"Chilam Balam" (9b) by Sindre Sæther

The Norwegian Sindre Sæther managed the 5th or 6th ascent of the route “Chilam Balam” (9b) in the Spanish climbing area Villanueva del Rosario. Sindre spent 85 project days over 3 years in the route. For Sindre it was the first route in grade 9a + or harder.

The Spanish Bernabé wanted the route to have climbed in 2003 and rated it at 9b +. Since then the top climbers could only climb 9a +, doubts soon arose. In addition, Bernabé before and after that no nearly equally hard routes had climbed. For his first ascent, there were no witnesses and no video. In 2011, Adam Ondra managed the second ascent or first ascent of this 80 meter long route after three project days. Adam suggested  for the route the grade 9b and also considered a visit by Bernabé Fernández 2003 possible.

“In total Sindre invested 85 climbing days over 3 years in Chilam Balam either working parts, doing link-ups consisting of parts of the route, building fitness on the route after long forced breaks or having attempts on the route. In the end, he got to the last bolt of the route 15 times before sending and climbed the first 8c+ part 35 times.

The time was spent mainly mid-winter (between November and February) in a lot of cold, wet and humid conditions. In 2018 he only got to try from the ground 5 days as the route was more or less constantly wet despite spending somewhere between 3-4 months in Villanueva that year.

Sindre is in Norway known for his bigwall achievements, having freeclimbed a lot of hard aidlines in the Trollwall (most unrepeated), as well as Tsunami A4 (now 8a+) on Kjerag, as well as many other walls in Norway and around the world.

That is not to say that Sindre isn´t an accomplished sport climbers as well, but since he isn´t on any social media and doesn’t say much about what he does most people know very little about what he has climbed. If my count is correct Chilam marks his 6th route 9a or harder, the hardest before Chilam being La Novena Enmienda in Santa Linya in 2016.”

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