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Giorgia Tesio climbing Fortunadrago at Varazze
Photo by Silvia Mari
Giorgia Tesio climbing Fortunadrago at Varazze
Photo by Silvia Mari
Giorgia Tesio sending Fortunadrago at Varazze
Photo by Simone Raina
Simone Raina climbing Fortunadrago at Varazze
Photo by Silvia Mari

Giorgia Tesio and Simone Raina send Fortunadrago, historic 8B boulder problem at Varazze

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At Varazze (Italy) Giorgia Tesio climbed her first 8B boulder problem, Fortunadrago. Repeated on the same day by Simone Raina, this historic bloc was the first 8B in the area, freed by local Christian Core.

Fortunadrago is the name of the dragon who miraculously saves from the Nothing the protagonist of the Neverending Story, Michael Ende’s all-time classic masterpiece. Fortunadrago is also the name of one of the historic boulder problems at Varazze, the first 8B in the area freed years ago by local hotshot Christian Core. A fortnight ago it was climbed not once, but twice in rapid succession.

The first to succeed was 33-year-old Simone Raina who rested the problem to its former glory after it had fallen into oblivion for a number of years. A few minutes later Giorgia Tesio then sent the problem and, in doing so, she happened to send her first 8B. The two helped each other, the heelhook suggested by Giorgia proved key for Simone, while his ascent gave her the right frame of mind to miraculously save herself from the force of gravity. Nice one.


Fortunadrago by Giorgia Tesio


At the start of 2018 I made a promise to myself, I set a big goal, to send my first 8B boulder problem. During the year and the competition season however this thought was put on hold, and the only time I can actually climb outdoors is in November and December. This year though the weather certainly didn’t help.

Last Sunday a ray of sunshine motivated me and a friend of mine, Andrea Paleni, to travel to Liguria, to Varazze; I had no particular projects and I spent a great morning enjoying being back on rock again. In the late afternoon Simone arrived; he’d been trying Fortunadrago, a line I’d often noticed while flipping through the guidebook, but which I’d always reckoned was too hard. Simone was crucial for my success, not only with his support, but also because he believed in me and pushed me into trying it. After a couple of goes I found some beta which worked well for me, but kept falling right at the end. We climbed as much as possible, but eventually the darkness and exhaustion got the upper hand.

For the following week I thought about the moves every single day, but didn’t think I’d manage to go back because of my studies., This time Andrea and Federico proved crucial, as they invited me down to Varazze and I quickly said yes: perfect conditions, ideal company and huge motivation to climbing. I couldn’t ask for more.

After climbing with them for a bit at Alphacentauri, I moved on to my project: I couldn’t wait to try it, I was excited and also nervous, because I knew I could do it and really wanted the send. In the meantime Simone had arrived; I’d sent him a message in the morning, and when, after several poor attempts I started to lose hope, Simone managed to send the problem and this triggered something in me: all of a sudden I felt happy and light, without paranoia or worries. So I tried it one more time, laughing as my friends cracked some jokes. They were there for me and at the same time I felt more determined than ever. The moves flowed one into the next and all of a sudden I was on the top, on the top of Varazze’s first 8B, as well as my first 8B, and also the first female ascent, shortly after the ascent of good friend of mine.

Now I’m happy and satisfied, I’ve fulfilled the promise I made to myself. But like so much in life, without friends and without this love for climbing I would never have succeeded, so thanks Simone, Silvia, Andrea and Federico for having been there and for sharing my joy.

Giorgia thanks E9, Climbing Technology, S.C.A.R.P.A. 

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It still feels incredible. Fortunadrago is the first 8b of Varazze, and MY first 8b! Two weeks ago I went to Varazze looking forward to climbing on rocks again and relaxing with my friends, but then at the end of the day @simoraina showed me that beautiful line and after some tries it started to seem possible, but I wasn’t able to do it. So I came back last week: conditions were perfect, I couldn’t ask for a better company. Standing on the top of the boulder right after Simone was the cherry on the top of the cake and sharing this moment with my friends was priceless. So a big hug goes to @simoraina @ilvia90 @fedefenrir @andrea_paleni for having supported me. Now it’s time for new projects and training hard! @scarpaspa @e9clothing_official @climbingtechnology #ctclimbing #scarpaspa #scarpaclimb #scarpateam #e9clothing #e9climbing #climbingtribe

A post shared by Giorgia Tesio (@giorgia.tesio) on



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#fortunadrago Is the first 8b of Varazze. After the first ascent of @corechristian and a couple of sends it became a bit forgotten line covered of musk and an infamous fama to be really hard. I walked many times in front of this line but maybe because is not the most majestic opened line, maybe because I was scared of his fama and of course because it was completely covered of musk, I've never tried it. In the beginning of last year I took rope and brush and I brought it at a climbable condition.The moves were totally on my style and I was close to a quick send. But I really suffered the central move, and I failed.I came back with some bro and every time I bring here my friends they climbed it in their way. And to me this process became like bring bro to my home, and I was always proud to be part of their ascents, it's was always a gift feeling. But regularly I failed on the same move. Then I abandoned a bit the idea to focus on it, but sometimes in the Sunday evenings with my girl @ilvia90 and our dog we went back on it like playing in the home garden but, always at the same move, I failed. My first left finger always rip off in a couple of tries. Because the process was not jet end. Couple of weeks ago another bro @andrea_paleni ask me about Varazze and some climbs for our little sister @giorgia.tesio. Immediately I thought about fortunadrago for her with fix in my mind that she had to climb it with a heelhook instead the dyno, idea that I've thought since the beginning but never able to do it and never really believed it possible. As in the best stories Giorgia came and did the single move with the heel. I seen it was possible. Yesterday I've planned to rest but she text me that she was coming to try and I went to the line just because of her. The conditions was good and the mood was super. We both send it in the best way as possible. The last gift and the freedom to close the process was to be part of the #FFA of it. --- Dedicated to all the bro who had spent time with me on this boulder. #brotherhood. --- @e9clothing_official @scarpaspa @vibram @alberto_adidassporteyewear @kandoholds

A post shared by Simone Raina (@simoraina) on

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