Jakob Schubert has now spoken to „TheCrag“ about the grading of „B.I.G“ and „Project Big„:

My biggest mental battle so far! Thanks Adam for the vision and inviting me to join the process. Really proud of this one, it has been one hell of a ride!

B.I.G. feels so strange to grade because it really doesn’t feel that bad if you try just the moves. The crux is an 8a+ boulder problem and by now I have it dialed so well that I can do it easily even multiple times in a row. But because of the very powerful style of the boulder it’s way more difficult to do it after 80+ moves of climbing.

To me it felt a whole step beyond Perfecto Mundo which seems confirmed at 9b+. This alongside reflections with Adam made me propose 9c for B.I.G. While in my eyes the range for grades up to 9b seem to have settled due to the total amount of routes and ascents, this doesn’t yet seem the case for 9b+ and 9c, where the possibilities for comparison are still very limited. There are not even 10 climbers that claim to have sent 9b+, and the total of routes graded 9b+ or harder is still below 15, most of which are yet to see repeats. This makes it obvious that confines for both 9b+ and 9c are still blurry and will develop over time and through ascents and shared opinions. I hope they will come soon!

he route „B.I.G“ was drilled by Adam Ondra and also tried unsuccessfully. The crux of the route, which is very long at 85 moves, is an 8A+ boulder at the very end. If you want to see Jakob’s ascent, you can watch it on Jakob Schubert’s YouTube channel.

It is the fourth route for which the grade [9c] has been proposed. So far, none of the other three routes (Silence, DNA) have been repeated, except for „Bibliographie“ by Alexander Megos. Bibliography“ was downgraded to 9b+ after the repetitions. Alex had probably made it too difficult for himself.

Like „B.I.G.“, the route „Silence“ is also in the Hanshallar cave near Flatanger. Perhaps the world’s first route of this grade, it was first climbed by Adam Ondra in 2017 and has not yet been repeated, despite several attempts.

Photo: (c) Moritz Klee/Nodum Sports