Video: This is how Jakob Schubert performs in DNA (9c)

Since the first ascent of DNA (9c) by the French climber Seb Bouin, Jakob Schubert could hardly wait to climb the steep face of La Ramirole. In November the time had come and the Austrian climbing pro took a closer look at the Mega line. In the video, Jakob Schubert takes you into the gigantic overhang.

Who hasn't been waiting for this: Finally, a potential candidate takes the Mega line DNA from Seb Bouin in the Verdon Gorge and records his attempts on video. Along with Jorg Verhoeven effect Jakob Schubert paid a visit to what is probably the second 9c climbing route in the world. Embark on an aerial journey into the vertical with the Olympic bronze medalist from Austria.

You recently paid a short visit to what is probably the second 9c route in the world. What were your takeaways from Seb Bouin's DNA in the south of France?
Last November I went on a short trip to the Verdon with Jorg Verhoeven. I took the 10 hour drive to spend XNUMX days in this route and see what DNA is really like, if I should devote more and more time to it.

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"I was blown away by the beauty of the Verdon Gorge, the face of La Ramirole and the route itself. It's just amazing."

The route is really fun and I felt pretty good. I was able to do all the moves within two days. Also thanks to Seb, who sent me a video and I was able to learn a lot from him, which helped me a lot.

"What excites me most about the route is that there isn't one all-important move or passage, rather the difficulty of DNA is putting all these difficult moves together and climbing through it in one piece."

Jakob Schubert: "I was overwhelmed by the beauty of the Verdon Gorge, the face of La Ramirole and the route itself. It's just incredible." Image: Alpsolut Pictures
Jakob Schubert: "I was overwhelmed by the beauty of the Verdon Gorge, the face of La Ramirole and the route itself. It's just incredible." Picture: Alpsolut Pictures

Can you briefly guide us through the route, what makes it difficult?
The route starts with a very powerful 8c, rather short but with some hard moves. Seb did a lot of very tricky knee curls that I struggled with quite a bit. At the end of this 8c you will find a large knee clamp, which you can definitely rest on.

The long key passage then begins with an 8a boulder problem, followed by a very bad rest position and another boulder, which according to Seb is around 8a+. I'm not sure if he couldn't be a bit more difficult.

From there it is very exhausting: pliers, complex movements, especially with the legs, a long pull in an underhand grip and constantly knee clamps that take a lot of getting used to.

"All in all, the route suits me very well and I'm happy that I was able to find a solution for the most difficult passages."

From there to the top it's still 8c/8c+, with probably the best climbing of all, along ingenious sinter columns. All in all, the route is really difficult and impressive. I can't wait to come here for a longer time and try to climb it in one piece.

Jakob Schubert: "I can't wait to come here for a longer period of time and try to climb it in one piece." Image: Alpsolut Pictures
Jakob Schubert: "I can't wait to come here for a longer period of time and try to climb it in one piece." Picture: Alpsolut Pictures

After what was probably your strongest season with Olympic bronze and the 4th World Championship title in lead climbing in 2021, you made a name for yourself as a “downgrader”, is DNA 9c for you?
Many people are always very interested in the difficulty levels of the hardest routes. What do you think about Silence? What do you think of Project Big? Do you think DNA is actually a 9c? Of course, that's very difficult to say once you've only invested a few days.

I think you can only rate a route when you've actually climbed it. One can make assumptions, but an actual evaluation is only possible afterwards. I haven't really tried to connect all the sections yet, which will certainly be difficult.

"What I can say at the moment is that DNA is no more difficult than 9c and no easier than 9b+." 

Are you planning to come back to La Ramirole soon or what is your plan for 2023?
When it comes to competitions, my biggest goal this year is to finish in the top three in combined at the world championships to secure my ticket to the Olympics. If I don't manage that, I will of course train for the European qualifiers in Laval in November.

As for rock climbing, I plan to focus on bouldering until spring, when I hope to find time to travel to Flatanger to try Project Big again. Once I have my Olympic ticket in my pocket my full focus for the rest of the year is rock climbing and of course the Verdon Gorge is high on the list.

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Credits: Cover picture Alpsolut Pictures

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