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NEWSFLASH: DNA 9c (?) by Seb Bouin

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 UKC News 05 May 2022

French climber Seb Bouin has finally ticked his long-term project DNA at la Ramirole in the Verdon Gorge, France and has suggested the grade of 9c, making it potentially the second 9c in the world after Adam Ondra's Silence.

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 GrahamD 05 May 2022
In reply to UKC News:

Really hope the grade sticks.

About time Verdon was back in the world's conscience. 

 alx 05 May 2022
In reply to UKC News:

Man claims 9c FA based on a 9b/+ climb he could not complete.

80
 wbo2 06 May 2022
In reply to alx: Well you'd better downgrade Silence too then.

To Shani : - No, 9c

 jezb1 06 May 2022
In reply to alx:

Time will tell if he’s graded it right, but there’s not many people better placed to grade hard routes. He’s done so many routes at the very top grades, repeats and first ascents and I think if anything has a reputation for grading stuff stiffly.

 james1978 06 May 2022
In reply to alx:

> Man claims 9c FA based on a 9b/+ climb he could not complete.

I think he made the second ascent of Move 9b/+.

The article says that he came close but hasn't repeated Alex Megos 9b+.

At least, that's how I read it.

 climbercool 06 May 2022
In reply to alx:

Bouin's track record is easily strong enough to suggest he could climb 9c, hope the grade sticks and it gets some repeat attempts soon. 

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 climbercool 06 May 2022
In reply to climbercool:

has anybody been projecting Silence?

 aln 06 May 2022
In reply to climbercool:

> has anybody been projecting Silence?

Maybe alx?

In reply to UKC News:

I really do hope there is a video of this, The one of La Rage d'Adam was pure poetry in motion on beautiful rock and he comes across as a really top guy.

Post edited at 12:05
In reply to aln:

Not sure if I'm misreading this as a typo, but there's no indication Alex Megos had been to Flatanger since 2015, so guessing this is just speculation? 

Or is alx someone else that I've not heard of?

Edit: got the joke lol

Post edited at 12:47
 AJM 06 May 2022
In reply to Edshakey:

He's one of the posters above casting doubt on whether Seb can/should be proposing 9c...

In reply to AJM:

Ohhh that went straight over my head, oops!

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 climbercool 06 May 2022
In reply to UKC News:

Just read that he had close to 200 days and 250 attempts on this route!! that is epic, I've had 30 odd goes on a route before and it drives me nuts, cant imagine 250, keeping belief that you can send after that many failures is awesome.  As far as i know none of the other top climbers have come close to putting in that much time into one route, or have they, anyone know of a climber with more attempts before sending?

 Etta 06 May 2022
In reply to climbercool:

Stefano Ghisolfi has plans to go and work on it this year, according to his Instagram.

 JLS 06 May 2022
In reply to Etta:

I thought Stefano had said he couldn't afford the time investment for Silence and was planning on working something easier there? I'd expect this thing of Seb's will be of more interest to Stefano given the location and style of Silence. 

 snoop6060 06 May 2022
In reply to UKC News:

What with the question mark in the headline? Seems a bit disrespectful that does. May or not be 9c, kinda like all FAs really. 

8
 wbo2 06 May 2022
In reply to climbercool: i tihnk that's important because days of effort per grade is one way people (well Ondra and a couple others) work out what defines one grade from another. 

 The other big numbers for days on... Ondra on Silence, Permin Birtle?  Ondra also repeated some really old school 9a that the FA had put a huge number of tries into.

To Shani - where does the E13 come from , where does the 7b English tech come from? What's your reference - Revelations (Raven Tor) was graded E7 6c at one point.. - work it form that? Tech grade form the boulder problems?

 GrahamD 06 May 2022
In reply to wbo2:

As to UK technical, presumably its whatever corresponds to the hardest 8A+ crux.  Not that it's particularly relevant. 

 UKB Shark 07 May 2022
In reply to snoop6060:

> What with the question mark in the headline? Seems a bit disrespectful that does. May or not be 9c, kinda like all FAs really. 

Think the question mark is fair as in his Instagram write up he came across as torn between giving it 9b+ or 9c so his proposal of 9c sounded tentative which is sensible given his track record at the very very top grades isn’t extensive

 GrahamD 07 May 2022
In reply to UKB Shark:

> ...given his track record at the very very top grades isn’t extensive

At 9c, who's is ?

 UKB Shark 07 May 2022
In reply to GrahamD:

At 9b+ to 9c level then Ondra, Megos and Ghisolfi are better positioned to make that call and even Megos got it wrong proposing 9c with Bibiliographie. There are still only five 9b+‘s in the world (I think) so Bouin proposing 9c is a massive call. Hope history proves it correct and DNA is the world’s second 9c. 

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 GrahamD 07 May 2022
In reply to UKB Shark:

It's obviously a big call, but if he genuinely believes it to be the case he has to propose the grade, doesn't he ? Its not as though he doesn't raise the question of the grade himself.

You would hope that being somewhere more mainstream in Provence, it will get attention sooner rather than later.

In reply to UKB Shark:

> At 9b+ to 9c level then Ondra, Megos and Ghisolfi are better positioned to make that call and even Megos got it wrong proposing 9c with Bibiliographie. There are still only five 9b+‘s in the world (I think) so Bouin proposing 9c is a massive call. Hope history proves it correct and DNA is the world’s second 9c. 

IIRC the Bibiliographie downgrade from 9c was because an "easier" sequence was unlocked when it was repeated, so Megos didn't get the grade wrong as such, but he's obviously just rubbish at reading a route 😁

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 JLS 08 May 2022
In reply to UKB Shark:

>”Hope history proves it correct and DNA is the world’s second 9c.”

Who knows, maybe it’ll prove to be the first!  

 PaulJepson 08 May 2022
In reply to JLS:

I hope it sticks. There's far too much willy-waving going on with the downgrading at the minute. The sport needs to be allowed to progress; in 20 years' time, these grades will settle and get more of a consensus but it needs to be allowed to do so. Of course history suggests this will probably not happen. 

At least this one isnt as weird as Silence so is more likely to get some suitors. 

 Andrew Wells 08 May 2022

In reply to Shani:

"In a shocking turn of events, French man gives French Sport Grade to new Sport route in France"

 HHay 09 May 2022
In reply to alx:

He climbed Move (9b/+), La rage d'Adam (9b/+), Beyond Integral (9b/+), Mamichula (9b), Chilam Balam, Akira... Seb has one of the most impressive ticklist in the world. The only reason he doesn't get more recognition is because he isn't signed up with La Sportiva, doesn't compete, and doesn't have an excellent English.

3
 Michael Gordon 09 May 2022
In reply to PaulJepson:

> I hope it sticks. There's far too much willy-waving going on with the downgrading at the minute. The sport needs to be allowed to progress; in 20 years' time, these grades will settle and get more of a consensus but it needs to be allowed to do so. Of course history suggests this will probably not happen. > 

Is suggesting a downgrade willy waving? Folk are surely just going by their own experience and if they get a route relatively quickly then it seems logical to question the original grade. No point staying quiet and taking the tick if they feel it's wrong.

That said, you'd think a couple of repeats would be necessary before a suggested downgrade becomes definite so there's at least a small consensus rather than just two differing opinions.

 PaulJepson 09 May 2022
In reply to Michael Gordon:

It definitely has a whiff of one-upmanship on occasion. 

 jwi 09 May 2022
In reply to HHay:

Common, his English is not that bad, and his Spanish is excellent. Pretty good at climbing as well. And pretty well known. I am pretty sure that he is the only climber in France who makes a living solely from his sport-climbing chops without doing competitions (and I am not 100 % sure there are others in Europe.)

 jezb1 09 May 2022
In reply to jwi:

Yeah his English is pretty good! I've traded belays with him in Spain.

The funniest thing with his English is he sometimes shouts down take when he means slack and vice versa which isn't great when you're stressed enough belaying him when he's redpointing a 9b!

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 Rad 09 May 2022

Love the dedication and perseverance as he pushes to a new level in his climbing. We can all aspire to that regardless of whether we're climbing 9c or 6c. 

I also love his desire to repeat the classics. That's how Adam got well versed in the grades. 

Allez Seb!

In reply to Michael Gordon:

> Is suggesting a downgrade willy waving? Folk are surely just going by their own experience and if they get a route relatively quickly then it seems logical to question the original grade. No point staying quiet and taking the tick if they feel it's wrong.

The majority of the problems with the higher grades in the UK grading system (nowadays the tech grades from 6b upwards, but previously the compression into HVS) have been due to downgrading (or not being prepared to grade upwards which effectively has the same result), a lot of which probably was willy waving.

Post edited at 19:39
 Michael Gordon 09 May 2022
In reply to Michael Hood:

Well possibly, but this is cutting edge sport in the modern era, not historic UK trad.

In reply to Michael Gordon:

But, if the UK grades hadn't been broken at the top end, then we might still be using them for all forms of (free) climbing.

There was very little real resistance to the takeover of French grades for sport (in the UK), partly this was because the technical advances being achieved in sport weren't properly supported by the UK grades.

A similar argument can be made for bouldering grades.

Basically, if you had one system that properly covered all, then why would you go for multiple systems. But we didn't (have one), so here we are.

2
 aln 10 May 2022
In reply to AJM:

I wasn't. 

In reply to climbercool:

> Just read that he had close to 200 days and 250 attempts on this route!! that is epic, I've had 30 odd goes on a route before and it drives me nuts, cant imagine 250, keeping belief that you can send after that many failures is awesome.  As far as i know none of the other top climbers have come close to putting in that much time into one route, or have they, anyone know of a climber with more attempts before sending?

Fred Rouhling spent 3 consecutive months on Akira I believe - his wife was convalescing after spinal surgery at his parent's house nearby so he spent hours on it every day.

 Michael Gordon 10 May 2022
In reply to Michael Hood:

I think it's more that french grades just work better for sport climbing than UK E grades and tech. Nothing to do with misuse of the system, more that the system itself was not as good as the alternative.

In reply to Michael Gordon:

> I think it's more that french grades just work better for sport climbing than UK E grades and tech. Nothing to do with misuse of the system, more that the system itself was not as good as the alternative.

I disagree, in theory, a "2 pieces" grading system should always be superior to a "1 piece" grading system in the amount of information it gives you.

The fact that it wasn't superior shows how broken it was.

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 TheGeneralist 10 May 2022
In reply to Michael Hood:

> I disagree, in theory, a "2 pieces" grading system should always be superior to a "1 piece" grading system in the amount of information it gives you.

Not if that 1 piece grading system was created specifically to rate one concept and the two piece system was specifically created to grade something different.

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 john arran 10 May 2022
In reply to TheGeneralist:

Actually, the way the E grade had evolved was that it was wide enough to cover 2 sport grades, so to achieve the same level of granularity you'd need either to subdivide it (E8+, etc.) or to have a serviceable tech grade to provide the extra detail, and by the time sport grades were becoming common the tech grade had already been abused beyond the point of usefulness at the top end.

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 Michael Gordon 10 May 2022
In reply to Michael Hood:

> I disagree, in theory, a "2 pieces" grading system should always be superior to a "1 piece" grading system in the amount of information it gives you.

> The fact that it wasn't superior shows how broken it was.

So why do climbers prefer to see their sport routes graded 6a+ and 6a than, say, E2 5b and E1 5b? The latter aren't 'broken' (whatever that's supposed to mean); they work very well for trad since that's what they were designed for.

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In reply to Michael Gordon:

The Uk grading system would, of course, in principal work just as well as the French one for sport (just as the YDS does) but, given that trad and sport have become such separate "subsports" it does, I think, avoid confusion to use a different system and, since the French one is ubiquitous in Europe, it makes sense to use that one.

In reply to Michael Gordon: 

It would surely make even less sense to use UK adj+tech for low grade sport and French for higher grade sport.

Above my ability but I believe the tech grade is "broken" at 6b and above, those grades are far too wide so they've lost their usefulness in being able to say which route is harder (technically).

French grades appear to have avoided this bunching up (although one does wonder about the 9's with everyone seemingly afraid to propose higher grades), so in practice they're more useful for sport because they are granular enough to reasonably tell you which route is harder.

Also, having a single grade system for sport isn't as bad as it would be for trad since sports routes have much less "other" factors to consider in the difficulty.

In reply to Michael Gordon:

> So why do climbers prefer to see their sport routes graded 6a+ and 6a than, say, E2 5b and E1 5b? 

Same reason people prefer to measure distance in metres rather than furlongs.

 GrahamD 11 May 2022
In reply to Michael Gordon:

> So why do climbers prefer to see their sport routes graded 6a+ and 6a than, say, E2 5b and E1 5b? 

A big reason, I suspect, is that it helps identify bolted routes from non bolted routes, especially where these routes sit side by side.

Have to say I really like the clarity that the choice of UK/French/bouldering grades gives.  The extra degrees of freedom are really useful. 


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