26 May 2023

Marcello Bombardi FA's El Puma (9a)

Marcello Bombardi, who won the Lead WC in Chamonix in 2017, has made the FA of El puma (9a) in Chesod. "Old line bolted by Hervé Barmasse years ago and never tried seriously by other climbers. Completely natural and on crazy and unique rock. The moves turned out to be amazing. Difficult to grade for me, proposed 9a." (c) Photografem

Can you tell us more about the ascent? It looks very steep?
I needed around 6 days spread over different years. During the first couple of sessions, I struggled to find a good beta. The rock on that wall is unique, it features a series of awesome cracks which are often too flared and bad oriented to hold on to. I then found a way to climb the few meters of the hard section, using different holds I didn’t consider before, keeping the tension with the feet and a very difficult (for me) heel hook to prevent to swing until the last moment. It’s been great to experience the finding of the right beta and the tries for climbing it.

It’s not so steep actually but however you always need to keep the tension on the feet so you don’t cut loose. The hard section consists of nine moves where you cannot find a good position to clip or get chalk.

What are your competition and Olympic plans?
Obviously to qualify for the Olympics would be a big dream. I will compete in the World Cups needed to qualify for the qualification events of next year. It will be hard but I will try hard.
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