After Seb Bouin successfully repeated the top routes „Iron Curtain“ and „Nordic Marathon“ 9b/+ in the Hanshallaren Cave in Flatanger (Norway), he finally tried „Change“ (9b+). The route „Change“ was the first route on this planet to be graded 9b+. It was first climbed by Adam Ondra ten years ago. So far, only Stefano Ghisolfi has been able to repeat the route.

He was able to climb the two individual pitches relatively quickly, but ultimately only had four days to successfully climb the entire route. After two days with miserable conditions and an understandable fatigue and one day with quite good conditions, the Frenchman was able to climb the route completely on the last day with the last attempt. Like Stefano Ghislofi, he used „kKneepads„, which certainly made the route a little easier.

After sending pitch 1 and pitch 2 independently, my goal was for sure trying the entire route. The only problem was I only had four more days, before my departure to come back home.
I didn’t know if it would be enough for the entire route. My body started to feel crushed by this cave. I felt tired from the trip. But I wanted to play the game until the very end.
Day 1, the conditions were terrible. It was humid and wet. A lot of the key holds were wet. I decided to not climb and wait for the next day.

Day 2, it was still humid, and key holds were a bit dryer, but the humidity didn’t give me confidence. I decided to try the route anyway. It was difficult to wait much longer, knowing I had to leave soon. I passed the first pitch, rested a lot before pitch 2. Then passed the first traverse crux on Pitch 2, and fell straight after that on the second crux. The holds were really humid and almost wet.

Day 3 (August 5th), I still felt really tired from my attempt on the previous day, and I didn’t sleep well during the night. I wasn’t planning to climb – I wanted to wait until I felt ready. I went up to the cave to check out conditions and belay my girlfriend on her route. The conditions were exceptional! I was torn in my mind. Should I try it and take advantage of the conditions? or should I wait until I knew I was fully recovered? I finally decided to try the route. I was literaly flowing through the holds, due to the good conditions. It was so much different than the day before.
I am happy to say that I made no mistakes and felt the belief that I could make it to the end, and I did! I am not usually a ‘last day, last try’ kind of guy, but this time it happened 
I climbed the route with kneepads, like previous ascensionist Stefano Ghisolfi.

More posts to come regarding the global trip, and comparaison between Change, Nordic Marathon, and Move.

Photo (c): Marco Müller