Campus Heaven - Fred Rouhling on Akiraby Mick Ryan Aug/2006
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In 1995 the French climber Fred Rouhling climbed Akira in a cave near Vilhonneur, France and gave it Fr 9b, a good grade harder than anything ever climbed before. Many in the climbing world cast doubt on this ascent. Who was this guy? On closer inspection some claimed it was 'just' a boulder problem or that the climb was manufactured. Time has moved on and the accusations are quiet. Rouhling has an impressive series of hard sport climbs to his credit including the dynamic Hugh Fr 9a.
You can now watch a video online of Fred Rouhling climbing Akira, at least the first part to the route's lip at Rouhlings website. Click on the media link and you'll find a whole host of videos.
If you want to learn more about Fred Rouhling Climbing magazine have an interesting article on him exploring his early controversy and giving an overview of his climbing career.