Gioia for Niky!!!

Fourth ascent of the mythical line in Varazze

14 December 2020
Niccolò Ceria is once again beyond the exceptional on the symbolic boulder problem by Christian Core


March 2008: after having won everything he could win in international competitions, also on the rock Christian Core leaves to the world of bouldering a unique, exceptional and extremely hard line, destined to inspire for years to come! In Varazze he climbs Gioia, his project, his dream… but above all the symbol of new horizons of difficulty.

Initially proposed as 8C, it doesn't take long for it to seem more plausible that it is 8C+, the first in the world. This difficulty is confirmed three years later, by an Adam Ondra really at the limit in the repetition. It takes another three years and the third ascent is up to Nalle Hukkataival.

Since then no one else has succeeded, not even Daniel Woods and Dave Graham in a period of furious assaults also characterized by a few controversies...


Close to 2021, the bomb arrives with a boulderer that we have known for years to be our strongest and most inspiring and who in recent weeks has really made us dream.

First repeat of Ephyra (8C+) in Chironico, the 8Cs of The Story of Two Worlds, La Rustica and Dreamtime between Cresciano and Val Bavona… in a few weeks Niky Ceria has achieved world-class exploits.

With the snow covering the Ticino areas, the boulderer from Biella has moved to an area he has known since he was a child, under this overhang on furious crimps... and today he put a cross on Gioia in his list!

It is the fourth ascent of one of the hardest and most iconic lines in the world but above all a further consecration of a climber who, in addition to being one of the strongest in the world, always knows how to communicate a profound and never predictable vision of bouldering.


Below is Niky's detailed account of the ascent, taken from his Instagram profile, where we can also see the video of the repeat:

“A piece of rock rich in history and full of stories. Razor-crimps and powerful moves. Famous and infamous.

A mixture of unique factors has made this piece of rock meaningful for many and, above all, legendary.

When I travel abroad, this is the boulder I always get questions about.

Gioia has always had climbers’ eyes on it indeed. This fact has put Gioia under the main reflectors standing out among the other (certainly not less) incredible Christian’s visions.

It’s honestly very impressive to witness the vision that an athlete like him has been able to realize on some pieces of rock.

Gioia (FA back in 2008!) is one of these lines and one of the few which reached the mainstream.

Despite sitting in the middle of the most crowded field of Italy, Gioia is located a bit far from my comfort zone. The step to go out there and put my hands on it has never come easy.

Why am I trying this? That was the question I wondered during the days of attempts. A clear answer wasn’t actually easy to find.

What and who drives to bear the fact of doing something out of my comfort zone and far from the styles I love?

I must admit that this time the sort of challenge of doing something which wasn’t typical of me got me trapped. On the other hand, the idea to know parts of Christian’s path and learn from someone who has a slightly different vision than you is fascinating and, no doubt, makes you grow.
Finally the movements. which I believe being the main features from where the Joy comes out in this particular case.

On the last note. How.

I have never really tried the original beta as the third move seemed to be out of my box. Few years ago a smart knee-bar was found, switching the crux move from brutal to very technical. I have nothing against knee-bars and I like to use them sometimes. In this case I chose not to use it simply for a personal taste. Since kneebar didn't suit my interest and the original beta didn’t fit my skills, I took more time and I finally figured out a different method which came out being less skin dependent and slightly more powerful.

This was the 4th ascent if I didn't miss anyone in the count.”

News: Instagram

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