As a child, he dreamed of being an artist, following in the footsteps of his parents. And in some way, he succeeded. Born and raised at the foot of the Pale di San Martino, with a sculptor father and painter mother, Alessandro Zeni found in the verticality of the rock a way to carve his path and paint his spirit, becoming one of the strongest climbers in the world on slabs.
Born in 1991, Ale, as everyone calls him, discovered climbing at the age of 16 and immediately fell in love with it, moving with surprising naturalness. Notches, grooves, and protrusions where only a select few managed to climb soon became the ideal playground where he could seek continuous improvement and aspire to overcome increasingly extreme difficulties. On the Totoga crag, in Primiero, he refined his technique and in a short time he was moving in the footsteps of Maurizio “Manolo” Zanolla, repeating most of his routes, even the most difficult. At a time when most climbers were chasing grades on the best-known and most popular pitches, Alessandro chose to go against the grain by concentrating his efforts on an almost forgotten style, revealing the skills of a slab climber that led him to Cryptography, the most difficult slab climb in the world.
After a few years in the competitive arena, with excellent placings, including in the World Cup, Ale chose to leave competition to embark on a different journey. His passion led him on an exploration of rock and verticality that’s almost overhanging. Immersed in nature, in the beauty of the mountains, Ale moves in harmony with the environment, remembering that his footsteps must be light and fleeting, almost imperceptible.