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Interview Alex Huber

Long interview with some thoughts about "9a" now and then. http://www.planetmountain.com/english/News/shownews.lasso?l=2&keyid=36420  
We might publish some thoughts in the news...meanwhile... Huber confirms, what 8a have been saying for a long time and for what 8a and mostly myself, have been criticized for, that there is an inflation going on. Alex makes some examples that the inflation is maybe up to two grades. About 15-year-old Adam Ondra, he says, "Adam isn't only a good climber, he has charisma and manages to see what is important for sport climbing." This is something we also have been saying. It seems like Huber means that guys like Sharma, Ondra and himself, who do not over grade, do not get their correct credit as, "I think it's a shame that these incredible performances are cast in a less beautiful light", compared to doubtful performances (and grades) of others. Huber also criticize media, "without hesitating, place Jumbo Love together with Akira and Chilam Balam". I guess he is not talking about 8a who always hesitate when it comes to report 9a's over and over again.  We are about the publish an interview with Stefan Glowacz who says, We are our own judges and the climbers creating there own rules and develop them further. Maybe climbing is the only sport where the performance is based on the athletes genuineness. This is very unique and valuable. It is true but as Alex says, we the media, must sometimes hesitate as it is only natural that, we the climbers, stretch our own rules and the gradings.  
I'm currently working on an article on this subject. Alexander told me pretty much the same thing as in the Planet Mountain-interview (obviously), but other players have also had a chance to speak their minds. Ah well, you'll see, it will be in the yearbook. As Alexander is in Antarctica right now, I guess it's safe to say "Damn, did he have to speak to Planet Mountain too!" ;)
Huber is right! I personally don`t doubt Akira, still it`s a fact that it cannot be compared in anyway to Jumbo Love in terms of line and quality. If one thinks about 9as being repeated in a couple of tries, the possibility of grade inflation is all of a sudden very factual. I mean, Talmadge, Huber, Sharma...they all invest a hell of a time in their routes and call them 9a or in Sharma`s case don`t give a grade at all. Why don`t Huber`s, Talmadge`s or Sharma`s routes never see 3rd try ascents? Why are people not succeeding on Coup de Grace? Obviously there is a tendency to be rather a part of grade inflation (it feels good to be 9a climber so why downgrade) than to be honest about the grade. Daniel Jung just climbed a lot of routes in Rodellar and suggested a downgrade from 9a+ to soft 9a. Maybe the first ascentionist was a little too fast with the grade! Btw, it`s not that conditions are always bad with the classic 9as - Adam proves it and considers them to be class! - but rather that they seem to be not trendy/easy to get/consume.
just one thing. alex huber seems to keep being a strong skeptikal voice about fred rouhling's "akira". I tought the video sequences realized just a few years ago were strongly in favour of the french climber, as they are the comments of those who repeated or tried "hugh" and "de l'autre coté du ciel" (among others, yuji hirayama...) but still in this and other interviews huber is strongly skeptical, suggesting between lines that either the route wasn't climberd, or was altered, or whatever...in another interview is argument was that "rouhling has no track record (ie several 8c's, 8c+'s, 9a's etc). My interpretation of this has always been that the guy from eaux claires has been really clever in manufacturing (in some cases) and finding (in others) tricks for which he had an odd phisical/technical predisposition compared to other people, and probably also very patient in training specifically for them : this way he could climb the hardest stuff, without being the overall strongest climber. What I wonder is if huber's opinion about the topic are influenced on subterranean details not known to the non-elite public, or by a regret of having surely been "the strongest overall climber" for a while and never being associated with "the hardest climb" on media... one last thing about akira and chilam bilam. Even if very debated and questioned ascents, more in favour of rouhling (which some believe) than of fernandez (which almost nobody believe), it is interesting that they both were totally visionary lines for their time. Akira is the prototype of horizontal boulder-routes such as the wheel of life or andrada's ali baba cave lines. Chilam Bilam is the prototype of the massive 60-meters line, whose next examples are an 8b+ and an 8c in Céuze, and lately Jumbo Love... Maybe liars, maybe lacking climbing level and credibility, but for sure abundant in vision.
Why are people not succeeding on Coup de Grace? because it's fucking hard? :D btw curious that dave graham gets always named "later" in the unrepeated/hardest ever discussion. Never ever in the first place, side by side with sharma, huber itself, the two mysterious guys (rouhling and fernandez).... It's curious, since after all he has 2 boulder problems and 1 route which were declared at the highest grade of their time and that start to be there from some years...
Yes it is true that Graham should be mentioned together with Sharma and Ondra in this case. David was the first one who officially stated that there is an inflation going on especially in bouldering. He was of course criticized to bother about grades for saying so. Not as "cool" as Sharma who earlier did not even grade his stuff.
Dave has to be mentioned, indeed. In general I think that the ammount of time someone has put into a route speaks for itself. The same goes for repeats...I generally would consider a route hard if it has been tried by strong contenders who have been shut down (as Pringle on Dreamcatcher or Three Degrees..., Ondra on Open Air, Dave`s battle with Realization). If I do a first ascent, I can basically claim a lot...we live in a time where you have to make massive claims to get attention both media and sponsorhipwise so grade inflation is only a natural phenomenon in a way but that does not make it right.