Bouin and Martinez repeat Akira 9a (b)

Sunday, 22 November

Fred Rouhling put up Akira at Le Périgord in 1995 suggesting 9b for it. At that time there existed no 9a+ and actually, Alex Huber did not believe him and this was spread around. Jean-Baptiste Tribout and Andrada had tried it and they did not think it was 9b even if they never did it. 8a did always back him up and in 2004, Climbing published and article leaving no doubt that he could have done it. In regards the grade, Rouhling has told 8a that possibly it would have been better to call it 8C+ as it, in practice, is a 12-meter boulder roof where you later tie in and do an 8a route.

Now Rouhling reports on Insta that Seb Bouin and Lucien Martinez have made the first two repeats, saying it is as hards as Rouhling's 9a, Hugh. They think the starting boulder is rather 7C instead of the 8B, Fred has said. "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 has done a total of six FA 9a or harder including Salamandre 9a+ and the three unrepeated; l’autre côté du ciel 9a, Mandallaz drive 9a and Empreintes 9a+. Here is a 13-year-old video when he is playing around in the roof.

In a previous 8a interview he said, "I was quite obsessed with the limit between the possible and the impossible. It’s only in the first ascent that we can have this sensation. It is not funny to have detractors but on the other hand to have done things that others consider impossible it’s a consecration especially if these climbers are supposed to be among the best." (c) Julien Nadiras

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