Seb Bouin reports the first ascent of a top route in the French climbing crag of Saint Auban, which he graded as 9a+/b. He named the route „Jamming Destruction“ and it is an extension of Adrien Boulon’s route „Destruction“. Seb was able to climb the original route after three attempts and „discovered“ the direct entry to the right of the original route. The crux is a hand jam, which Seb could only climb with crack gloves. The problem for him was to put on the crack gloves before the second part and the crux, as he could not or did not want to carry the lower part with slopers with them.
After realizing my hardest flash ever in Saint Auban, I was checking out some other projects at the same crag. There was a cool one on the left side of the crag bolted again by @adrienboulon called „Destruction“. I managed to climb this in 3 goes, and it should be around 8c+. This route starts on the left side of the cave. I also saw there would be the possibility for a direct start from the lower part of the cave, so I bolted it. It looks a bit like „The big Island“ boulder in fontainebleau. I was thinking it might be too hard at the beginning. But after few goes I found some crazy beta. Stay tuned for the video to see!. There is one particularity in this route : there is a crux with a full hand jam where you really need to wear a crack glove. If not, it feels impossible.
As the crack glove is annoying for climbing hard on slopers, I didn’t want to wear it for the first part. The problem was to put it before the second part and the hand jam crux.
I found a kneebar right before the second crux, and I was able to put the crack glove on at this moment. I also found a kneebar right after the hand jam crux, where I was able to remove the crack glove. It’s a bit of logistics, but it doesn’t work if not. So, the first part should be around 8c+/9a, and then you still have to do the second 8c+ part. By my estimation, the full route adds up to be around 9a+/b.
Photo: (c) Thibaut Marot