Seb Bouin was once again in Flatanger and got in the famous Hanshallarenhöhle the first repetition of the Adam Ondra route „Iron Curtain“ from 2013. For the ascent he needed 14 attempts splited over 5 climbing days. Already in 2013, Seb was present when he belayed Adam Ondra on the first ascent.
On his ascent of „Iron Curtain“ Seb used kneepads, which makes the route easier. This allows the crux to be climbed a little differently. It was still quite difficult for Seb, but less strenuous for shoulders – more like a classic boulder problem.
Adam Ondra suggested 9b as the grading for „Iron Curtain“, climbing the route without kneepads. If the route is climbed without kneepads, Seb Bouin said, 9b fits as a difficulty grading. Considering the time and number of attempts he needed for the redpoint ascent with kneepads, he personal graded with 9a+ . Whereby Seb is also known for his hard grading.
Back in 2013, I sent an email to Adam asking him if he will go to Flatanger during that summer. I was searching for a partner to climb with. I wasn’t expecting any answer, we didn’t know each other yet. The following day, I had an answer, proposing a date to pick me up from the airport of Trondheim. I booked my tickets, and joined him and Erick Grandelius for a whole month in this beautiful area. It was so exciting, a new beautiful place, a new crag, and the strongest climber of the world showing you the gems in the cave.
We just arrived there, and Adam was already jumping onto a project called Iron Curtain. The line looked so hard and beautiful. It was the first route he crushed during this trip. I had the chance to belay him during the FA, and it was impressive. He was doing a crazy gaston move for the crux. This was savage.
Making this trip with these guys was so inspiring. It was a turning point in my climbing life. They opened my eyes regarding high level climbing.
I learned so much seeing them moving on the rock. It was different. Thank you guys for these memories.
This year, I decided to return to Flatanger, without and real fixed objectives. I’m leaving myself open, and I will try what inspires me.
So I started with Iron Curtain. The rock is so perfect, and the line is so cool. It took me 14 tries to do it, and 5 climbing days.
I used kneepads to send it. I think the line is easier with kneepads. You can do the crux a bit differently. It’s still quite hard, but less demanding on the shoulders, and more of a conventional boulder problem. Adam proposed a 9b grade without kneepad. And I am quite sure of this grade if you are not using kneepads. Regarding the time and investment it took me, it could be more 9a+ using kneepads. This line is exceptional.
Regarding the next projects, I will start to look for bigger challenges. I don’t know if I am ready at the moment for another big project demanding really long term investment. DNA took a lot out of me. I think I need a little time before the next big one. Let’s see where my heart is bringing myself.
Seb wants to take it easy for the time being. Especially since his big project „DNA„, the potential second 9c on this planet, has challenged him quite a bit.
Photo: (c) Marko Müller