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At 19, He Just Repeated Italy’s First 5.15b

Giorgio Tomatis has made the fifth ascent of Lapsus, which was first climbed seven years ago

Photo by: Diego Forneris of Giorgio Tomatis on Lapsus

Giorgio Tomatis, 19, has repeated Lapsus in Andonno, which was first climbed by Stefano Ghisolfi back in 2015. This is only the fifth ascent of the steep limestone Italian line.

It was graded 5.15b [9b] by Ghisolfi, but downgraded to 5.15a/b [9a+/b] by repeaters using kneepads, however Tomatis didn’t use a kneepad and believes it warrants a 5.15b. Lapsus is a link-up of two existing climbs: Noia 5.14c und Anaconda 5.14b.

“I wanted to do it without kneepads because Stefano’s FA was done without kneepads and without, it’s 9b,” said Tomatis on 8a.nu. “The process was really incredible and very stimulating. It was a very fun route to try for me because every time I improved something or I could make one extra move.”

Adam Ondra made the second ascent in 2017 and agreed with Ghisolfi’s grade, saying it’s on the low end of 5.15b. In spring 2021, Marcello Bombardi made the third ascent and found a knee-bar that he used with a kneepad, which he said makes the route easier. “Lapsus has represented for me an adventure and a challenge against my difficulties and my limits,” said Bombardi. “It was super thrilling and liberating to make those last three moves and go from an empty mind focused on climbing to a state of euphoria and full satisfaction to see that all the efforts and commitment paid back.”

Jonathan Siegrist repeated Lapsus in 2021 and gave it a personal grade of 5.15a/b, saying, “I really enjoyed the style of this route. I chose not to use the kneebar because I wanted the challenge, and to climb the route as Stefano (the F.A.) did. Like this I think maybe the route could be low-end 9b. At first I thought easier, but I fell in the final boulder problem quite a few times even when arriving there really fresh, which changed my mind. Edit: I will follow Adam and Stefano here. Quite hard 9a+ though IMO!”

Stefano Ghisolfi on FA of Lapsus in 2015

Lead photo: Diego Forneris of Giorgio Tomatis on Lapsus