Alexander Huber on Chilam balam

NUMBERS

24 July 2003

Here's what Alexander Huber has to say about Fernandez' new 9b+: "I am not in the world of super hard sport climbing anymore, so Bernarbé Fernandez’s proposal of 9b+ does not affect me directly. Still, sport climbing is important for me and I remain interested in what's going on. The climbing world is faced with a problem that has occurred many times before: potential overgrading. Of course everybody has the right to propose a certain grade for his first ascent, and this proposed grade has to remain until it gets confirmed or changed. I am not in a position to suggest a different rating for ‘Chilam Balam’. But I also believe that overgrading on purpose is unfair to climbers who try to grade honestly. I cannot take Bernabé's proposal seriously as I can't see any references that would demonstrate his skills of climbing at such a high level -- far above the rest of the world. I would be lying if I said that I believed in the correctness of the grade 9b+! I hope I don’t sound jealous or unfair. I am not. I am trying to avoid what has happened so many times before – a climber who lost his credibility in the climbing world is a damage for our sport. Rather than insulting Bernabé, I am giving him a fair and honest chance, because I am letting him know my opinion about his proposal. Informing him about my doubts gives him the opportunity to answer and to consolidate his credibility. What would be unfair was if I or any other people started talking and spreading rumors and doubts behind Bernabé’s back and not giving him the chance to explain. This is why 'talk is cheap' and this is what so many people simply do." -- Alexander Huber

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