La Rambla – 9a or 9a+?? A bit of controversy has arisen concerning the route La Rambla in Siruana, Spain. First climbed by Ramon Julian in 2003, it was graded 9a+ and was rightly seen as one of the hardest routes in the world. The route had been a major project for years for Dani Andranda and had seen off many attempts by local and international climbers including the Huber brothers. In late 2006 it finally saw a repeat by Edu Marin which was then quickly followed by ascents by Chris Sharma & Andreas Bindhammer. Ramon Julian has just recently stated that he believes the repeat ascentionists used a slightly easier sequence and that the route climbed in that way is not 9a+ but 9a. The contested sequence is only a few moves but it has stirred a lot of controversy in Spain. The 2nd ascenionist, Edu Marin, who has been in the news this week due to a dopping ban had this to say to Ramon´s comments:“I tried La Rambla with Ramón Julián a long time ago. The hardest move is to get the two-finger-pocket. Apart from that, it is the hardest route that I have ever fired off, and have in mind that I have done quite a few around this grade like some 9a´s, and 8c+´s 2nd go. The truth is that I would never have expected a comment that stupid.The crux, the two-finger-pocket, just arrives after 35 metres of lock-offs and crimps and then the final 7a or 7a+ of a vertical wall. The crimpers I use are in the original line of La rambla. It took Ramón many tries to do it, I understand that but, people´s level is going up, it is the climbing evolution. It took him four years, 22 tries for me and 12 for Chris Sharma. It will be better for him to accept the values of climbing and evolve as a climber… Everybody receives slaps… I sent it quicker than him and Sharma quicker than me and we have to accept it; it is not good to behave like some climbers that downgrade afterwards saying this hold is valid and this other one is not.La Rambla is the way Sharma, Bindhammer and me did it? he fell off from the two-finger-pocket during four years and once he was able to climb up from there he was so nervous that he just went straight up forgetting the two crimpers at the right side at just three fingers of distance… I think it cannot be counted like avoiding the pure original line. What pisses me off the most is the comment, that I never expected from a climber like him. But it´s okay, that´s life.“ As Edu states in his comment, will route climbing become more like bouldering where routes and grades will exist depending on the hold and sequence used?You can see a video of Ramon Julian on La Rambla here>> and see Chris Sharma repeating the route here>>Source: 8a.nu