BIG the new world hardest route
To climb the world hardest route one needs to be the best in the World. However, the title of “Best in the World” had for some reason found itself attached to Adam Ondra for the past decade or so, and rightly so. Jakob Schubert was known for being a multiple IFSC World Cup winner both in lead and bouldering.
Although, he had made multiple first ascents and repeats of numerous hard routes. Adam Ondra had always been associated as the World’s best climber for having climbed the World’s hardest route… until now. 2023 had been an amazing year for Jakob Schubert having qualified for Paris 2024 by winning the 2023 World Climbing Championship for both the Combined and Lead in Bern.
Project B.I.G had not seen a successful attempt since Adam Ondra bolted the route back in 2013. To prepare for attempting a hard route, climbers will normally prepare themselves and select the optimum time with minimum distraction to climb. Having a film crew filming the climb these days is also something elite climbers have to live with.
Jakob Schubert decided to increase the stake by announcing he would live-stream his attempts on YouTube, which is what made this so newsworthy. No climber had ever lived steam an attempt. And of course, Jakob Schubert claimed the first ascent of Project BIG and everyone is dying to know. The world’s hardest grade now is 9c, Silence and DNA. Will we see a new world’s hardest grade 9c+ or maybe a 10a?
Days after sending BIG. Jakob Schubert finally went online to give BIG a modest grade of 9c. Jakob Schubert had spent the past few years climbing some of the world’s hardest routes and downgrading them. So grading BIG 9c on par with the existing hardest grade seems like the thing Jakob Schubert will do.
Claiming FA for BIG is a huge achievement, congrats to Jakob. But I guess it will take a while longer before we can see a breakthrough in climbing grades. Assuming the climber who eventually climbs the hardest route will be willing to give it the hardest grade and deal with the possibility of it getting downgraded by other climbers.