Der elfjährige Théo Blass konnte nach acht Sessions seine dritte 8c-Route mit ‚Super Samson‚ im französischen Klettergebiet Claret punkten.

Seb Bouin stufte die Route nach seiner Begehung 2019 auf 8b + ab. Aber egal, ob die Route wirklich „nur“ 8b+ ist, es bleibt eine herausragende Leistung.

Sein Vater Vladimir Arnaoudov meint zu Theos Begehung: „Theo decided to try the route after sending his second 8c in January – Guere d’usure at the same crag (Claret). Super Samson is quite different from the two previous 8c routes he did: it has a short and very bouldery crux (about 5 moves V10 boulder about 20 meters from the ground). As there were no intermediate holds Theo had to use largely the same holds as grown-ups and had to do some big moves but his relatively small fingers and height were an advantage for some of the moves.

Theo could do the bouldery crux after 2-3 sessions and after checking out all the sections and trying all the falls (which he generally does on hard routes to avoid bad or uncontrolled falls) he got very close to sending the route, however, the send turned out to be a bit more elusive due to bad conditions. The route became a bit of a mental challenge and Theo had to take a couple of weeks break before returning to the route and sending it quite easily.

This route demonstrates one more time that grades are relative, especially for kids. Adults can come up with some sort of consensus most of the time, but the further you get from the average adult climber’s morphology, the more relative grades become. Guere d’usure, which is supposed to be an easier 8c took Theo much longer to send (the crux of Guere d’usure largely consists of compression moves on good sloppy holds with bad feet).

We regularly try to tell our kids that grades are not that important and that it is all just a game, and what really matters is to try hard, enjoy climbing, and be the best of oneself, but the message is somehow inconsistent and I don’t think they always believe us because most adults that kids look up to seem to take grades very seriously. Never mind, we will keep trying:)“

Théo schreib letztes Jahr Klettergeschichte, als er mit „Souvenirs du pic“ als erst Zehnjähriger und damit jüngster Kletterer, eine 8c Route klettern konnte.

Im Jahr 2004 schrieb ein 11-jähriger tschechischer Junge namens Adam Ondra Geschichte, indem er „Mascherina“ (8b+) in der Grotta del Aeronauta in Italien klettern konnte. Zu dieser Zeit war er der jüngste Kletterer dem dies gelang. Im Jahr 2012 schlug Brooke Raboutou Ondras Rekord um einige Monate, als sie „Welcome to Tijuana“ (8b+) in Rodellar, Spanien, ebenfalls mit 11 Jahren, durchstieg. Dies konnte Ashima Shirashi, als sie 11 Jahre alt war, noch unterbieten. Im Oktober 2012, konnte sie die Route „Southern Smoke“ ((8b+/5.14c) in Red River Gorge Rotpunkt klettern. 2016 bestieg die Ukrainerin Illya Bakhmet-Smolensky die Route „Pijane Trójkąty“ (8b+) in Polen. Sie ebenfalls 11 Jahre alt.