Enzo Oddo Repeats La Rambla Original (5.15a)

16-year-old French phenom Enzo Oddo has climbed yet another 5.15 with his repeat of La Rambla original in Siurana, Spain.  The route was first climbed before Oddo was even born by Alex Huber to a stopping point 3/4 up the wall, and it was subsequently extended by Ramón Julián Puigblanque.  The accepted grade for this route these days seems to be 5.15a, but Rock and Ice has a good recap of this history of the route including Huber’s thoughts on how the grade of this route and many others has been inflated over the years:

“It’s a fact that La Rambla increased in grade from 8c+ (5.14c) to 9a+ (5.15a). Often people believe this is due to the route extension, but in reality the difficulties do not change substantially with this extension.”

Posted In: Asides, News, Sport Climbing

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13 Responses to Enzo Oddo Repeats La Rambla Original (5.15a)

  1. HerpDerpison December 27, 2011 at 5:29 pm #

    It blows my mind that a route like La Rambla can’t be talked about without the grade coming up.  If you’ve ever been to Suriana you have seen La Rambla and the wall its on.  It is so fucking impressive and badass, yet we allow silly quibbling over an imaginary number dominate the conversation.  Humans are such dipshits sometimes…

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    • TheDanDan December 30, 2011 at 7:27 pm #

      Oh please . . . talking about the difficulty of a climb will never prevent you from appreciating its other qualities, unless you let it. Ignoring a climb’s difficulty is just as silly as ignoring its beauty or purity of line (which are also pretty intangible).

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  2. Dave December 28, 2011 at 12:03 pm #

    I thought the blurb on R&I was really good and brought up a lot of history on the route that I didn’t know about.  I didn’t know that the original route was done by Huber, and that the original grade was .14c/8c+.  It was neat to hear a few of Huber’s thoughts on the original grade and how he arrived at that.  And I think Ramon Julian called the extension .15c when he did it?  

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    • Julian Buck December 28, 2011 at 1:49 pm #

      “And I think Ramon Julian called the extension .15c when he did it?”

      Where on earth did you hear that? No way that Ramonet overgraded it that badly.

      As far as Huber’s comments go, I feel like they need to be taken with a grain of salt. Besides the fact that a lot of his routes appear to be sandbagged given modern grading standards, if the extension didn’t add any difficulty why didn’t he just complete the full line?

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      • Gelu December 29, 2011 at 3:21 am #

        I guess (just guessing!) the line Huber climbed didn’t have any extension originally. So he did climb “the full line”. Later on it was extended. He simply claims that the extension doesn’t add enough difficulty to justify the 9a+ grade.

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        • TheDanDan December 30, 2011 at 7:19 pm #

          Well, obviously the original route did not include the extension . . . otherwise it wouldn’t be called an extension. The point is, if the the line can logically be taken all the way to the top of the cliff at a comparable quality, the only reason not to do so would be if it was too difficult to climb it all the way to the top. 

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        • Gelu January 1, 2012 at 11:35 am #

          TheDanDan, what I said was based on the R&I recap which states “Ramon Julian Puigblanque claimed the second ascent and extended Huber’s original line with a traverse into the neighboring route La Reina Mora”.
          Since you need to traverse to link the lines I concluded that the extension was not the obvious way to the top.

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        • Gelu January 1, 2012 at 11:37 am #

          My mistake, someone else had already made this point and you answered it.

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        • TheDanDan January 1, 2012 at 3:00 pm #

          Gelu, I would think that a person would only traverse into a neighboring route BECAUSE that was the obvious (easiest and least contrived) way to the top. Obviously a direct and singular line to the top would be preferable, but either way would be better than a route that ends part way up the cliff, in my opinion. 

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      • Dave December 30, 2011 at 9:42 pm #

        My mistake!  I was thinking of Chilam Balam, which was graded 9b+/.15c by Bernabe Fernandez.

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  3. guest December 31, 2011 at 4:01 pm #

    From R&I article:
    “Ramon Julian Puigblanque claimed the second ascent and extended Huber’s
    original line with a traverse into the neighboring route La Reina Mora.”  Key word being traverse.

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    • TheDanDan December 31, 2011 at 5:42 pm #

      The words “into the neighboring route” are pretty key as well. Presumably there was vertical distance left to be climbed.

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  4. Jean January 5, 2012 at 9:17 am #

    Hat off to Enzo, who goes on at highest levels. The youngest among the very few top climbers

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