With Box Therapy receiving a downgrade from 8C+ to 8C, Sleepwalker (f8C+) being cited as 'low-end' 8C, and recent suggestions that Le Voyage (8b+) felt closer to French 8b, it only seems fair that we also report upon the other side of altered grade proposals - the lesser-known upgrade.
More than a year after climbing the route, Jakob Schubert has suggested that Clash of the Titans, 9a+, should in fact be considered 9b.
In a message sent to us earlier in the week, Jakob said:
'It's been more than five years since I first tried the Clash of the Titans route at home in Tyrol'.
'It was first climbed by Alex Megos in 2017. Alex rated it 9a+ at the time, but it always felt substantially harder to me. I've climbed quite a few 9a+ and 9b's, but none of them took as much effort as this route'.
'However, after sending it rather quickly last year, I was no longer sure if it really deserved an upgrade, so I was hesitant to post the ascent and have a clear opinion on the difficulty. After all, the route doesn't fit my preferred style, which is crimping, but there are quite a few open handholds on this route that gave me a hard time'.
'Earlier this year, I had the opportunity to climb the route with Stefano Ghisolfi, who also took a look at the route and gave his opinion'.
'In general, I think we saw some kind of grade inflation in sport climbing over the last years and I feel it's the responsibility of everyone who is capable of climbing the hardest grades to also give their honest opinion. That's why I've downgraded some routes in the past. For the same reason, I now suggest an upgrade for The Clash of the Titans'.
Check out Jakob's video below, where he revisits the route with Stefano a year after climbing it, to assess whether an upgrade might be the right decision.