Stefano Ghisolfi adds Erebor - Italy’s hardest route
- Tuesday 12th January 2021
On January 8th Stefano Ghisolfi added Erebor at Arco; weighing-in at F9b/+ it is now believed to be Italy's hardest sport route.
“It took me a lot of time, but I finally did it. Erebor is no more a project and became reality last Friday, with super cold weather and numb fingers I was able to climb the very first route I bolted in my life!” Ghisolfi wrote on his IG page after redpointing Erebor.
With recent repeats of Change and Perfecto Mundo – both F9b+ routes – to his name, Ghisolfi has been steadily up the ranks of top climbers. Erebor however, is a little different; it’s the first new route Ghisolfi has added as he explains: "I noticed this free face last June and it immediately fascinated me. So I decided, for the first time, to bolt it myself and I turned to my friend and true climbing phenomenon Severino Scassa, who shared with me all its secrets."
Ghisolfi started working on the route straight after bolting it. After a couple of months on the project Ghisolfi opted to head to the world-famous Hanshallaren Cave at Flatanger in Norway. As previously reported Ghisolfi started projecting Change. Finally, Ghisolfi and his partner Sara Grippo returned to Flatanger for a second trip - after a brief stint back in Italy for the national leading competition (which he won). Success came quickly thereafter; Ghisolfi redpointing Adam Ondra’s 2012 testpiece, Change (F9b+), soon after returning to Norway.
After Change, Ghisolfi returned to his unfinished project. Finally, success came in January: “After summer I started trying some attempts but only in the new year I was able to clip the chain, after falling at the last moves more than 10 times.”
Ghisolfi ’s sponsors, North Face, have released a statement in which he talks about his new route; how satisfying it was to climb it and how he came to call it Erebor. Here is what Ghisolfi says about what is thought to be Italy’s hardest sporty route on the Eremo di San Paolo Wall at Arco:
“Having bolted a route for the first time in my career and being able to free it was doubly satisfying! When you face a route which has already been freed by others, or a route which has already been bolted, you know that, at least in theory, it is possible to complete it...but when you decide to tackle a route which is still free, you always have the doubt that it is not really possible to complete it. Having succeeded made this challenge even more exciting. Bolting this route did not mean creating something new, but rather discovering something that had already existed in the rock for many years, so in fact I discovered a new opportunity in a place that had been in front of my eyes for years, right here in Arco, where I live! I decided to name it Erebor both for the assonance with the name of the wall and to celebrate the iconic solitary mountain of “The Lord of the Rings.”
Ghisolfi has already bolted a harder version of Erebor as he explained: “I already bolted a much harder version. This is another story (but I already thought "The Lonely Mountain" project would be a great name for that one.”
Follow Stefano Ghisolfi on his athlete page on Instagram here…