Climbing History

A selected history of climbing and mountaineering through the climbers, climbs and media.


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Action Directe | 9a Sport route at Waldkopf

© Thomas Ballenberger

Action Directe is a sport route in the Waldkopf area of the Frankenjura in Germany. It was first climbed by Wolfgang Güllich in 1991 who suggested a grade UIAA grade of XI which equates to roughly 8c+/9a. It has since settled at 9a making it one of the first of the grade in the world.

The route is famous for it's brutal, uncompromising climbing on one- and two-finger pockets. While training for the first ascent Wolfgang famously made use of the first campus board in the world (the board was erected in the Campus Centre gym in Nürnberg hence the name).

After an easier initial section leading to a ledge and hands-off rest the route consists of around 20 hand moves, a pure power-endurance testpiece.

The route is named after the french terror group of the same name.

References

[1] Written in Stone, Nov 2023 https://open.spotify.com/episode/3XjUWgzU7IMJgEWPzequbq?

[2] Written in Stone interview with Ben Cossey, Nov 2023 https://open.spotify.com/episode/0jLxfy5CRlOTykTmtG7MZe?

[3] Written in Stone interview with Alex Megos, Nov 2023 https://open.spotify.com/episode/5nhDlvoMlXj4jvCROnwSh6?

© Thomas Ballenberger

Action Directe is a sport route in the Waldkopf area of the Frankenjura in Germany. It was first climbed by Wolfgang Güllich in 1991 who suggested a grade UIAA grade of XI which equates to roughly 8c+/9a. It has since settled at 9a making it one of the first of the grade in the world.

The route is famous for it's brutal, uncompromising climbing on one- and two-finger pockets. While training for the first ascent Wolfgang famously made use of the first campus board in the world (the board was erected in the Campus Centre gym in Nürnberg hence the name).

After an easier initial section leading to a ledge and hands-off rest the route consists of around 20 hand moves, a pure power-endurance testpiece.

The route is named after the french terror group of the same name.

References

[1] Written in Stone, Nov 2023 https://open.spotify.com/episode/3XjUWgzU7IMJgEWPzequbq?

[2] Written in Stone interview with Ben Cossey, Nov 2023 https://open.spotify.com/episode/0jLxfy5CRlOTykTmtG7MZe?

[3] Written in Stone interview with Alex Megos, Nov 2023 https://open.spotify.com/episode/5nhDlvoMlXj4jvCROnwSh6?

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Adam suggested low 9b, while acknowledging that he did the route quickly and wasn't too sure on the grade.

References

[1] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oTGsRIjyVBE

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Repeated without knee pads.

References

[1] https://www.instagram.com/reel/C7OpRWCNFct/

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