Ghisolfi summarises Changes in 2020

Saturday, 26 December

"The year started quite bad, for everyone, and I spent two months in my home without going out. In Italy, we had a strict lockdown and I took this as an opportunity to train in my home wall, from the beginning of March. Later, the European Championship in Moscow was delayed. It was my last chance to try to qualify for the Olympics. Then I received the news that the spot for the Olympics was already chosen and my dream was gone. I couldn’t qualify anymore and the goal I was training hard for just vanished.

Even if I still was in lockdown, I kept training and I decided to set another goal so I focused on training for rock climbing and when the lockdown would be over I could start climbing hard outside. After the lockdown, the first restrictions didn’t allow us to go climbing by car, so we went to Eremo di San Paolo and Massone and I climbed three 8c+ in few days.

Then I started projecting a new connection between the historical routes Sant’Anger and Zauberfee and after few days I climbed it, and Beginning 9a/+ was born. In the meantime, I discovered a new possible route there and I bolted with the help of Seve Scassa. He introduced me to bolting, lent me his drill and I bolted my very first route, which turned out to be super hard. It was starting to be too hot to climb there in June so I started climbing in Padaro and projected a new route, with a crazy cross over and when I sent it I called it “The Bow”, a solid 9a+.

The situation in Europe was a bit better in the summer so I and Sara planned a trip with our van to a destination we’ve never been to, but had been in my dreams for a lot of years: Flatanger. I watched a lot of videos and decided I wanted to try Change, the very first 9b+ of the World, a route bolted and climbed by Adam Ondra in 2012 and never repeated and maybe never even tried after the first ascent. We started our trip at the beginning of August and I started trying the first pitch of the route. After a few days on it, I finally found a new beta for the first crux that fitted me better, and at the end of August, I climbed the first pitch. In September, we drove back 3000km to compete in my first and last competition of the year, the Italian Championship. I won, and we decided to drive back to Flatanger immediately. The double trip had been long and tiring, we arrived in Norway for the second time in terrible weather, so we waited and trained few days in the wall Adam built in the camping (the one he used for Silence). After a few days, the sun came back and I started climbing again in the cave, and unexpectedly I was able to climb Change on a sunny day where the condition was far from perfect. The dream came true and we decided to drive back to Italy, happy and victorious!

Back to Italy it was the right time to put the hands again on the project I bolted in Eremo before going to Flatanger. I started to figure out all the moves and did some good links. The temperatures went down and I felt better and better, and I started doing some real attempts, falling at the first crux move and then at the jump, and finally on the very last boulder at the top. On my best attempt before Christmas Lockdown, I fell very high and close to the anchor, but it is still hard there, and I can now tell this can be between 9b and 9b+, a bit easier than Change, but it is taking me more time than expected! I’ll try again when the restrictions allow us to climb again, hopefully, before the end of the year, I can make few good tries, and maybe send it!

These days I was also working on the video of Change, which is 100% produced, filmed, and edited by Sara (Grippo) and me. The final video of the ascent will be online as a Youtube premiere this Sunday, December 27th at 7 pm (CET), and I’ll be in the chat trying to answer all the questions people ask! Link to premiere."

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