Millet Won't Grade Realization

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Frenchman Sylvain Millet, who made the second ascent of Chris Sharma’s Realization at Ceüse, France, in late May, says he doesn't know how hard it is — the only sure thing, he says, is that it's harder than the 8c+ (5.14c) routes he has climbed at the same crag. Millet, ranked sixth in the world in competition climbing, spent three years working on the route, which adds about 50 feet of difficult climbing to Biographie, an 8c+ first redpointed in 1995 by Arnaud Petit. Millet made the third ascent of the original Biographie in 1999. After Sharma’s ascent in 2001, Realization was widely touted as 5.15a, despite the fact that Sharma never graded it. Unsuccessful attempts to repeat the route by strongmen such as Dave Graham and Patxi Usobiaga have added to its stature. But Millet says he has no idea if the climb is 9a+ (5.15a). “I don’t have enough reference to say if it is 9a or 9a+ — I have made only two 8c+’s [plus Biographie], and one of them has not been repeated. Moreover, I don’t care about that," Millet said. "The only thing that suggests it would be 9a+ is the number of climbers who are very strong who tried the route without linking it, and the number of tries which Chris did to link it — and me even more!”