Italian climber Stefano Ghisolfi has made the first ascent of his project at Eremo di San Paolo near Arco, Italy. He has named the route Erebor and graded it 9b/+, making it the hardest climb in Italy.
The 27-year-old had been working on the project close to his home since the end of the first lockdown in Italy. It was the first route he had bolted and afterwards, he quickly realised the uphill task he had set himself:
'I immediately realised it was nearly impossible. After summer I started trying some attempts but only in the new year I was able to clip the chain, after falling at the last moves more than 10 times.'
On the grade, Ghisolfi stopped short of 9b+ and compared the route against Adam Ondra's Change at Flatanager and Alex Megos' Perfecto Mundo at Margalef, both of which he has climbed. He describes Erebor as his 'proudest first ascent' and is already looking forward to others repeating the route.
Watch our interview with Stefano from May 2020:
Ghisolfi made the first ascent of Italy's previous hardest, Lapsus (9b), in 2015. The route links together Severiano Scassa's classic 1993 test piece Noia (8c+) into Anaconda (8c). For the past few years, Ghisolfi has been working his way through 9bs and 9b+s. He has repeated Adam Ondra's One Slap (9b) in Arco, La Capella (9b) in Siurana and as previously mentioned, Change at Flatanger which he completed in September of 2020 after spending a month on the route.