Graham Ticks Classic 5.14+

Heading out the door? Read this article on the new Outside+ app available now on iOS devices for members! Download the app.

Turning his attention from bouldering to routes as the weather warms, Dave Graham, our man in Europe, has done a pair of desperate climbs, including the classic Bain de Sang (9a/5.14d). Graham needed only three attempts to repeat the super-technical, super-crimpy route in St. Loup, Switzerland, according to Bain de Sang, established in 1993 by Fred Nicole, was the second 9a route in the world and has seen more repeats than any other 9a. Given the relative ease with which he sent it, Graham suggested it might actually be 8c+ or 5.14c. Graham has repeated the world’s first 9a, Action Directe in Germany, and gave the same grade to his own short route The Fly at Rumney, New Hampshire. He has climbed at least a dozen other routes graded 5.14c or 14c/d, and he added another earlier this month with his ascent of Non a La Bombe (5.14c), also at St. Loup.

Film: How Matt Cornell Free Soloed One of America’s Classic Hard Mixed Routes

"The Nutcracker" explores the mental challenges of solo climbing and the tactics Cornell used to help him send the route.