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Niccolò Ceria making the first ascent of The ghost ship 8B+ at Champorcher, Valle d'Aosta, Italy
Photo by Marco Pelle
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Niccolò Ceria drifts up The ghost ship at Champorcher

28.05.2013 by Niccolò Ceria

At Champorcher in Italy's Valle d'Aosta, Niccolò Ceria has made the first ascent of the boulder problem The ghost ship 8B+. Ceria provides the report.

The problem is located at Champorcher, which I believe might be the best bouldering area in the entire Valle d'Aosta. The line is located on the most famous boulder and follows a sequence of slopey crimps to a powerful finish.

The boulder is really easy to find since it's even visible from Google Streetview and you can park the car directly underneath it. This may sound like you're in some urban environment, but few cars ever drive up this road and in truth it's located in a beautiful setting, with snow-capped mountains all around, a stream, lush meadows and trees. The entire area offers good rock quality and each boulder varies considerably: some offer incredible friction, others are very "glassy" and almost smooth.

I saw this line two years ago when I first visited Champorcher and I was immediately impressed by its beauty and asked myself whether it was doable. After three days in 2011 and 2012, this year I was motivated to work it more intensely and after a further 4 long sessions I finally sent it. It's certainly one of the lines that have taken me longest and it's also, because of its great holds and sequence of moves, one of my most satisfying sends. In reckon 8B+ might be appropriate, but those who repeat it will be able to tell us more.

by Niccolò Ceria

GETTING THERE
From Donnas in Valle d'Aosta continue to Hone and then drive up Valle di Champorcher, following signs for the village. Circa 12 km after Hone turn off left into Val de la Legne, follow this for circa 800m and drive over a bridge. The boulder is visible immediately after the bridge, park here. After the bridge the road splits into two, with boulders along each of these. From the Streetview virtual car park you can drive up the and look at all the boulders online!


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