The Pic Saint Loup is a famous mountain in south of France, near Montpellier. The crag is located on the top of this mountain, on the north face. The rock quality of this sector is among the very best I have seen in my life, and the routes are so cool.
Beyond was a new project, originally bolted by the local Fedric Ferraro, three years ago. This route is located on the most overhanging part of the sector.
Seeing that there weren’t many holds on the upper part of the route, Fedric put a first anchor part-way up the line. At the time, he wasn’t sure if the second part could be climbed or not.
A NEW CHALLENGE AROUND MY HOME
For the last few years, I haven’t had many hard projects to challenge myself here at home. I was always travelling to find the next step and personal progression.
When I heard about this new project, I was like a kid with a new toy. I was super psyched to try it and see if it can be a new level for me.
This story started spring 2019, when I was searching for new projects around my home.
During that spring, before going to Norway to try Move (5.15b), I started to work this 50-meter project called Beyond.
There are two parts on the route: one first 9a+ followed by an 8a+ boulder problem. The moves are amazing and spectacular: jumps, drop-knees, bulges, tuffas, crimps ... all the ingredients for a perfect project.
Unfortunately, I couldn't solve the problem on the second part of the route. I simply couldn't do the moves ...
I moved on to Norway to climb Move.
During spring 2020, I was supposed to go to California, to try Jumbo Love (5.15b). Yet, the COVID pandemic and quarantine happened, and I stayed at home training, however I could.
At the end of quarantine, we got an authorization to practice sports in the area around our home (100km max).
Instantaneously I was reminded of the Beyond project. That was the moment.
Super psyched, I spent some more days on the project, but I still couldn’t find a solution on the second part ... ARGH ...
I came back in the fall, more determined than ever to try Beyond. I wanted to focus again, and more seriously. I knew that I was in great shape from my time in the Verdon and I wanted to put that to good use.
After two weeks on Beyond Integral some of the beta clicked and I was finally able to link sections on the second part of the route.
I needed just one more week of tries to send the route.
AN UNEXPECTED EXPERIENCE
This experience was special for me. At the beginning I thought it was not possible to find this same feeling of adventure that you get when visiting a new area, far away.
That experience taught me a lot: there is always something new to find, even if you know the place really well. There are always new adventures to live. Sometimes you just need a fresh perspective.
--BD Athlete Seb Bouin
Watch Seb go for the second ascent of the mythical 9b Akira.
For 25 years, this route remained unrepeated. The world controversy was huge at the time because Fred Rouhling skipped one step on the world grades: he proposed 5.15b, and 5.15a wasn't existing yet ... No one could say anything about the climb because no one repeated it. So, 25 years later, here is the story of the first repetitions.WATCH NOW