Stefano Ghisolfi sends 9a at Grotta dell'Arenauta, Italy
During the Christmas holidays Stefano Ghisolfi repeated Grandi gesti 9a at Grotta dell'Arenauta, Sperlonga, Italy. Furthermore, at Pietra di Bismantova he managed to flash an 8b+.
20-year-old Italian climber Stefano Ghisolfi made the most of his Christmas holidays by travelling to central Italy and climb at Grotti, Ferentillo and the superbly steep Grotta dell'Arenauta at Sperlonga where he managed to redpoint Grandi gesti, the 9a freed in 2009 by one of Italy's strongest and least known climbers, Gianluca Daniele. During the return trip Ghisolfi stopped off briefly at Pietra di Bismantova where he successfully flashed K-rock Radio Station, 8b+.
GRANDI GESTI AT SPERLONGA by Stefano Ghisolfi
I spent some days climbing at Grotta dell'Arenauta, Sperlonga and I started trying Grandi Gesti on my second day, having spent the frist trying to onsight some routes to get used to the cave. On my third day I tried the route twice to carefully learn all the sequences, and on the 4th day I unexpectedly sent it first go. This surprised me because it was raining and the last hold was wet, fortunately though it's fairly good and clipping the chain wasn't difficult.
I always climbed with socks on since there are many foot and toe hooks that pressed on an injury I have. The rout is really beautiful and comprised of a first, 5-move 8a+ section followed by an easy 6a section, a very good rest and then the long sequence beneath the roof that finishes up the last section, an 8b+ called Invidia. There has been much discussion about the grade of the route and I've even heard people say that since I was capable of sending it with socks on and with the last hold being wet, then it can't be that grade. I'm certain it's easier than Ground Zero at Tetto di Sarre, but it's also true that I'm currently on great form. I also climbed at Grotti and Ferentillo where I managed to make short work of some hard routes, and I reckon therefore that Grandi Gesti 9a could well be 9a.
I really enjoyed climbing in Central Italy; I chose this destination since I wanted an alternative to the classic winter climbing holiday in Spain and I discovered that the Italian crags are just as good as the Spanish ones, they're spectacular and offer a great variety of climbing styles and routes. Apart from the Grotta, I really liked Grotti (whose rock quality reminded me of Margalef) and Ferentillo, even if I only spent one day at the Gabbio sector. We also stopped off at Pietra di Bismantova because it was on the way back and I'd never been there. I belayed Marcello Bombardi and got all the beta for K-rock Radio Station, and then I managed to flash it!
Do it! 8a+, Grotta dell'Arenauta, flash
Super Daytona 8a+, Grotta dell'Arenauta, onsight
La mia nuova fidanzata 8a, Grotta dell'Arenauta, flash
Grandi gesti 9a, Grotta dell'Arenauta, 6th go
Invidia 8a, Grotta dell'Arenauta, onsight
La danza dei cavalieri 8a/+, Grotta dell'Arenauta, 2nd go
Ridi mo’ 8b+, Grotti 2nd go
Underworld 8a+, Grotti, onsight
Input 8c, Grotti, 2nd go
Iorgau 8b+, Ferentillo, 2nd go
Il corvo 8c , Ferentillo, 5th go
K-rock radio station 8b+, Pietra di Bismantova, flash