Francesco Berardino will boulder 2024C+ for the third time in 8

20-year-old Milanese Francesco Berardino is well on his way to becoming the world's best boulderer. After the second ascent of Celestite (8C+), he repeated REM (8C/8C+) and Return of the Dreamtime (8C/+) within two days.

Bouldering pioneers like Dave Graham, Jimmy Webb and Daniel Woods are still going strong, but a new generation of climbers is catching up in big steps. One of those strong youngsters Francesco Berardino.

Francesco Berardino on the second ascent of Celestite (8C+).

In New Year's week he secured the second ascent of Dave Graham's test piece Celestial (8C+). The third repetition of Giuliano Cameroni's followed on January 15th REM (8C/8C+), and the next day he became the first boulderer to climb Return of the Dreamtime (8C/+) by Yannick Flohé.

Gradual approach to the level of difficulty

The difficulty levels are a bit confusing, says Francesco Berardino after his double success on the Dreamtime block. He usually tries a line for a while and the longer he tries it, the more difficult it seems. “That was the case until Monday, when I suddenly found myself on top of the boulder.”

The ascent of REM happened so quickly that we weren't ready to film yet.

Francesco Berardino

That's why he's thinking about climbing REM again for the uncut. What is certain for the 20-year-old is that Giuliano Cameroni's line was his most difficult to date. After Paul Robinson, who suggested 8B+, and Sam Weir, who thought 8C/+ was appropriate, Francesco Berardino is the first repeater to rate the boulder at 8C+. So REM is currently somewhere around 8C/8C+.

Francesco Berardino in Giuliano Cameroni’s line REM (8C/8C+).

Francesco Berardino found Yannick Flohé's creation on the Dreamtime block easier than the 8C+ suggested by the first climber. Since the Milanese is the first climber to repeat this line, Return of the Dreamtime currently checks in at around 8C/+.

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Credits: Cover picture @luca_consonni 

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