Gervasutti School: Traditional Course 2022

Gervasutti School: Traditional Course 2022
Of Sergio Cerutti
(Published on scuolagervasutti.it on September 6, 2022)

Also this year the Gervasutti school actively participated in the Valli di Lanzo in Verticale meeting held on 3-4 September 2022 in Forno Alpi Graie.

The meeting has now reached its sixth year with growing success of participation by all mountain lovers. Hand in hand, the G. Gervasutti School continues to offer every year in conjunction with the meeting the monothematic “trad” climbing course on the large granite walls that loom over the Vallone di Sea, and from this year on those that overlook from above the Val Grande as well as the Bec di Roci-Ruta.

During the course we set ourselves the goal of teaching the first rudiments of “trad” climbing in safety, a beautiful activity but which involves considerable risks if not carried out with the necessary technical skills on the correct positioning of the mobile protections.

The first of the two days, dedicated to practical teaching, we teach the construction of belays with pitons and relative use of the hammer and the construction of belays with mobile protections, such as nuts and friends.

The second day we dedicate ourselves to climbing the great granite walls of the valley.

There in the middle of the face, the students understand that contrary to what many think, climbing “trad” does not only mean knowing how to climb in cracks, but also having an “eye” to understand where to put safe protection on cracks or dihedrals, etc. not really obvious or a bit out of our line of climbing.

The course is undoubtedly very innovative and peculiar to our School, as demonstrated by the numerous students or candidates for the course, who come to attend it every year, including from other regions of Italy.

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We certainly don’t claim to teach everything in two days, “trad” climbing needs time and dedication to be carried out in complete safety, but we believe that those who come to us have the desire to begin to understand how to start climbing “clean” ”.

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At the end of the course many students ask us for directions on where they can start climbing by putting on their gear. We instructors at the School always direct them to easy and already protected crack routes, totally or partially bolted, where they can practice placing nuts and friends and also protect themselves with bolts where they do not feel particularly safe, in order to avoid potentially very dangerous.

The satisfaction of the course is always very high and we are proud to have started a path, even within the CAI, which we hope will be taken up by the other schools of our association.

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The comment
Of Charles Crovella

Big congratulations to the Giusto Gervasutti mountaineering school in Turin because, as part of its truly varied and complete activity, it has been organizing a trad course for some years now.

But what the hell is a “trad course”? This is a course where you teach how to place the protections that we once called “natural” and which today are defined as “mobile” (nut, friend, etc.) both in progression and for belays. So it’s the other side of climbing that exclusively exploits the artificial protections already in place, basically bolts and taproots.

Let’s hope that the valuable example of the Turin school is not isolated and, indeed, that other mountaineering schools (theoretically all…) organize courses or at least outings with a similar purpose.

However, as a seasoned mountaineer, I have some reflections on the general orientation of current climbing. I’m a bit amazed that the organization of a Trad Course is even a noteworthy event.

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A Trad Course is the recovery, in didactic terms, of the climbing approach see how (any “phonetic” reference is purely coincidental…). Knowing how to put nuts, friends, but also slings/cords around the hourglasses correctly is the basis of mountain climbing.

Consequently, in every mountaineering school the climbing course should deal with this approach and not with bolted routes, exasperating technical performance. This last activity should concern “free climbing” courses, not generic climbing courses.

I am well aware that this clear-cut differentiation is almost exclusively the prerogative of the big schools, which often act with a large metropolitan area behind them. However, smaller schools can do this by mixing the two approaches in the same course. On the other hand, the teaching that focuses exclusively on climbing on bolted structures is incomplete (for a mountaineering school).

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I add a final reflection: to the great theme of teaching on the correct use of “mobile” protections, two other concepts should be systematically added, as the Gervasutti School does in the Trad course, which are in my opinion fundamental, unfortunately somewhat neglected for a long time: know how to bolt correctly and, listen, know how to check the bolts on site. I’m talking about traditional pitons, not bolts.

Too often I see young shoots around, capable of twirling on the 9z, but who cannot recognize a rotten nail “on sight”. Let’s not talk about being able to visually understand which peg is suitable to insert in the unprotected crack in front of your nose… Around you can observe pegs placed against all logic, both in correspondence with the rock that surrounds them and with reference to the most correct sliding of the rope.

Finally, you should quickly come to understand when a nail “sings” as God commands while you are hammering it…

All little things, abc’s of trivial everyday life, but very relevant for bringing leather home.

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Gervasutti School: Traditional Course 2022 –