First Ley 9a+ by Marco Zanone

9 January 2022

Marco Zanone, who previously has done three 9a's, has sent First Ley (9a+) in Margalef. "The hardest route I've ever climbed, such a relief to clip the chain of this beast!! So happy"" (c) Andrea Zanone

"The first time I tried this route was back in December 2019. I've been climbing in Spain for so many years that I felt like it was the right moment to try something very hard for me. First Ley was the one I decided to try because of its unique style that usually it's the one that suits me the most. After only a few days of work, I realized it was possible, I was feeling great on the sequence except for the middle section. I was struggling because of a tricky kneebar, It was my first time wearing a knee pad so my body was a little bit confused. The 15-days trip ended with very positive feelings, falling a bunch of times at the very last hard move before moving to the left.

After that trip, I came back in February 2020, just before covid happened, but I was not able to stick that infamous last move, also due to a partial break of a key hold. (It didn't change the way I was using the hold with my hand, but it became much worse as a foothold). Then winter 2020/2021 came, same fitness, same high point again, but this time I was really busy with work (I was climbing and working at the same time here in Spain) and also the conditions were awful, always very cold and foggy, until an epic snowstorm hit the Montsant area, blowing away any other possibility.

Two years after the first time, here I am again. I knew the route became almost only a matter of good weather conditions and about finding the right mindset. After a week of very hot weather, the wind started blowing again, the clouds came in and during a perfect mid-day session with some friends I was able to get to the top of my first 9a+."

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