Giovanni Placci repeats Starting (9a+) at Arco


21-year-old Italian climber Giovanni Placci has repeated Beginning (9a+) at Eremo di San Paolo, Arco, Italy

Giovanni Placci has transferred all the talent that netted him the 2022 Italian Lead Cup and the 2021 Italian Boulder Championship onto rock with his repeat of Beginning at Arco. Located at Eremo di San Paolo close to Arco, the route in question was freed in 2020 by local Stefano Ghisolfi and repeated that same year by Adam Ondra. After a hold broke the grade settled firmly in at 9a+. Here’s the lowdown from the 21-year-old who previosuly sent four 9a, Coup de grace, Backroad, Biologico and Omen nomen

BEGINNING by Giovanni Placci
I first started trying Beginning last year; the route is beautiful, 40 intense, physical and dodgy moves. It was the first time I tried to seriously redpoint a hard route, and my tactics weren’t the best … having always only climbed routes quickly, I started my attempts almost immediately, without working the sequences properly and finding the best beta.

The climb immediately became an obsession and for my entire stay at Arco I basically tried just this one route, for about 20-25 days. Meanwhile I lost shape. Furthermore, I discovered the best sequence for crux only right at the end, when I was no longer on top form and I stood no real chance of sending it. I had to go home, and the route played in the back of my mind for a whole year.

This season I returned to Arco and as soon as the temperatures dropped a little I jumped back onto the route. I knew I was stronger than last year and after only 10 sessions I settled the score!

Beginning was originally graded 9a/+ but after Stefano Ghisolfi’s first ascent a hold broke and, speaking with Stefano and Silvio Reffo who is trying it at the moment, we agreed it warrants a full 9a+.

I am very happy with my current form and the process of sending Beginning has taught me a lot. Now I’m ready for a new project!

8b Shaolin 2018
8c Una vita nomada, Covolo 2019
8c+ Zauber fee, Arco 2019
9a Biologico, Rovereto 2020
9a+ Beginning, Arco, 2022

Giovanni thanks SCARPA and his trainer Stanislao Zama

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