Efficient movement in rock climbing usually demands skilled locomotion via four points of contact. Effective training, however, doesn’t necessarily need to employ all four contact points—in fact, campus training arm-over-arm sans feet is a proven training method for elite climbers to develop the high-end power. Of course such campus training is normally performed on a campus board or indoor bouldering wall.
In this dramatic video, however, Italian rock star Stefano Ghisolfi turns the tables and campuses up an outdoor rock climb graded 5.13c/8a+. Even more astounding is the fact that this was the first ascent of the route! Regarding his no-feet first ascent of Sarre 2000 (8a+) Stefano says, “I think this could be a kind of record in climbing—this is probably the hardest route ever climbed just with the hands. The hardest part was clipping the anchor!”
Comments from Coach Hörst
As a climbing coach, now is the time I remind you (and myself) that YOU (and I) aren’t Stefano…and so we probably shouldn’t attempt to campus up outdoor sport climbs, that is unless you are as wickedly strong as Stefano and regularly climb 5.15a/9a+ as he does. Of course, if you are a fit, uninjured climber with substantial base strength and several years of climbing experience, then you probably should be doing some form of campus board training in the gym. Watch this video for a primer to help get you started.
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