Stefano Ghisolfi Starts Trying ‘Silence,’ World’s Hardest Sport Climb

The hunt is on. In a bid to climb the world’s hardest sport route, Stefano Ghisolfi announced Monday he started projecting “Silence”, 9c/5.15d.


Adam Ondra’s 2018 masterpiece has entertained few suitors in the intervening 4+ years since the first ascent. In fact, no one else has really tried it. At one point, Pete Whittaker jugged up to see whether he could climb the crack in the wildly steep roof. Turned out his alternate beta worked, but the “impossibly hard looking” 8B+/8B boulder problems surrounding the fissure discouraged him from trying any other moves on the rig.

Now, Ghisolfi will make a concerted effort to grab the second ascent of the world’s first 9c — and he promises to broadcast his progress.

Keep an eye on Instagram and tune in to Ghisolfi’s YouTube channel every Thursday evening (U.S. central time) for the freshest dishes from the cave in Flatanger, Norway. “I’ll try to tell you the whole process behind this project,” the Italian crusher said on Instagram.


Half demoralizing, half horrifying

Put simply, “Silence” is a beast. It’s relentlessly steep for more or less its entire 45 metres. Ondra’s descriptions of the cruxes land between demoralizing and horrifying. When Whittaker found the new, feet-first “traditional” method for climbing the crack, Ondra commented, “great news is that the route is possible without dislocating the knee though, which makes the route much better!”

Sure. If there’s anyone who’s got a good shot at finishing “Silence,” it’s Ghisolfi. Flatanger forces a distinct climbing style, as multi-directional holds and varying rock surfaces demand creative sequences. Ghisolfi’s Flatanger resume already includes “Change,” 9b+, which he climbed in 2020. Though he called the effort a “bloodbath” and took over an hour to climb the 55 m marathon, he did say at the time that his war with the route ended “unexpectedly soon.”

So stay tuned to Ghisolfi’s channels — he’s liable to clip the chains anytime.

Sam Anderson

Sam Anderson spent his 20s as an adventure rock climber, scampering throughout the western U.S., Mexico, and Thailand to scope out prime stone and great stories. Life on the road gradually transformed into a seat behind the keyboard, where he acted as a founding writer of the AllGear Digital Newsroom and earned 1,500+ bylines in four years on topics from pro rock climbing to slingshots and scientific breakthroughs.