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Stefano Ghisolfi making the first ascent of Lapsus at Andonno, the first 9b sports climb in Italy
Photo by Enrico Veronese
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Stefano Ghisolfi frees Lapsus at Andonno, Italy's first 9b sports climb

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Today at Andonno (NW Italy) Stefano Ghisolfi made the first ascent of Lapsus, the hardest sports climb in Italy and the first route in the country to be graded 9b.

Early this afternoon Stefano Ghisolfi restored the historic Italian crag Andonno to its former glory with the first ascent of Lapsus, a route which has all the hallmarks of being the first 9b in Italy and consequently the most difficult sports climb in the country.

The new route is located in the famous Anfiteatro sector, a steep sheet of smooth limestone that hosts some of Italy’s most famous climbs such as Si, the 8a+ put up by Marzio Nardi, Noi, the 8b+ freed by Andrea Gallo, the 8b Cobra and the 8c Anaconda freed by Matteo Gambaro. In 1993 Severino Scassa connected Noi with Cobra by a characteristic horizontal traverse to create Noia, the first and probably most famous 8c+ in Italy, while last year Ghisolfi connected Cobra with Anaconda to give birth to the 8c+/9a Cobra Reale.

The newest creation freed by the climber from Turin now crosses all these routes, starting up Noi to finish, 70 moves later, on Anaconda. The crux moves are located right at the very end, high up on Anaconda and it is here that Ghisolfi fell two weekends ago, just a few moves from the chain,

Conditions have been excellent recently and after a brief warm-up Ghisolfi made no mistakes whatsoever and his success comes in the wake of three 9a+ repeats, namely Biographie at Céüse in summer, Demencia Senil at Margalef in March and Le moustache qui fâche at Entraygues in France during the summer of 2014. According to the Italian climber the new connection is "much harder" than any of these, and it goes without saying that this is a historic moment for the Italian sports climbing movement.

Stefano Ghisolfi attempting Lapsus, video by Enrico Veronese

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