Beim Franzosen Seb Bouin läuft es dieses Jahr richtig gut. Mit der 4. Begehung von „Jumbo Love“ meldet der Franzose seine bereits vierte Route im Grad 9b und härter. Schon im Mai diesen Jahres konnte er  in der Verdonschlucht die vielleicht zweite [9c]-Route der Welt, die Route „DNA“ erstbegehen. Nach der Begehung von „Jumbo Love“ konnte er noch den Direkteinstieg klettern, welche separat mit etwa 9a eincheckt. Für das gesamte Projekt mit dem Ausstieg von „Jumbo Love“ rechte ihm nicht mehr die Zeit, dürfte aber definitiv recht hart sein.

„An old dream came true last Wednesday. This king line has attracted me for a long time. It was a true inspiration to see the footage of Chris Sharma on it.
I started climbing around 2005 and it was one of the most incredible climbing films I had watched at that time.

Jumbo Love looked like everything I like in Climbing : A perfect huge orange steep wall in the middle of the Mojave desert. I knew this line and this wall will be my pure climbing style.
Climbing on this line is something I have been waiting for, for several years. And I am definitely not disappointed. It’s an amazing line with perfect moves.

But, Jumbo Love is not just a hard line, it’s a whole adventure. I totally underestimated the total process, the drive, the off-roading, and the hike in. We changed our car three times because it was not good enough to get to the crag. We also changed two tires due to off-road driving incidents,…

The 1h hike really takes it out of you.
I am used to climbing for many days in a row. But, here, that would be a mistake. We had to preserve ourselves. And keep our energy and motivation up.

We were sleeping some nights in the desert, so as not to drive every day.

I did this route on my 10th climbing day.
My overarching objective would be to do the Direct variation of Jumbo Love, which is supposed to be harder.
My approach was simple, find the best betas possible in Jumbo Love, in order to have the highest chances possible to send it coming from the direct (adding an 8c+ route before the 9b).

In this process, I used kneepads for the send, in three places. This kind of rock (orange rock with pockets) is actually not the best for using kneepads, but I still found it helped a little, with some tricky ‘expert ++’ kneebars. I was falling half of the time, slipping from kneebars. I almost gave up with these kneebars at some point because it was to sketchy. I was thinking the route a bit more powerful without kneebars, but way more secure if you have the strength required.

Yet, I was still thinking about the direct.“

Die Route „Jumbo Love“ wurde zuerst von Randy Leavitt, einem kalifornischen Kletterer, welcher schon mehrere Routen am Clark Mountain eingerichtet hatte, als Drei-Seillängen-Kletterei geplant. Aber Chris Sharma hatte die Vision die gigantische, 76 m lange Sportroute in einer Seillänge zu klettern. Im Jahr 2008 wurde seine Vision mit dem erfolgreichen Durchstieg wahr und die Welt hatte ihre erste 9b-Route.

Sieben Jahre nach der Erstbegehung konnte sich Ethan Pringle die erste Wiederholung sichern. Drei Jahre später war dann Jonthan Siegrist erfolgreich.

Foto: (c) Clarisse Bompard