Quoi de Neuf 8Cc (B+) by Ludo Delmotte


Thursday, 24 September

Ludo Delmotte has done Quoi de Neuf in Fontainebleau. "This line is composed by an 8A (L'acte 1), then a big no-hands rest, followed by an 8B (L'acte 2). I started to climb in L'acte 1 two years ago and it was my max level. It's close to home so I have been there regularly. This year after the lock down, I climbed L'acte 2. Since June I have tried to climb the full line."

His Video says, "8C trav". "For the grade I think it's not an 8C boulder because it's too long! I think it's more a "traversée" as they say in Fontainebleau. I think we can't compare this line with a boulder. The effort is really different."

The dilemma for the climbers and the media is that it is very hard to understand when the traverse grading scale is used and that the presented traverse difficulty lies in between the boulder and the route grading scale.

8a have for like 15 years reported boulders with capital letters and routes with small letters in order to show if it is a boulder or route presented in the headline etc. Then a couple years later we started to report traverses like 8Cc in order to show that the climb is more of a combined boulder route, using another grading scale.

Ludo has previously just done one boulder harder than 8A and with 7c+ as his personal best route, so the Ali Baba cave in Rodellar should be another great rood option! "I live near to Fontainebleau so I don't have a lot of opportunity to climb in crags... so I don't have a big route project. I hope one day 😉"

We also asked Simon Lorenzi to comment why he recently downgraded Quoi de neuf to 8B+? "If you add up the two passages of the boulder (a soft 8A and a very soft 8B) taking into account the total rest in the middle, it's almost a mathematical rule for me that the rating doesn't go up to 8C."

To sum up, it is great that Ludo and Simon have come forward with their personal grades saying that it is nor fair to get credited with 8C for their ascents of Quoi de Neuf. At the same time, possibly it would be great if all climbers and media could agree how to present and report such boulder routes. On the hand, this is almost impossible as we also need a standard for reporting the hybrid routes starting with sit starts. I mean, should we say Laura Rogora has done the hardest female route in the world when she does a 9b+ in the Ali Baba cave?

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