Ex-pat British climber, James Pearson has just made the first ground-up (third overall) ascent of Is Not Always Pasqua?, E9 7a, at Collina di Interprete in Central Italy. James' ascent was also the first placing all the gear on lead.
The route was first put up by Mauro Calibani in 2002, who inspired by 'Hard Grit' came over to England to sample the unique style of climbing on our Gritstone edges. Suitably inspired, Mauro headed back to Italy and made the first ascent of Is Not Always Pasqua?, grading it E9 7a, further describing it as 8b climbing into a 7C+ boulder problem to finish. You can find out more at Planetmountain.com. The route has had one other repeat, at the hands of Christian Brenna, who also headpointed the route with pre-placed gear.
James first tried the route a year ago, but he found that he did not have the correct sized cam to protect the crux of the route and so did not complete it. Coming back this year, James had the correct gear, but was feeling a little injured. However, after doing a slightly easier project line on the crag and feeling good, on his last day, James had a go at his dream route, managing to climb it ground-up placing all gear on lead.
Here is the video of James' successful ascent: