The currently best Italian climber Stefano Ghisolfi could now score his currently probably most difficult home project the direct variant to „Erebor“ the „The Lonely Mountain“ in the crag „Eremo di San Paolo“ near Arco and he proposes, although in his opinion more difficult than his route „Erebor“ now carefully „symbolic 9b“.

„Ended the year just as it started, with the ascent of the very first route I bolted in my life. And this is actually the first version I bolted in June 2020, it looked impossible at first so I added a bolt on the left and climbed Erebor last january. After that, I figured out the original version was possible and started trying the middle section, which is hard and exclusive of this route, adding some spicy moves with a dynamic from a very tiny crimp. It felt very hard at the beginning, then I changed almost all the betas in every section and finally climbed it today. And it’s even harder to grade it, so I can suggest a symbolic 9b, even if it is harder than Erebor. Thanks to @sara_grip for the pictures and for the belay on the send and during all the previous tries in all the conditions“

Photo: (c) Sara Grippo

„Erebor“ itself had been firstascented by Stefano in January and was graded 9b/+ by him. Soon the route found two repeaters with Laura Rogora and Adam Ondra. They both found an easier beta and so the route is probably more in grade 9b.

Recently, there have been some devaluations in the upper difficulty grades, so besides „Erebor“ also routes like „Bibliographie“ (9c to 9b+) and „King Kapella“ (9b+ to 9b) found a downgrading.

This shows more and more that it is more and more important for the high-end routes how the climber likes the routes and to what extent the „best solution“ is found.

Alex Megos, as the first climber of the „Bibliographie“ himself affected by a devaluation, made his thoughts in this regard after his ascent of „King Kapella“:

„I feel like there has been a lot of confusion recently about the grades of these three routes. Every climber seems to be saying something different and they all have valid points.
When @will_bosi did all three routes, La Capella was his first 9b and the only established route out of the three. So when he did the first ascents of Furia and King Capella, he based their grades on La Capella. He is not sure if La Capella really is 9b though, as it only took him 3 days.
I can’t say if La Capella is 9b or not, because I don’t know.
To show how difficult it can be, here are some thoughts of climbers who’ve tried these routes recently:
@alfons_dornauer thinks Furia is definitely easier than La Capella.
@will_bosi thinks Furia is a little bit harder than La Capella and King Capella is a lot harder than both.
@jakob.schubert thinks Furia is a tiny bit easier than La Capella and King Capella is definitely harder than both.
My opinion is that La Capella is the hardest of the three, because I struggled a lot with the undercling move and for me, King Capella is roughly the same grade. Furia might be a little bit easier, but not much easier.
All in all, I think it depends so much on the style and whether it suits you or not; it feels almost impossible to grade such short routes.
@will_bosi mentioned considering a different grading scale for short routes and long boulders, which I think would make sense.“