Dani Andrada has added a V14 (or v9, see below) sit start to his 5.15a extended version of the 5.14d link-up Ali Hulk. While the 5.14d version has been repeated, the 5.15a extended version has seen no repeats while the V14 sit start “is something not to f*** with, very hard” according to Dave Graham. Burly. Despite the fact that the entire route can be climbed without a rope, it seems like giving something of this length a route grade is more appropriate (same goes for Wheel Of Life).
First off, the news is wrong of it being “9a to 8b+ to 8c+ to 8c+”. What Dani said was that the route can be broken up in two ways; Either 9a into 8b+, or 8c+ into 8c+.
Third, the sit start to Ali Hulk Extension that Dani climbed is not V14. There are two different variations on where to do the low start from, either a V9 start or a V14 start. Dani did the V9 start. So what Dave said was in fact correct, and when the route gets done from the V14 sit start it will probably be 5.15c.”
Update #2: You can also read Dani’s blog at Petzl’s website where he seems to confirm the start as being V9 and not V14 as is being widely reported. Either way it is a very impressive route and it will be interesting to see if he can link it all together using the harder V14 start.
Here are a couple of videos featuring Dave Graham and Andrada to give you a sense of what it is like climbing in the Ali Baba cave: