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Laura Rogora preparing to climb Ali hulk sit extension total at Rodellar in Spain. In climbing this route she has become only the second woman in the world to climb 9b, after Angela Eiter
Photo by Marco Iacono
Laura Rogora climbing Ali hulk sit extension total 9b at Rodellar in Spain
Photo by Marco Iacono
Laura Rogora climbing Ali hulk sit extension total 9b at Rodellar in Spain
Photo by Marco Iacono

Laura Rogora: the second woman to climb 9b interview

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Interview with 19-year old Italian climber Laura Rogora after her repeat at Rodellar in Spain of Ali hulk sit extension total, thanks to which she became the second woman in the world to climb 9b.

On Saturday 25 July 2020 Laura Rogora wrote a new chapter in climbing history by joining the select group of climbers capable of redpointing 9b, and also became only the second second woman in the world to master these extreme difficulties thanks, with her repeat of Ali hulk sit extension total at Rodellar in Spain. This "hybrid" route is a combination a 50-move boulder problem followed by a 50-move sport climb, and while the first section was envisioned by Dani Andrada, it was extended in 2019 by Jonatan Flor. Rogora’s 9b comes shortly after her first 9a+ and four years after her first 9a, and is the clear result of training and talent that have few equals. So far only former world champion Angela Eiter had climbed 9b, La Planta de Shiva at Villanueva del Rosario in 2017. It goes without saying that with this ascent Rogora has now reached the pinnacle of female sport climbing. Here are the details of her first, fruitful trip to Rodellar.

Laura you’ve just sent 9b! That’s amazing! What springs to mind when you hear these words?
I think back to when I first started climbing and 9b seemed like on another planet, that only a few men in the world had climbed that hard! And I think back to 12 years ago when I started out with my coach Alessandro Marrocchi. It’s thanks to him that I’m now part of the elite group of climbers, which I never thought I’d be a part of. Never.

So tell us about this hybrid route ...
All it’s somewhat strange, you start sitting down at the back of the cave and climb the first 50 moves without a rope, then after this first section you get a knee-bar rest where you clip the rope in with a carabiner, and set off up the 8c+ past another 50 moves.

How important is the fact that the route is hybrid?
It’s not all too different from a normal route, except for the first part where you don't have to stop to clip the rope. It is also easier to try the moves, since with a ladder you can pretty much reach all the holds on the first section.

You started your holiday in Rodellar on fire by sending the second section, the 8c+ Ali hulk sit extension total
Actually, since I only had just one week I immediately started trying the moves of the sit start, but in the meantime I also tried a upper section as training and to get a feel for what it would be like if I got there on a redpoint all the way from the sit start.

You did the entire route really quickly!
It took me 6 days in total. As I said, I immediately started trying the sit and this certainly helped me.

Laura, you know far better than we do: the leap from 9a+ to 9b is enormous. After your first 9a+ in May, it didn’t take long for you to bridge the gap.
I absolutely didn't see it coming. I thought that in a week I’d perhaps manage to do all sections, not more, but instead on day 4 I was already going it a redpoint burn. I’ve certainly improved a lot this year and I have to admit that this route really suited my style of climbing, no extreme crux but instead loads of stamina moves.

When you reached the chain you almost cried
Yeah almost. I couldn't believe it ...

Your climbing has gone from strength to strength. Where are your weaknesses?
I think I can still improve on dynos and explosive power.

With this form: is there any route in particular that has caught your attention?
I tried Biographie at Céüse a few years ago, it’s beautiful and a really historical climb, sooner or later I’d love to return.

For now though, have you got any other goals? In addition to the Tokyo Olympic Games in July 2021?
At the moment no. The time has come to focus on competitions once again.

Links: FB Laura RogoraInstagram Laura RogoraCampWild Climb

Laura Rogora outdoors

12/2014 Ciccio Formaggio 8c Grotta dell’Aerenauta Sperlonga, repeat. Her first 8c aged 13.
04/2015 Il Corvo 8c, Ferentillo, repeat
02/2016 Grandi Gesti, 9a Sperlonga, repeat
08/2016 Wallstreet 8c Frankenjura, Germany, repeat
11/2016 Tomorrowland extension 8c+/9a, Cueva di Collepardo, first ascent
12/2016 Supercrack 8b+/8c, Cueva di Collepardo, first ascent
01/2017 Joe Blau 8c+, Oliana, Spain, repeat
01/2017 La Gasparata, 8c+/9a, Cueva di Collepardo, first ascent
02/2017 Joe-cita 9a, Oliana, repeat
03/2017 Ercole 8c/+, Cueva di Collepardo, first ascent
12/2017 It segid narg 8c+, Grotta dell'Arenauta Sperlonga, first ascent
04/2018 Sitting Bull 8c+/9a, Cueva di Collepardo, first ascent
01/2019 Esclatamasters 9a, Perles, Spain, repeat
06/2019 Rèveille-toi, 9a, Cueva di Collepardo, first ascent
12/2019 Pal Norte 8c+/9a, Margalef, repeat
01/2020 La Bongada 9a, Margalef, repeat
01/2020 L-mens 8b+ Montsant, onsight
03/2020 Corvo Morto 8c+/9a Ferentillo, first ascent
05/2020 Riflessi and Terra Piatta, 8c, Monte Colt, both second go
05/2020 Pure Dreaming, 9a, Massone, Arco, 9 attempts
05/2020 Pure Dreaming Plus, 9a+, Massone, Arco
07/2020 Ali hulk sit extension total, 9b, Rodellar, Spain

TOPO: Rodellar, Spain

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