Fred Rouhling's Akira 8C+ instead of 9b?

NUMBERS

Monday, 20 May

In 1995, fred rouhling put up Akira at Le Périgord as the world's first 9b in 1995, when 9a+ did not exist, after several months of projecting. It starts with an horizontal 12 meter boulder roof and then you tie in and finish an eight meter 8a, video. Previously he had done some 9a and 8B+ out of which some are still not repeated. Back then and until Climbing.com presented an article in 2004 most thought he was a liar, although 8a had backed him up. Still, he has not gotten the full credit for taking the biggest grade step in the history of climbing. Insta with pictures from his work as an artist. Chatting with him you understand that possibly it would have been best to suggest 9a+ or even better 8C in 1995 and indicate that it could be harder waiting for an upgrade. "For sure now it’s obvious but at that moment there was nothing comparable. There was not even any crash pads and no roof boulders in Fontainebleau or elsewhere. Fred Nicole open the first 8B+ Radja in 1995 the same year of Akira. If I have said 8C+ it would have been the same problem." Fred has done a total of six FA 9a or harder including Salamandre 9a+ and the three unrepeated; De l’autre côté du ciel 9a, Mandallaz drive 9a, pictured, and Empreintes 9a+. "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 other consider impossible it’s a consecration especially if these climbers are supposed to be among the best." Many of the best including Alex Huber (who was right about that 9b+ for Bernabe Fernandez) and Dani Andrada, said they did not believe Fred. Today he thinks he is more poet than a sport climber. "I enjoy spending time in contemplate nature, reading books and picking stones. I kept a lot of strength and I can still do 8A without training or tiredness, just happiness! I prefer do small boulder with only one or two hard moves. There are not so many in this style which are more than 8b. La Proue, one move 8B, is incredible. It was a nice opportunity to open Akira and I'm grateful for that."

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