NEWSFLASH: World's second Font 9A by Charles Albert

Charles Albert has climbed his project at Rocher Brûlé in Fontainebleau and given it a grade of Font 9A. French magazine Grimper broke the news in their latest issue and state that Charles named the problem No Kpote Only. This is only the second problem at the grade of 9A after Nalle Hukkataival climbed Burden of Dreams in 2016.

Charles Albert working his problem No Kpote Only (9A) © Mellow
Charles Albert working his problem No Kpote Only (9A)
© Mellow

Charles is well known for climbing without rock shoes and has climbed most of Font's hardest problems barefoot. He spent 20 sessions on No Kpote Only and believes that relative to the 8Cs he has climbed the problem must be 9A.

In the past few years, Charles has gone on a rampage in the forest. In 2016, he repeated Guillaume Glarion-Mondet's Le Pied à Coulisse (8C) at Rocher Gréau. The year after, he climbed Fontainebleau's first 8C+, an extension to his own problem La Révolutionnaire. At the end of last year, he climbed a sit start to Hypothesis at Bas Cuvier which he also graded 8C+.

Here is a video of Albert working No Kpote Only in February 2018. His attempts start at 6:35:

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18 Jan

Way too exposed .


18 Jan

Cracking! Thanks for the video. Does the video show the complete problem, or only the attempt? I thought he was going to go further.

Also... I wonder if his feet are as callused as your average climber's hands? 

18 Jan

Just an attempt. Where he falls off is about mid way through an 7C or 8A (depending on who you ask) that Charle's new line finishes up. 

If you can bear to sit through the offensive music, this video shows the top of the boulder from about 12 minutes:

18 Jan

Charles has pretty good track record (numerous 8C's, both FAs and repeats, also outside 'Bleau )... but Nalle has a bit more extensive track record... and if I recall correctly, he took over 400 sessions (plus specific training). Now while I admid Charles is no n00b, his track record just isn't the same as Nalle's... and now to climb this grade in just 20 sessions (vs. 400)... well, at least he got some media attention... Let's just hope that some people now repeat this... I know that already quite a few strong lads have tried Burden (Webb, Woods, Timonov)... AFAIK not so much with the high end FAs from Charles (albeit, I do respect his tallent, and AFAIK he usually hasn't given many soft touches). Edited to add, that 'Bleau does have a much longer season for hard climbing... I recall Nalle's words that he had like 10-20 sessions each spring & fall, so basically he had to "start" from scratch each spring/fall... in 'Bleau, the season is more like 50 to 80 per year, in a pretty much one "season" (compared to 20 to 40, split to 2 seasons per year)... so naturally this helps getting it done.

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