18 November 2021

Eternit 9a+ by Ale Zeni twice

Ale Zeni has made the first repeat of Maurizio Zanolla's Eternit in Baule and suggests an upgrade to 9a+. Interesting is that he did it twice after having tried it 23 times. The reason for the upgrade is that somebody has chopped some holds making it now possibly one of the hardest slabs in the world. In 2018, he put up Energia Cosmica as a 9a+ which Ale thinks is his hardest slab ever.

"There are routes that go beyond a simple success. Eternit was a dream for me since 2010 when I tried it for the first time, challenging myself on the route known to be the hardest ever climbed by Maurizio Zanolla. A few years later, however, this beautiful line, at first almost completely natural, has been irreparably ruined by removing some holds that I considered essential until a year ago. A shattered dream that I was able to bring back by accepting those changes. Eternit was not just a difficult route, it was a deep inner search where the impossible became possible and finally achievable, a dream that became reality despite all the obstacles I encountered along the way."

Last year you did Cryptography 9b. Is that not your hardest slab?
I chose 9b for Cryptography because I was influenced by the grade of the other two routes (Bain de sang and Bimba luna) already repeated from other strong climbers so in this case, I did the grade comparison to these routes. It's always difficult to give the correct grade on this style because there aren't many difficult slab routes around the world 😉. The only way is that some strong climbers try all of these routes and say a what think about the grade 🤔. For the attempts Energia cosmic for me was the hardest 🤷‍♂️.
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