March 2, 2010 – Climbing’s Biggest Fake Exposed
While there have been many famous faked ascents in the climbing world, the reported first ascent of the Le Bombé Bleu in Buoux must qualify as the hardest route never actually climbed. Marc Le Menestrel originally bolted the route in the 80s but quickly realized it was too hard for him climb. Ben Moon was also unable to redpoint the route even after training on a model of the climb on his wall. Although many other top climbers attempted the route, it remained unclimbed until a French magazine reported it had been redpointed in 1992. Today most climbers believe that this is one biggest faked ascents in climbing. Ben Moon thinks that when the route is eventually climbed, it will be harder than any route or boulder problem in the world. The 19m line is now rebolted and waiting a first ascent.
With the sport’s unregulated structure, it’s amazing that there have only been a handful of faked ascents; a testament to climber’s honesty.