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9a+ FA by Pirmin Bertle
OffLine 8a.nu
  2018-06-04 00:00:00    
Pirmin Bertle has made the FA of Focus Pocus 9a+ in Jansegg and you have the full story here.

"The hardest single move of this first seven-moves-boulder is an extremely extended stretch out to a miniscule one finger pocket. It you don’t hit it well, you won’t hold it. If you are smaller than 1,80m you won’t reach out to the foot holds and when you don’t have my finger strength – I have to admit that my static power isn’t the worst neither – you won’t move at all in the whole sequence. And if you have thicker fingers than me – what should be the case for most of the very strongly trained high end climbers – you won’t even enter into this mono."

Pirmin has previoulsy done 20 routes 9a and harder out of which 14 FA, including two 9b'sand two 9a+'s.
Click to Enlarge Picture
OffLine SM
  2018-06-04 21:33:52    
"... when you don’t have my finger strength – I have to admit that my static power isn’t the worst neither..."  Is this real or ironic?  This guy has some serious mental issues!
OffLine Urs Schmincke
  2018-06-04 22:13:17    
Well, if you read climbing news concerning first ascentionists of high-end-routes from all around the world , you normally see climbers who are modest and humble. Pirmin B. is the radical contrast. I read climbing news for more than twenty years. But I never ever saw a person such as Pirmin B. who is overweening, arrogant and whiny when it comes to downgradings of his own routes.
OffLine Hans Markus Rød
  2018-06-04 23:49:01    
Pirmin strikes again. What a joke...
OffLine Sebastian Peace
  2018-06-05 00:25:32    
And here we go again. Haters gonna hate.
OffLine Tanka Rhai
  2018-06-05 09:50:42    
Or maybe he is just a very strong climber! Congrats!
OffLine Li-How
  2018-06-05 11:33:07    
Delusion of grandeur at its best again. And Jens two 9b really? not one 9b(9a+) and one 9b? Where is your "8a.nu said it first" policy regarding a route as soon as a climber suggests a downgrade?
OffLine Mark Nauser
  2018-06-05 11:46:23    
I agree with the naysayers. So far, there is no evidence Pirmin's grades have any merit. Clearly he is quite a strong climber, but there is no evidence that he is on the same level as current top climbers that did confirmed 9b's. Therefore his grades must be taken with a pinch of salt. This is not hate (though I agree his claims and statements are often off-putting), but a simple reality check. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. Evidence which has not been provided so far.

Also, Jens, what's down with 9b reporting? You are always quick to couch-downgrade many routes with much more established grades - why, then, do you report Pirmin's FA proposal as 9b and his purportedly soft 9a+ as 9b? This, in my opinion, is completely biased "fake news" reporting. Correct would be one proposed but unconfirmed 9b FA, two proposed but unconfirmed 9a+ FAs, and one 9b proposal which was downgraded to soft 9a+ by AO.
OffLine Hrvoje Grancarić
  2018-06-05 12:44:31    
just imagine if all climbers would start acting like Bertle. This would be fun to watch :) we would have 10a or even 11a in matter of months.
OffLine A0 Climber
  2018-06-05 13:18:46    
My name is Bond, James Bond.
OffLine Urs Schmincke
  2018-06-05 14:07:29    
I agree. It has nothing to do with hate to criticize Pirmin. In my eyes the main point is, that he destroys with his arrogant manner the positive mood within the global climbing community.
OffLine Sebastian Peace
  2018-06-05 14:32:27    
read the comments above again. " the positive mood" ? ahahahha.
OffLine Leroy Hanghofer
  2018-06-05 14:52:08    
All his videofootage is heavily edited.I wonder if he even did his own first ascents properly.Where is the non edited videofootage.Plus no repeats of other 9b´s and 9a´s.
He climbs more in the 8c range which is pretty good too.
OffLine Leroy Hanghofer
  2018-06-05 14:52:20    
All his videofootage is heavily edited.I wonder if he even did his own first ascents properly.Where is the non edited videofootage.Plus no repeats of other 9b´s and 9a´s.
He climbs more in the 8c range which is pretty good too.
OffLine Jens Larssen
  2018-06-05 15:00:17    
The history shows that around 50 % of the hard core boulders that have been repeated have been down graded. It just might be the same for Pirmin and that just shows that he is human. Do not forget that around 50 % of the hardest Fred Nicole boulders have been down graded or are subject of.
OffLine M .
  2018-06-05 15:06:43    
Pirmin is certainly a very strong climber and it's very respectable how he combines family life and climbing. However he can't just start creating his own rating system. Before he rates routes with 9b, he should repeat at least one existing route in this grade.
OffLine Sebastian Peace
  2018-06-05 15:18:41    
b mi - if I follow your logic, how was the first 9b done if you can only rate a route 9b if you climbed a 9b before?
OffLine Gorka
  2018-06-05 16:21:56    
Here we go again. Most of the commentators on the contentious Pirmin-issue seem to think they are on a dating platform. Or maybe Find-your-soulmate.com? Thus far there hasn't been much qualified external feedback on Pirmin's routes, apart from one downgrade to 9a+, with rather specific reasons. (Apparently Cédric Lachat climbed on one of his routes too). Time will tell, more people will try his routes, hopefully in the not so distant future. Until then I suggest you stop the whining about him being not likeable enough, being too self-absorbed and above all, worst things last, not feeling like repeating routes but opening hard FAs. To think of it...
OffLine Mark Nauser
  2018-06-05 16:50:11    
I think defenders have completely missed the point. It doesn't matter if Pirmin is likeable or not. Every FA proposer of high-end grades is susceptible to scepticism, and that scepticism is best dismissed by having a good track record of similar grades.

For example, Rouhling is a great fella, yet people were questioning Akira big time (and still are). Just look what Alex Huber had to say on the matter:

“If Rouhling’s level is here,” he says, holding his hand at chest level, “and then with Akira it is here” — he holds his hand at his forehead — “then there should be many other routes around here.” The hand is level with his nose. “Where is this track record?” Huber asks. The hand moves to the side of his head, palm up. “Why hasn’t he done many other hard routes soon after Akira?”

Tim leans into the table and says, “Because he couldn’t climb for almost two years.”

“Why is this?” Huber asks.

“Because he had two kids, and his wife had brain surgery and almost died.”

“Still,” Huber says, “there should be other routes.”

Again, this is simple. Pirmin's proposals are only proposals. They will either be confirmed or downgraded in the future. But for now, based on his track record, sceptics have quite compelling reasons to doubt his grade proposals - just like they had with Rouhling. Doesn't have anything to do with love/hate, but with EVIDENCE.
OffLine Sebastian Peace
  2018-06-05 17:11:44    
Mark, you talk about evidence, but you miss his repeated 9a and 9a+ routes?

Let's just sit back and see what other capable climbers say about his routes. If 9 out of 10 repeaters say it is not 9b but 9a, Pirmin does not really have a say in the "community grade" and the grade gets "corrected", it does not matter if he wants that or not, it just happens.

Scepticism is important but many comments against Pirmin are unfair and rude and really do have to do with love/hate.
OffLine John Render
  2018-06-05 17:49:22    
@ Sebastian, the first consensus 9b was done by a guy who had climbed nearly all the hardest sports routes in the world for ten years. He built up a resume of 9a and 9a+ sends that was way above anyone else's. He didn't even grade all those 9as and 9a+s: others suggested the grades.

Before Sharma, at least two climbers had proposed 9b or higher. The climbing world mostly did not accept them, because a) no one saw them do the climbs, and b) they had not shown they could climb at that level.

Sebastian, I'm truly curious: how can someone who has never climbed above an 8B boulder (and that only once) know what 8C+ looks like, much less 9A?

If someone wants to become famous as one of the world's top elite climbers, isn't it reasonable for the climbing world to confirm he actually has done what he claims?
OffLine Sebastian Peace
  2018-06-05 18:36:09    
@John: I do think it is ok to question grades and be sceptical about them but I do not think it is ok to be rude.
There is no point, it does not help prove one side or the other. The only real "proof" to a grade is one or better more repeats.
It happened to Chilam Balam (9b+ -> 9b) and it will happen again. Maybe for Pirmins route, maybe not.
Does Adam Ondra's ascent/repeat(?) of Chilam Balam prove Bernabé Fernández climbed the route?
No, but it shows the route really is hard and next level for the time. I read Bernabé could climb all the moves so I don't doubt him. Only he knows for sure, so I give him the benefit of the doubt. Same with Pirmin.

"how can someone who has never climbed above an 8B boulder (and that only once) know what 8C+ looks like, much less 9A?"
I do not know, because I don't climb that hard but I do know that time can be a good indication for a grade suggestion and I guess that might be what he did.
But same principle here: repeats > words.

Sure, he edits his videos, but there are so many edited climbing videos out there. Maybe - if you think about it - also "not edited videos" can be fake.
I personally don't want to play Sherlock Holmes for every climbing video I watch, I want to watch them, get inspired, motivated and have a good time.
OffLine Guillaume Oei
  2018-06-05 19:07:14    
may I add that the cliff is closed from May to July for obvious reasons...
OffLine Sebastian Peace
  2018-06-05 19:26:43    
@ Guillaume Oei: maybe for ecological reasons? If that is the case, that would be pretty bad. It is pretty vague tho and if we start there the hole is pretty deep for many of us.
OffLine chad molino
  2018-06-05 19:33:07    
it's sounds to be another fake news !
OffLine Urs Schmincke
  2018-06-05 19:53:40    
Sebastian:

My comments are neither motivated by rudeness nor by hate. Instead they are motivated by sadness.

Was there decades ago anyone at anytime anyhow doubting the grades of the first ascents of Patrick "Le Blond" Edlinger, Marc Le Menestrel, Wolfgang Güllich, Alexander Huber, even if there where no proofs by video? No. Do you know why? Because they had a personal excellent record of integrity, credibility and humbleness.

Pirmin Bertle (and others like Fred Rouling and Bernabe Fernandes) is completely missing this personal record. The reason is his not only the lack of repetition of foreign hardcore-routes, but also his arrogant and whiny behaviour.

First and foremost, the record of a climber is based on his credibility, especially if there is no uncut video and no other person as a credible witness. Additionally in this case, he has almost (not completely) not repeated any other hardcore-route.

Nevertheless, on his Facebook-Profile he wrote: "Video to come". Let`s see if this video will be the first uncut video of Pirmin Bertle...
OffLine Marcel Heemskerk
  2018-06-05 23:45:49    
"you normally see climbers who are modest and humble"

Please stop this non-sense. We would be very lucky if all top climbers who represent our sport are wonderful, gentle, humble and modest... but your climbing skill is not related to your character, communications skills or ego.

In the past, asshole remarks have been made by well known top climbers as well. And there have been some BIG EGOs in high end rock climbing.

If I read Pirmin's blog, I smile and understand that he seriously does not realize the impact his wording has on the community. Saying you are weak while proposing 9b is a weird thing to do... but don't we all do that sometimes, downplay your strength in order to get more Karma points for your technique?

People question his grading. Well guys, Adam Ondra repeated his 9b and gave it a 9a+ personal grade. That's just 1 grade lower! Even if Pirmin disagrees on the downgrade, being one grade off in your grading is fine by my standards and sure makes you still a bloody good climber.

Now if Pirmin writes more on the beauty of his climbs instead of on his extraordinary weakness, we might see a few more repeats and then we see how the grades hold up. Up until that point we have no other option than to believe his proposals. It takes a lot of motivation and work to climb at this level and open routes at this level. Who are we to judge his routes... go and climb them first!
OffLine M .
  2018-06-06 07:14:37    
@Marcel Heemskerk: Thanks for your comment. Absolutely right!
OffLine Mark Nauser
  2018-06-06 07:55:07    
@Marcel: "Even if Pirmin disagrees on the downgrade, being one grade off in your grading is fine by my standards and sure makes you still a bloody good climber."

Sure, noone questions that. But it does make us question his other 9b and 8C+ proposals. He is a good climber - but is he really at the very top (9b) level? Based on his track record and compared to other 9b climbers?


Thing is, I (and others) will continue to question his FA grades. In the long run, time and other climbers will tell the truth. Until then, correct reporting of his ascents for me would be "PB did a FA of route ThisAndThis for which he proposed a 9b grade". I see absolutely nothing wrong/unfair with that.
OffLine Jens Larssen
  2018-06-06 08:16:56    
Please do not forget the reason for Ondra’s down grading was that he found a no-hands rest. If Ondra would not have found that rest he might have confirmed the 9b grade.

When we report a FA grade it is so obvious that it is a suggestion that it does not need to be mention :)
OffLine paulo
  2018-06-06 09:26:12    
To all Pirm's lovers and haters: did you read the full story? Cedric Lachat is working on the 9b (La Cène du Lézard) and maybe soon we weill have a repeat (and a grade suggestion). Cedric doubledynos the crux sequence ad Pirmin is preparing the terrain for an eventual downgrade (doubledyno is easier, he says). In Pirmin's words, "And as Cedric is about to partly disenchant La Cène du Lézard – not in terms of beauty, as his double dyno looks great as well, but in terms of difficulty – I probably will have to add a crux that fits my style to this beautiful line..."
OffLine Hrvoje Grancarić
  2018-06-06 10:22:33    
hahaha He'll probbably refuse the (very likely) downgrade explaining that Cedric has "several clear physiognomy advantages" and that he cannot do the same double dyno.
OffLine Hrvoje Grancarić
  2018-06-06 10:22:35    
hahaha He'll probbably refuse the (very likely) downgrade explaining that Cedric has "several clear physiognomy advantages" and that he cannot do the same double dyno.
OffLine Hrvoje Grancarić
  2018-06-06 10:22:37    
hahaha He'll probbably refuse the (very likely) downgrade explaining that Cedric has "several clear physiognomy advantages" and that he cannot do the same double dyno.
OffLine Hrvoje Grancarić
  2018-06-06 10:22:41    
hahaha He'll probbably refuse the (very likely) downgrade explaining that Cedric has "several clear physiognomy advantages" and that he cannot do the same double dyno.
OffLine Adam Ondra
  2018-06-06 10:51:12    
Pirmin has the right to suggest whatever grade and every repetitor has the right to say the grade as well.
Jens - I did not find the kneebar in Meiose - the kneebar was found by Pirmin. And he was using kneepad as well. The only difference is that I could release hands for a few seconds. But my personal opinion is that even if you do not use kneepad nor kneebar, the route does not get harder than 9a+.
OffLine Frank Grabo
  2018-06-06 11:07:11    
To all the Guy's who want an UNCUT video of the ascent.. do you think he has the oppertunity to film every try till he Redpoint it? He is not Adam... Normaly the Videos are made before or after the ascent. And if we have an video from the Send, that does not proof the grade...
OffLine Mark Nauser
  2018-06-06 11:24:23    
@Adam: Many thanks for clarification. Hopefully you'll eventually get onto other Pirmin's routes. Because, grades aside, they look stunning, especially those South American ones.
OffLine Tanka Rhai
  2018-06-06 11:25:47    
Finally two comments of two people who know what/whom tey are talking about. :)
OffLine Steve Amstutz
  2018-06-06 11:39:05    
Thanks Adam for your comments. A question: "For Meoise you writed Soft and Low end 9a+ with kneepad.
So, actually it's more like a 9a for you? But you did not want to hurt Pirmin sensibility. Is is right?
OffLine Bojan
  2018-06-06 13:00:05    
>AO: "Pirmin has the right to suggest whatever grade and every repetitor has the right to say the grade as well."

Exactly -- as everyone has the right to doubt Pirmin's grade proposals. Although I would suggest to stop criticizing Jen's posts every time he publishes news about them here on 8a.

Pirmin might be a strange guy but as for now it's wrong to declare all his grades as inflated. They might be inflated but (if we judge from AO's proposals of 9a+ and 9a for the two routes he repeated) the inflation is probably minor. And as long as it's not clear Pirmin consciously inflated his grades for some dishonest reasons (e.g., attract media) it is just 'normal grade inflation' (=disagreement with most of other repeaters) which systematically (think e.g. about Koyamada or Zangerl vs. A.Huber) or occasionally (AO included) happen to all who made FA or early repeats of hard routes.
OffLine Yannick Jaquet
  2018-06-06 18:29:49    
@ Guillaume Oei : The cliff is closed from May to July for environmental reasons. There are common kestrels, a protected species, making their nests up there and during this period it is not allowed to climb to not disturb them.
OffLine Sebastian Peace
  2018-06-06 19:08:07    
@ Yannick Jaquet: There is no defense if that is the case. Everybody should respect the environment, especially if you know about it.
EDIT: @ Adam Ondra: Thanks for your input! - I would love to see some Fred Rouhling repeats from you btw. :)
OffLine Robert Kasper
  2018-06-07 07:55:59    
i do get the grade discussion and i find a lot about bertle rather strange, but what i dont understand is that some guys here doubt that he even send this stuff.

Challenge his grades, but the mutual trust that is common in climbing should be upheld of course. And before making accusations go try to find the belayers. slandering like this should be backed with at least some evidence.
OffLine Off The Couch
  2018-06-09 17:23:15    
Good post Robert. I agree. He's obviously pretty dang strong. jmo

Thanks for chiming in Adam.
OffLine Off The Couch
  2018-06-09 17:23:19    
why does this double post? delete
OffLine Off The Couch
  2018-06-09 17:23:21    
.
OffLine Gabe Walker
  2018-10-10 14:03:49    
Cedrc Lachat has made the first repeat of la cène du lézard https://www.instagram.com/p/Bov1RkBj5Cw/?hl=de
OffLine Atious
  2018-10-10 17:38:42    
Thanks for the info Gabe!

More here; //escalade9.wifeo.com/la-cene-du-lezard.php