Watch Seb Bouin Make the First Ascent of La Rage d'Adam (5.15b/c)

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With his ascent of La Rage d’Adam, the French climber Sébastien Bouin has completed what is likely the hardest sport route in France to date—and one of the hardest sport routes in the world. Bouin completed the line at La Ramirole in the Verdon Gorge, which was bolted by Antonin Rhodes, in September 2019. He had worked it on and off over four years. Bouin has described the route as starting with six quickdraws of 8c (5.14b) approach climbing, followed by the boulder crux—10 moves of steep pinches and underclings—then 25 meters of 8b (5.13d) climbing to the chains. He graded La Rage d’Adam 9b/+ (5.15b/c). It’s Bouin’s second route of the grade after he made the first repeat of Adam Ondra’s Move in Flatanger, Norway, earlier in the same year.

In an interview for Black Diamond, Bouin explained the route name:

La Rage d’Adam means ‘Adam’s rage.’ Yet in French it is also a quibble/word play. In fact, Adam and ‘la dent’ sound similar in French. And ‘la rage de dent’ means toothache. So the route took this name because Adam [Ondra] has an incredible rage inside him when he climbs.”

Bouin showed Ondra the line in 2015, thinking it would be a good two-day project for the visiting climber. The route proved harder than expected. He shared Ondra’s description of the experience in an Instagram post:

“It was a summer day of 2015, conditions felt quite good though and Seb showed me this project, that he had briefly tried before. He mentioned a hard boulder problem. When [I arrived at the crux], even after 20 minutes I did not really imagine any possible sequence that could make it more climbable … I came up with some crazy gaston beta, but I could not do the moves either and dismissed the route as too hard to be climbable in the near future. Well, Seb did not give up. [He] came back, got some better beta, got super strong, and finally sent it this year.”

Ondra did not dispute the grade, even suggesting it could be sandbagged.

“My guess is that it could be more of 9b/b+,” he said, “if not even harder, based on my one and only experience of the route—which felt HARD!”

Bouin completed the FA as part of his “Rock Combined Challenge,” in which he both made the FA of the hardest sport route in France, and repeated the hardest multipitch route in France, Hosanna (8c, 5.14b) within one week.

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