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Difficult hybrid route across the huge roof near Marghalaf |  Ellie (9b)

Difficult hybrid route across the huge roof near Marghalaf | Ellie (9b)

Tom Bolger makes the first ascent of ELLIE near Margalef, and his new steep route is the fifth 9b in the area and is a mix of rock and sport climbing route.

In a cave near Bisbal de Valset not far from Margalif, Tom Bolger solved the last remaining problem: Eli (9b). “This hybrid route leads like a rock into a sporty climbing route and has its own character,” says the British stalwart. In terms of style, Margalef's latest 9b is the most comparable to Rodellar's Ali Hulk extension.

It was an extensive process from setting up the first line in this unique cave to this huge stadium

Tom Bolger

Eli (9b): A continuous learning process

On the long journey to the first ascent, one belief accompanied him, as Tom Bolger says: “Every lesson we learn is evolution.” She is convinced that learning from mistakes is the only way to truly grow.

Mastering your skills is a wonderful journey of continuous learning.

Tom Bolger

His path taught him to trust the process. “The whole process has brought feelings such as enthusiasm, confidence and pride, but not without a doubt nervousness and frustration. She tested me to the point of injury. “It broke me, but it also made me stronger.”

ELLIE – New hybrid test piece

Tom Bolger featured his slogan “Every Lesson Learned Is Improved” as an abbreviation of the track's name. The ELLIE difficulty level consists of a 8A+/B boulder, which leads first to a 7C+/8A boulder and then to an 8c+ route.

ELLIE involves a lot of steep climbing.

Tom Bolger

V 9B of the area

With his first ascent, Tom Bolger enriches the region with another 9B route. So far only 9b's FRFM, Cafe Solo, Artaburu and The Full Trip have rounded out the final test piece Perfecto Mundo (9b+).

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Credits: Cover image Esteban Lahoz