Akira 9a (b) by Seb Bouin

Thursday, 4 March

Fred Rouhling put up Akira as the world's first 9b in 1995. The first repeats were done by Seb Bouin and Lucien Martinez last November, and they considered it to be 9a.

As other hard routes from that time put up by Fred, such as Hugh 9a, have been confirmed, he had a hard time understanding the downgrading. "I don’t know but limestone cracks. Perhaps the holds became bigger. When Yuji Hirayama and Dai Koyamada came to try. They thought there was a very big difference between Akira and Hugh...😭."

Fred considered the starting boulder to be 8B, while the repeaters considered it 7C. It should also be noted that the repeaters respected Fred's style by not using knee pads, while they claimed it could be even easier using them. Last week, Fred reflected about the downgrading on Insta (in french). In general, he thinks grades are so vague that you should not confirm or downgrade. Akira is not 9b or 9a, instead, anyone can suggest a grade.

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