In this week's Ticklist, we have an eclectic mix of sport, trad, bouldering, and a desperate alpine multi-pitch...
Stefano Ghisolfi talks Bibliographie
After Ghisolfi's exceptional ascent of Alex Megos' Bibliographie earlier in the week, the Italian has had a chance to collect his thoughts regarding his experience and the grade of the route:
'I avoided on purpose talking about grades but seems inevitable to do so. I took a day to think about it to find the right words. When I started trying Bibliographie I couldn't imagine I could climb it in one season, watching @Alexandermegos video the route seemed impossible and if it took him 60 days, I started projecting it thinking to come back over the years. In the end, I felt good on it from the beginning, found new beta for the crux (switching left and right hand compare to Alex), and new beta for the second crux. I climbed it in a total of 25 climbing days during these 3 months, and I tried to compared it to Change and Perfecto Mundo, changing my mind every other day. Change took me around the same time and Perfecto Mundo a bit more, but I feel all the 3 routes could fit all in the same grade range.
'I know I can climb a 9c, but for a route to be that grade it needs to be much harder than the existing 9b+'s, and Bibliographie for me isn't. This doesn't mean I want to belittle the performance of anyone, neither Alex's or mine, it is still an incredible achievement (especially the first ascent that includes many more hard mental and physical aspects) but I just wanted to be honest about what I felt during the whole process on Bibliographie, and this is just my opinion, hopefully, we will listen other soon. I would have been happy to be the third person to have climbed 9c, but I'm my heart I know I'm not (yet).'
Future ascensionists will have to weigh in on the grade for a definite downgrade, but one thing is clear: Megos and Ghisolfi have both climbed one of the hardest routes in the world.
Jade (8B+) for Ashima Shiraishi
20-year-old American climber Ashima Shiraishi has ticked her longterm project, Jade (Font 8B+), at Upper Chaos Canyon, Rocky Mountain National Park. Writing on her Instagram, she said:
'I poured my heart into this bloc over the span of a few years, and finally overcoming this one was a special moment.'
After climbing Jade, Shiraishi went on to tick the following later in the day:
Riddles in the Park (8A+)
Golden Rows of Flows (8A)
Blood Money stand (7C+)
8b+ Multi-pitch First Ascent by Siebe Vanhee and Sebastien Berthe
Vanhee and Berthe have climbed the first ascent of Histoire sans Fin (8b+) on the on Petit Clocher du Portalet, Switzerland.
Vanhee has written about his experience:
'Last week, Sebastien Berthe and I were incredibly lucky to make the first two free ascents of what we consider the best granite multi-pitch of the grade in Europe. It might even be the only of the grade. It's been a year since I've heard some rumours about a new, incredibly clean and hard, line on Swiss' Petit Clocher du Portalet near Martigny.
'In 2001 Didier Berthod and Francois Mathey opened the famous second pitch off the ledge, a 45-metre long 7c+ splitter crack, naturally protected. One of the best! The splitter ends in the middle of the beautiful pillar, in the middle of nowhere – the "Never Ending Story". The smooth granite above had to wait almost 20 years before Fabien Borter and Bertrand Martenet imagined an incredible bolted continuation of the route, following blank slabs and arêtes to the summit. Despite their great visioning, the climb had to wait until 2020 when they got help from Didier Berthod to find the missing link pitch, a beautiful orange arête graded 8b.
'The end of June, together with Jean-Eli Lugon we found a small window to go and try 'Histoire'. I got my ass kicked completely and was in a terrible physical state. Despite this, I realized it was one of the best lines I had ever tried. Last week I returned with Sebastien, physically in a way better shape but still intimidated by the line. I mainly went up to have another look and see how it would go. But with the sending vibe Seb brought with us on the wall I was quickly contaminated. We both worked the crux pitch until Seb strongly send. I felt I needed little tries more to send as well but Seb's time was running for a 'one day first day' ascent. We continued and he pulled out a strong physical and mental fight, we topped out at night! This day Seb made the first free ascent. As always, he was strong and kept giving every pitch sending tries until he surprisingly did!
'Three days later it was my turn, I returned with the support of Seb and Soline. This time convinced I could climb the route. I fired up the 7c+ splitter, continued the 7c traverse pitch to the base of the crux pitch. Suddenly I found myself in the crux of the 8b+ pitch, a super technical boulder problem where the right pressure on microscopic footholds makes the seemingly impossible moves possible. It's all in the head, you need to dare and push on the feet. It went smooth, I could send on the first go. The 8b pitch, the slabby but strenuous arete, was a mental fight. Scary but magical, that's what comes to mind when I think of that pitch. It felt so impossible on the first try, it's scary to push so much on the feet but ones you find the right pressure and balance, the magic happens. Again, I send this pitch on the first go! The last challenge, a spicy 8a+ slab. I climbed well but nervous, a brainfart happened and I fell at the very last difficult section. Thanks to Seb and Soline, I relativized my lame fall, returned to the anchor and just cruised it to the summit!'
Emma Twyford flashes Always the Sun
North Wales-based Emma Twyford has flashed Always the Sun (E7 6c) at Stackpole Head, Pembroke. Writing on her Instagram, Twyford explained that the ascent was close to an onsight but was told about one of the crucial gear placements and furthermore, the route was caked in chalk:
'This line really is one of the best in Pembroke. Aesthetically beautiful with killer moves! I really had to wing a short person's sequence together on the move in the first picture feeling like I was off but somehow staying on! Patience was the key and a little bit of figuring moves out on the fly.
'I'm proud of this ascent as I had to try hard above kit at the top and it's the first time I've felt happy doing so this year without knowing if I could do it first. I'd wanted to do it the day before but it was busy and I didn't fancy doing it in the full sun after, though I was desperate to try it I played the patience game!'
VIDEO: Shawn Raboutou establishing Big Z (Font 8C+), Tahoe