The English language has a fine, inspiring expression to describe conduct that is coherent: “walk the talk”. That is to say, “do the things you said you would do”.
I have been involved in the organization of several excursions in the 2022 programme of the Gruppo Alpinistico G. Ferrari of the CAI of Ravenna. I wanted the first of these to be a visit and a climb on the Forgotten Cliff at San Lorenzo – Dorsino, a cliff restored with a crowdfunding campaign by Dolomiti Open and Sportfund (as described in my Previous post).
Twelve climbers from Ravenna, of all ages, set out on the morning of 19th March 2022 to reach this enchanting spot, a concrete symbol of inclusion, respect for the environment and respect among people.
Numerous paths are marked out. I could make a worthy attempt on only a few, but my adventure companions fortunately found plenty to get their teeth into and enjoyed themselves no end, appreciating the marking of the paths, the quality of the rock, the large, inviting meadow and the beautifully clean washroom facilities available to everyone.
Today’s Post, though, will speak of another project, Brenta Open, also designed by the Associazione Dolomiti Open in collaboration with Sportfund, which aims to demonstrate how the mountains are truly an inclusive place for everyone. The event will be the destination of another excursion, organized by me, with the CAI group of Ravenna at the end of July 2022.
Access to the mountains, whatever your skill levels and psychophysical state, is an exceptional conquest: the natural environment, in fact, is that where the forces coming into play are not so much those of architectural barriers, but of moral strength, character and human qualities, aspects directly linked to the difficulties encountered in life.
In these situations, people with disabilities often succeed in finding unconventional paths and technical solutions.
An asset like the Dolomites, recognized as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2009, remains such only if it can be enjoyed by everybody: this is the social message we are attaching to this project.
It is in these words that the sense of our initiative lies: an opportunity for all of us to go up the mountain together (disabled persons and non-disabled), with the memory of those who went before us, immersed in the beauty of nature and music.
ACCESSIBILITY AND DISABILITY
It is not possible to establish a priori who will find a route accessible or not. There are disabled persons who climb very difficult mountains and non-disabled who struggle to cope with supposedly simple routes.
It is to be hoped that the “superstar” effect can be left behind us. What is the point of admiring a disabled person who performs remarkable feats, if they do not have an open mentality, if they cannot climb the world beyond the architectural barriers.
The story of a few becomes the conquest of many
2021 – Castelletto inferiore
(click HERE to watch the video)
THE FAMILY IS GROWING..
“Last weekend, the 7th edition of the Brenta Open event took place. Every year, we add an important chapter, we grow as individuals with our understanding of the relationship between people and the mountain. We often wonder how this event will evolve year after year and what, effectively, Brenta Open is.
Brenta Open is arriving at the refuge, it is climbing together, it is laughing, getting tired, resisting the bad weather on the heights, meeting new experiences. It is helping one another, sharing everything, taking risks. It is being part of a family that grows year by year, enriches itself and nourished itself. Brenta Open is going to the mountain, together.”
Filippo Frizzera – Team Dolomiti Open
2020 – Brenta Bassa and Croz del Rifugio
“Since 2015, the year of the first edition, the seed of this initiative has germinated throughout Brenta and spread over the summits.
This year Nicole is also with us and we are here in Brenta to bear witness to how, in the mountain, we are able to build significant relationships, important relationships, that do not last just for the weekend of the event, but for the whole year…”
Simone Elmi – Chairman, Dolomiti Open
2019 – Torre d’Ambiez and Campaniletto
THE DOLOMITES – A UNIVERSAL HERITAGE
This #BrentaOpen2019 concluded with the notes of the Hymn to Joy.
The editions of the event succeed each other (this is already the fifth) and the links uniting us grow stronger and stronger. We meet again a year later and it feels as if only a few days have passed since the last time we were all sitting round the same table in the refuge.
“Disability” is no longer, for us, the central theme of the event, even though it certainly fills us with admiration to see Kevin and Gianluigi reach the summit with a prosthesis. But, to our way of thinking, this is becoming “normal”. Michele, an Alpine Guide and lead climber at the Torre d’Ambiez, is one of the most “able” climbers in the group, and yet even he climbs with a prosthesis on his leg.
This proves to us that we have achieved our goal… Apart from the satisfaction of reaching the summit with smiling faces, we take home the awareness that barriers often exist only in our own minds, and that getting to know each other and sharing a fine adventure is the best way to break down all preconceptions and prejudices.
We need more events like this! Let’s get busy!!
2018 – Torre Prati and Gemello Inferiore
ECHOES AMONG THE SUMMITS
Passion, fatigue, joy, adventure.
These are the essential elements that have characterized the fourth edition of Brenta Open.
This year, too, many people have taken part, challenging themselves in one of the most beautiful natural settings in the world. We climbed as far as the Vedretta degli Sfulmini, we climbed the Gemelli, we climbed Torre Prati.
This year, too, the story of a few has become the conquest of many.
2017 – Campanile Basso
ON THE SUMMIT WITH GIANLUIGI ROSA
The Dolomites confirm their status as the place where differences disappear, merging in a single great passion for the mountain.
Many people took part in the initiative, including some with disabilities, each with their own goal to be achieved.
After climbing to the Pedrotti refuge on Saturday, on Sunday more than thirty people achieved their goal, dividing into three different groups. One group, including the disabled mountaineer Gianluigi Rosa, successfully attempted the climb along the normal path of the Campanile Basso. A second group crossed the Bocchette Centrali, while the third group, consisting of disabled children, followed the footpath leading from the Pedrotti refuge to the Busa degli Sfulmini, a sublime natural amphitheatre where they heard the notes of Bach, played by two musicians who had climbed specially to the Campanile Basso and the Sentinella.
2016 – Cima Brenta and Cima Sella
DOUBLING THE SUMMITS WITH TAMARA LUNGER
On the new Queen of the Brenta Dolomites (Cima Brenta, 3,150m), we have realized a new idea of a musical embrace, played as an exchange between two opposing peaks, which then echoed down the valley and united all of us in a single concert.
We climbed to the Tuckett and Sella refuge in the company of Tamara Lunger and some disabled children who were experiencing their first adventure on the mountain and their first night in a refuge.
The journalist and writer on mountain subjects, R. Fichera, and musicians from the Scuola Musicale delle Giudicarie enlivened the evening with an evocative moment governed by poetry and art.
The following day, we reached Cima Brenta with Augusto, an energetic diabetic boy enjoying his first experience with a climbing team. From the summit of the Queen of the Brenta and from the neighbouring Cima Sella, the Hymn to Joy was sung with alternate verses answering each other. A great emotion!
2015 – Cima Tosa
150 YEARS FROM THE FIRST ASCENT
How best to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the first ascent of Cima Tosa, considered by everybody to be the highest summit of the Brenta Dolomites?
Everything took shape here, thanks to the Cima Tosa and its prestigious anniversary. The story of a few became the conquest of many and the Dolomites, a World Heritage Site, did the rest.
The logical way to celebrate an anniversary and a UNESCO Heritage Site is Brenta Open! In the first edition, therefore, we climbed with Hogy, an autistic boy accompanied by his assistant Maria Chiara. An authentic challenge culminating with the arrival on the summit accompanied by Mameli’s Hymn (the Italian National Anthem) played on the horn by the musician F. Puliafito.