Empreintes 9a (b) by Baptiste Dherbilly

5 October 2021

Baptiste Dherbilly reports on Insta that he has done the first repeat of Fred Rouhling's Empreintes 9a (b) in Saint-Pierre en Faucigny. Interestingly, Dherbilly has previously also done the first repeats of two other very old Rouhling FAs: Mandallaz Drive 9a and Salamandre 9a. Noteworthy is that he has only done two more 9a's, the FA of La Horde Intégrale and the first repeat of Les Rats Sous Marins. (c) Leá Delacquis

So how was the process taking it down?
I had to find my beta because there was no video of the entire route, so it was really cool. On one of the cruxes, bolts are far away and it’s hard to work on the moves precisely. When you fall, you have to go up on the rope as there are only four bolts on 15 meters. I have talked about this with Fred. He wanted a hard-working route without hang-dogging bolts.

Why not taking the easier way repeating some popular 9a's?
I like to discover, brush, find the beta and all about the process! It’s more interesting for me! It is harder and not only consuming?

Do you know why Fred graded it 9a/b and how hard is it in comparison to the other 9a's you have done?
I think it’s easier than the other routes. I think I have found an easier beta than Fred. So maybe (I don’t know how Fred did it) with Fred's beta it’s 9a or 9b. I really don’t know why Fred has proposed 9a/b? Grades are not so important to me. I just want to climb the old route and take pleasure! I want to say a big thank to Fred for the vision and the bolting of these routes. Mandallaz is the hardest route I have ever tried.

Why this focus on Rouhling routes and what is next now when you have repeated all of his hard ones?
It’s not a focus on Fred's routes. I love forgotten lines. To rediscover these jewels. Fred opened some route near to my house so I tried these routes because there are hard for me. Next is some route of Laurent Laporte! Only he made the FA, so I want to brush and discover again!

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