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 By: User Deactivated  | Date: 2008-12-06  | Category: Other    | (2) Comments  

A few years ago, we had to report the sad story of a depressed boulderer who walked around Fontainebleau with his dog and destroyed classic boulder problems like, Carnage, Fat man... the list is long. It's easy to crush sandstone with a hammer. Now, if I remember this correctly, the guy was never sentenced to anything, as there's no law in France against smashing rocks. Perhaps not that strange if you think about it from a non-climber's perspective. Instead he got psychiatric help. Hopefully he's feeling better now...

Romain Desgranges infront of what used to be Kaiser Sauzé Photo: Fred Moix
Anyway, as so often happens, history is now repeating itself, sort of... This time in a different part of France, the Haute-Savoie, or French alps. This time, we don't know who the perpatrator or perpetrators are, but surely, these people have got to be depressed or otherwise mentally disturbed too, right?

But let's take a step back and see what has happened.

I'd heard rumors about Fred Rouhling's Soumission, 8B+ or 8C, having been destroyed a while back, but couldn't find any confirmation anywhere. When talking to Fred Moix, climber, photographer and friend of Fred Rouhling's, yesterday, it turned out this was not as strange as it might sound. They had decided to try to keep this out of the media from fear of this escalating otherwise.

Romain on Kaiser Sauzé Photo: Fred Moix
Romain on Kaiser Sauzé Photo: Fred Moix
For some reason, some of the local climbers have something against Fred. Could it be cause he's not originally from the Haute-Savoie? Could it be because he's very strong? More than likely, it's a combination of the two, boiling down to one word: Envy.

Anyway, Soumission does no longer exist after most of the holds having been improved. This was very easy to do, as it's in a sandstone area.

Moving forward, some of you might remember us reporting about the FA of Kaiser Sauzé a couple of months back. Young Haute-Savoiard, Romain Desgranges had worked this boulder problem, close to Argentière, on and off for almost three years before he could finally make the FA, just before the Eurochamps in Paris in early October. Romain, no stranger to hard bouldering, gave it 8C/+ but thought it was probably 8C+. The reason for not saying so straight way? Well, he didn't want to stick out his neck too far. As it seems now in retrospect, he should have given it 7C+ or something.

After the competition Romain and Fred Moix went up to the problem to make a proper photo shot, only to find the problem destroyed... many of the holds looked as if they had been crushed with a hammer or rocks, and Romain's dream, which he had been working towards for almost three years, was shattered...

So, the question is why? Could the reason be that he's friends with Fred Rouhling and therefor concidered some kind of traitor by the local climbers? If so, that's strikingly low.

So, let's hope the story ends here and that we don't have to see anymore of this...