posted by dpm on 04/15/2013
"Say what you want about grades but sometimes they can be so important. Now I have finally managed to climb the really magical grade of 9a." -Geir Söderin
Swedish climber Geir Söderin has broken the 9a (5.14d) barrier with an ascent of Jungle Speed in Siurana, Spain. It's a relatively short route that, according to Geir, is "terribly hard from the start and gets easier as you go." The route took him about 18 days of effort. Read his brief wrap-up on his Swedish blog.
Geir Söderin on Jungle Speed (9a) in Siurana, Spain. Photo: Geir's blog
Another Swede, Said Belhaj, sent Supernova in Vadiello, Spain. Said planned a three week trip to try to send the route and, after a slow start of feeling terrible on other routes, surprised himself with a 2nd try ascent. He writes on his blog, "On my first red-point, with no expectations, I just wanted to feel how that upper section would feel, probably arriving there pumped like hell. I just went for it, climbed every section perfectly (even better than when working the moves individually which has never happend before) and finally found myself on top of the route." This was Said's fifth 9a.
Said Belhaj on Supernova in Vadiello, Spain. Photo: Said's blog
American Ethan Pringle is spending some time in the Catalunya region of Spain where he was able to tick Margalef's Era Vella (9a). Since its first ascent by Chris Sharma in 2010, the 45-meter endurance route has become a European classic and seen many ascents including a first female ascent by Sasha Digiulian.
Ethan Pringle on Era Vella in Margalef, Spain. Photo: Greg Garretson