshafen in July 2011. After that, we met in Arco to discuss his talk in Lecco the following October and we followed him at the close-by crag in Narango.
October came and I picked Yuji from the airport. We had dinner with the guys in Sesto – Yuji signed our climbing wall! – and drove to Lecco the following day. Some climbing at Nibbio, Valsassina, followed by his presentation, and climbing at the Discoteca crag in Lecco the day after. Then back in Sesto! Climbing in Cadarese, Balma (the first trad ascent of Profondo Rosso 8a+), and finally Greenspit 8b+ in the Orco Valley!
I had a good time and so did Yuji. We will see him again for sure.