D: Soriano Boulder Project: what is it?
R: Since 2019, when the Association Sassisti Tusciaroli was founded, our aim has been safeguarding and developing the "Sassismo" [Sassismo in Italian sounds like Bouldering, but with a bit of understatement, and some emphasis on the small size of the blocks, compared to the mountain walls n.d.T] in the territory of the Tuscia area [ the Tuscia area is the province of Viterbo, n.d.T.]. Let us not forget that the blocks of trachyte into the Ancient Beach Forest [Faggeta Vetusta, in Italian n.d.T.] of Soriano have seen the birth of the bouldering in Central Italy.
Since then, especially in summer, although many other bouldering areas have been set at a lower altitude, the Beech Forest of Soriano has always been one of the favorite spots for boulderers and climbers. The place where you can enjoy climbing by the fresh secular beeches.
The Soriano Boulder Project aims to make available the bouldering areas of Soriano available for the climbers' community but in a sustainable way. That is by
Agreements and joint projects with the local authorities and government;
Searching for new bouldering spots, establishing new bouldering areas, and taking care of their maintenance.
Sharing and disseminating our ideals pf proper practice of the bouldering discipline, of its ethics, and of its history.
Sharing and spreading passion and dedication, both necessary to do all I said, and to generate respect for nature and politeness among the boulderers.
Over the years we saw that if all this is missing, the sites got degraded, dirty, and finally got closed, whereas if a virtuous circle is created, the problems that do arise can be managed.
D: When have you started this project?
R: We started on May 2020, when the first prohibitions to the sports practice in the Ancient Beech Forest appeared.
In those days we realized that we have to do these things:
- finding new bouldering spots, outside the Ancient Beech Forest, to reduce the impact caused by its overcrowding;
- finding alternative spots in case of a climbing ban in the Ancient Beech Forest
- work in synergy with the city administration and the other associations to find a sustainable way to frequent the Ancient Forest and the other spots.
the risk was that of losing the summer historical bouldering site of Lazio.