We were now able to conduct an interview with Stefano Ghisolfi, the newly crowned winner of this year’s World Cup in the lead. The strong Italian makes a name above all as a strong repeater. He recently succeeded in repeating the bibliography for the first time, which Alexander Megos first ascented and originally graded 9c. After „Perfecto Mundo“ (9b+) und „Change“ (9b+) it was Stefano’s third route at the upper difficulty limit. It was the first repetition of all routes.
I was born in Turin and used to compete in Mountain Bike competition since I was six. At age 11, after a biking competition, some friend of mine let me try climbing a route on a dam in Aosta Valley, and I enjoyed it and loved it, so I immediately searche for a gym close to my home and started a climbing course for beginner in my city, and from there I never stopped. In 2012 I joined the Fiamme Oro team which allows me to climb as a job and was the biggest help to achieve my goals in climbing.
What do you like most about your sport?
I like that it is always different, every day I train I can try different things, different routes and boulders and there are many disciplines and way to climb that will never be boring, it is a unique sport.
How do you define success?
Success is when I set a goal, work for it and finally achieve it, no matter the time spent trying it!
Who are or were your climbing heroes?
When I started climbing I wasn’t really into the climbing world, I practised it and had fun but didn’t really followed a climbing hero, so I grow up with no poster on my wall and just the joy to have fun during climbing with my friends.
What are your hobbies outside of your sport?
I love photography, and this is also related to climbing beacuse I like to take pictures and videos of climbing.
Tell us about your favorite place in the world:
My favourite place in the world is home, where I live in Arco. Arco is for me the best place to be, between mountains there are a lot of amazing crags for climbing, lakes to visit for relax, and beautiful landscapes
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be and why?
I have a weakness that is flexibility, I not that flexible in climbing, specially the hips, so I have hard times when I have to split or climb modern styles boulders!
You like to open up new routes. Do you know how many there are now? What was your most beautiful route?
I did the first ascent of some routes, but mostly bolted by someone else, I personally bolted just one route in my life so far which is Erebor and turned out to be the hardest route in Italy, this is also beautiful and hard, with some amazing moves, it is the only one I bolted and my favourite one obviously.
I was disappointed at the beginning, but immediately focus on something else: rock climbing first, close to my home just after 2020 lockdown and then with Change, and I could focus on Bibliographie and the World Cup in 2021. With all these goals achieved I can finally say I’m happy how the things went.
As the best lead climber at the moment (by the way, congratulations on winning the World Cup), you will remain loyal to competitive climbing. Do you have a new attempt for Paris 2024?
If I’ll still be competitive in lead climbing, I’ll try. Bouldering is my weakness but maybe focusing on lead climbing and do some bouldering can be enough to qualify, but I don’t want to lose my good shape in lead for training too much on bouldering!
With Adam Ondra and Alex Megos, you are probably the strongest climber on the rock at last years. Congrats to your ascent of the ‘Bibliography’. Do you have a potential 9b+ (or harder) project?
The route I bolted, Erebor, has a potential harder version which could be 9b+, I’ll try it from this october whn the season is good here in Arco. The second project I would like to try is King Line, but it is on a private ground and right now is not possible to go, we are trying to find a deal with the owner to have the possibility to climb there, but it is not easy.