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Stefano Ghisolfi making the fourth ascent of 'First Round First Minute' 9b at Margalef in Spain after Chris Sharma, Adam Ondra and Alexander Megos
Photo by Paolo Sartori

Stefano Ghisolfi: Italian repeat of First Round First Minute at Margalef

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On 30/01/2017 Italian climber Stefano Ghisolfi repeated 'First Round First Minute', the famous 9b sports route at Margalef, Spain. Freed in 2011 by America’s Chris Sharma, so far the line had only been repeated by Adam Ondra from the Czech Republic and Alexander Megos from Germany

Great news has trickled across from Spain where yesterday Italy’s Stefano Ghisolfi managed to redpoint First Round First Minute, the route at Margalef freed by Chris Sharma in 2011 which, with its whopping 9b grade, is rightly considered one of the most difficult sport climbs in the world.

Ghisolfi had travelled to Spain at the start of January for an extended cragging trip in Catalonia together with his partner Sara Grippo, and after making an outstanding 8c onsight - Fish Eye at Oliana - he moved on to Margalef where he set his sights on the crag’s King Line.

Ghisolfi initially repeated First Ley, a 9a+ that shares the same start as First Round before trending off left and avoiding the bouldery crux finish. After completing this the 23-year-old from Turin began working the more difficult version in earnest.

A few days ago Ghisolfi fell from the final hard move and the redpoint seemed nothing more than a mere formality, but it then started raining and the route got wet, forcing the Italian to wait for longer than he had originally wanted. Perhaps the enforced three-day rest served him well, because despite poor conditions yesterday Ghisolfi successfully linked the whole route. His is only the fourth ascent, after Sharma in 2011, Adam Ondra in 2014 and, in 2015, Alexander Megos. Who, for the record, happened to hold Ghisolfi’s ropes yesterday during the successful send.

Ghisolfi has now climbed two 9b’s, the first being his first ascent of Lapsus at Andonno in 2015. There’s little point underlining that, once again, he confirms his place among the world’s climbing elite.

TOPO: Margalef, Spain


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