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Adam Ondra adds a new 9b to Mollans in France

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At Mollans in France Adam Ondra has made the first ascent of C.R.S., a new sports climb graded 9b. This is the 14th 9b or harder the Czech climber has redpointed.

On the same day as Stefano Ghisolfi made the first ascent of Lapsus at Andonno, just over a hundred kilometers westwards Adam Ondra made the first ascent of C.R.S., for which he has suggested the same stellar 9b grade. The route in question is located at Mollans in France (close to the famous crag St Leger), was bolted by Seb Bouin and freed by Ondra in record time.

"This route means progression for me" Ondra told planetmountain.com "Not in terms of new grade, but in terms of the amount of work I had to give it. I have never done a "real" 9b that fast, as it only took three days and 9 tries, plus one try two years ago."

C.R.S., which stands for Cowboy a reaction stupide, is about 22m long, very athletic and "brutally resistant." Ondra explained "It is relatively easy up to the third bolt, but then every moves drains your body. The moves are very powerful past pinches and pockets and there are only two rests. One in the middle with a kneebar, where although I can release my hands the position is nevertheless extremely tiring. Up to this point the climbing is about 8c+. From the kneebar it is still 9a to go. You have to tackle the last part of the roof with big reaches, have a bad rest on pockets on the lip of the cave and there the style of climbing changes radically. From athletic it turns into crimps that require fingers of steel: a good combination to make the route properly hard and unique. I am quite confident that it deserves its grade."

Talking of grades and numbers: there is obviously no such thing as an "official list" of the hardest sport climbs in the world but a good starting point is the website escalade9.wifeo.com that currently lists only 21 routes 9b or harder worldwide. This helps to understand just how important and cutting-edge a 9b first ascent still is. For the record, and to give to Caesar what is Caesar's - or to the phenomenon what is the phenomenon's - of these 21 climbs, Ondra has redpointed more than half. Freeing all three 9b+, ie the most difficult in the world.


02/11/2015 - Stefano Ghisolfi frees Lapsus at Andonno, Italy's first 9b sports climb
Today at Andonno (NW Italy) Stefano Ghisolfi made the first ascent of Lapsus, the hardest sports climb in Italy and the first route in the country to be graded 9b.

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