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Luca Zardini frees "The Big Mother" 8c+/9a at Erto, Italy


The Big Mother 8c+/9a strong contender for the hardest route in Italy

 The Italian Luca Zardini has climbed The Big Mother 8c+/9a. Situated in the wildly steep Erto, this is a strong contender for the hardest route in Italy.

The Big Mother is a continuation of "The Last Way" and leads into "Mocio". The Last Way was originally graded 8c but turned into an 8c/c+ after an essential foothold broke off. Mocio is an 8b extension of the 8a mega-classic "Pole Position".

Zardini, who required two weeks to link the two routes, had this to say:

"The Big Mother is definitely the hardest route I’ve ever climbed. It’s really varied: the first 15 moves are physical and intense on O.K. holds, then there’s a difficult and precarious clip, followed by ten small edges that lead to the route’s only rest. It then joins Mocio and continues up its technical and pumpy grey streak."

 Zardini's Spring

A serious finger injury last year forced Zardini to take some time off climbing. He came back in force by teavelling to France in May. A visit to St. Leger du Ventoux, Verdon, and Ceuse, resulted in numerous 8a and 8a+ onsights and and various 8b and 8b+ redpoints.
A trip to Orpierre (France) in July resulted in a one day, 5th attempt ascent of "Mission Impossible" 8c.

The route

Name: The Big Mother
Grade: 8c+/9a
Length: 30m
Moves: 60

Steep overhang followed by a technical second section.

 Italy's hardest

L'Avaro 8c+/9a, Tetto di Sarre, Valle d'Aosta
Les Sindacalistes 8c+/9a, Cornalba
The Big Mother 8c+/9a, Erto

Luca Zardini on The Big Mother 8c+/9a, Erto, Italy
Photos by Massimo da Pozzo

Read PlanetMountain's interview with Luca Zardini







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