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Rolando ?Rolly? Larcher on the first ascent of Uc Muz (8a, 650m) on the 700-meter east face of Demirkazik (3756m) in the Ala Daglar Range, Southern Anatolia, Turkey. Larcher, Michele Paissan and Maurizio Oviglia established Uc Muz ground up, then established Mezza Luna Nascente (7c, 270m), on the striking obelisk Parmakkaya (2800m). [Photo] Maurizio Oviglia

Sometimes in jazz, three people from completely different backgrounds
join forces to form a trio with the aim of playing a specific type of
music. In 2003 Rolando “Rolly” Larcher, Michele Paissan and I spent
twenty-five days together on the walls of Taghia creating a route that,
according to Arnaud Petit (the only repeat ascensionist), was one of the
best he had ever climbed. Two years had passed since then, and all of
us had been absorbed by separate projects. But after I gave a slideshow
on Taghia in Turin, Renzo Barbie, a passionate ski-mountaineer,
approached me and confided, “I know of a place like Taghia in
Turkey….” Our climbing trio is interested in setting up modern hard
routes, in unknown areas, where you have to locate an objective, perhaps
without knowing what the rock will be like or whether there will be any
rock at all: i.e., in improvisation. The three of us didn’t hesitate to
regroup to look for new forms of expression.

At the start of July, we landed in Ankara. We spent the first days
exploring the width and breadth of the Ala Daglar Range in Southern
Anatolia–until, there it was, the wall of our dreams! We established
base camp at 2900 meters and reached the foot of the wall, but, damn it,
there were no holds. The main summit of another wall, the 700-meter east
face of Demirkazik, towered directly above base camp. We decided this
wall was our best option.

At times rocks whistled down; the environment resembled that of higher
altitudes. It was certainly nothing like a crag! But the weather was
splendid and often cloudless. It was very hot in the sun and very cold
in the shade; we switched from t-shirts to down jackets in less than
fifteen minutes.

After ten days we’d finished and freed our route, Uc Muz (8a maximum, 7b
obligatory, 650m), reaching the summit at 5 p.m. on a fantastically
clear and colorful day. Standing on the 3756-meter summit of Demirkazik,
we truly felt as if the world were at our feet.

With two Turkish climbers, Recep and Zeynep Ince, we then decided to
repeat the much-feared French Route on the slender obelisk Parmakkaya
(2800m). Only three repeats had been made on this route in ten years.
The difficulties reach 7b, and we had to proceed carefully for the
entire route to avoid twenty-meter falls…. We managed to onsight the
route nevertheless.

But on the way, Rolly stopped a bit too often to gaze around him. As if
entranced, he became obsessed with the beauty of the obelisk and decided
he couldn’t leave without opening a new route. Two fourteen-hour days of
storm brought us to Parmakkaya’s summit, having established Mezza Luna
Nascente (7c, 7a+ obligatory, 270m) on the east face, swinging leads and
freeing the pitches the same day. Some of the pockets were still filled
with hail. Perhaps this was improvisation… or perhaps it was only the
exaggerated desire to play music, and continue to do so even when the
concert was over and the audience had long since gone home.

Maurizio Oviglia, Cagliari, Italy