The 19-year-old Italian Giorgio Tomatis secures one of the rare ascents of Lapsus, Italy's first 9b route, in Andonno. The route first climbed by Stefano Ghisolfi in 2015 has so far been repeated by climbing greats such as Adam Ondra, Marcello Bombardi and Jonathan Siegrist.

The aspiring Italian climber Giorgio Tomatis succeeds with the inspection of Lapsus (9b) in Andonno another milestone in his career. After being aged 16 with WRC climbed his first 9a route, three years later he was already climbing to 9b.

On November 21, Giorgio Tomatis managed the red point ascent of Lapsus (9b) after a long time of projecting. Image: Lucrezia Barra
On November 21, Giorgio Tomatis managed the red point ascent of Lapsus (9b) after a long time of projecting. Image: Lucrezia Barra

"For me, this is a really important achievement. This route is amazing and really fun to try. When Stefano first climbed it in 2015, I said to myself: I'm going to try this line and I'm going to do it."

Giorgio Tomatis

The most difficult route in Italy on the doorstep

He explains why the 19-year-old chose Lapsus for his first 9b route: “The line is in Andonno and Andonno is my home rock. I've done all the famous routes here, I was missing Lapsus."

Giorgio Tomatis has been working on this project since the end of October. However, since Italy's first 9b climbing route is a combination of the lines Girl (8c +) and Anaconda (8c) and the local had previously climbed the former, it is difficult to say how much time he actually invested in the route.

"I didn't train specifically for Lapsus. My training for this route was to try, try and try again."

Giorgio Tomatis
First 9b sport climbing route in Italy: Lapsus in Andonne, first climbed by Stefano Ghisolfi. Image: Lucrezia Barra
First 9b sport climbing route in Italy: Lapsus in Andonne, first climbed by Stefano Ghisolfi. Image: Lucrezia Barra

9b (soft) or 9a+? A matter of style

Giorgio Tomatis did not use a kneepad on his ascent of Lapsus. This is relevant insofar as the original valuation proposal by Stefano Ghisolfi from the first repeater Adam Ondra was judged to be somewhat excessive.

Auch Marcello Bombardi, who secured the second iteration of the route, questioned the grade 9b. In the case of Bombardi, however, it must be mentioned that he climbed the route with a kneepad and was able to use a rest point before the crux.

climbing pro Jonathan Siegrist described the degree of difficulty after its ascent as follows: Without a kneepad, the route can be classified as easy 9b. If you climb Lapsus with a kneepad, Siegrist gives the line a 9a+.

Video: The story behind Italy's first 9b route

Impressive climbing career

Giorgio Tomatis climbed his first 2015a in 12 at the age of 8: Reve De Papillon in Buoux. His first 8b route followed a year later. At the beginning of 2017 he repeated the historic 8b+ on his home rock About Us, followed towards the end of the year – also in Andonno – Girl (8c +).

In 2020, the then 16-year-old managed his first 9a route: WRC in Castillon. Other ascents of this magnitude are Estado Critico in Siurana and Mistero and Cobra Reale in Andonno. With his red point ascent of Lapsus, Giorgio Tomatis has achieved another milestone in his climbing career.

Video: Giorgio Tomatis in WRC, his first 9a route

Giorgio Tomatis does not yet know exactly which project he will tackle next. "I think that I will currently focus more on climbing routes onsight or in the second go." With the strong Italian spending Christmas in Spain, he certainly won't run out of difficult routes.

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Credits: Cover picture Lucretia Barra

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