Sasha DiGiulian and Edu Marin have made the second free
ascent of Mora Mora (8c/5.14b), a 700-meter big wall route first freed by Adam Ondra on the East Face of Tsaranoro Atsimo in Madagascar. During
a final three-day push, they each freed every pitch of the route ground up, swapping leads, and each led the 8c crux pitch. The team spent 26 days
in the Tsaranoro Valley altogether.
“The climb was amazing. It is super technical granite climbing on more or less very solid rock,” DiGiulian writes Rock and Ice in an e-mail. “It
was certainly a project that I set out on not knowing the outcome of whether or not I would be able to complete it, so I was really stoked and surprised
when we did!”
The Spanish climbers Francisco Blanco and Toti Vales established Mora Mora using aid in September 1999. Because of the blank nature of the
rock and therefore lack of natural protection, they bolted all 12 pitches of the climb. The Malagasy name Mora Mora, which directly translates
to “slowly, slowly,” is a local saying and attitude for taking life slowly.
In October 2010, a decade after Blanco and Vales put up the route, Ondra made the first free ascent of Mora Mora during a Madagascar big wall sending spree. According to planetmountain.com, Ondra estimated the individual pitches went free as follows: P1 6a+ (5.10c), P2 6b (5.10d), P3 7b (5.12b),
P4 7b+ (5.12c), P5 7b+ (5.12c), P6 7c+/8a (5.13a/b), P7 8b+/8c (5.14a/b), P8 6c+ (5.11c), P9 7a+ (5.12a), P10 7c+ (5.13a), P11 7b+ (5.12c), P12 4 (5.7).
had this climb on my mind for a few years,” DiGiulian writes, ever since reading about Ondra’s ascent. “On top of just wanting to explore Madagascar,
this climb, from pictures I saw, looked really neat, my style (technical, crimps), so I figured it could be a neat project!”
DiGiulian and Edu arrived on the island in the beginning of July, during the cooler, dry weather of Madagascan winter, and set to work—only, the