French crusher and Black Diamond Athlete Seb Bouin has just finished his long-term project "La Rage d'Adam". Graded at 9b/+ (somewhere in between 9b and 9b+) this makes it the hardest simple pitch sport climbing route in France. This would make it in the top five hardest sport climbs in the world.
Seb Bouin originally bolted the route back in 2015 and has been trying it on and off for the past four years. The route is at Ramirole in the world class Verdon Gorge which is often hailed as the birthplace of sport climbing.
Seb Bouin said of the route and it's moves on his Instagram - "This year, it was a big objective to me. This route is really impressive by the beauty and the purity of the moves.
The difficulty is not so long: there is a first short 8c (5.14b) of 6 quickdraws to reach the boulder crux problem. This boulder is HARD. It's around 10 amazing moves on little pinches and underclings in a super overhang part. Then you have 25 meters of "easy" climbing (around 8b).
I am quite uncertain about the grade, this route is not so much my style, and I have not so much experience in this grade. It could be hard 9b or 9b/+. I will propose 9b/+, waiting repetitions to confirm or adjust."
The route was named after the famous Adam Ondra, who's "Silence" at 9c is the current hardest route in the world. This June Seb recently repeat Adam's route "Move" which is also graded 9b/+, and in the same cave in Hanshelleren as "Silence" - which Seb did try out while he was there. This came close his repeat in April of "Mamichula" 9b, another Ondra route
Again from Seb's Instagram, this is what Ondra had to say of the route when he tried it - "It was a summer day of 2015, conditions felt quite good though and Seb showed me this project, that he had briefly tried before. He mentioned hard boulder problem and when arrived there, even after 20 minutes I did not really imagine any possible sequence that could make it more climbable.
After even minutes hanging in the bolts, I came up with some crazy gaston beta, but I could not do the moves either and dismissed the route as too hard to be climbable in the near future... Well, Seb did not give up, came back, got some better beta, got super strong and finally sent it this year.
My guess is that it could be more of 9b/b+, if not even harder, based on my one and only experience of the route - which felt HARD!"
Seb Bouin climbs a fair bit with his mother Claire Cerisier who is also a very hard sport climber in her own right. Check out this video of them bolting and climbing in Turkey.
Seb did this route as part of his personal "Rock Combined Challenge" to do this route and a super multi pitch in the Verdon Gorge. The route "Hossana" is five pitches of 8b/+, 8b, 8b, 8c, 7b+. He climbed them all in one go, no falls. A pretty impressive week and an amazing summer season for Seb Bouin. Watch this space for Seb becoming the hardest outdoor climber in the world while Adam focuses on qualifying for and competing in the Olympics!