Cristian Brenna on-sights ‘Mortal Kombat’ and repeats Ombra
Cristian Brenna on-sights ‘Mortal Kombat’ 8b+ at Castillon and makes the first repeat of Ombra 8b+ at Finale, fourteen years after the first ascent
Evidently he neither suffers the cold nor has the Christmas food made him any heavier. At the start of this freezing cold January Cristian Brenna on-sighted his first ever 8b+, Mortal Combat at Castillon, France. At Peillon he then on-sighted two 8a’s and one 8a+, before driving back to Italy to secure the first repeat of Ombra, Andrea Gallo’s mythical 8b+ at Finale freed 14 years ago. His report is published below.
Mortal combat + Ombra and more....
Text by Cristian Brenna - photos Andrea Gallo
… The weather is fantastic and the mistral makes conditions excellent. After a long warm-up I decide to go for 'Mortal Kombat', the 8b+ on-sighted by Yuji in 1999. The route is 35m long and divided up into two sections, the first 7c+, the second roughly 8a+/b.
I climb nervously through the first section as I’m afraid of making a mistake, but I quickly reach the good rest at the height of the first chain. I manage to calm down and recuperate, ready for the next section. The first few meters aren’t extremely difficult and I then knee-bar on the first tufa. A quick shake and then I set off on the traverse to the second tufa. Another rest to calm me down a bit and then on up to the next good shake-out. The difficult sections are now over but again I’m worried about making a mistake so I climb really carefully. I reach the chain exhausted, I haven’t even got the strength to shout and let it all out. This time, at last, I’ve managed to on-sight my first ever 8b+ after having got so close on Terapia de Grito at Cuenca, where I fell right in front of the belay…
… On Sunday morning we slowly make our way to Scimmiodromo (Finale), where after warming up I try the moves on Ombra. I had already tried it with Marzio Nardi two years ago but thanks to Andrea’s beta I manage to do the moves immediately. I rest for about half an hour and then set off on my first attempt… but fall off. Perhaps it’d be better to check out the crux and try again later. 40 minutes go by and then I set off . This time I make no mistakes and suddenly find myself climbing up the final easy meters to the chain.
'Ombra' is legendary, climbed by Andrea Gallo in 1988. It therefore had to wait almost 14 years for its first repeat. It’s a power route and the 15 move crux section on pockets is extremely powerful. Eventhough at the time the line wasn’t as futuristic as nearby Hyena, Ombra was definitely a step forward in terms of difficulty in Italy. And I think the 8b+ is by no means overrated.