Route info

The first part of project-9b was to find a route that would appeal to me and would suit me. Something I would be willing to spend countless hours on. Although there's still not a huge amount of 9b's out there, but (lucky me) the list is continously growing. 99boulders has created a pretty complete list of routes and ascents openly known. Following is a more detailed description of the routes I've tried so far.

Fight or Flight, 9b

Oliana (ESP)
FA: Chris Sharma
Repeats: Adam Ondra, Jakob Schubert, Sachi Anma

 

Rock:
Limestone

Length:
35 m

Angle:
10-25°

Moves:
40

I could tell a looong story about this route, which I've enjoyed climbing on from the very first start. The route starts with an easy but loose slab, leading to a no-hands-rest at ~15 m. This has two advantages: you can skip a lót of draws because you're high up, and the route is less long and pumpy ;). 5 intro moves get you into the real business: 20 moves of hard climbing (crux 1) to a rest. Poor feet and many underclings/sidepulls get you pretty beat up, so recovery on the moderate rest is vital. From here it's only 12 moves (crux 2) leading to a BIG jump to an even bigger jug (crux 3). 3 more sketchy moves are guarding the chains.

What's nice about the route is:

  • it's short, which means you can do quite some tries in a day
  • you only stop to clip 3(!) times during the hard part
  • The holds are relatively friendly
  • It is freaking amazing to climb on

Lapsus, 9b

Andonno (ITA)
FA: Stefano Ghisolfi
Repeats: Adam Ondra

Rock:
Limestone

Length:
30 m

Angle:
20°

Moves:
50

Italy's first 9b is a true power endurance test piece. 50 moves with the crux at the end. No single move is harder than I would say 7a boulder, but linking all those together is a challenge. A downside to the route is that it's partly manufactured (some of the holds were 'created' in the 90'ies) and there's a lot of sika. It climbs like a charm with versatile movement, some amazing sequences and you can give all you've got. Many other 9b's have stopper moves, that throw you off when you don't climb 100%, but here you can really fight.
There's a very nice spot at the base of the crag, and a beatifl scenery, which makes trying this route even more enjoyable.

Queen Line, 9b

Laghel (ITA)
FA: Adam Ondra
Repeats: -

Rock:
Limestone

Length:
15 m

Angle:
40°

Moves:
20+10

Laghel is a relatively new area close to Arco (ice cream/pizza paradise) that unfortunately used to be a drytooling crag. Yep, ice axes, crampons and drilled holes kinda style. The wall itself is incredible, only 15m * 15m wide and high but a clean cut overhang with some suprising mini pinches and crimps (natural ones). The route comes down to only 18 (!!) moves, followed by 8a-ish climbing. Hard clipping and unbelievable drop knees are key.

La Dura Dura, 9b+

Oliana (ESP)
FA: Adam Ondra
Repeats: Chris Sharma

Rock:
Limestone

Length:
35 m

Angle:
15-25°

Moves:
20+20

I only tried this briefly out of pure interest and was positively surprised. Keywords are short and powerful. Around 10 (hard!) intro moves lead to a boulder problem, which feels like an 8B boulder, after which you get a weird rest. 8c+ route from there on, with the focus on the first 15 moves after the rest.
Downside to this route, is that it has quite some sika, due to very fragile holds.
Weren't we all inspired by that video of Chris and Adam though?! Legends.

Neanderthal, 9b

Santa Linya (ESP)
FA: Chris Sharma
Repeats: -

Rock:
Limestone

Length:
45 m

Angle:
40-60°

Moves:
50

This monster climbs the entire Santa Linya cave right through the middle, has some burly and powerful climbing, that needs you to keep focussed til the very end.
Thanks goodness for the intro 7c (20 m) to a weird ledge you sit on until you're bud falls asleep. 9a climbing (~30 moves) lead to some BIG moves, before you get to a little cave with a good rest (you'll need it). 8b (at least) to the top. Some holds are very often wet, which makes it a bit annoying if you don't live in the area. What a beast though.

Stoking the Fire, 9b

Santa Linya (ESP)
FA: Chris Sharma
Repeats: Adam Ondra, Jakob Schubert

Rock:
Limestone

Length:
35 m

Angle:
45°

Moves:
30+30

I only quickly tried this route, to see what it's about. Santa Linya is a place of übersteep routes, and this one is no exception. The main business starts from a no-hands-rest at ~15 m and counts about 30 moves (with the last ones being the crux) on not too terrible holds, if only they would face the right way up. The crux itself is a strange sequence around a one or two finger pocket with very little feet to keep you on the wall. The final 20 meters come at solid 8b climbing on steep terrain.

First Round First Minute, 9b

Margalef (ESP)
FA: Chris Sharma
Repeats: Adam Ondra, Alex Megos, Stefano Ghisolfi

Rock:
Limestone

Length:
15 m

Angle:
45°

Moves:
25

The one and only! A truely unique route, on some of the most incredible pinches in a surreal setting: you're basically climbing above the road and yes, you could belay from your car.
The climbing feels even steeper than it is, bumping around on flat tufas, which haven't really grown enough to give you the feeling that you're climbing tufas. Short but very sustained, with a sort of a rest about 15 moves in, followed by a mono some can drink coffee on, others feel lacerates their middle finger, which is the intro of the crux section. Chris tried one beta for countless tries, then climbed it quickly with another beta. Lots of little hidden holds around, nothing of much words, not to mention the missing feet.
High on my list, but I'll have to do some mono training before.