posted by dpm on 04/13/2011
Last week, a news source claimed Adam Ondra and Chris Sharma were teaming up to attempt to climb Chilam Balam, a route with a very controversial past. It did not take long for those reports to be confirmed as the route just saw its “possible” first ascent by Ondra earlier today. The line was claimed back in 2003 by Bernabé Fernández who, after 3 years of work on the route, proposed the grade of 5.15c. At the time the grade of 5.15 had yet to be solidified so it really came as a shock to the climbing community. Upon further investigation Fernández could not provide proof of his ascent, as he could not name his belayer. He was seen posing for photos on the route, but many people believe that he in fact did not climb the route.
Bernabe Fernandez on Chilam Balam (5.15) photo: David Munilla
Over the years several strong climbers like Chris Sharma and Dani Andrada attempted to link the 270 foot line in Spain’s Villanueva del Rosario to no avail.
Reports came in earlier in the day that Adam Ondra claimed an ascent of the line after just four tries. He suggested the grade of 5.15b. Is this the route’s first ascent? Questions are swirling at the moment concerning the validity of Fernandez’s ascent. Ondra would not comment on whether he thought Fernandez climbed the route so at this point we can only say that this is the routes first “confirmed” ascent. We are pretty sure that Ondra, if asked, would be able to name his belayer.