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Séb Bouin Repeats an Adam Ondra 5.15b and Suggests 5.15a

"I think the line is easier with kneepads. You can do the crux a bit differently. It's still quite hard, but less demanding..."

French climber Séb Bouin has made the first repeat of an Adam Ondra sport route at at Flatanger, Norway, called Iron Curtain. Ondra, who won a world cup this week, made the first ascent in 2013.

Bouin sent it wearing a kneepad before suggesting it’s a 5.15a, while Ondra’s first ascent was done without a kneepad. Bouin is known for establishing his own hard routes, such as DNA 5.15d in the Verdon Gorge this spring and Beyond Integral 5.15b/c in 2021.

Bouin spent a month climbing with Ondra at Flatanger in 2013 and belayed Ondra on the first ascent of Iron Curtain. “He was doing a crazy gaston move for the crux,” said Bouin in his write-up below. “This was savage. Making this trip with these guys was so inspiring. It was a turning point in my climbing life. They opened my eyes regarding high level climbing. I learned so much seeing them moving on the rock. It was different. I was too slow, not enough focus. Thank you guys for these memories.”

Bouin returned this year jumped on Iron Curtain, which he said took him 14 tried over five days. “I used kneepads to send it,” he said. “I think the line is easier with kneepads. You can do the crux a bit differently. It’s still quite hard, but less demanding on the shoulders, and more of a conventional boulder problem. Adam proposed a 9b [5.15] grade without kneepad. And I am quite sure of this grade if you are not using kneepads. Regarding the time and investment it took me, it could be more 9a+ [5.15a] using kneepads.”

Beyond Integral 5.15b/c