Jenny Lavarda Climbs Dolomites Multi-Pitch F8c+/9aby Jack Geldard - Editor - UKC Oct/2009
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Jenny Lavarda is a professional climber and has redpointed F8c on two occasions (Reini's Vibes (F8c), Massone, Arco, Italy and Claudio Caffe (F8c), Terra Promessa, Arco, Italy) and competed in and won World Cup competitions in both rock and ice.
Her ascent of Solo per vecchi guerrieri is her hardest route to date and is one of the hardest ascents by a woman, ever. The first F8c climbed by a woman was over 10 years ago, when back in 1998 Josune Bereziartu climbed Honky Tonky at Oñate, Spain. Since then several women have climbed F8c and F8c+ and Josune has gone on to climb F9a/9a+ with her 2005 ascent of Bimbaluna in St Loup, Switzerland.
What makes Jenny's effort on Solo per vecchi guerrieri particularly note-worthy (on top of the fact that it's bloody F8c+/9a!) is the additional difficulty of climbing at this level on a multi-pitch route.
The four pitch limestone route Solo per vecchi guerrieri (In English: "For old warriors") was first climbed by the legendary Italian climber Maurizio "Manolo" Zanolla, and is found at Vette Feltrine in the Italian Dolomites. It is ranked as one of the hardest multi-pitch routes in the world.
With the crux pitch of F8c+/9a coming after 3 earlier pitches, including a pitch of F8b, Jenny commented on 8a.nu that:
"I think the route it's very hard, also because the hardest pitch is the last and you arrive there very tired above all with fingers...so I think it's a very hard multi-pitch because 8b and then 8c+/9a as last pitch..."
Manolo equipped the route ground-up, partnered with Federico Gorda and managed a successful free ascent in 2006. The route saw a repeat at the hands of Mario Prinoth in the October of that same year who confirmed both the difficulty of the line and the high quality of the climbing.
Jenny first tried the route back in 2006 with Mauro Bubu Bole but initially thought the difficulties might be too much for her. Commenting on 8a.nu she said:
"I tried also this route 3 years ago with Mauro Bubu Bole for one month, and I loved it until the first moment...for the rock, the place...the best route in my life...I didn't count attempts because the first time was hard to understand something...vertical route with very small holds...when I climbed in this multipitch my first time with Bubu I thought...I never do this route, it's impossible for me...but then I found my solution and finally I do it...I studied many days the route...maybe the route that I studied more in my life...movements for movements...foot for foot..."
On the day of her ascent she climbed the whole route in the morning, enjoying perfect conditions. Her boyfriend Marco Ronchi climbed the route in the afternoon of the same day.
Jenny is sponsored by Red Bull, Alpinestars, La Sportiva, Ferrino, X-Fighter Team, Arsenik Glasses.