This late September, French send master Seb Bouin repeated Lapsus in Andonno, northeastern Italy, confirming what was on everyone’s lips – a downgrade.
Almost eight years after Stefano Ghisolfi first sent Lapsus, Seb managed to make the sixth repeat. Initially graded as a 9b/5.15b, Bouin suggested a downgrade to 9a+.
In 2017, Adam Ondra first repeated the 30-meter line and he also considered it a 9a+, with Ghisolfi agreeing that today the initial grading might not be as challenging as it was in 2015.
Stefano explained that when he bolted the route, kneepads were not that popular in climbing and with this new approach, the climb could be considered slightly easier.
Ghisolfi’s route is a linkup of two classic lines – Noia, Italy’s first 5.14c and Anaconda, a 5.14a, with the main crux being the link between the lines and a sure feat of strength to climb Anaconda’s upper crux while pumped.
At 5.15b, Lapsus became Italy’s hardest climb. Although both Adam Ondra and Jonathan Segrist repeated it without kneebars, the route was always on the edge of downgrading.
Seb sent the route after a rainy day and declared that he found the route a bit too easy to be 9b, although it exactly fits his climbing style.
As Stefano’s line loses the title of Italy’s most difficult route, you could say it looks like history is striking back at him! In 2021, after achieving the second ascent of Alex Megos’s Bibliography, Stefano suggested a downgrade to a 9b+. Megos had initially suggested 9c, but not with four ascents, the last one being by Seb Bouin in June 2023, the 9b+ grade has been confirmed.
Luckily for Stefano, another of his lines is a contender for the lost title. His route Erebor 9b established in 2020 in Arco might resist. Adam Ondra and Laura Rogora managed to repeat it in 2021, just a few months after Stefano’s FA, and slashed the + from its 9b+ initial rating which might confirm that this is the actual hardest route in the country.
Featured image: © Clarisse Bompardfirstname.lastname@example.org