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Said Belhaj Sends Action Directe, World’s First 5.14d

Said Belhaj has sent Action Directe 5.14d in Frankenjura for the route’s 23rd confirmed ascent.

The first and famous ascent was in 1991 by Wolfgang Gullich, who graded it 5.14c/d but is now considered the first 9a or 5.14d ever climbed and a benchmark route.

It has long dynamic moves off single-finger pockets and a dynamic start into a two finger pocket. Güllich invented the campus board to train the very specific strength needed for Frankenjura.

It was bolted by Milan Sykora in the 1980s with a start from the neighboring line to the right. Güllich used a 16-move sequence and a more direct start with a dynamic jump than originally planned.

It took him 11 days of projecting to redpoint it. Dai Koyamada used a different sequence with only 11 moves.

Belhaj is reported on 8a.nu as saying, “First time I went to the Frankenjura was in 1996 but Action Directe was not even a fantasy to climb at the time. Then in 1015 I went up to check the moves for the first time. Everything seemed possible except the jump in the start. This spring I tried for one week and managed all the moves.

“On this trip, with 1 month of preparation I was back. I felt weaker than in the spring and the progress went backwards in the end during a three week period. I was also very warm for the season which didn’t make it easier for me as some moves were in my limit. After a five day break, climbing in Margalef, I came back. The temps had dropped and I felt well rested. I sent the same day on my second go. To be honest I never thought I would do it this season but hoped that resting and better conditions would make miracles -and so they did. The route and its history was the only true reason I wanted to do it as its somehow been a part of my life since I started climbing.”

Below is the confirmed list of Action Directe sends. In 2005, Rich Simpson claimed to have climbed it, but after being called out to provide proof or a belayer (for that and countless other claimed sends and records) he quit climbing and left the spotlight. Read more about Simpson’s climbing life in this story with some good insight in the comments below.

In 2017, Belhaj made the 13th ascent of Cobra Crack 5.14a in Squamish, read about it here.

Sends of Action Directe

1. Wolfgang Güllich of Germany in 1991
2. Alexander Adler of Germany in 1995
3. Iker Pou of Spain in 2000
4. Dave Graham of USA in 2001
5. Christian Bindhammer of Germany 2003
6. Dai Koyamada of Japan in 2005
7. Markus Bock of Germany in 2005
8. Kilian Fischhuber Austria (2006)
9. Adam Ondra of Czech Republic in 2008
10. Patxi Usobiaga of Spain in 2008
11. Gabriele Moroni of Italy in 2010
12. Jan Hojer of Germany in 2010
13. Adam Pustelnik of Poland in 2010
14. Felix Knaub of Germany in 2011
15. Rustam Gelmanov of Russia in 2012
16. Alexander Megos of Germany in 2014
17. Felix Neumärker of Germany in 2015
18. Julius Westphal of Germany in 2015
19. Stefano Carnati of Italy in 2015
20. David Firnenburg in 2016
21. Stephan Vogt in 2017
22. Simon Lorenzi in 2017
23. Said Belhaj in 2018

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