Finally got a moment when the conditions, skin and everything came together and I got to finish off Gioia, after falling off the very last move some days earlier! It took me a few days to work out the sequence and a few more days trying it before getting the right conditions for the send.
Gioia is definitely one of the most difficult boulders in the world. It’s certainly harder than most 8C’s out there. The real question is, is it a full grade harder? If we decide to consider it 8C+, then there are also a couple other contenders for 8C+ in my opinion.
What makes Gioia even more challenging is the Mediterranean climate and skin being a limiting factor on the small sharp holds. One moment it can be grippy and the wind will change direction blowing from the sea, making the small crux hold almost un-grabbable. It hasn’t been easy to find a window of good conditions and that has made it that much harder mentally.
Big respect to Christian Core for opening this boulder! Let’s remember that the name of the boulder is ‘Joy’ and for me it stands for a lot more than just a grade.
Video coming soon, stay tuned!