List of first ascents (sport climbing)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

In rock climbing, a first free ascent (FFA) is the first documented redpoint, onsight or flash of a single-pitch, big wall (multi-pitch), or boulder route that did not involve using aid equipment to help progression or resting; the ascent must therefore be performed in either a sport, a traditional, or a free solo manner. First free ascents that set new grade milestones are important events in rock climbing history, and are listed below. While sport climbing has dominated absolute grade milestones since the mid-1980s, milestones for modern traditional climbing, free solo climbing, onsighted, and flashed ascents, are also listed.

A grade is provisional until enough climbers have repeated the route to have a "consensus". At the highest grades, this can take years as few climbers are capable of repeating these routes. For example, in 2001, Realization was considered the world's first 9a+ (5.15a), however, the first repeat of the 1996 route Open Air, which only happened in 2008, suggested that it was likely the first 9a+ (5.15a). Open Air has had no further repeats, and has had holds broken, whereas Realization has had many and is a "consensus" 9a+. Thus, where known, the 2nd, 3rd and 4th ranked candidates are listed, just in case.[1][2]

Single-pitch routes[edit]

Redpointed by men[edit]

9c (5.15d):[a]

  • Silence (also Project Hard) – Flatanger (NOR) – September 3, 2017 – First ascent by Adam Ondra, who described it as "much harder than anything else" he had previously done, and cautiously suggested the 9c rating for the 45 m route.[5][6] Remains unrepeated (June 2022).
  • DNAVerdon Gorge (FRA) – April 29, 2022 – First ascent by Sébastien Bouin who proposed the grade of 9c, saying "Comparing this route to Bibliographie, Move, Beyond [Integral], it seems a step ahead", and "To choose 9c is to take a risk". Remains unrepeated (June 2022).[7]

9b+ (5.15c):[b]

9b (5.15b):[c][d][e]

9a+ (5.15a):[f][g]

9a (5.14d):

8c+ (5.14c):

8c (5.14b):[h]

8b+ (5.14a):[i]

8b (5.13d):[j]

8a+ (5.13c)[k]

Pre-sport era[edit]

Many of the notable first ascents that achieved a new highest grade pre The Face are traditional climbing routes; they are presented for completeness.

8a (5.13b)[l]

  • Grand Illusion – Sugar Loaf, Lake Tahoe, CA (USA) – 1979 – First-ever consensus 8a (5.13b) in history, by Tony Yaniro [fr].[9][33]
  • 13 Boulevard du Vol – Rochers de Freyr, (BEL) – 1981 – Second-ever consensus 8a (5.13b) in history, by Arnould t'Kint.[9][33]
  • Grand Illusion – Sugar Loaf, Lake Tahoe, CA (USA) – 1982 – Third-ever consensus 8a (5.13b) in history, by Wolfgang Gullich.[33]
  • La CrépinetteLes Eaux-Claires (FRA) – 1983 – Fourth-ever consensus 8a (5.13b) in history, by Fabrice Guillot (and first 8a in France).[33][44]

7c+ (5.13a)

7c (5.12d)

  • Psycho RoofEldorado, CO (USA) – 1975 – Only one ascent, due to large broken flake. Possibly harder than 7c in 1975. Estimated as first 7c (5.12d) in history, by Steve Wunsch.
  • NymphodalleLes Calanques (FRA) – 1979 – Sometimes considered first-ever consensus 7c (5.12d) in history, by Patrick Edlinger.[33][35]
  • EquinoxJoshua Tree (USA) – 1980 – Considered one of the earliest consensus 7c (5.12d) climbs in history, by Tony Yaniro [fr].[33]
  • Chasin' the traneFrankenjura (GER) – 1980 – Considered one of the earliest consensus 7c (5.12d) climbs in history, by John Bachar.[33]

7b+ (5.12c)

  • Macabre Roof – Ogden, Utah, (USA) – 1967 – First 7b+ (5.12c) in history (on contemporary regrading, still very few ascents), flashed by Greg Lowe
  • Paisano OverhangSuicide Rock, (USA) – 1974 – One of the first-ever consensus 7b+ (5.12c) climbs, by John Long.[33]
  • Super CrackShawangunks, (USA) – 1974 – Long considered the first-ever consensus 7b+ (5.12c) by Steve Wunsch.[9][33][35]
  • Super CrackShawangunks, (USA) – 1977 – First-ever repeat of a consensus 7b+ (5.12c), by Ron Kauk.[33]

7b (5.12b)

7a+ (5.12a)

Thimble, the 1960s

7a (5.11d)

Redpointed by women[edit]

9b (5.15b):[m]

9a+ (5.15a):

9a/9a+ :

9a (5.14d):[n][o]

8c+ (5.14c):

  • Honky Tonk Mix – Onate (ESP) – June, 2000 – First-ever female ascent of an 8c+ route, by Josune Bereziartu.[9][71]
  • Noia – Andonno (ITA) – October, 2001 – Second-ever female ascent of an 8c+ route, by Josune Bereziartu.[9]
  • Na Nai – Baltzola (ESP) – June 18, 2003 – Third-ever female ascent of an 8c+ route, by Josune Bereziartu.[53]
  • Powerade – Vadiello (ESP) – May 21, 2007 – Fourth-ever female ascent of an 8c+ route, by Josune Bereziartu.[53]

8c (5.14b):

8b+ (5.14a):

8b (5.13d):

8a+ (5.13c):

8a (5.13b):

7c+/8a (5.13a/b) :

Pre-sport era[edit]

Many of the notable first female ascents that achieved a new highest grade pre Fleur de Rocaille, are traditional climbing routes; they are presented for completeness.

7c+ (5.13a):

7c (5.12d):

7b+ (5.12c):

7b (5.12b):

Onsighted / Flashed by men[edit]

With route beta on the internet, the distinction between an onsight (no prior beta) and a flash (had prior beta) are less relevant, however, it is recorded where noted.

9a+ (5.15a):

  • Super Crackinette – Saint Léger (FRA) – 10 February 2018 – First-ever 9a+ flash (not onsight) in history, by Adam Ondra.[74]

9a (5.14d):

  • Southern Smoke Direct – Siurana (ESP) – 29 October 2012 – First-ever 9a flash (not onsight), by Adam Ondra.[75][76]
  • Estado Critico – Siurana (ESP) – 24 March 2013 – First-ever 9a onsight, by Alex Megos.[77]
  • Cabane au Canada – Rawyl (SUI) – 9 July 2013 – Second-ever 9a onsight, by Adam Ondra.[78]
  • Il Domani – Baltzola (ESP) – 3 May 2014 – Third-ever 9a onsight, by Adam Ondra.[79]

8c+ (5.14c):

8c (5.14b):

8b+ (5.14a):

8b (5.13d):

  • Liaisons Dangereuses – Les Calanques (Les Goudes), (FRA) – 1993 – First-ever 8b onsight, by Elie Chevieux [de][9]
  • Public Enemy – Cuenca, (ESP) – 1993 – Originally considered the first 8a+/8b onsight, by Stefan Glowacz, but consensus grade is now 8b.[81]

8a+ (5.13c):

(unknown)

8a (5.13b):

7c+ (5.13a):

7c (5.12d):

7b+ (5.12c):

Onsighted / Flashed by women[edit]

With route beta on the internet, the distinction between an onsight (no prior beta) and a flash (had prior beta) are less relevant, however, it is recorded where noted.

8c (5.14b):[p]

  • La Fabelita -– Santa Linya (ESP) – December 31, 2015 – First-ever female 8c flash, by Janja Garnbret (her flash of Rollito Sharma two days earlier was downgraded to 8b+).[92]
  • Fish eyeOliana (ESP) – November 1, 2021 – First-ever female 8c onsight, by Janja Garnbret[93][94]
  • American HustleOliana (ESP) – November 4, 2021 – Second-ever female 8c onsight, by Janja Garnbret[93]

8b+ (5.14a):[q][r]

8b (5.13d):

8a+ (5.13c):

8a (5.13b):

Free-solo by men[edit]

Notable free-solos above 7c (5.12d) range; does not include "highball" boulder ascents as the climbers here did not use padding or spotters.[101]

8c (5.14b):

  • Panem et Circenses – Length: 15 metres (49 ft) – Muro di Pizarra , Arco (IT) – December 2019 – First-ever 8c free solo, by Alfredo Webber, aged 52.[102]

8b+ (5.14a):

8b (5.13d):

8a+ (5.13c):

8a (5.13b):

7c (5.12d)

7b (5.12b)

Boulder problems[edit]

Solved by men[edit]

9A (V17):[s][t]

8C+ (V16):[u]

  • GioiaVarazze (ITA) – 2008 – Considered the first-ever 8C+ (V16), by Christian Core.[119] First repeat in 2011 by Adam Ondra who proposed an 8C+ grade, describing the boulder as one of the hardest in the world, together with Terranova (see below).[120] Third ascent by Nalle Hukkataival in 2014, and Niccolo Ceria in 2020, who were silent on grade.[121][122] In 2015, it was discovered that new holds were chipped on the route, which Core tried to fix but not with complete success, leaving one new crimp that Core felt does lower the grade.[119] In 2021, a fifth repeat by Elias Lagnemma suggested a slightly lower grade of 8C/+ (using a kneepad).[111][123]
  • Livin' LargeRocklands, (ZAF) – August 2009 – First ascent by Nalle Hukkataival who graded it 8C (V15), and first repeat in 2015 Jimmy Webb who confirmed an 8C; however, a second repeat and upgrade by Shawn Raboutou (and a failure by Adam Ondra), suggests it is one of the first-ever 8C+ (V16) boulders.[124][125][111]

8C (V15):[v][w]

8B+ (V14):[x]

Dreamtime in Switzerland

8B (V13):

8A+ (V12):[y]

8A (V11):

7C+ (V10):

7C (V9):

  • Red Cross Overhang, or Gill ProblemTeton Range, (USA) – 1959 – Considered one of the first-ever ascents of a 7C (V9), by John Gill.[9][136]
  • Speed of Light Dyno – Black Mountains, (USA) – 1979 – Considered an important early ascent of a 7C (V9), by John Long.[9]
  • L'Abbé RésinaFontainebleau, (FRA) – 1983 – Considered an important early ascent of a 7C (V9), by Pierre Richard.[136]
Michael Rael Armas on Midnight Lightning

7B+ (V8):

7B (V8):

7A (V6):

6A (V3):

Solved by women[edit]

8C (V15):

8B+ (V14):

  • La traversia De Balzola – Balzola, (ESP) – 2002 – First-ever female ascent of an 8B+ (V14) boulder traverse, by Josune Bereziartu.[9]

8B (V13):[z]

8A+ (V12):

8A (V11):

7C+/8A :

7C+ (V10):

7C (V9):

7B+ (V8):

Multi-pitch routes[edit]

Given the smaller number of entries, the sections combine overall and female ascents:

Redpointed[edit]

9a (5.14d):

8c (5.14b):

  • Bellavista (500-metres, 10-pitches) – Cima Ovest, Dolomites (ITA)– 18 July 2001 – First-ever big wall redpoint at 8c (5.14b), by Alexander Huber;[158] repeating the route in 2007 (to create Pan Aroma, also 8c), Huber found some key holds were "treated" from a 2005 attempt, and the crux was heavily lined with pegs, which had softened the grade to 8b/8b+.[159][160]

8b+ (5.14a):

8a+ (5.13c):

8a (5.13b):

7c+ (5.13a):

  • Via Acacia (330-metres, 9-pitches) – 5th Kirlichspitze, Rätikon, Switzerland – 1988 – First-ever big wall free climb at 7c+ (5.13a), by Martin Scheel [de].[161]

7b+ (5.12c):

  • Amarcord (400-metres, 9-pitches) – 7th Kirlichspitze, Rätikon, Switzerland – 1984 – First-ever big wall free climb at 7b+ (5.12c), by Martin Scheel [de].[161]

Free-soloed[edit]

7c+ (5.13a):

7b+ (5.12c):

7b (5.12b):

7a+ (5.12a):

Deep-water solo routes[edit]

Es Pontàs, sea arch in Mallorca, and DWS route, Es Pontàs, 9a+.

9b (5.15b) (unconfirmed):

  • AlashaMallorca (ESP) – September 12, 2016. First ascent by Chris Sharma, who estimated its grade based on the effort it took to climb it without rope: "If it had bolts on it, it probably wouldn't be a 9b (5.15b). But when you're 60 feet up with no bolts, it takes the same amount of effort.”[173]

9a+ (5.15a):

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Excluded from 9c: Alex Megos's Bibliographie (2020) is excluded post its 2021 downgrade by Stefano Ghisolfi (that Megos agreed with), and Sean Bailey's (2020) further confirmation that it is at 9b+ (it ranks as the fifth-ever 9b+ in history).[3][4]
  2. ^ Excluded from 9b+: Bernabè Fernandez [es]'s Chilam Balam (2003), was an unconfirmed and disputed first ascent that Fernandez proposed at 9b+ (5.15c) (the world's first-ever 9b+), which Adam Ondra regraded to a "low end" 5.15b (9b) in 2008, and which was further downgraded by later repeaters to a consensus of "hard 9a+ or 9a+/b".[8]
  3. ^ Excluded from 9b: Dani Andrada [fr]'s Ali Hulk Sit Start Extension (2007) is excluded post its 2021 downgrade to 9a+/b by Alex Garriga.[17][18][19]
  4. ^ Excluded from 9b: Fred Rouhling's Arika (1995) is excluded post its 2020 downgrade to 9a by Seb Bouin [fr] and Lucien Martinez.[20]
  5. ^ Not included in 9b: Tommy Caldwell's Flex Luthor (2003) is not included as Matty Hong's 2021 upgrade to 9b included the breaking of over a dozen handholds and twenty footholds, so much so that Hong could not opine on whether it was the same route Caldwell climbed, and Caldwell himself intervened to say that it was not as hard as Jumbo Love.[21][22] In November 2022, Jonathan Siegrist made the fourth ascent and downgraded it to 9a+ (5.15a)[23]
  6. ^ Excluded from 9a+: Alexander Huber's Weiße Rose (1994) was graded 8c+ but Adam Ondra's 2008 repeat estimated it at 9a (and potentially 9a+, which would have made it the world first-ever 9a+), however, Jakob Schubert's 2020 repeat confirmed it 9a.[28]
  7. ^ Excluded from 9a+: Bernabè Fernandez [es]'s Orujo (1998), was an unconfirmed and disputed ascent that Fernandez proposed at 9a+ (5.15a) (the world's first-ever 9a+ at the time), which has not been repeated due to concerns over manufacturing of holds.[29][30]
  8. ^ Not included in 8c:Jerry Moffatt's Stone Love (1988), is listed in some climbing databases as the world's second-ever 8c,[33] however, its consensus grade is considered at 8b+.[37]
  9. ^ Not included in 8b+: Wolfgang Gullich's Dead Line (1986) in listed in some climbing databases as the world's third-ever 8b+,[33] however, its consensus grade is now closer to 8b.[38]
  10. ^ Not included in 8b: Martin Scheel [de]'s Vuelo a Ciegas Direct (trans: Blind Fight) which was Spain's first 8b and sometimes mistaken as being climbed in 1984,[9] whereas Scheel did the first ascent in 1986.[40]
  11. ^ Not included in 8a+: Dave Cuthbertson's traditional climb Requiem (1983) is listed in some climbing databases as the world's second-ever 8b+,[33] however, its consensus grade is now closer to 8a (or E8 6b in the English traditional grading system).[42]
  12. ^ Not included in 8a: Peter Cleveland's Phlogiston (1977) at Devil's Lake is sometimes proposed as a first 8a (5.13b),[9] but it was clarified as a top rope.[43]
  13. ^ Excluded from 9b: Laura Rogora's 2020 ascent of Dani Andrada [fr]'s Ali Hulk Sit Start Extension (2007),[50] is excluded post its 2021 downgrade from 9b to 9a+/b by Alex Garriga.[17][18]
  14. ^ Excluded from 9a: Sasha Digiulian's 2012 ascent of Era Vella, which was at the time considered the fourth-ever female ascent of a 9a.[65] Era Vella has since been downgraded to 8c+/9a in the main climbing databases.[66]
  15. ^ Not included in 9a: Alizée Dufraisse's 2012 ascent of La Reina Mora, which is sometimes considered as being 9a (thus the fourth-ever female 9a), but the climbing databases regard La Reina Mora as 8c+/9a.[67]
  16. ^ Excluded from 8c:Kajsa Rosén [cs]'s onsight of T-1 Full Equip in March 2016 was considered a possible first female 8c onsght,[89] but the consensus grade was settled at 8b+ in 2021.[90][91]
  17. ^ Not included in 8b+: Katie Brown's onsight of Omaha Beach in 1999 is sometimes mistakenly classed as an 8b+ onsight,[95] however, several holds had broken from the sandstone route since Brown's onsight, and the original route was not considered an 8b+ (5.14a)-graded route.[96][97]
  18. ^ Not included in 8b+:Charlotte Durif [fr] lists a number of 8b+ onsights in her personal database: Spider cochon (2008), Ultime démence (2009), Basse température (2009) and Snails paradise (July 2010), that would rank as the earliest 8b+ female onsights,[95] however, they have not been verified in climbing media (unlike Les Rois du Pétrole in 2010).[98]
  19. ^ Excluded from V17: Charles Albert's No Kpote Only (2019) was proposed at V17 but was downgraded by the first and second repeaters, Ryohei Kameyama (to V16 in 2020) and Nicolas Pelorson respectively (to V15 in 2020).[107]
  20. ^ Not included in V17: Simon Lorenzi [cs]'s Soudain Seul (2021), proposed at V17 but repeated by Nicolas Pelorson (2021) who felt it was V16 saying "V17 is impossible for Soudain Seul because you do a V12 before a V14/15"; a second repeat by Camille Coudert (2022) upheld the V17 grade, however, it remains listed as V16 or V16/V17 in the main climbing databases.[108][109]
  21. ^ Excluded from 8C+: Dai Koyamada's The Wheel of Life (2004), once considered the first 8C+ but since downgraded to 8C (V15); it links several boulder problems over 68 moves and is now regarded as more a sport climbing route, with grade of 9a (5.14d).[118]
  22. ^ Not included in V15: Markus Bock [de]'s Gossip (April 2002) was proposed by Bock at 8B+ (V14) but later revised upwards by Bock to 8C (V15),[129] however, a first repeat by John Gaskins disputed the grade and felt it was closer to 8B+ (V14); led to a very acrimonious public exchange with Bock.[130][131][132]
  23. ^ Not included in V15: Klem Loskot's Emotional Landscapes SS (November 2002), was originally proposed by Loskot at 8B+ (V14), and Martin Moser's 2004 repeat was silent on the grade (he used different beta), however, Nalle Hukkataival's second repeat in 2014 (who also used different beta) suggested a possible 8C (V15), one of the world's first;[133] currently listed at 8B+/C (note the standing start is 8A+).[134]
  24. ^ Excluded from V14: Werner Thom's Zerberus (1997), was downgraded to V13 (8B) on its repeat by Thomas Lindinger in 2017.[137]
  25. ^ Excluded from V12: Jacky Godoffe [it]'s Partenaire Particulier (1987), which was considered at 8A+ (V12),[9] but has since been regraded to 8A (V11) in the main climbing databases.
  26. ^ Not included in V13: Therese Johansen's ascent of Bernd Zangerl [fr]'s Propaganda (May 2011) would have ranked as the third-ever female ascent of a V13 (8B), but she downgraded the boulder herself to hard V12 or maybe V13 after climbing it.[150]

References[edit]

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Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]