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Seb Bouin on Rouhling's Unrepeated 9s Video

© Seb Bouin

In the fourth episode of his Vintage Rock Tour, Seb Bouin takes on Fred Rouhling's trio of unrepeated 9s at Les Eaux Claires: Akira, Hugh and De L' Autre Côté du Ciel.

The film describes Les Eaux Claires as Rouhling's 'laboratory of motion and extreme movement' where he, somewhat controversially, created his own routes on the crag's blank walls.

The first route, Hugh, is a desperate 20m pocketed route first climbed by Rouhling in 1993. It's received little attention over the years and has only received 4 repeats! His next goal was Akira, Rouhling's visionary boulder/sport hybrid from 1995 which he graded 9b. Finally, Bouin set out to repeat De L' Autre Côté du Ciel; a manufactured, steep and outrageously pocketed climb from 1997.


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Seb is one of the most accomplished sport climbers in the world with many hard routes including quite a few in the 9a-9b range under his belt including Mamichula, Chilam Balam and his own Les...

Seb's Athlete Page 30 posts 5 videos


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17 Feb

Really interesting to see how differently he climbed Akira to Fred i.e. using his feet, and how similarly he climbed L'Autre Cote du Ciel - It would seem like L'Autre Cote is '9a obligatoire' whereas Akira is better described as 9b (9a obligatoire) and will no doubt settle at a grade in the next couple of years now the 'myth' barrier has been broken and people try it. Definitely puts Fred in the top of the tree in the world at the time - who else was operating at 8c+ in 93-95 (or before)? Moon, Moffat, Gullich, Huber, Andrada?

17 Feb

Wow, I found the rhapsodising of the chap on the video (magazine editor?) absolutely repellant. The way he kept gushing about how the routes were so beautifully chipped and what a visionary the FA was.

Ballocks. People who climb a new route as it is, without knowing if it is possible are an inspiration. People who just get the chisel out to bring it to their level, not so much.

17 Feb

Fred Nicole (Bain de Sang) is the only other that springs to mind.

17 Feb

You need to take it in the context of the age and location. And leave your ego aside.

as for the chap, they were the guys who climbed these lines. With the exception of Hugh, 2nd and 3rd ascents.

From your comment it seems you have much to learn about the history and development of rock climbing through the ages...........

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