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Possible New 5.15d Sent After 150 Days of Effort by Seb Bouin

DNA is now one of the world's most difficult sport climbs, joining the ranks of Silence 5.15d and Bibliographie 5.15c

Seb Bouin has made the first ascent of DNA at La Ramirole in the Verdon Gorge, and graded it 5.15d. While he acknowledges that it might be downgraded, he also goes into detail about why he gave it 5.15d.

In 2017, Adam Ondra climbed Silence in Norway and gave it 5.15d. Silence was the only 5.15d until 2020 when Alex Megos made the first ascent of Bibliography and suggested 5.15d. The following year, Stefano Ghisolfi downgraded Megos’s climb to 5.15c, which Megos agrees with.

Bouin bolted DNA three years ago and reports that he tried over 250 times over 150 days before getting the first ascent. The 50-metre overhanging route starts with 5.14c, climbs through a V11 and V12 problem and heads into another 5.14c sequence. Bouin, who attempted Bibliography, says it’s similar but more physically demanding.

“There would be two possible scenarios, 9b+ [5.15c] or 9c [5.15d],” said Bouin. “Choosing 9b+ [5.15c] would be playing it safe. Choosing 9c would be taking a risk. I have been playing it safe since 2014 on this cliff by proposing very tight grades. And in the end, nobody has repeated one of these routes.”

Bouin has made first ascents of several hard routes, many of which are yet to be repeated, including La Rage d’Adam 5.15b/c, Beyond 5.15b/c and La Cote d’Usure 5.15a. In 2019, he repeated Move 5.15b/c, first climbed by Adam Ondra.

“Despite these doubts, I take the risk of proposing the highest of the grades,” said Bouin. “The 9c [5.15d] should be taken as a proposal, which now needs other climbers to give their opinions – to confirm or to adjust.” Read the full report about the possible 5.15d here.

La Rage d’Adam 5.15b/c FA


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