Laura Rogora, age 15, has made the first ascent of La Gasparata, 8c+/9a (5.14c/d) at Collepardo, near Rome, after spending only four days on the route. This is one of only a couple of climbs in the running to be the hardest first ascent ever made by a female athlete, and certainly fits Rogora into an extremely elite group of young climbers. Rogora, who is fast making a name for herself as one of the junior superstars of the global climbing scene, posted on her Instagram on Sunday:
“Today I sent a hard project in “La cueva”: la gasparata. The first time I tried it it felt very hard but today on my 4th go of the day everything has been perfect and I clipped the chain!! It was really hard to choose a grade, at the end I decided to propose 8c+/9a but I wait for repetition”
January has been a busy month for the young Italian. On a trip to Oliana, Spain, earlier this month, the youngster ticked off three routes in the 5.14b/c grade range, including two 5.14b’s in two days: the long and technical T1-Full Equipe, and the 50-meter power endurance testpiece Fish Eye. She then sent Joe Blau (5.14c) on the final day of her trip.
In March last year, age 14, Rogora became the first Italian female athlete, and the second youngest athlete ever, to climb 9a (5.14d), with her ascent of the Aeronauta Cave link-up Grandi Gesti in Sperlonga, Italy, which was first climbed by Gianluca Daniele in 2009. She is also the current holder of the Italian championship titles in both lead and bouldering, and placed third in the 2016 Youth World Cup in Guangzhou, China.
Below, watch an episode of The Italian Climbing Files featuring Rogora and her sensational ascent of the 40-meter roof, Grandi Gesti.
Article written by Harriet Ridley for Rock and Ice on 24-Jan-2017.