More than twenty years have passed since Spain’s Josune Bereziartu became the first woman in the world to climb an 8c, and even if nowadays female climbing has touched the unfathomable heights of 9b thanks to Austria’s Angela Eiter, 8c remains a stern test for the vast majority of climbers.
Italian climber Camilla Bendazzoli has now mastered this legendary grade for the first time by sending Cinque Uve, five grapes, at the beautiful crag Narango high above Lake Garda. Bendazzoli reckoned it would be a long-term project but instead she proved herself wrong and sent it with relative ease. Success came in the wake of the 8b+ Super Marathon redpointed at Massone last April, and Elephant man repeated in 2018.
The 22 year-old told planetmountain.com “I started trying the route a little less than a month ago and the first two goes were a total blank. I lowered off the last quickdraw because I couldn’t do the last moves and so I immediately thought about abandoning the route. When I returned I reckoned I’d try something different but due to lack of alternatives because all other “doable” routes were way too difficult, and also because a friend of mine had the same project, I convinced myself to give it another go. I thought the two of us working together might find a solution and, if we didn’t, it would be easier to give in and admit that “this climb is impossible” ;-).
As things turned out, that day I managed to find a way past the last moves; at that point, with renewed hope, I “only” had to link the moves. I honestly never thought I’d climb a grade like this and I don’t deny the fact that I’m really happy and satisfied.
In addition to my sponsors SCARPA and Wild Country, I would like to thank Dino Lagni and Lisa Benetti for constantly sharing their love and drive this sport. Well beyond grades and results.”