I have to admit that, having spent a large part of my life abroad, I feel inclined to gear my attention towards foreigners. There is no specific reason for this, and neither a real bias. Sometimes, however, I forget to look over my shoulder and, right there on my doorstep, I find outstanding mountaineers.
Mattia Varchetti (http://www.verticalattitude.eu/mattia-varchetti/) used to come and train at the local climbing wall. Cheerful, honest and always ready to crack a joke, he is tremendously in love with the mountains and has made extreme skiing his daily bread. He has accomplished a lot and his thirst for adventure never seems to be fulfilled. Often accompanied by his partners-in-crime Matteo Tagliabue http://sassoincastrato.wordpress.com and Davide Terraneo, he has been everywhere in the Alps. His training ground has been the Mont Blanc Massif: Tour Ronde, Gervasutti Couloir http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ynEyl0ku0zg and north face http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ynEyl0ku0zg; Col du Diable, Macho Couloir http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xK7kloMgxew
Mattia and Matteo, together with Davide Terraneo, wrote a little chapter in extreme skiing history, when they repeated the descent of the north face of Monte Disgrazia (Bregaglia Range) on 25 April. Armed with skis weighing 4 kg (!), they made a fabulously steep run, with an average inclination of 55° sometimes reaching 70°! The last descent of this mighty face, by Bianco Lenatti, dated back to thirty years ago! So a big round of applause to them.
In June 2011, Mattia and Matteo had descended the north-west face of beautiful Gran Paradiso, a keypoint in their careers. A long, steep, severe and very demanding face, where the conditions are rarely good. Watch the video here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xvsfje5Z6oQ
It has to be pointed out that these young guys are not professional mountaineers. Mattia has a full-time job and Matteo is studying at university. Still, they devote all their time to their passion – with great satisfaction.
Matteo’s latest achievement is the descent of the 1000 meter-long Coolidge couloir on dazzling Monviso. http://sassoincastrato.wordpress.com/2013/05/13/monviso-parete-nord-couloir-coolidge/ Despite not so splendid conditions, they skied and skied and enjoyed the adrenaline ride from top to bottom.
At the same time, Mattia completed the trilogy of the Monviso couloirs, skiing the two parallel ones – Centrale and Perotti – solo. He had done the Coolidge in 2011, the then first snowboard descent. http://www.lucapandolfi.com/2011/05/monviso-north-face-coolidge-couloir-05-05-2011-1st-snowboard-descent/
We will hear from both of them in time to come, I am sure. Eagerly waiting for their exciting new reports.