While returning to his homeland of Italy after projecting Adam Ondra’s Silence (9c), Stefano Ghisolfi made a quick pit stop in Frankenjura, Germany, to check out Action Directe (9a).
Stefano’s climb might not sound like pretty big news, except for the fact that Action Directe is an absolute historic line, first sent by the legendary Wolfgang Gullic in 1991. First graded as an 8c+/9a, later repeats confirmed it as the first 9a route in history.
Stefano’s repeat was ranked 31st of 32nd in history, depending on who you’re asking, but one thing is for sure, it’s a must-have on the tick-list of hard-grade climbs.
Bolted in Waldkopf crag in the Frankenjura region, Action Directe was Gullich’s approach to Milan Sykora’s original climb established in 1980. Throughout history, this climb has seen many names in the rock climbing Hall of Fame, mentioning only a few such as Adam Ondra, Alex Megos, Dave Graham, and the first female ascent, Melissa Le Neve, in May 2020.
As with many firsts, there has been some controversy regarding this route. Some climbers consider Hubble, located in Raven Tor crag in England, to be the first-ever 9a. First climbed by Ben Moon in 1990, one year before Action Directe, a couple of top climbers still suggest that Hubble can easily be upgraded to 9a.
Featured image: @steghiso/📸@sara_grip