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Top-10 most difficult routes
  2008-12-31 00:00:00    
In the yearbook we will try to rank the most difficult Routes & Boulders in the world. We will present them with detailed info, quotations from the FA and pictures. Of course it is a suggested and a speculative ranking and feel free to comment before deadline. Jumbo Love 9b, Akira 9b, Es Pontas 9b, Salamandre 9b, Golpe de Estado 9b, Delicuente Natural Extension 9b, Open Air 9a+, Corona 9a+, Coup de Grace 9a+ and Overshadow 9a+.
OffLine Shock
  2008-12-31 01:01:43    
I thought Salamandre was graded 9a+ by Fred? Also, is it going to be like just top-10 with no specific order between them or is it going to be in the order given in the news item?
OffLine Dustin Harris
  2008-12-31 01:03:38    

Salamandre 9b, is that the Fred Rouhling route?
I thought he rated it 9a+? Am I wrong?

OffLine rjtrials
  2008-12-31 02:20:26    
Fred rated Salamandre 'in the 9th degree.'   On Dani Andrada's blog he has Salamadre listed as 9b.

What about Chilam Balam.  Both Dani and Chris seem to think it is 9b+ and that Bernabe did send it.
OffLine Juuso Raekallio
  2008-12-31 09:16:28    
Yeah it's about time for community to give some respect for Bernabe. All the bullshitters should go and do it (Chilam Balam) and tell us mere mortals how hard it was afterwards and quit the shouting from the sofa!
OffLine Jens Larssen
  2008-12-31 09:54:31    
Regarding Chlam Balam, 8a have been informed by top class climbers that it is much harder than 9b+. We only rank routes that are climbable.
OffLine Kevin Habermehl
  2008-12-31 11:50:42    

(I hope you don't ERASE this post another time....)

I love you for your unbiased and ultimate statements…

Always right

Judge of all judges

With never ending climbing knowledge

Tireless with your arguments  

You are the GOD of our community.

How could I wake up tomorrow knowing that I won’t have the pleasure to read utterly interesting, constructive and realistic comments that convince me of the way forward in this sport? 

I would be lost.

From me, thank you

OffLine Jens Larssen
  2008-12-31 11:58:08    

@ Kevin: It is not me who is putting together the Top-10 List. This work that will be presented over 8 pages in the yearbook is done after a lot of work by Björn Pohl. It is a nice piece of work.

I have been informed by two of the Top-10 guys in the world that they have tested it and it was not climbable, i.e. it is like 9c+ so something has happend to the route. If we list it... many more climbers will go there trying it and just having a bad time.

OffLine grigri
  2008-12-31 13:00:29    

Andrada's list is pretty amazing. There are over eighty routes (and variations) 9a or harder! I had no idea it was this many! Good luck choosing the top ten! If you want to list only ten then perhaps you will have to go off other criteria such as the beauty of the line or insane moves rather than simply grade? Also not listing Cillam Balam is tantamount to saying it was never climbed.

Many top routes have no repeats yet, just because people fail they then say its unclimbable and slag off the FA?? Thats bullshit! Like Chris thinking a hold had broken on Open Air only to see Adam style the thing. Maybe these people just have not found the right beta, maybe they actually suck? I would love to see video evidence of people trying Chillam and pointing out exactly where they have problems with it. Its supposed to be the hardest sport climb ever, I cant understand why the top guys dont flock there in their droves to pit themselves against such an obvious challenge. Who exactly has tried it? What exactly were their comments about the route/line.

OffLine A0 Climber
  2008-12-31 13:22:24    

Bernabé claimed to had climbed Chilam Balam.
If the route has been climbed, why are you saying it is unclimbable?
Dani and Chris tried the route but they never said, “the route was never climbed by Bernabé”.
So the question is, why do you discredit Bernabe´s ascent?

OffLine gianluca
  2008-12-31 13:23:15    
"If we list it... many more climbers will go there trying it and just having a bad time."

poor strong guys

OffLine Kevin Habermehl
  2008-12-31 13:31:07    

@ Jens...

Although this forum is a blunt example of what I mean, this applies also to many others…

I get the impression that you (8a) seem to always argue/ comment against any views/opinions opposite to the ones you have. I.e. you are never wrong!!!

Have you ever met Bernabe? Have you ever been under Chilam Balam?

Chilam Balam is the one of the most (if not the most) amazing, futuristic climbs EVER, and it should be listed!!!!

Even though TOP climbers tell you it is an un-climbable route, I think it’s a bit harsh (to avoid saying something else) to disregard his ascent, especially bearing in mind the history of Bernabe, with climbs that NO one has ever repeated, and have bee tried by TOP climbers…

(I could go on forever….)

Stick to the facts!!!!

OffLine Jens Larssen
  2008-12-31 13:43:42    

We are not ranking the hardest ascents that have been done. We are ranking the hardest possible climbs as of 2009. It might be that Chilam Balam is the the hardest ascent but we do not think it is correct to include that climb in the ranking of the hardest challenges for 2009.

@ GriGri: "I cant understand why the top guys dont flock there in their droves to pit themselves against such an obvious challenge."

Why should they waste their time on something that is, today, just a futuristic 9c+ line...when they can climb challenging 9a's all over the place.

OffLine User Deactivated
  2008-12-31 13:49:54    

Does anyone have any facts? PLEASE come forward then! I believe that every claimed ascent should be believed until proven otherwise. In the case of Chilam balam I thought this was the case, at least sort of, but again... hearsay. So, what I heard was that Barnabé claims he doesn't know the name of the guy that belayed him (a guy he met in a bar somewhere) and that he has refused to climb the route, or even parts of it, in front of a camera. However, I don't know if this is the true story at all. Can anyone confirm it? That a couple of top climbers say this or that is not a good enough reason to dismiss Barnabé. Climbers, no matter how famous, have been proven wrong before.

If you don't feel like posting here, email me at

OnLine Pate Mustajärvi
  2008-12-31 14:10:40    
There were pictures of him (Bernabe) doing some parts of Chilam Balam in couple of climbing magazines (mayby Rock and Ice and Climbing?), so at least he has been on the route afterwards. I don´t know if they did have some kind of hauling system or what, but those pictures were quite impressive.
OffLine Dustin Harris
  2008-12-31 16:31:46    

RJTRIALS: You're right; Dani does list it as 9b on his blog, but Fred himself and his sponsor Beal give it the rating 9a+ in the video they made of the route. I have no idea if Dani has even seen Salamandre, so I'm nore inclined to take the word of the first ascentist.... but maybe Dani has... he was rumored to be working Akira too... so who knows?

OffLine Just a MAN
  2008-12-31 16:58:03    

First, If the top-10 most difficult routes are only from those done in 2008, there's no reason for Chilam Balam to be in it.

On the other hand, and in the case all the hardest ascents in the world would be listed any time in the future, I think it should be in it. We all live in democratic countries and the law say everyone is innocent till the contrary is proven.

I just want to clarify some facts:

It's true it's said Bernabé met the belayer in a bar or something like that, and never saw him again after the sent. The thing is quite understandable knowing that El Chorro, for example, is plenty of foreign climbers and a good part of them are hippies living in caves or in shepherd's huts, travelling from one climbing area to another and from one country to the next.
The fact is that Bernabé had to resort to unknown people since nobody wanted to go with him to spend a day as a belaying machine (Chilam Balam was the only route there at that time and as you can understand unworkable for everybody except Bernabé himself).

The thing is that some people ask for pictures, you've got them in quite a few paper magazines. These were taken by David Munilla, a well known Spanish photographer (check his website) who is published his work in magazines and newspapers around the world. When he was asked after the ascent he assured that photographic session was astounding when seeing a machine-climber doing every, and I repeat, every movement with agility. I think he said Bernabé hung only 2 or 3 times from the rope...

Bernabé had specific training all focused on this route for some years, including weight lifting, endless endurance sessions and, of course, probably hundreds of goes on the route. He spoilt his back and knees which became chronic injuries in order to adapt to this route's specific requirements... etc. 

Nobody in his/her right mind doubted of Alex Huber when Sharma said Open Air was unclimbable this last Summer. Some years ago Dani Andrada and Chris Sharma tried the route and the later was able to send the first part grading it 8c+. This story appeared in a Spanish magazine and, if my memory doesn't fail me, both climbers said they trusted in Bernabé's ascent...  


OffLine rjtrials
  2008-12-31 17:23:52    
This fall i was at one of Chris's slideshows and he said that he had one hung Chilam Balam with maybe a 10 minute rest on the rope.  The ascent took him well over two hours!  At another show, he confirmed the 9b+ rating.

Maybe some TOP climbers have said it is too hard, but THE top climbers of the last 10 years agree on the grade, the badass line and the fact that Bernabe did send.  Who are the ones doubting??
OffLine Jens Larssen
  2008-12-31 17:36:35    

Thanks for the comments. We will do our best to get more info as it is a very interesting question. Is there any one who tried the route in 2008 or before who can give a hint of the grade?

Could we also have a confirmation that Sharma said Open Air was unclimbable this last Summer.

OffLine User Deactivated
  2008-12-31 17:43:01    
I can confirm this. That said, he also said he only tried the route briefly and in too warm conditions. Thanks everyone who've provided more information. Like Jens said, we're investigating this further.
OffLine User Deactivated
  2008-12-31 17:43:02    

double post...

OffLine grigri
  2008-12-31 17:43:26    
There is no reason to doubt his send. CB just looks like such a badass awesome inspiring line I am surprised she has not had more suitors. From what rjtrials says it sounds as though Sharma thinks it is climbable, just incredibly hard.
So Bjorn / Jens you are preparing more a ticklist of the very best routes/realisable projects for the 9a climber? Cant wait to see the book! Happy New Year all, may it bring many sends!  :-)
OffLine A0 Climber
  2008-12-31 18:09:41    

I afraid either the title is wrong or somebody is taking the mickey of us.

The title remains “Top-10 most difficult routes” but Chilam Balam is not listed, Jens says because it is out of climbers’ reach and Bang On says that the list is about FA routes of 2008 but Akira is listed, anyway!.

From here I just want to take this seriously and remain Jens that he can not oversee the future, so if Chilam Balam has been climbed once, it can be climbed twice or three times in this year or whenever. The action of not listing the route in the “top-10 most difficult list” means that Jen is refusing to accept Bernabe’s ascent, so his reputation. If Jens recognize Bernabe´s ascent, so he should either list the route or change the title by “The top-10 most difficult routes I wanted to list“
OffLine Dustin Harris
  2008-12-31 19:42:52    

Jens: wasn't it posted as an 8a news item that Sharma said it was unclimbable last summer? I think the quote was "I hold must have broken or something" I'm fairly confident I read it here...

OffLine Jens Larssen
  2009-01-01 11:52:44    

@ Paulino: I believe that Chilam Balam, 9b+ has been done by Bernabe...but that is not what we are discussing here.

The ranking and article is made by 8a and Björn Pohl. The reason why it is not listed is because it has been consider to not be climbable today. It might be that someone actually destroyed it like what has happend to some boulders. In that case it would not make any sence to list it as a challenge for 2009. I published the list in order to get more info before deadline, that might change it.

Sharma was talking about Open Air.

OffLine A0 Climber
  2009-01-01 12:51:36    
Hi Jens, so if you consider Chilam Balam was ever climbed but you did not list it because do'nt think it will be repeated this year, so then the title should be "top-10 challenges for 2009" not "top-10 most difficult routes".
OffLine Maciek Smolnik
  2009-01-01 15:32:04    
Hmmm for me it is very difficult to say about grades. Maybe Jumbo Love is only 9a+? Maybe Golpe de Estado is rather 9b+? Everyone think that Open Air is only 9a and after Adam's repat we know that is 9a+. We are not as good climbers to talk abot grades in that kind of routes.
OffLine Jens Larssen
  2009-01-01 17:02:20    

The reason why we want to list the hardest routes and the best climbers is of course that we do want to give credit to the top climbers...and this is one way doing it.

If it turns out that Chilam Balam is 9c+, I do not think it should be ranked as Top-10 most difficult routes. There are maybe another ten 9c projects that are not listed. however, we do not know and either way some will get pissed, what ever we choose to do.

OffLine darta
  2009-01-01 17:36:26    
I have personally climbed with Bernabé. I was in Villanueva del Rosario with some friends when he showed up and asked to climb with us. He always does this. He goes to the crag and climbs with whoever happens to be there. And i dont think he remembers my name now.
OnLine John Meget
  2009-01-01 18:44:10    
"There is no reason to doubt his send."

I would say there are several reasons to doubt him. 

1.  No one had ever come close to climbing at that level before.  Including  him.  9b+ was a quantum leap beyond what anyone had done.  This is Huber's main point, and it is a good one. 

2.  Bernabe has no witnesses.  No video.  No pictures.  No one and no thing to back up the send. 

3.  Bernabe was the center of other climbing controversies, where as I understand it, he marred or chipped the route. 

4.  Bernabe refused to show Desnivel how he climbed the route.

5.  Instead of proving to the world he was capable of climbing at such an amazing level, Bernabe retired from climbing.  

I don't say for sure he never climbed Chilam.  But there certainly are reasons to doubt.  And I'm also reminded of the article last year in 8a, which said one of the world's most famous climbers was believed to have cheated a lot, claiming sends he never did. 

Some of you say Sharma said he thought Bernabe climbed CB.  Can anyone produce the quote or a link? 

OffLine A0 Climber
  2009-01-01 19:41:16    

Hi John,
I should point out that Bernabe has been seen on the route managing himself quite well, there are pictures of him on the route all over the european magazines, such pictures were taken by David Munilla. Bernabe's reputation of pushing up grades in Spain is well known with his first 8c, 8c+, 9a, 9a+ and his lattest ascent. Fred Roulin also was in his situation but eventually he is believed to had climbed Akira, eventhought it has not been repeated.

Hi Jens,
Sorry I do not want to bother you but... you say the route could turn 9c+ but it may not, that is just an estimation, isn't it?. I do understand that you do not want to list 9c projects, but the fact is that Chilam Balam is not a project. So then, you can not denay the route.
I also want to point out that I do not get pissed with this matter, I am just saying that the title of the this news is wrong, it can not be called "top-10 most difficults routes" because C.B. has been climbed but it is not listed. It should be called "top-10 challenges for 2009" or whatever, in this way you would be right of excluding Bernabe´s route.

Regards and happy new year to everyone

OffLine Just a MAN
  2009-01-01 19:42:50    


Check my last post concerning the belayer and the pics stuff. There are many other ascents which have not been proven this way.

I also wrote David Munilla had a photographic session on that route some few weeks before the sent and said how fluent he climbed it.

The fact that he retired from climbing can just say that he didn't look for sponsors or money, it was his ultimate climbing goal, he did it and quitted climbing hard stuff.

On the other hand, I know who was the cheater we published last year and IT IS NOT Bernabé. 

The quote you ask for is in one of the old Desnivel magazines.

OffLine bonobo 26
  2009-01-01 20:56:20    
Here is a website (not finished yet) with a (complete?) list of 9a and harder routes. There are the climbers too. With some descriptions.

It's in french but quite understandable
OffLine Shock
  2009-01-01 22:21:11    
On the case of Salamandre, I would also take the word of Fred/Beal and the grade given in the video (9a+). If however Dani has tried the route or Fred has elsewhere put it at 9b then I would put it at that. Maybe could send him an email and ask for his opinion?

I read from the blog of Malcolm Smith (you can find it from Scarpa site) that he watched Bernabe climb this summer in Archidona, working some 90 meter long traverse. So much for the retirement :)
OffLine User Deactivated
  2009-01-01 23:02:57    
Regarding Salamandre, I've been in contact with Fred. Don't take the grade too serious. Fred has only said that it's somewhere in the 9th grade or 5.15, which would make it at least 9a+. We'll have to be content with that.

Thanks for letting us know about what Malc said. Very interesting! Especially as it's a traverse of the Archidona cave he's talking about.
OffLine A0 Climber
  2009-01-01 23:04:55    
Thanks Shock to let me know, here you are!
The title of the post is "Spain again, and Yorkshire"

Nice post from Malcom Smith in the Scarpa site
OffLine A0 Climber
  2009-01-01 23:55:14    

Hi Jens,

Just a polite reminder.

Not to list Chilam Balam in the "Top-10 most difficult routes", is quite like not to list the race of Usain Bolt 9.72'' 100m in the "Top-10 fastest races".

Hipothethically talking, this could be because the journalist who did the list, may think that the 9.72'' bench mark will not be matched this year. That thinking does not make the race any slower, anyway! still being the fastest.

Back to climbing, let´s say that you still thinking no one will climb C.B. this year, that is not a reason of not being in the list of "top-10 most difficult routes". C.B. still being the most difficult route, anyway!.

So the list you did is more like "Top-2nd-to-10th most difficult routes"


OnLine John Meget
  2009-01-02 06:28:01    
Paulino, if you are talking about the Olympic finals where Bolt ran 9.69, 80,000 or 100,000 people in the Olympic Stadium saw him.  100's of millions, maybe over a billion people, watched him on TV.  If you mean the earlier race where he ran 9.72 - I think it was the Olympic Trials - many people also saw that.

No one saw Bernabe.  Or if they did, they have not come forward and said so.  That by itself sounds odd, doesn't it?  His belayer had to be a climber.  Must have known what an astounding feat Bernabe achieved.  He has never come forward, though, after all these years, to confirm the send. 

If Bolt ran 9.72, no one saw it, people doubted him, and he gave up running,  your analogy would work a little better.  But Bolt kept running, and showed the world what he could do. 

My apologies to Bernabe if he did climb the route.  He sure left a lot of open questions, at least to me. 

OffLine Dustin Harris
  2009-01-02 07:41:11    

Curious as to why ALI-HULK sitstart+extension isn't listed. Dani says it goes at 9b, which would put it in the top 5.. to me it looks quite similar to Akira (but obviously I've never touched either of them :) )
OffLine grigri
  2009-01-02 08:11:00    
To clarify: Im not 'pissed' at 8a for excluding this route from a ticklist (Although the title of the list should then be changed - I think most here agree on this at least) what does tick me off is people failing on a route and then turning around and talking smack about the first ascencionist. Why not just walk away and say 'I did not climb the route' end of story.? One can only imagine the disappointment Fernandez, Rouhling and others must have felt to have years of groundbreaking work dismissed so cruely. No wonder they removed themselves from the limelight afterwards!

So much of our sports history is based on honour and respect for others achievements. Lets reflect that honour and respect in our asessment of the past. If the the list is to be 'Top ten routes' then list CB and give a history of the climb and consequent controversy (it will make interesting reading, in fact all the routes you feature should include a short background history, these routes are the benchmarks of the future). If you wish to omit the route then change the title to 'selected climbs' or similar. Anyway, I look forward to reading the book, either way it sounds inspiring.
OnLine John Meget
  2009-01-02 09:00:30    
Grigri: if no one sees you send a route...if you have a spotty history with climbing ethics...if you have no video or camera evidence or witnesses...if you can't name your belayer (who never comes out of the woodwork to back you up) is not surprising some may question you.  Especially when the route you claim you sent is light years harder than anything anyone in history has ever done. 

Some people believe Bernabe.  I don't think there is anything close to proof, though.  And there are lots of reasonable questions about this.  That's why it surprises me to hear such strong declarations that Bernabe sent CB and it's a terrible misjustice to not accept it. 

OffLine A0 Climber
  2009-01-02 10:00:56    
Hi John,

So you discredit Bernabe´s ascent. ´However we are not discussing his ascent as Jens mentioned before "I believe that Chilam Balam, 9b+ has been done by Bernabe...but that is not what we are discussing here." Considering this, I think we could take the chance to discuss valid, seen, believed, discredit, cheated and unbelievable accents in other post discussinon.

Regarding my point of view, if CB has been red pointed and claimed as the highest graded route, then it had to be included into the list, otherwise either the list or title is wrong.
OffLine Jens Larssen
  2009-01-02 11:53:30    

If Bernabe suggested 9a of the route = 100 % would believe him.
If Bernabe suggested 10a of the route = 0 % would believe him
If Bernabe suggested 9b+ of the route = 50 %, I guess, would belive him

The controverse is because he suggested 9b+ when most climbers and himself normally were struggeling with 9a's.

He suggested to have done the new world record, 9b+. By suggesting 9b+, he stated he was the best rock climber in the world. As of 2009, he states that Chilam Balam is one or two grades harder than what Chris Sharma, Ada Ondra and Dani Andrada are capable about.

As he suggested 9b+ for Chilam Balam, it indicates that he would be capable to do edurance 9b like Jumbo Love relative quick. If you can climb 9b+ you should be able to do most endurance 9a, second try.

I think the climbing community could demand some more information by Bernabe backing up the story before we officially state that Bernabe was and is the best rock climber in the world.

The climbing community has created the Practice & Ethics of climbing. Confirming ascents and getting credibility is something climbers could get from.

1. The belayer of the ascent
2. The belayers of the training, coming close
3. Previous/Future Track record/Scorecard

(Pictures have been taking of the route but that does not say anything, unless you show you can do all the 500 moves).

I know that Desnivel tried to get some more verifying facts. I do also know what other climbers have said to me.

I must say that, based on the information I have, I do need more info before I would state that he is the best climber in the world.

If we just believe anything, I can say I did a 9c yesterday ;)

OnLine John Meget
  2009-01-02 13:21:18    
Paulino, it seems to me whether or not Bernabe climbed Chilam is crucial for this discussion.  If he did, then we must include the route in the list, probably in the #1 position.  If he did not climb the route, then the list stands well as it is, at least with respect to Chilam Balam.  

btw, I don't claim to know one way or another if he sent CB.  If he did, he sure took a casual attitude about verifying it.  Also, he had to have been head and shoulders (a real big head and shoulders) better than every other climber, not only of his time, but of today as well.   
OffLine Michael Borsdorf
  2009-01-02 14:15:24    
I think this CB discussion is centered around 2 crucial questions:
First - Is the actual CB the same as the suggested 9b+ ? It seems it is not due to the comments like "unclimbable" and "9c+".
Second - What is a climber capable of, if he dedicates years to a certain project ? Is a solid 7a climber capable to do an 8a after years of tries and specific training ? Only a few people can tell as it doesn't seem to be very wise to dedicate a relevant part of your climbing life to just one route.
OffLine Christian Andersen
  2009-01-02 14:17:31    
I have seen Chillam Ballam because I climb often at the same crag. I do not think this  route becomes impossible because one hold breaks. Next time I see Bernabé I will ask him if he knows of any reason it can no further be climbed. I do not know who has tried it recently, but both Sharma and Andrada did all the moves, and Bernabé himself have been seen by many people doing all the moves, most of the time by separate because he used to work out the sections. Munilla claimed to have seen him do well on the route in the photosession.

For those who do not know, Bernabe has since done at least 3 routes of 9a or 8c+/9a, but he no longer publishes anything, and he usually asks people not to spread the word too much, and he no longer wishes to spend years working on a single route.

When he sent the route, belayed by someone that had just started climbing and who Bernabé has not been able to meet again, he got all exhausted and full of injuries. Motivation after the controversy put him down a bit too, but it is not first time he has been publicly critizised for proposing grades (which later have been confirmed). This is main reason relations with Desnivel were not that good.

And you forget as well "Orujo" 9a+. There were many witnesses to this climb and it has never been doubted. I asked Bernabé about rumours I had heard that the route could not be done, and as far as he knows, no hold is broken, but the crux is very difficult to see through. He finds very normal that someone trying it just once cannot figure out how to do it. This does not mean it cannot be climbed. Bernabé needed many tries. should not be that subjective.
OffLine Tommi Rytinki
  2009-01-02 14:30:36    
One article about Chilam Balam can be found in Escalar-magazine n. 51 (2006) by Miguel Riera.

Jens: who has said C.B. is not climbable? If you can't publish your sources, your claim is nothing but a rumor.

FA grading is always questionable, but if Bernabe worked out 3 years..? I thought there was much enough evidence that Bernabe could do the moves. Myself I find no reason to doubt such a climbers word. The point was not 'who is the best climber', but the most amazing routes in the world?
OffLine Just a MAN
  2009-01-02 14:37:56    

As I wrote in precedent posts, David Munilla had a photo session with him on Chilam Balam, and has many times assured Bernabé did every, I repeat, every move of that route in front of him, it is to say, ALL THE MOVEMENTS.

David Munilla works sporadically with Desnivel and did it at that time. 

I personally phoned Bernabé once asking him for an interview. He was very distrustful and very upset with how Desnivel managed all the info, creating controversy in order to sell more magazines...

OffLine frank krane
  2009-01-02 14:51:30    

1) can Es Pontas be considered a sport route?

2) how do you choose the 9a+? According to the andrada blog and to you should add to the list also:
Realization/Biographie 9a+
La Rambla Original 9a+
Orujo 9a+
Violent New Breed 9a+

OffLine Jens Larssen
  2009-01-02 15:14:41    

@ Christian: Thanks for all the info.

I am very glad I published the news so we have had this forum discussion. The discussion has indeed changed how 8a will present the article in the yearbook. And there is still time to include more facts!

1. Bernabe did choose to suggest him as the best rock climber in the world. 2. It is logic that the climbing community would like to know more.
3. Bernabe was not willing to do so.

It is not a question whether the community believe th ascent or not but it is a question whether the community can understand why he, or anybody else claiming to be #1, does not show a willingness to come forward.

Personally, I think he did it but in order to be considered the best rock climber in the world, he should have been more open and not just suggest.
- I have done 9b+, I am the best rock climber in the world!

@ Frank: 1) Yes! 2) We have decided to take the challenge to rank the Top-10 routes. We will also mention outside the ranking some of the routes you have mentioned as they might just be Top-10. The list is specualtive and we are 100 % that it will be updated in the future.

The ranking of climbs and climbers is one way of giving credit and this is one of the core business of 8a.

OffLine frank krane
  2009-01-02 16:20:58    

1) Then why not Ali Hulk and all his variants?
2) How can you say that a 9a+ is more difficult then another? All the 9a+ should be equivalent, or not?


OffLine Jens Larssen
  2009-01-02 16:43:42    

We do not think it makes no sense to mention all the variations of one route.

We try to rank them but we say it is almost an impossible task. We have to present them in some kind of order and we do not use the alphabet.

OnLine John Meget
  2009-01-02 17:04:07    
Jens said, "I know that Desnivel tried to get some more verifying facts. I do also know what other climbers have said to me."

I know what Huber said.  Can you tell us what other climbers think about  Chilam Balam, and whether Bernabe climbed it? 
OffLine Sebastian
  2009-01-02 17:26:19    
By the way: fred rouhling graded Salamandre as a 9a/b.

So this should mean hard 9a+ or 9a+/9b doesn't it?

OffLine Jens Larssen
  2009-01-02 17:33:51    
As you can understand, this is a delicate question and in this case, they have said something like - "This is of the record. I want to be anonymous!"

When people say they do not trust him is beacuse they did not get any good information saying he did it. If he would have suggested 9a+, it would have been another game. If he would have suggested 9c...would you have believed him? It is all about the grade...and he suggested he was the best rock climber in the world!
OffLine Tommi Kortelainen
  2009-01-02 18:16:04    
"It is all about the grade."

well said, jens.
OffLine Just a MAN
  2009-01-02 19:06:35    

I just know Huber haven't ever tried the route. In my opinion, he could have given his opinion but thumbs down for such strong statements against another climber.
OffLine Just a MAN
  2009-01-02 20:32:57    
I want to give you some more light about Chilam Balam controversy. However, note that for most of you it's going to be slant since you're only going to read Alex Huber's letters in English.

-          First of the news when he sent the route and announced his proposal (Spanish):

-          Huber’s letter in Spanish:

-          Huber’s original letter in English:

-          Pablo Barbero’s reply to Alex Huber’s open letter (Spanish):

-          Second letter by Alex Huber in Spanish:

-          Second letter by Alex Huber in English:

-          David Munilla expresses his opinion about Chilam Balam (Spanish):

-          Bernabé Fernández talks about Chilam Balam (Spanish):

-          Dani Andrada gives his opinion about Chilam Balam (Spanish):

-          Escalar editorial about Chilam Balam (Spanish):

-          Desnivel’s reply to Bernabe’s comments on the British magazine “On the edge” (Spanish):

OnLine John Meget
  2009-01-02 20:35:14    
Jens, what are the anonymous reactions?  It's not clear to me from your posts, but reading between the lines, it seems like you are say they are expressing doubt. 

Bang on, what do you think of Huber's main point, that he does not see how Bernabe (or anyone) could have climbed a route that hard?  It seems like the route is definitely that hard, i.e. Bernabe did not inflate the grade.  Did Bernabe have a Bob Beaman type experience?   
OffLine Sebastian
  2009-01-02 20:44:24    
thanks for the links bang on!

A translation into english would be great .... if anyone is interested and has the time ......
OffLine Jens Larssen
  2009-01-02 20:58:55    
@ Bang on: Good job. What is your opinion regarding the willingness Bernabe showed to back up his 9b+ ascents. I am not so much interested in your opinion of the ascent, but what all these articles could inform us about why he did not back it up, as he said he was the best rock climber in the world?
OffLine Tobias Gass
  2009-01-02 22:25:42    
It feels a bit like the discussion is missing one -in my opinion- very important point:

Why does it seem impossible that Bernabe has trained so much that he accomplished a climb which would usually be out of his reach by adapting and in fact specializing to exactly that one climb?

Sure, he should gain strength and whatnot even by specific training, but does it mean that doing ONE hard route of grade Y should CERTAINLY allow to climb other routes of that grade?

At the peak of performance, humanity always strives for specialization, and for me it feels a bit like this fact is being ignored too much.
OnLine Pate Mustajärvi
  2009-01-02 23:17:58    
1. He haven´t said "I´m the best rock climber in the world", he just said that he opened a wonderful route which is as hard as 9b+.

2. Usually when you open a route (or a boulder) you´ll try to figure out how hard it is and nowadays you´ll give a grade like 9b+, if you think that it is that hard. Of course it is fancy to stop grading like part of the climbing community is doing nowadays. But when your coming closer to your limit, quite many, (like CS is now), you´ll start to figure out it again. So if Bernabe thought that it was (and is) that hard, I think that it was fair to say that and not to sandbag, ´cause it´s frustrating to everyone too.

3. John Gaskins stopped climbing couple of years ago, and I think that one of the biggest reason was this same kind of hunt.

4. If he has said that he climbed it, he did.

OffLine User Deactivated
  2009-01-02 23:25:53    
Tobias, I was thinking the exact same thing, after reading Jens' statements  that Bernabé said he was the best climber in the world. I don't know anything specific about these routes (and they are far, far beyond my ability) but as you say Tobias, working a route extensively surely makes it possible to jump a few grades. On that specific route that is, not necessarily as a climber in general. Without having read the conversations between Huber, Desnivel et al mentioned above, does anyone really, and I mean really, know how much effort (which is said to be the foundation for the grade) Bernabé put into CB, compared to the efforts done by other climbers on other routes of the highest difficulty? We all know how much we can fine tune the moves by working a route just a few times.
To me, claiming that you have climbed the hardest route in the world is not equivalent to saying "I'm the best climber in the world" as Jens says.
OffLine Ludwig Davidsson
  2009-01-03 00:19:29    

9a+ isn't the same for all routes, Routes that are FA'd , after a lot of tries and, which aren't yet repeated are/might seem harder to the community, when someone strong worked it for a long time. Example: Coup de Grace might be harder than 9a+ since graham stated that it's the hardest route he have ever climbed, and he has climbed quite a few 9a<,
OffLine Jens Larssen
  2009-01-03 00:35:12    

Bernabe claims to have climbed the most difficult route in the world. I think we should discuss whether it is possible to come up with such a statement based on only - I met the belayer in a bar!

We do not have to discuss the definition of "best". I can rephrase to - I can climb a harder route than any human being (I'm the best).

OffLine darta
  2009-01-03 01:04:34    
Jens, i would rather rephrase to - I managed to climb a harder route than any other human being, so far -. "I managed to" is different from "I can" and it takes into account the number of tries, the extreme motivation he had, the fact that the route probably suited him a lot, and the fact that he actually specialized and trained exclusively for that route during a period of 4 years!
If he has been able to climb that particular route, it doesnt mean that he could climb another route of the same difficulty.
It's difficult to say what human beings can do when they put so much effort into something.
OffLine Sebastian
  2009-01-03 01:19:26    
Lorenzo: Exactly what I think!

Jens: I think "best" should be discussed. In my opinion there is no "best" climber. At least if you talk about rock climbing. Who is better: Someone who has onsighted 8c+ but didn't climb 9b or a climber that climbed 9b but didn't onsight 8c+. What you think? I don't think it's that easy.
OffLine A0 Climber
  2009-01-03 01:39:12    

I can hardly believe Jens! you said you believed that Bernabe did the route, and few post later you make a fun of him saying "If we just believe anything, I can say I did a 9c yesterday ;)".
C´mon Jens, think twice about what you are doing, you run a page full of non proven ascents, shall we book in with with the passport in our theeths and upload a video clip every ascent we do?.

The climbing has always been full of honest climbers and people believed their ascents, and now everyone is suspicious of new ascents and olders. C´mon!, what you are promoting is to put on fire the "World On Sight List" and spread out that everyone is a cheater unless proven otherwise, who saw Gullich climbing "Punks on the Gyms"? who saw Yuri on sigthting Mortal Combat?. I believe they are honest climbers and I can not do anything but believe him.

If you you knew a bit of Bernabe´s reputation, you would know that he always did the same with his ascents and all have been proven to be truth. Malcom Smith saw him lately climbing a project of 90m and mentioned that he was atonished about Bernabe´s endurance. Bernabé is a marathon climber and no sprint climbers will ever do a route like that. Do you think he would do so much training on his own projects if he were a layer?.

I read in a prior post of you, that to have pictures on the route means mothing and also people said that no one ever seen him on CB, that is as false as the notes of six Euros!, David Munilla took the pictures of Bernabe on CB and added "Bernabe did all the moves in front of me and managed quite well on the route". David Munilla holds a large reputation as international mountaner photogrhapher. Don't you believe him neither?

If you discredit one climber you ought to discredit all of them. As all the attacks to Bernabé, also fit to other climbers (whom I will not mention here), but people eventualy believe others with no proofs.

One think more, to mention that Bernabe said "I am the best climber of the world" is a lie part of his lynching.

OffLine Huber Alexander
  2009-01-03 04:46:44    

Editorial of Desnivel No. 205, 12/03 by José Mendieta

Chilam Balam / Estar en la altura

To verify information is a basic duty of the public media and we don´t put this under question! In sports there are two ways to verify an information: either there is a journalist present or there are eye-witnesses, which verify, what has happened. Just because of the very special characteristics of the climbing world, the climbing media do have another source of information: to report, what the protagonists say, because the journalist only can report “what has happened there without being there”. But in the absence of solid information one needs at least convincing information. Let´s analyze the situation in search of facts, proofs and witnesses.

The day of the ascent

When we asked Bernabe, he answered that on that day he was belayed by Josellilo de Anteqera. Bernabe wasn´t willing to give further information. Not, not any other journalist (as we know), was able to locate Josellilo. Then, it was told us that he traveled to Great Britain and that he didn´t return.

During the preparation

Traditionally, Bernabé doesn´t climb with climbers of similar strength as well as he doesn´t climb with local climbers. For that reason, nobody could tell anything about the progress on the route. These witnesses would help us to get an idea about what was going on. And normaly the climbers know about how the others progress in their projects and this is not because of keeping the others under observance, but because it´s simply normal! But Bernabé was belayed only by beginners.

His previous ascents

Bernabé bases his own credibility in his previous ascents of 8c+ (Mojave), 9a and 9a+ (Orujo), each being the first of its grade in Spain. The fact that Ramonet has confirmed the grade 8c+ of Mojave, does not prove the ascent of Chilam Balam, a route, which should be 9b+. And similar to Chilam Balam, the local climbers show skepticism when it comes to speak about Orujo: they couldn´t see Bernabé making progress in this project. But what´s known very well is that Bernab´s chopped natural(!) holds after his ascent for which he proposed the grade 9a. Then again he chopped holds, two of the three artificial holds, and then he propsed the grade 9a+. For sure, these facts do not deliver any convincing information.

After the ascent

Daniel Andrada went to Chilam Balam with the same interest as he would try any other hard route. What Dani thought about Bernabés ascent was, that “when he said that he made it, then that should be the truth.” What he could see was that it is difficult, the protection is wild, some runouts look even almost dangerous – surprising that you would go there only belayed by beginners, but still possible. But, above all, he could see that the finish of the climb – a long and runout boulder sequence between two bolts – does not show the typical signs (mainly rubber on footholds, chalk marks, magnesia on the holds)  which should remain after working climbing a project for years.

All these things are there. We have the right and we even have the obligation to inform the public about these things. Bernabé told us now that, after all the polemics, we made him loosing the interest in climbing. On the other side, he told us from the very first moment after announcing the world´s first 9b+ that he would stop climbing at high level. Nobody asked him to announce the world´s first 9b+, but – yes – we would like to ask him to meet the height of his own proposal.

OffLine Huber Alexander
  2009-01-03 05:06:08    

"Climbing is a sport without referees, without any indipendent commitee, which would confirm when what has been achieved. So the climbing is based on trust and transparency. If you put your credibility under question, then you have to suffer the consequences." (Yosemite, ´70s)

I guess, if we want to keep the tradition of our sport alive, then it´s wise to take these words into consideration...

Next to the editorial "Estar en la altura" just another interesting comment:

Dani Andrada en

Conozco a Bernabé, se sabe concentrar bien en sus objetivos, pero ahí está Orujo, donde hizo cosas que no me parecen bien: tapó agarres naturales al lado de las presas artificiales después del encadenamiento (quién sabe si él los usaba o no) y rompió una presa, natural, que yo usaba para hacer el paso. Me da igual que cogiera esos agarres que ya no existen o no, hay que respetar la roca y también las formas de dar solución a un paso de otros escaladores. Y podría contar otros muchos casos, como el de Akira (1995, Francia, 9b), que conozco bien gracias a fuentes muy fiables: ¡la vía ya no es como cuando se encadenó!, hay presas rotas y otra tapada; probablemente antes se tratara de un 8c+/9a, una vía muy dura para la época, pero no la primera de esa cotación.

I know Bernabe very well and he understands to put his focus onto his projects. But there is Orujo, where he made things which I don´t like: He chopped natural holds next to his artificial holds after his ascent (who know whether he used them or not) and he chopped off another natural hold, which I used in order to make the move on the crux. It´s not important to me, whether he used that holds or not, but we have to respect the natural rock and, furthermore, all the different ways in which other climbers do the moves. And I could tell of many other stories like the one of Akira, a story, which I know very well: the route does not exist in its original version any more, in which it got redpointed. There are broke holds and others are glued. Before these changes it maybe had been 8c+/9a, a very hard route at that time, but it hasn´t been the first of that grade!

OnLine John Meget
  2009-01-03 09:06:22    
I'm not sure I understand what happened at Orujo.  From the Desnivel article, it sounds like:

1.  Bernabe could not climb the route.  Other climbers there did not see him make progress. 
2.  He created some artificial holds.  After that he sent the new Orujo.
3.  He proposed a grade of 9a
4.  He eliminated some of the artificial holds he had created, and then proposed a new, higher grade of 9a+.  But he never climbed that version of the route.

Is this the right sequence of events, or am I confused? 
OffLine Jens Larssen
  2009-01-03 11:07:40    

@ Huber: Thanks for the info. I do think you were and are very brave coming forward with letters like this. And it confirms what I personally think.

If you claim to have done the hardest route in the world it is logic that the community would like to have some verifying info. Of course, you do not have to do the route but Chris, Dani, Adam and Dave etc do give us verifying info just by being out there and climb.

Is it really true, that nobody have seen him doing or coming close to having done hard routes? I mean, hang-dogging a 80 metres route in front of a photographer is not good enough.

I do not bother what happend to Orujo but did anyone see him coming close to do it?

I like this "If you put your credibility under question, then you have to suffer the consequences."

OffLine Huber Alexander
  2009-01-03 11:10:32    
One of the stories was told me personally by Iker Pou. After Bernabé proposed the grade 9a+ for Orujo, Iker went there and tried the route. Iker found a way to climb the crux in a different way than Bernabé and that even with natural holds. As the route was wet at that time, he had to return later. When Iker finally returned, he found out that Bernabé chopped the holds, which Iker used for this newly discovered, natural sequence. Iker lost any interest in that manipulated route. Orujo is not in its original state any more.

By the way, the fact that Bernabé refuses notoriously, rises the speculation that exactly the same could have happened in Chilam Balam. None of Munilla´s photos of Chilam Balam show Bernabé in  the final section, which is the real crux, but show him in the spectacular, but relatively easy part. If there would exist a photo then I ask, why it never got published.

All that is, simply said, very dubious. As well as the fact that Josellilo de Antequera never showed up any more.

Why is it necessary that so many people have to make speculartions about Chilam Balam, if it would have been just so easy and natural for Bernabé to make us believe? If one states to have climbed by far the hardest route of the world (and obviously Chilam Balam it is in its present state), then he should be ready to give at least some evidence to make us believe. He defenitely would be then the hero. But up to that moment my heroes are climbers like Sharma, Ondra, Usobiaga, Hirayama....

OnLine Pate Mustajärvi
  2009-01-03 13:05:45 Bernabe is a liar, David Munilla is a liar and now Fred Rohling is a liar again. It´s starting to get really really frustrating.

Next text is from Climbing Magazine:

The last day of our visit, we go back to Akira. Fortunately, the
drunk Frenchman is nowhere in sight. There are tick marks and chalk all
over the route. Somebody has been here, so maybe the rumors that the
Spanish ace Dani Andrada has been climbing here are true.
The bulk
of the route is about ten feet off the ground and totally horizontal.
After ten feet of moderate climbing, the next twenty feet zigzag
through the most difficult moves on the route. Fred tells me he feels
this section could be V14, judging by the boulder problems he’s done
recently. After the initial boulder problem, the route fires straight
out the center of the cave. Rouhling says that although he originally
thought this part was 5.14a, he has heard that Andrada found better
Beta and it’s really 5.13d. At the mouth of the cave there is a long
horizontal break where Fred was handed a rope for the last bit of
5.13b. (Rouhling switches between bouldering grades and route grades to
distinguish between the difficulty of a shorter sequence and the
difficulty of a whole section of the route. Therefore he says that one
could call Akira V14, to a bit of 5.14a, to a bit of 5.13b — or simply 5.15b.)

As we stretch out, I start an argument about whether Akira is a boulder
problem or a route. Rouhling concedes that if he were to do it now he’d
drop from the jug after the first fifty feet and not bother with the
roped finish.

As become his custom during our visit, Fred warms up by climbing a solid section of the route on his first go.

I want to feel every hold on this route myself, so I begin at the back
of the cave and work my way out, trying moves that look possible but
mostly looking for evidence of chipping. The climbing is every bit as
impressive as the grade indicates it should be. But 5.15b? Who knows?
It’s continuous, dynamic, and very cool. Finally, on the last move
before the section where Rouhling was handed the rope, I find a hold
that looks as though it might be chipped.

Rouhling inspects the hold I have pointed out. It is hard to tell if it
is actually chipped or just a funky feature with lots of chalk on it.
He says that he doesn’t think it was there when he climbed the route.
At this point I have lost the cynical desire to catch Rouhling lying.
But to be sure, I ask him to climb this section of the route.

As Rouhling puts his shoes on, Tim and I exchange a glance. We’re going
to find out what he can do, one way or the other. Rouhling steps onto
the rock, and without so much as a grunt or a deep breath he fires the
last fifteen feet of the roof without using the chipped hold and
without any of the ticked footholds. He dangles from the horizontal, we
stack pads, and he jumps down.

This was the last question I had for Rouhling. I can’t think of any
further ways to test him. By the time we finish our session, Tim and I
are convinced that in his present state of fitness, Rouhling could
climb Akira
as it now stands. When I ask him why he has not been able to climb a
route this hard in the eight years since his first ascent, he holds up
three fingers.
“Three things,” he says. “Route, style, and time.
It is very hard to find a route which is exactly at your limit, and is
exactly in your style, and you have unlimited time to try it. I have
never found another one.”

So Pete Ward and Tim Kemple from Climbing magazine might be liars also... Here we go again.
OnLine John Meget
  2009-01-03 13:33:56    
Pate, Rouhling was willing to show others he could (most likely) climb Akira.  Bernabe has taken the opposite stance with Chilam Balam.  He won't show anyone, and has for the most part retired.   

Why don't you address the many questions Desnivel, Huber and others have brought up about Chilam Balam?  Munilla after all cannot say anything about whether Bernabe sent the route.  In the meantime, it seems to me the case against Bernabe gets more devastating with every revelation.  If the points/charges are not true, please point how why. 
OnLine Pate Mustajärvi
  2009-01-03 13:51:49    
Rouhling was willing to show that he was able to climb it again, but it seems that it was not enough "And I could tell of many other
stories like the one of Akira, a story, which I know very well: the
route does not exist in its original version any more, in which it got
redpointed. There are broke holds and others are glued. Before these
changes it maybe had been 8c+/9a, a very hard route at that time, but
it hasn´t been the first of that grade!"

My point is that I really like to read what is going on in the climbing wolrd, and I understand that media is going to make it tougher. Some really good climbers don´t wan´t to publish their activities anymore, because this kind of forums. It´s not so long ago when climbers were putting questionmarks to Shwaiger-brothers too. If I remember correct the reason was an edited videoclip of some of theris superhard boulders. If we don´t count on mans word, it´s not necessary to publish anything anymore, and it´s a pity. From my point of view it would be different if there is a competition who is the best, but there is not. To me it´s enough if David Munilla did saw him doing every single move, and big links too. I´m sad that wexample John Gaskins almost stopped climbing and definately won´t publish any of his new routes or boulders after this same kind of witch hunt. So believe or not it´s up to you.
OffLine Romain ferlet
  2009-01-03 16:20:15    
Jens, that is just so pathetic from you to be every times so polemic.
What are you looking for? To see what the community think about CB?

I will be very simple because your explications are just the reflet of a 12's years old boy so it would be hard for you to understand me if i'm not "simple".

i quote:

"In the yearbook we will try to rank the most difficult Routes & Boulders in the world."


We only rank routes that are climbable."


I believe that Chilam Balam, 9b+ has been done by Bernabe"

Well, we can discuss about other stupid things you told but i just need that 3 ones.

Just one question Jens: where is the logic? Do you make sens of what you're saying?You just tell to all the community that CB is UNCLIMBABLE and then you tell "i believe he done it"...Wow just WOOOOOOW!!!no comment

Before i used to compete, and as every one know climbing is not only a physic sport, you need your brain, and my "brain trainer" was olivier guidi, from french team, and one of the best sentence he told me i remember is:

"he didn"t know it was impossible so he did it"

And i totally agree with him in all kind of things in life, but especially more with climbing because sometimes you can be just a big shit in a 7c, and other times, you feel in such an harmony with every thing(the nature, the people, the route, everything you want to put here), and you can climb an 8b first try.
I'm sure you all know what i mean, that climbing is not like running(not always the same...), there exist special day with special feelings, and you can make things you won't make anymore.

Then, Jens, why do you say it is unclimbable?
Because, you've tried it and at a moment you saw there were 3 meters without any holds?
You discredit bernabé because he doesn't have video and every thing, but like huber said, bernabé is not a "hero", i don't think he is living by climbing like sharma, i don't think he got his cameraman all time behind him like other climbers(as my friend lorenzo told, bernabe just go to the crag and climb with the persons there are at the cliff). Well, maybe he just don't have the money or just don't find the good sponsors or whatever, the fact is that you affirm that CB is unclimbable without anything that prove(ANYTHING!!!!!) and then you allow you to critic the manner by which Bernabe announced it to us(without videos, and etc.) Well i think that really poor from you for such an argument.

Go jens , go to archidona, take pictures of the routes, show us it 's unclimbable....(rise....)

Maybe bernabé hasn't done it, i personnaly don't know, but if you want to make a list of the top 10 hardest routes in the world then you got to assume what you'll do. If you want to make that list, you don't have to put a doubt of route and discredit it. If bernabe told he done it, then just put it. You are a lister maker, and all those fucking polemics about grades won't change the fact that he's done it or not.

Then i just wanna add that, it is very stupid from bjorn and you to say that: we try to make a top 10 hardest routes but we have to choose...Why didn't you choose biographie, the hardest route for a long time? And ali hulk and every thing else....
In a competition if 20 climbers make the semifinal, the 20 go to the final even if we just need 8 climbers.
If there are 20 9a+ and 5 9b+, or put the 25 routes or just the 5 9b, but you cannot discredit anything because you just a lister maker....Sorry jens, you have no reason to follow in that way in  your website, you're killing the best sport of the world.

Hope one day you'll climb more and speak less, community needs tranquility...Look for a cave, find a project and just don't come back to your forum!
OffLine Shock
  2009-01-03 16:47:26    
Pate: your quote from climbing magazine is from way back (about 5 years?). A lot can happen to a limestone roof problem in such time. Paul Robinson (at least according to picture he gives in his comment about the route) says that Akira is excessively chipped (or then I get the wrong picture from reply he gives to a commentator of his blog, read yourself). Question of course is what A. Huber is referring to here, current state or the state before climbing magazine article but after the ascent (or some other state). I do find Fred Rouhling a bad ass climber and an inspiration (his moves on autre cote du ciel are just beyond my imagination).
OffLine Chris Shulz
  2009-01-03 17:01:21    

Hey Jens,

Whatever happened to your "time and effort" grading system?  This seems
a perfect place to use it.  If Bernabé  could climb 9a, and then he spent 4 FRIGGIN YEARS on C.B., then 9b+ makes sense to me. Your brilliant system wouldn't work if he spent four years and then graded it 9a+.   You would have to write another forum about how CB must be a massive sandbag because otherwise he would have sent it in a month.
OffLine gianluca
  2009-01-03 17:10:53    

"the best climber in the world is the one who has the most fun" (unknown author)

I think most of the problem in these controversies come out with a bad form of attention for "who's the best".

I say a bad form because to me, high-level outdoor-only climbing is a natural choice for people having trouble dealing with competition.
Staying within climbing ethics and standards, with no lie or cheat, it is relatively easy to tweak the challenge in a way that you can claim or think to be the best.
Ie when I was struggling for my second 7a I was a better slab rope climber than a friend who had already done several 8A and harder boulder problems, and I can demonstrate it : see how easy?
You even hear beginners say that "many 8b climbers have a lot of strenght but don't climb properly": it is an absurd statement on one hand, but on the other it is allowed by the very nature of the sport.

That said : because my personal experience might be reminiscent of these obscure and controversial characters (not in the sense that I modify routes, but I often did my personal best far from home and from my usual climbing entourage, so some have been ironic and skeptical) I spontaneusly tend to have a favourable opinion towards them.

And this I think should be always remembered : top-end sponsored climbers are important as inspiring figures, not as world record holders. Each world record will eventually fall.
This is somehow true for more standard sports as well (eg we remember Bolt, Owens, Ali, Tyson, Senna, McEnroe, Maradona and many others for their capacity to be icons, not for the world record itself. There are even cases of very famous "losers", and many many cases of forgotten winners).
It is absolutely evident for a discipline such as outdoor climbing.
The media game, including Desnivel and many others, is an entertaintment and marketing machine.
It should not be taken for what it is not : as institution capable of discovering truth and acting as referee.

For those interested in real, serious rankings, somebody invented competitions, with clear rules and clears referees.

happy slabby, vertical and overhanging 2009 to everyone
OnLine Pate Mustajärvi
  2009-01-03 17:41:36    
To Shock:

Mayby you didn´t read that blog carefully enough. If I read this text right, Paul has seen Shiobara roof and mayby he thought that Akira is in Japan too. "hmmmkkkk.... so my response to akira and japan. i have seen the
shiobara roof and was not impressed at all and with with both climbs i
prefer to stay away from climbs that have been excessively chipped." (the invitation to Japan was this post): "How about Shiobara, Japan? There is loads of hard (and unrepeated)
boulder problems outthere put up by the japanese master Dai Koyamada,
such as Babel (8C/+) and Hydrangea (8C/+)".

And he did got some answers too like: "
i don't think akira is chipped...." and "Paul: Akira isn't chipped. Not the nicest looking line thought, but fine if you like roofs

And of course there is a possibility that Akira has been 7c+ when Fred Rouhling climbed it, but anyway why don´t we nail Bernabe Fernandez again and not mr. Rouhling. I´m starting to think that someone is going to get a really great sponsor deal if we´ll burn them all. And Jens, like Romain said, mayby your job is only to be a list maker and not a judge.
OffLine Just a MAN
  2009-01-03 19:21:46    

Trying to not only get a slant vision, I´ve translated what David Munilla (the photographer) wrote:

"I’m going to leave Alexander Huber’s opinion apart, although it is the epicenter of all this aureole of opinions, small talks that have risen with the new Chilam Balam proposal. I’ll try to be objective as a witness and as a journalist.

It is true Bernabé Fernández is not a modern climbing ace. He doesn’t travel, he doesn’t publish his on-sight climbs, he’s not visible. Let’s say he’s not trendy. Nevertheless, every now and then he sentences a new grade. Like appearing from nowhere, like all of a sudden. Everybody think he doesn’t climb anymore and… paff, the new news come out. It’s difficult to understand for quite a lot of people, it’s then when something else is sought. It happened with Mojave, 8c+ (I still remember the light weight of those climbers expressing their opinion about something they didn’t even see), it happened with Orujo, 9a+. Of all these proposals, just Mojave, 9 years later, has been confirmed on the grade Bernabé proposed.

As far it’s known, The anchor of Orujo, 9a+, hasn’t been very used, despite some attempts of our best fellow countrymen (Barbero, Andrada, Ramonet). Let’s wait then for its confirmation, the same it would be done with the new Chilam Balam proposal, 9b+. What shouldn’t be done is to leave the route apart and feed the polemic against the person. If Bernabé retired from competition was just because of the pressure, the referees, because he didn’t want to demonstrate to be the best one or not – I’m not saying he was it. In fact, in my opinion, he’s not a valid climber for this type of climbing-, because he didn’t want to demonstrate his climbings… Well, I was in Chilam Balam, I’ve talked to the protagonists, I have collected not only the opinion from Bernabé some of which I write here, but I’ve also talked to the belayers, of course in a subtly way and somehow pushed by the polemic.

After that, I’ve seen how an outstanding climber has squeezed himself in order to offer me a worth seeing spectacle. The route neither allow one only position for catching it graphically nor allow to repeat the movements. The 70% is a roof and the bolts are quite distant, that’s why I just left Bernabé moved forward at full speed. I’m not going to say I assisted to a second send of the route, but I did see the talent, the endurance of a climber that trained to climb up by there. Really fluid, dynamizing the sequences, placing every foot on the right place, scratching at the maximum every centimeter of the lock-off.

There are some movements I had to smile after the camera. I was excited and impressed. I’ve been seeing high standard routes from privileged positions and I don’t usually let myself go by what I’m seeing. When we both got down to the ground floor I said him “Canichi, I don’t know whether that is 9b+, I need to think on the route. I have just got stuck”. What did I ask him? If you’d go to try Orujo tomorrow, would you be able to send it? He categorically answered me: yes. He’d only have to go over the boulder movements in the upper part, but he’d do it again. He said that Chilam Balam was in another dimension and that he was used to “see” what others haven’t seen yet.

We’re talking about a climbing genius and we have to recognize it. I did ask him why he wasn’t more cautious, why he didn’t offer a more subtle grade, 9a+/b. "Grades are not chosen by us, they’re offered by the routes. I did doubt between the 9b and the plus. The answer is in the end of the route, after some 57 meters of roof climbing, some movements on nearly drawn crimps". How does Bernabé take all the critics about his route? Indifferent and recovering from his injuries. The anti-inflammatory to relieve the pain he took over the last period, have provoked him a  "boomerang" effect from which he’s got to get out.

He was interested in producing a video. Whether he does it or not, it will take some time and never because he had to justify anything and not at all because a common climber petition.

Now, there are hardly some quickdraws hanging from Chilam Balam and if someone wants to put them on is necessarily going to be really strong. What this guy from Málaga has got clear is that this is his last bet for the high difficulty and he thinks he left it quite well signed.

David Munilla
Journalist and photographer
He did the photographic session in Chilam Balam in July, 15th, 2003."

OffLine Jens Larssen
  2009-01-03 21:57:03    

@ Cristoph: You are right, Bernabe should be able to do 9b+ after four years of training if he can do 9a's easily. This is as you say the logic by the Time comparison grading. However, it does not seem bernabe has showed he can do 9a's easily. Most climbers have a "Pyramid scorecard". Bernabe's pyramid does not seem to back up his 9b+.

@ Pate & Romain: I guess I can express personal opinions like anybody else in the forum.

@ Bang on: Thanks. However, where did Munilla said he saw him doing all the moves?

OffLine Jens Larssen
  2009-01-03 22:08:10    

@ Romain: I think you are very disrespectful!

The logic you seems not to understand is that it might be unclimbable, as one of the best climbers in the world told me after he tried it, if one crucial hold have broken after Bernabe (maybe) did it.

I think most of the polemics is actually started by people who do not read carfully as they already try from the beginning find something to question. This is sad as it hinders the interaction.

The other critiscism towards me I have already answered higher up so please read my post again...carfully and you will be surpriced that we more or less have the same opinion.

OffLine Just a MAN
  2009-01-03 23:15:49    

It is implicit in the fourth paragraph of the article. Apart from that I'm sure I read it somewhere in one of the old Desnivel or Escalar magazines.

On the other hand, I do believe and experienced with some climbers around my home town that the mathematics Jibé Tribout, Alex Huber and you plead for do not always work. I know climbers who haven't ever send an 8a on-sight, work for years an 8c and finally succeed in it...

I do think it's kinda impossible to keep track of Bernabé´s ascents in order to build any pyramid since there's way long time before he sent Chilam Balam that he didn't announce any of his climbs, plus nothing is known from him after the send. 

Finally, of course I do think it's all but good for Bernabé's credibility the fact that he didn't want to prove it on a video, but once again, this implies that we don't believe neither in Bernabé's words nor in Munilla's. Do you guys think Munilla has something to get by lying on this topic? I don't think so.
OffLine Just a MAN
  2009-01-03 23:33:22    
One last thing, of course it's reprehensible the fact of chopping holds. But I can understand it's frustrating for a first ascensionist to see his long standing project be downgraded because next climbers have found an easier beta, sometimes diverting quite a few meters from the original line and/or the line of bolts.
It's the same with Sharma's Es Pontas route in the arch. He did the lower crux with an all-points-off throw whilst Ethan Pringle seems to have found an intermediate one finger pocket. It happens to be the same route but not the same version and probably not the same grade.
OffLine Jens Larssen
  2009-01-03 23:36:43    
@ Bang on: i am not discussing if somebody is lying or not. I am discussing that Bernabe did not show any willingness to come forward. He did not have to do the route but as he was controverial from the beginning he should have at least tried his best as he said he climbed the hardest route in the world.

Once every year, somebody says he has climbed 9c in the database. In some cases they try to back up their information and if we were to believe everyone, also Sharma would not make the Top-10 list.
OffLine Romain ferlet
  2009-01-04 00:20:00    
@ Jens: Ok i reconize i haven't read it well, but that 's because when you first mentionned it, you didn't precise the reason of why it wasn't climbable, then i 've probably read it, but after 80 messages, i could also have forgotten it.

So i agree with you, but the fact is that your comment is based on what you've heard, am i right?(i quote: "I have been informed by two of the Top-10 guys in the world")

So i've also heard some stuffs about akira, and lots of people here too, so...why do you put akira on top 10 routes and not CB?
That's exactly the same i both case nobody except fred and bernabé know what really happen so we(the community) can't be sure of what we tell just because we've heard something.

Then for sure Jens you can say what you want here, like every one can say what he wants in the world. But sometimes, for the well of your reputation, and the reputation of your website, you should be less polemic, to respect some climbers you can damage.

OffLine Romain ferlet
  2009-01-04 00:41:16    
We just don't really care about your top 10 climbers, i mean it is not objective to say "he is the best", for my part i just have lots of respect to those fucking strong climbers because they're able to make some increible stuffs i would never done in my life. But i really don't care to know who is gonna be first at your top, because they first do climb for their pleasure and rockclimbing is really different from competition...
OffLine Jens Larssen
  2009-01-04 00:43:26    

@ Romain: You are actually totally wrong and once more this just shows maybe the main reason why I get criticized.

In this thread you can also read some of the story when Climbing did fly to France to meet Fred and he climbed on it in front of their eyes!

Fred Rouhling, Youtube on Akira Further more, Fred is not an anonymous climber!

OffLine Romain ferlet
  2009-01-04 01:04:34    
Is bernabé an anonymous climber?

Well, Fred could have climbed Akira, that's not the problem, the problem is that we've heard some stuffs(that could be wrong or right but as CB we're talking hypotheticly), like some holds had been added or broken or i don't know what.
Here a climber told, that with the first version of the route, fred did an 8c+/9a and after having broken holds the route is 9b. Am i wrong?
So i repeat my question (that for didn't answer), why do you put akira as top 10 if "what we heard about it" just can confirm akira as a 9b project? Am i wrong another time Jens? If we consider what we can heard about a route as someting true for one, you need to do it for everything, and don't tell me that bernabé is anonymous...He's not!
OffLine grigri
  2009-01-04 02:02:51    
This is a very contentious issue, partly because it deals with matters of principle (honour, respect and honesty). I feel bad for my part in stirring this controversy up again after so many years, however it is perhaps relevant today in that there now exist climbers (only a few perhaps but some) who are capable of repeating lines such as CB in probably a lot shorter time than it took Bernabe, ie I believe these sorts of projects will fall sooner than we think.

There are two problems/inconsistencies with the arguments presented by Bernabe's detractors:
1 The lack of a route pyramid: The progression pyramid is the route itself and the four years invested by Bernabe. There are endless examples of climbers jumping many grades through specific training on one route without necessarily a noticeable increase in their overall ability.
2 The assumption that the route is no longer in its original condition: Has Huber ever studied the route up close? Andrada claims that Akira was chipped yet Pete Ward and Tim Kemple found no evidence of this during their investigation. Huber assumes that CB is altered based on heresay surrounding Orujo. An assumption based on heresay is not good enough grounds to publicly claim or even suggest that route alteration has taken place.

Bernabe is yet another victim of trial by media, unfortunately the players have chosen to focus purely on his past and credibility and overlook the obvious facts specific to CB of the time invested on the route and the one eyewitness's (Munilla) claim that Bernabe did all the moves fluidly with only two or three hangs (-I would've thought this shoot constituted co-operating with the media). It seems that in the 21st century you had better film everything and have sworn afedavits from two eyewitnesses before people will give you credit!

Which brings me back to my last post. Who exactly has atually been up on CB recently? Because surely only those who have actually been up there can realistically make any informed comment on the state of the route? Where exactly on the route are these missing/broken holds supposed to be? If  during Sharma and Andrada's visit they managed all the moves, how can 8a claim that the route is unclimbable? You say you have reliable info from an anonymous climber that this is the case, that's a bit vague dont you think? Specific facts would be more helpful in helping those in this debate form their opinions and conclusions.

I find it unfortunate that we will never know exactly what happened, unfortunate that we will never hear more details of the lives of inspirational climbers such as Bernabe and others due to the mistrust of others and harsh way in which they have been dealt with in the press. They have removed themselves from the circus and we are all the poorer for their departure.
OffLine grigri
  2009-01-04 02:04:06    

- double post -

OffLine jadajada
  2009-01-04 02:20:31    

The ranking of climbs and
climbers is one way of giving credit and this is one of the core business of 8a.

So I guess is not about climbing community anymore. It is just business, done for money. That's why the polemics, the creation of doubt and mistrust. Simple logics, the more there is mistrust, the more there is need for evidence. The more there is need for evidence, the more Jens is going to have material for his website. The more there is going to be visits and sponsorship money and the more the stocks are going up. The more there will be revenue for Jens and the rest of team. There is nothing wrong with making money, but if it has to be done by portraying other people in bad light, or altering the ethics in the climbing community, I think it is pathetic. Besides, Jens' two top-10 climber sources sound at least as sketchy as Bernabe's belayer from the bar. Maybe the sources, if they exist, are shareholders as well and do it for money.

I think Bernabe is at least brave and humble. I think he knows what happened, and he seems to be able to live with it. I think it is very brave and humble to do just that, and not follow other peoples expectations.

And what more proof do you need besides your Time Comparison Grading? Even if Bernabe would be just a 8c+ climber, then his
TGC would maybe be something like 9a in a week, 9a+ a month, 9b in a year, and
9b+ in two years. And if he has climbed a 9a and a 9a+, it would make
the TGC even more possible. And he did put 3-4 years of work and specific training
into Chilam Balam, it suited his style, he probably had fitness and weather and all the other factors on his side as well. So I think Jens has himself proven before that Chilam Balam is possible, based on TGC.

Innocent until proven guilty? I CB should make the list. Bernabe is not getting the credit he deserves. I think this is far more important an issue than fighting for the rights of the trad climbers, who are supposedly not getting enough attention and respect from the community...

Sometimes I just wonder where is going, and why do we all read it...

OffLine Just a MAN
  2009-01-04 04:03:52    


Not quite pertinent in your first part since I'm one of the staff, the Spanish editor more exactly, and a shareholder while I'm going more or less against what my "boss" advocates...

We all are just expressing our own opinions.

OnLine John Meget
  2009-01-04 08:03:16    
No one has answered the questions I asked about Orujo.  If the way I
understand the story is correct, Bernabe may not have climbed tougher
than 9a before Chilam Balam: and even that with artificial holds.  And if he indeed cut natural holds at
Orujo - preventing climbers like Pou from completing the climb - that's
almost pathological.  It casts a dark cloud over claims he makes about
other routes. 

As I understand it, Bernabe spent several
months actually climbing on CB.  Those months were spread out over four
years.  Hence the four year claim.  Is this correct?

Munilla was
impressed with the demonstrations Bernabe gave him on CB.  He did not
see him send the route though.  I wish Munilla would tell us more of
what he actually saw.  Did Bernabe make every move, unaided?  How much
did he link?  Who were the belayers Munilla talked with, and can they
shed any light on what happened?

I think jens and Desnivel have
taken the right position.  Anyone who says they sent the world's
toughest route - a grade no one else has come close to achieving -
should back up their claim.  Bernabe has not done that.  Instead, he
left a series of suspicous questions behind.  Sad for him, sad for
OffLine Jens Larssen
  2009-01-04 12:24:14    

Some say we should put Chilam Balam as #1...

and at the same time some do not think Akira by Fred Rouhling deserves to be on the list although it is on Youtube and actually Climbing went to France and made them Fred climb on it in front of them.

It is as always, 8a and myself are criticized from both angels as we have taken a position in the middle.

@ Xmuli: It is the other way around. We only make pocket money. If we were to make more money we would just write positive things, never doing any polemics. However, I guess you and me and the rest of the community actually learn something from interaction.

"The ranking of climbs and
climbers is one way of giving credit and this is one of the core business of 8a."

Maybe you are angry as you misunderstood the expression, giving credit. I am not talking money, I am talking putting the best climbers on a pedestal.

OffLine jadajada
  2009-01-04 20:37:58    
I understood what you mean Jens. I just fail to see how is leaving Chilam Balam out of the list giving credit to anyone. To add CB on the list, would be exactly like putting it on the pedestial. You probably understand how it is hard for the community to believe your mysterious sources, when you don't say anything else but someone in the top-10.

What I am concerned of is that are we now supposed to produce evidence of all the ascents? Because if that is going to be the standard, then the climbing reporting business has the potential of making much more than just pocket money..

Bernabe is claiming the credit for potentially the hardest climb in the world. I personally have no reason why not to give it to him. He himself, his belayer, friends etc knows if he has deserved it or not. I think unless there is very damming evidence against him, CB should be on the list. So far it is just speculation on either side, but he still claims he has done it, so we should give him the credit. He is the one who bears the consequences if he is lying. If he is right, it's pretty unfair to exclude him...
OnLine John Meget
  2009-01-04 20:57:13    
Here's an "interesting" comment Bernabe made in 1998, in an interview with Desnivel.  He was asked about the 9b rating Rouhling gave Akira.  Bernabe answered by saying:

Yo estoy totalmente seguro de que eso no puede ser 9b, para llegar ahí
antes hay que pasar por el 9a y el 9a+, cada vez hay más diferencia de
un grado a otro."

If I have my Spanish right, Bernabe said he's completely sure Akira cannot be 9b, because to get to 9b first you have to do 9a and 9a+, and with each higher grade the difference gets greater.

His point may well be true.  But then he claimed at least a two-grade jump himself, probably three and possibly four, on Chilam Balam.  Bernabe's credibility with me just sank lower.  
OffLine Romain ferlet
  2009-01-05 01:23:48    
The credibility of bernabé doesn't have anything to do here like Jens told us and i agree with him, 8a decided to don't put the route because now it's unclimbable because something has been broken.

The problem from my part is that i still don't understand the logic.
For akira, i'm ok, there is a video, but there also exist some comments that people have said about the fact that fred chopped some holds. Right Jens?

I mean, maybe he's done it but because of those rumors we just don't really know if the route he has done is an 9b or a 9a or even less harder.

I mean if you take your rumors(what you, jens, have heard about chilam balam) as true for one, you need to take it true for all. And if you don't (what you're doing), you're just discrediting Bernabé, because at all, with those rumors, nobody can be sure of what has really happened.

As xmuli told us it's unfair for bernabé and i agree.

The fact is that there is a lot of doubts, it 's true and without any real clues we can't decide of the destinity of that climber and his route.

For my part jens, i'm not against you i'm just trying to understand the logic of your ranking. If you listen what you've heard for chilam balam then you got to listen what the community has heard about akira, isn't true?
If it's not true, i just need a clear answer with some proofs.

Other point: what's about hulk? and realization? and others 9a+ routes....remember what i told you about that. If there are 25 routes of 9a+ you have to put each one. If you want less, just put 5 9b. What is your point of view?
OnLine John Meget
  2009-01-05 09:06:16    
Romain, IMO Bernabe's credibility is everything.  He has no witnesses or evidence that say he climbed CB.  It's all on his word.  And if he did not climb the route, it does not belong on this list.  At least, I think the list is supposed to only include routes that have actually been sent.

Still hoping someone can explain exactly what happened at Orujo.  I don't want to do a disservice to Bernabe.  As it stands, the story I heard does not put him in a good light.   
OffLine User Deactivated
  2009-01-05 10:14:26    
@ Romain: You're right of course, there's no way to decide which 9a+'s are the hardest with any kind of certainty without actually climbing them all, which isn't really an option;) So, as the space is limited, either no top-10 at all or... semi educated guessing. We chose the latter. Maybe we should simply call it "10 routes that could be among the top-10". To be sure to include all the potential top-10-routes, all the 9a+'s wouldn't be enough as there could very well be 9a's on the list...
Don't take this list too serious, is perhaps all I'm saying.
OffLine Andreas H
  2009-01-05 17:39:47    
Why don´t you guys at do what journalists do and interview Mr Bernabe about this issue instead of talking about him?
OffLine User Deactivated
  2009-01-05 18:15:41    
We should! I don't think Barnabé speaks English though, and my Spanish... I guess I could order a beer. Ignacio? What do you say, wanna give it a try?
OffLine Just a MAN
  2009-01-05 20:11:01    
Well Andreas, I'm not a journalist in the literal meaning of that word... I'm just a teacher who play being a journalist at my spare time.

Björn, as I wrote in one of my first posts, I tried it a couple of years ago. I phoned him asking for an interview for and first, he didn't know what is and second, he was quite distrustful after all what happened with Desnivel (he felt betrayed by them at that time). Anyway, I'll try it again in a short period. Hopefully, I'll get it. Pray for me... hahaha ;-)  
OffLine Christian Andersen
  2009-01-05 23:00:56    
Jens, may I ask how long ago someone told you that Chillam was unclimbable?
OffLine Romain ferlet
  2009-01-05 23:33:02    
Hum...I live in granada so i guess bernabé lives close to me. I live like one hour from Villanueva, where is CB.
If you want i can try to meet him. I speak spannish almost as good as my mother tongue so there is no problem for that.
I think after all of this, i'm gonna try CB hahaha just for fun for sure^^if i try it, i will confirm each doubt;)
OffLine Jens Larssen
  2009-01-06 05:38:28    

8a have decided that we will not oficially say that Chilam is unclimbale as our soureces do not want to come forward on this. The oficial reason for Chilam not to be in the Top-10 list is because Bernabe did not come forward being willing to give the community more info.

Normally, the community do not need any info as the best climbers like Chris, Dani, Dave and Adam are showing their capacity all the time.

@ Romain: We would be glad if you could help us talking with Bernabe. Remember that we do not question his ascent, just that he was not willing to come forward.

OffLine md
  2009-01-06 08:18:49    
@ Jens, again (it is already written on top of this thread):

In December 2008, on his tour through Switzerland, Chris Sharma said that he worked on Chilam Balam for 3 weeks and could finally climb it with 1 hang.

While he didn't explicitly say so, this very much gave the impression that the route is actually climbable. Personally, I think that a route is certainly climbable when it can be done by someone with only 1 hang.

Chris Sharma also said something in the direction that the route didn't psych him so that he stopped his efforts. He mentioned a very inconvenient rest where you can and have to recover for 30+ minutes. Very boring for the belayer, too.
OffLine Sebastian
  2009-01-06 14:25:59    
R Moore

9b+ [Redpoint]
chillam Balam - Archidona - Soft

9a [Onsight]
biographie 8c,8c+ - Céüse - soft

FAKE ? :o
OffLine Mr.k
  2009-01-07 19:59:10    
I don't know if some one have already told you but, my work, I'm a lawyer, suggest me to put you on warning, of you pubblic that Barnabè is a liar.
This is just a friendly advice gived with the heart.
OffLine Simon Fonn Storevik
  2010-11-29 02:01:27    
@jens: i know this thread is long time dead, but i just read it and out of curiosity, does it not fit perfectly with your grading theory of which that if someone can climb 9a+ in 3 days, than 9b in two weeks. If someone can climb a 9a+ in some months, should not 9b+ in 4 years be possible?
OffLine Jens Larssen
  2010-11-29 10:30:35    

The grading theory supports that you can climb 9b after 4 years if you can climb 9a+ in some months. Further more I have lately received more info saying/proofing that he did not climb it. But nevertheless, this is not important, let us say that somebody claimed to have to an 9c today, without giving any proof or be willing to answers questions etc...of course the climbing community including the media would be very skeptical.

You can not claim to be superior to the rest of the climbers just by saying you did an 9b+ or 9c. However, he might have done it but that is not the point.

OffLine Gino
  2012-10-04 22:20:46    
not long ago, I read Jens talking about Charlote Duriff et Kairn...Shouldn't it also be aplied to and Bernabe??
OffLine Jens Larssen
  2012-10-05 10:51:15    
1. Kairn has not explained why they do not publish any of Charlotte's ascent but saying that she is lying.

2. 8a has explained why we did not rank Bernabe's ascent as the worlds hardest. 8a has never said he was lying.

3. 8a did rank it in the yearbook as one of the hardest route in the world and now we can see that this was correct as 9b is more likely.