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Melloblocco 2009: record number of climbers at the great international bouldering festival in Val di Mello, Val Masino.

13 May 2009

When: from Thursday 7 to Sunday 10 May 2009
Where: Val di Mello (Val Masino – Sondrio)
What: the “bouldering game” at the most famous international bouldering meeting in the world
Who: everyone will participate: champion climbers, passionate boulderers, children and beginners
How many: more than 2500 registered climbers and more than 5000 visitors in the valley
Rules: climb and respect nature, along the lines of: no cars, walk or take the shuttle bus.
Organisation: Comune di Val Masino

It was meant to be a celebration and what a celebration it turned out to be! Once again Melloblocco lived up to all expectations and the sixth edition of this international bouldering meeting in Val Masino (Val di Mello) – organised by the Val Masino Town council – didn’t let anyone down. More than 2500 registered climbers from all over Italy and 37 different countries were joined by at least another 3000 passionate boulderers in a grand finale to Sunday’s fourth and final day of the biggest bouldering meeting. This event has slowly but surely become an unmissable occasion for all climbers and thanks to them the meeting has grown from strength to strength. This year the Melloblocco broke even the most ambitious of records and registered a record number of participants and an incredible number of young and extremely young climbers. This is indicative of the Melloblocco’s future. A great future!

The numbers demonstrate clearly that the event was a success. As does the number of foreign climbers who reached the valley early on Thursday to experience this adventure and collective celebration unfold day by day. Further proof of the success is how the valley welcomed the bouldering “tribe”. These people thanked the valley by leaving it as clean as they had found it. The marvellous natural habitat was respected fully and the cars were left firmly parked, as the Melloblocco had only one simple: reach the climbing areas on foot or via shuttle buses. Yes because Val di Mello’s meadows, boulders, rock faces and beautiful waterfalls have only recently been transformed into Lombardy’s biggest Nature Reserve and the melloblockers celebrated in the best way possible by calling it their own and, above all, personally taking on the responsibility of defending and safeguarding its future.

Melloblocco 2009 will be remembered for all of this. For the 700 boulder problems, of which 300 were new for this edition. But also for the incredible performances of the many champions who, like every year, climbed along side other passionate climbers. One person in particular astonished all and his incredible magic is destined to remain etched in people’s memories for a long time to come. We’re talking about the youngster who has become known to the media as the Harry Potter of climbing, we’re talking about Adam Ondra, the 16 year old from the Czech Republic who sent a record 8 special boulder problems. Set by Simone Pedeferri for the champion climbers, Ondra’s climbs were true magic and his ascents excited and amazed all. As did those of the entire Russian female bouldering team. Olga Bibik, Yulia Abramchuk, Anna Gallyamova, Aleksandra Balakireva, Silvie Raifova and Natalya Vasylenko all sent all 8 female problems, as did Chloè Graftiaux from Belgium.

“It’s been beautiful, the valley and the Melloblocco are fantastic” is how Olga Bibik, the great Russian bouldering champion who took part in the event for the first time ever, described the meeting. We’re certain that this is also what the thousands of climbers thought who in these last four days were the main protagonists of this 6th Melloblocco! Val Masino and Val di Mello have already invited them for next year, for another great bouldering festival!

Women: Alexandra Balakireva: 8; Silvie Rajfovà: 8; Yulia Abramchuck: 8; Olga Bibik: 8; Anna Gallyamova: 8; Chloè Graftiaux: 8

Men: Adam Ondra: 8; Guillaume Glairon Mondet: 5; Alexey Rubtsov: 4; Sean Mc Coll: 3; Mykhaylo Shalagin: 3.

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