Interview with Matteo De Zaiacomo

Ethiopia, India and our montuains...

22 December 2015

Born in 1993, Matteo is one of the young alpinist of Ragni di Lecco. Entered in the vertical chronicles from a relative short time, he did important ascent with alpinist like Matteo Della Bordella and Luca Schiera forming a nice group of young and talented climbers. From boulder to sport climbing, from Val di Mello to Ethiopia or India, his activities is really not single-issue and is strating from the African expedition we start to know him. Strat from  the end, from Ethiopia, why do you decide for this place and how m any infos did you have before to start? We wanted the real adventure and this place has all the characteristics to live great moments. The idea was not to stay a long on the same big wall but to find differents places to climb and to do it as long as possible. We had not a lot of informations, only some indications by Edu Marin activities. The only certainty was that there was a lot of rock and this was sufficent for a group of climbers like me and my friend Matteo Colico, Luca Schiera and Andrea Migliano. So, the adventure begane but we didn’t find exactly what we waited… How many routes did you open and where are ? We opened 4 ruotes in total, two near Adwa and two near Hawzen on the Abuna Yemata sendstone towers, wonderful to see but really terrible to climb…squashy like butter! The rock was also  very friable so was impossibile to do great free climbing ascent. The routes have not a difficult above 7a more or less and the climb is not rousing. So we changed our target to single pitch crack route… India and Ethiopia, which of the two places has the strongest colors in your memory now and why? The expeditions are very different. In Ethiopia there was an incredible human impact thanks to wonderful people we met. In India we were alone, above the Gangotri Glacier and with Shivling Mount in front. But here, on incredible and overhanging big wall of Baghirathi 4, the only one unclimbed yet, the conditions were horrible! Ice storms were common and the temperature was incredibly low. To complicate all there was the high altitude: returned from one attempt, we spent three days to base camp to walk again! We did in total three attempts. The first one doing only 4 pitch. The second ended thanks a ice strom and the alst one cause the terrible rock we found. Here, near the top, this became impossibile to protect and too dangerous to climb with runout. Matteo returned before in Italy  but Luca and me changed our target reaching the Baghirathi summit from the other side. The be above a 6000 meters mountain was an incredible sensation, so from the mountaineering point of view, this was the stronger experience. We see on your social that you climb a lot in Val di Mello also? Simple convenience or do yiou have a special affection for these walls? Oh yes! My activities were born in Val di Mello. I’m not a monster on the tipical adherence climbing but I love this place and its walls. Qualido is a big wall and here with Luca Schiera and Paolo Marazzi opened King of the Bongo, a 19 pitch route with great climbing and wonderful but frightful runout. Unfortunately, before to return for the free ascent, I had a serios accident in Dolomites…the result? Three months in a bed! Do yuo climb with your father also, right? Yes, if today I’m an alpinist and is his fault! Fault cause every time that I break myself, think that  it would be better if I kept playing the violin! No, I’m coking…it’s not  fault but a marit. I remember when I was a child and, with no climbing guide, climned all the day with him in the crags near Lecco. Today we have not a programmation, we don’t decide when and what to do. We say simply “Do we climb togheter Tomorrow?” and then we do it! We say one more time that to be a strong alpinist, to do sport climbing or boulder is necessary or not? Tell me something about your “performances” here… Oh, my God…I’m not a “strong” climber at all! I love all the aspect of climbing but sure…toh ave control in mountaineering, you have do practice sport climbing and also boulder if you want. I have some 8a problems in my palmares and the 8b+ like top level with rope…not more.  

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