Ondra's strength endurance monster Vicious Circle (9a+/b) repeated for the first time

When Adam Ondra linked Sanjski par Extension (2016a) with a bouldering 9c+ start in 8, he not only created an extreme strength endurance test piece, but also the hardest sport climbing route in Slovenia. Recently Stefano Carnati was able to get the first repetition from Vicious Circle (9a+/b).

The strong Italian Stefano Carnati repeated in the Slovenian climbing area Mišja Peč the strength endurance test piece vicious circle (9a+/b). The 25-year-old is the first climber after Adam Ondra to be able to string together 40 moves without falling.

After climbing most of the routes in Mišja Peč, it seemed irresponsible to leave without trying this “weird, brutal link-up,” as the locals called it.

Stefano Carnati

Under the spell of Vicious Circle

Adam Ondra's route captivated him from the first moment he saw it. “The complexity of the movements immediately appealed to me,” enthuses Stefano Carnati. In addition, the route remained dry despite regular rainfall.

Rectangle_Knatsch in Magic Wood

The complexity of the movements immediately appealed to me.

Stefano Carnati

In the eyes of the strong Italian, the route could be broken down into an easier introduction, which leads directly to the heart of the route: “A short but tough sequence on sharp edges, where body position and hip mobility play a central role.”

Then comes the transition to the supposedly easier part, with Sanjski par Extension (9a) being the real crux of the red point ascent.

Stefano Carnati needed around 19 sessions until the second ascent of Vicious Circle (9a+/b). Image: @umberto.cristofolini
Stefano Carnati needed around 19 sessions until the second ascent of Vicious Circle (9a+/b). Picture: @umberto.cristofolini

Caught in the configuration loop

According to Stefano Carnati, the 40 moves of the strength endurance monster are really tough. A grip break at the very first grip further exacerbated the intro sequence.

In the first part of the route, the Italian was able to rely on the bouldering skills he had developed over the past few years.

But these hardcore routes require a completely different kind of fitness.

Stefano Carnati

For the umpteenth time in his climbing career, he ended up in the project planning loop - the typical process of progress, setbacks, pressure and indecision. In total, the 25-year-old needed three sessions for the second part of the route, Sanjki par Extension, and another 10 to 12 for Vicious Circle.

Last Saturday I found the key to breaking this endless loop.

Stefano Carnati

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Credits: Cover photo Stefano Staffetta

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