Empath 9a+ also by Nathaniel Coleman

Monday, 26 October

Nathaniel Coleman, who has qualified to Tokyo and who has previously has done one 9a, has sent his first 9a+, Empath in Tahoe. It was set up just two weeks ago by Carlo Traversi and later both James Webb and Daniel Woods have also done it. On Insta, Nathaniel thanks all three for beta and energy. (c) Ross Fulkerson

Do you know how many sessions the guys repeating it did used and what about the grade? (We asked FA Traversi.) Daniel and Jimmy put in about 10 days of work. Nathaniel a bit less, but we gave him all the beta. Hard to say if it’s soft when you have some of the best American climbers trying it in perfect conditions. Also, 9a+ isn’t the top of the scale anymore. It’s a hard route to grade. I honestly didn’t really know. Daniel told me it was comparable to First Round (9b). Jimmy said it was much harder than Dreamcatcher (9a). So those comparisons helped inform my grade suggestion. But it’s just a suggestion, as always with grades, time will tell. I will say though, everyone who has repeated it is capable of climbing 9a+ in a day if they find the right route. We just don’t have a lot of hard routes to test ourselves on in America.

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