‘Weekend Warrior’ Repeats ‘Erebor’ 9b, Claims Tight Schedule Helped

In his latest send of a climb at the upper limits of the sport, 24-year-old Stefano Carnati refers to himself as a “weekend warrior.”

As a writer, I have to take issue with that description. Dictionary.com defines the term as follows: “a person who engages in a hobby or activity only on weekends or in their leisure time and is not considered to be particularly skilled.”

If you’re ticking off ninth-grade routes that stymie some of the best climbers in the world, you’re not a “weekend warrior,” Stefano — you’re just a straight-up warrior. Still, the PhD student said, his tight schedule actually improved his efficiency on his latest mega-hard climb.

Carnati recently became one of a small handful of climbers to send Erebor, an Arco, Italy classic at 9b or 9b/+, depending on who you ask.

And to Carnati’s credit, he managed to complete the route by projecting only on the weekends, which isn’t necessarily a hurdle, he wrote on Instagram. In fact, “sometimes the weekend warrior mode has its pros,” he said.

“In this situation it definitely gave me time to recognize a better approach forward by analyzing every finest detail in such a way that I could work on my weaknesses during my training routine and possibly be gradually more complete,” Casati wrote. “Since the climb was at my very limit, after each session I was always telling myself that every slightest thing I would improve was ok to keep the process on. Eventually the drive to be always there at the crag performing at my 100% won out!”


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Una publicación compartida por Stefano Carnati (@teto_carnati)

History of ‘Erebor’

Stefano Ghisolfi established Erebor in 2021, grading it a 9b/+, which would make it the toughest route in Italy. The same year, it was repeated by Laura Rogora, making it one of the most difficult routes ever climbed by a woman.

The third ascent fell to — of course — Adam Ondra, who suggested a downgrade to 9b in the Instagram post below.

“I am aware that I might be criticized for downgrading a route that was recently climbed by a woman,” Ondra wrote. “The fact that Laura did Erebor is one of the most impressive feats in climbing ever, but my suggestion is just my honest opinion and not a way to put down her achievement. Not talking about the fact she can definitely climb harder than that.”


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Una publicación compartida por Adam Ondra (@adam.ondra)

Carnati spent about 20 sessions at the crag before nabbing the send, Gripped reported. While Erebor might be his hardest send yet, Carnati’s resume puts the achievement in context.

He has sent the infamously difficult Action Directe (9a) as well as Biographie (9a+). He also sent Thor’s Hammer in Flatanger, Norway, which Ondra graded 9a+ when he first established the route in 2012.

However, Carnati took issue with the grade suggested by Ondra, climbing’s greatest overachiever. Carnati suggested a downgrade of Thor’s Hammer to 9a.

Not bad for a weekend warrior.

Andrew McLemore

An award-winning journalist and photographer, Andrew McLemore brings more than 14 years of experience to his position as Associate News Editor for Lola Digital Media. Andrew is also a musician, climber and traveler who currently lives in Medellin, Colombia. When he’s not writing, playing gigs or exploring the outdoors, he’s hanging out with his dog Campana.