Stefano Ghisolfi manages the first ascent of the Erebor route in Eremo di San Paolo near Arco. With a difficulty of 9b / +, it is the most difficult sport climbing route in Italy.

Last Friday continued Stephen a line under the first route that he set up himself: Erebor in the Eremo di San Paolo climbing area. The story of the route began after the first one Corona-Lockdown in early summer 2020. With the support of Severino Scassa, Stefano opened a line that he did not know whether it could even be climbed.

I discovered this free wall last June and was immediately fascinated. So I decided to create a route myself for the first time in my life and turned to my friend Severino Scassa. He initiated me into the world of route drilling.

The first attempts on the route followed immediately after setting up the route, but soon Stefano was thwarted by the summer temperatures in northern Italy. He drove to the Norwegian climbing area Flatangerwhere him the first iteration of the route Change (9b +) of Adam Ondra succeeded.

Stefano Ghisolfi during one of his attempts in Erebor in December 2020

Ascent in winter conditions

The current cold front has firmly gripped Europe. The temperatures in many European climbing and bouldering areas were correspondingly low. With numb fingers, Stefano Ghisolfi clipped the diverter of the Erebor route (9b / +) on Friday, January 2021, 9.

It took me a lot of time and now it finally worked. Erebor is no longer a project. In super cold weather and with numb fingers, I climbed the first self-set route of my life, red point.

Stefano Ghisolfi
Stefano Ghisolfi setting up the Erebor route near Arco. (Photo Sara Grippo)
Stefano Ghisolfi setting up the Erebor route near Arco. (Photo Sara Grippo)

Absolute top class climbers

The Italian Stefano Ghisolfi is one of the strongest climbers in the world. In 2015 he scored with Lapsus in the Andonno area the first 9b route Italy. He joined in 2018 - with the repetition of Perfecto Mundo to the selected group of 9b + climbers. He climbed again at this level in autumn 2020 when he did the first repetition of Change succeeded in Flatanger. The Italian, who is lively in Arco, sets his next goals accordingly.

I would like to try Bibliography (9c) by Alex Megos or Silence (9c) by Adam Ondra and see if the routes are feasible for me.

Stefano Ghisolfi

It should be with Bibliography and Silence don't work, Stefano has another project that keeps him busy. On the route Erebor it is actually the simpler version of an even more difficult line.

Stefano Ghisolfi clipping the Erebor diverter

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Credits: Cover picture Sara Grippo