Giuliano Cameroni climbs best problem ever in Valle Bavona
At Sonlerto in Valle Bavona, Switzerland, Giuliano Cameroni has made the first ascent of Grande gigante gentile. Graded 8A and 12m tall, the 20-year-old Swiss climber has described the line as 'the perfect highball'.
When one of the world’s most talented boulderers mentions he’s just first ascended what he regards as the best problem he has ever climbed, it’s worth stopping for a minute and examining further.
The climber who has just created his Giuliano Cameroni, the young Swissman who is far more talented than he is famous. Many of Cameroni’s repeats and first ascents pass under the radar but problems such as Dreamtime at Cresciano and Der mit dem Fels tanzt at Chironico attest to the fact that he is well and truly in the 8C bracket.
All this makes his recent first ascent of GGG - Grande gigante gentile -all the more striking. Located just behind the famous Off the Wagon problem at Sonlerto in Valle Bavona, the problem is "a huge 12 meters vertical dihedral" that ascends "perfect Bavona-rock and has world class palm moves plus technical body positions all the way to the top."
Cameroni worked the highball on a toprope prior to his successful ascent, and told planetmountain.com "It took me 3 days of cleaning and repeating the upper part again and again. I must have done it more than 30 times. It felt safe because I didn't fall once after I had the correct beta. I waited for Sam Ometz and then I did it without any fear. Everything felt good and I knew I wasn't gonna fall. I'm not an highball climber and most of the time I'm scared of heights, but for this king line I made an exception."
Cameroni celebrated his 20th birthday one day in advance by sending the problem on his last day as a teenager, and he explained "For me this is the perfect highball: the higher you get the easier it is, the landing is flat and you are always on your feet (they never slipped) so the risk of dry-fire, ie suddenly slipping off without warning, is almost impossible if you can control your climbing."
Cameroni thanks S.C.A.R.P.A. for the support