Chabot (sort of) flashes 5.14b
French superstar Alexandre Chabot, the reigning World Cup sport climbing champion, has managed what could be called an "amnesia onsight" of a 5.14b (8c). Chabot did the climb Cadre at Ceüse, France, a route considered solid for the grade, four years after dogging up the climb once, when he had never climbed a route harder than 5.13c. Given how little he learned from the 1999 ascent, Chabot considers his recent ascent a flash. Even if it's not a true flash, this may be the speediest ascent of a confirmed 5.14b. (Yuji Hirayama onsighted Mortal Kombat a French climb originally graded 5.14b, but this climb was subsequently downgraded and has seen a second onsight.) Chabot, who has long focused on indoor competition climbing, also climbed his first 5.14c (8c+), a link-up called Ultimate Sacrifice at Gorges du Loup, France. Details at www.escalade-alsace.com (in French).