Wow, he did it. Stefano Ghisolfi sends the „Excaliburprojekt“ in the Sarcha Valley near Arco was tried by several well-known climbers, such as Adam Ondra and Jakob Schubert, and classified as at least 9b+, now the strong Italian could score the route first.

The project was bolted by Cristian Dorigatti and Morris Fontanari on a block near Drena in 2020. At this block there is a strongly overhanging almost smooth side through which the short boulder-like route moves upwards, see video in which Stefano tries the route together with Adam Ondra and Jakob Schubert. The route was named after a block with a sword in a „somewhat bizarre“ theme park near Drena.

Stefano is again a bit cautious with the rating, after an easier beta was found for his other top route „Erebor“ (9b/+) by repeaters (including Laura Rogora). For Stefano it was, according to his own statement, in any case his hardest first ascent so far and Adam Ondra, as well as Jakob Schubert could not climb the route so far. Ultimately, it is probably the hardest route in Italy.

„Hard to imagine a more perfect line than this, I have to admit the process has been extremely difficult, from the first time on it figuring out the beta and thinking it was impossible, to the send go when I felt solid and confident. But the best thing about this project has been the people around it, sharing moments together and trying it with some of the best climbers in the world, but more importantly with my friends. I’m also confident to propose 9b+ as grade, this time I have no doubt about it, and for sure it is the hardest of all my first ascents, and probably the hardest route in Italy now! I have too many people who supported me on this project, I’ll share a post with them later“

Photo (c): Marco Erspamer