I have to make a premise: this piece was written about 20 years ago. It got lost in the shuffle, and never digitally stored. So it was unpublished until now. I had forgotten about it until a few months ago, and it wasn't part of my book.
20 years is a long time, today, with regard to both technology and climbing development. Many, many things have changed. But the reader of this short story shouldn't focus his attention on the technical changes in mountaineering or in climbing. You could read about such technical changes in plenty of other accounts. The reader should focus his attention on the historical setting, instead.
In 1996, when we began to go back to Croazia again, that country was coming out of 5 years of war. The traces of the war were in people's eyes, in the empty supermarket shelves, in the homes destroyed; it were in the minefields, that had been off-limits for plenty of years, after the war. The war almost didn't show up at the coast: it was fought in the surrounding mountains, nearby. Neverthless, seeing someone who comes to climb, for the inhabitants, was like seeing the return to normal life… now, fortunately, things are different. Croazia is a European country, and probably, nobody brings a round's chambered AK47 in the trunk of his car… Now Croazia is waiting to join the European Union. But in 1996, instead, a time of hate and death had just ended. Get back to climbing was like reverting to life, and many survivors were trying to find peace with themselves climbing the rock walls of Omis.
To Carlo, with whom I shared that colored holds and a piece of my life, and that is waiting for us someplace else.