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Hard Repeats and Big First Ascents

From 5.15 repeats in Europe to V15 second ascents in South Africa and new 5.14s in Canada, climbers have been getting after it in August.

At the Ramirole crag in the Verdon Gorge, Seb Bouin has made the first ascent of A Muerte Bilou 5.14d. The route climbs a wild 50-metre line up a steep cave. The climb was bolted by Antonin Rhodes and took Bouin less than a month to figure out. Bouin then travelled to Norway to attempt hard repeats at Flatanger, where Jakob Shubert has been climbing.

Seb Bouin on A Muerte Bilou 5.14d at La Ramirole, Verdon, France. Photo Pierre Délas/Kairn
Seb Bouin on A Muerte Bilou 5.14d at La Ramirole, Verdon, France. Photo Pierre Délas/Kairn

Schubert made the third ascent of Adam Ondra’s Thor’s Hammer 5.15a, less than a week after Alex Megos made the second ascent. The 60-metre climb is one of the longest of its kind.

“Sixty metres of super steep climbing with some big rests took quite some energy,” Schubert wrote on his social media. “And after struggling with some wet holds, I’m very excited I could top out this majestic line.”

Ondra’s vision of making the Flatanger cave one of the world’s go-to crags is becoming a reality as some of the best climbers from Europe and North America are currently there.

In other hard-send news, Dave Graham made the second ascent of Spray of Light V15, his 14th V15, in Rocklands, South Africa. The hard problem was first climbed by Daniel Woods this summer.

Jakob Schubert on Thor's Hammer 5.15a.  Photo Elias Holzknecht @woodslave
Jakob Schubert on Thor’s Hammer 5.15a. Photo Elias Holzknecht @woodslave

“Every session I grew fonder of the moves and the actual climbing,” Graham wrote on his social media. “The urge to link the whole sequence began to be overwhelming, but with the uncooperative heat wave it was starting to seem like a dream, something only in my mind, not an actual real event that could exist in this time and space.

“Climbing is such an amazing game of belief, concentration, and execution, and I feel really lucky my life revolves around this game, it teaches one so much about life in general.”

In more local news, Evan Hau has established three new routes at his Apocalypse Cave in the Rockies. Box of Souls is the newest 5.14 in Alberta, “Another sick line through the belly of the cave,” wrote Hau on Sendage. “Crazy steep climbing with really cool holds. I stared at zoomed in photos for hours trying to see the line and wondering if it could go before finally bolting it.”

Hau also established Celestial Streaker 5.13b, Pacman Prophecy 5.12b and Ants in Overdrive 5.13d at his new crag.

– Sourced from U.K. Climbing, Sendage.com and Jakob Schubert and Dave Graham’s social media.

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