Nordic Marathon 130m 9b/+ FA by Seb Bouin

25 July 2022

Sebastien Bouin has done the FA of the 130m Nordic Marathon 9b/+ in Flatanger. It starts with Nordic Plumber (8c) and continues into Thor's Hammer 2 (9a+) followed by a 50m easier pitch on the vertical wall above the of the amazing cave. He has previously said on Insta that there is an alternative 9c link-up starting via Move (9b/+). (c) Marco Müller

“When Adam told me about his project to cross over the cave, and go from the ground to the summit, I was immediately amazed by this idea. The main goal of my trip was to check out this monster link-up. The idea was big, really big. But it's definitely the kind of challenge which attracts me. The bigger it is, the more motivated I am.

As I explained in my Instagram post last week, there are three possible starting routes for this link-up, each offering a different grade. Starting with either:
Nordic Plumber 8c, Or Thor's Hammer 9a, Or Move 9b/+

Whatever the start, it is then followed by a cruxy 9a+ (Pitch 2 of Thor’s Hammer), with a repoint crux at the end (at 80m). My ultimate goal would be to do it by the hardest possible combination: Move. Previously I have already made four trips to Flatanger to do Move (9b/+). Imagine starting from this one and finishing by a cruxy 9a+. Wow!

However, I knew this would be too hard for a single trip. So first I decided to start from the easiest line (Nordic Plumber 8c) in order to get an idea of the challenge, and to be psychologically ready for the end when I start trying the harder version. After first working and sending the second (9a+) section by jumarring into it, I then started trying from the ground, trying to link into it from Nordic Plumber. It changed so much the end. Coming into the 9a+, with my arms already so pumped in the last crimpy crux after 80m of climbing was insane. I was falling there a few times. And then falling on the previous cruxes as well.

The sheer size of the route makes it hard mentally. You can have one go every two days. It's so much climbing, in one intense burst that you simply can't give two goes in a day. Then if you want to be as fresh as possible, you need a rest day in between. So it was quite hard psychologically to only give it one burn every two days. The pressure felt so high in this last crux. The rope drag was also insane. Even if I had already switched ropes once during the route - I had to untie my knot and free-solo the last 5/10 meters (really easy climbing)."

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