Trofeo dell'Adriatico 9a+ by Alex Ventajas

16 March 2023

Alex Ventajas has repeated Gabri Moroni's Trofeo dell'Adriatico (9a+) in Arco. The Spaniard, living in Italy, has during the last two years done eight 9a's and one 9a+.

Can you tell us more about your ascent?
Since I saw the picture of Gabriele Moroni’s first ascent I thought Trofeo dell’Adriatico would have been the perfect project for me. In effect, Trofeo didn't disappoint my expectations: all the moves are so intense and powerful but at the same time very aesthetic. It is meant for being climbed! While I was trying the route I said more than once that even if I kept falling I would never get tired of trying those movements, and I think this helped me keep my motivation high. I had to admit the process that lead me to the send didn't exactly go as planned. It was like a roller coaster, with ups and downs!

I first put my hands on Trofeo at the end of last year, but there were many interruptions due to some vacations, weather, and work. So I went back to it around a month later in January. Since then, I think I spend around 20-25 days on the route. Maybe they don’t seem too much from outside, but when you think you’re close and you keep falling those days might feel a lot. In the beginning, I thought I had found my betas quite fast, and after a few days I managed to give it a very good try from below. Those days I felt really close. But then a crucial hold got wet, there were bad conditions, and above all, I realize my methods weren't as good as I thought: a sequence was too aleatory and required too much energy putting pieces together.

So I realize I had to take a step back to Invest time in changing some of the betas I tried so far. That was exactly what I needed, because by changing a few things I started to have very good tries again, falling in the upper part of the last boulder. I was a little worried that high temperatures will arrive before I manage to put a red point to this great line, but yesterday there were perfect conditions, I felt very strong and I had the feeling I could control every move. Clipping the chain was so exciting! For sure this is the route that made me struggle the most but also my biggest climbing satisfaction so far, and it taught me a lot: to accept failure, learn from mistakes, look for solutions, and go for it without losing motivation! Most of the time the correct mindset it’s all we need to reach our goals!

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