Akira | 9a Sport route

TheCrag.com | 8a.nu

Akira is a route with a complicated history and a degree of controversy, largely around the fact that first ascenionist Fred Rouhling suggested a grade of 9b at a time when 9a was the cutting edge and no routes had been proposed at 9a+ (though some routes from the era have subsequently been upgraded to 9a+, for example Mutation at Raven Tor). Subsequent ascentionists have suggested 9a is more appropriate. To complicate things even further, the repeat ascentionists chose not use kneebars but did suggest that using them would lower the grade further.

Holds may have come and go on the first part of the route:

Can confirm via a friend that worked Akira pretty hard that the initial section used to be 8B. His breakdown was 8B to a crap rest on a 3 finger pocket into a second 8B to the lip. He never tried the final rope section (8a?) as he thought it was pointless. [1] [2] [3]

Dani Andrada:

I almost did it [Akira]. I fell at the last move of the boulder crux. I find that section hard for 7C as Bouin and Martinez have now proposed. It's a boulder of about eight moves, which can be 8A or 8A+ in my opinion. I think the proposal of 9a is correct taking into account that they may have made some moves with kneebars as well. I went 7 or 8 days to try it. The place is quite ugly and I had a hard time finding someone to accompany me. The route is in the same style as Ali Hulk in the Cave of Ali Baba, in Rodellar, but the spot is so ugly that it is difficult to motivate oneself to go there. [4]


[1] https://ukbouldering.com/board/index.php/topic,10607.msg621712.html#msg621712

[2] https://ukbouldering.com/board/index.php/topic,10607.msg621740.html#msg621740

[3] https://ukbouldering.com/board/index.php/topic,10607.msg621741.html#msg621741

[4] https://woguclimbing.com/seb-bouin-lucien-martinez-repiten-akira-opinan-9a/

[5] https://www.grimper.com/news-25-ans-apres-akira-enfin-repetee-etions

[6] https://www.ukclimbing.com/news/2020/11/fred_rouhlings_akira_repeated_-_twice-72635

[7] https://www.instagram.com/p/CH52khijvz7/

[8] https://open.spotify.com/episode/4T8j5taHKyu11HnWMKvxWT?

Contributors: remus

Pics + Vids

Fred Rouhling
Added at 04:05 on 07 May 2023
Fred Rouhling
Added at 08:02 on 13 February 2024
Sébastien Bouin
Added at 08:03 on 05 March 2021
Sébastien Bouin
Added at 08:03 on 05 March 2021
Sébastien Bouin
Added at 10:02 on 13 February 2021
Sébastien Bouin
Added at 16:02 on 02 February 2021
Joshua Forteau
Added at 15:03 on 08 March 2021


7 recorded ascents, including 3 unsuccessful ascents.

Climber Style Ascent Date Suggested Grade
Fred Rouhling Lead | worked 6th Jun 1995 9b
First ascent.

Fred suggested 9b (at a time when there were no established 9a+s). A bold move!

An ascent (and grade) that caused a lot of controversy at the time.


[1] https://www.climbing.com/people/fred-rouhling/

[2] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dSSxk71e-2k

[3] https://open.spotify.com/episode/4T8j5taHKyu11HnWMKvxWT?

Sébastien Bouin Lead | worked 21st Nov 2020 9a
Lucien Martinez Lead | worked 22nd Nov 2020 9a
Joshua Forteau Lead | worked Mar 2021
Yuji Hirayama Lead | did not finish
Dai Koyamada Lead | did not finish
Dani Andrada Lead | did not finish