Akira “5.15b” Repeated After 25 Years, Graded 5.14d
The legendary route first climbed in 1995 by Fred Rouhling is repeated by two French crushers
In 1995, top climber Fred Rouhling made the first ascent of Akira at Le Périgord in France and graded it 5.15b. At the time, there were no routes graded 5.15, but in 1996 Alex Huber climbed Open Air 5.14d, which was later upgraded to 5.15a as the first of the grade.
Sébastien Bouin and Lucien Martinez have finally repeated Akira and both suggested it’s 5.14d, which is still impressive for the mid-1990s when there were only a handful of route in the world at the grade.
It climbs a 12-metre roof and heads into an eight-metre face. The route was clouded by controversy when first climb due to the 5.15b suggestion. “Anyway this route is hard” commented Bouin “and quite unbelievable for the 90’s.”
After hearing the news of the repeats, Rouhling said, “Thanks to Seb Bouin’s Vintage Rock Tour… So, the starting boulder section would no longer be worth the original V13, but is now around V9, which would bring the overall difficulty down to 5.14d.”
Watch a short history of Akira, which was published online last week, to get some insight into Rouhling and Akira.