Youngest 9a climber: Theo Blass (12) scores Trip Tik Tonik

The Frenchman Theo Blass climbs Trip Tik Tonik (9a) in the Gorges du Loup. The 12-year-old is the youngest climber to date who was able to climb the difficulty level 9a red point. For Theo Blass it is already the second record: in 2020 he pushed the age limit for 8c to ten years with Souvenirs du pic.

The young French climber Theo Blass writes climbing history again: In the Gorges du Loup he manages the red point ascent of the sport climbing route Trip Tik Tonik (9a). At the age of 12 years and 9 months he takes over the title of the youngest climber in grade 9a from Gianluca Vighetti. This was two months older than he was with the route TCT cracked a 13a shortly before his 9th birthday.

theo-blass-climbs-with-trip-tik-tonik-as-the-youngest-9a
Theo Blass in Trip Tik Tonik (9a).

Second record for Theo Blass

For the extremely talented young climber from Montpellier, it is the second time that he has set records with his achievements and written climbing history: In the summer of 2020, Theo Blass, who was only ten at the time, drew attention to himself when he 8c Route Souvenirs du pic in the French climbing area Saint-Guilhem-le-Desert pulled. No one before him had managed a route of this difficulty at the age of ten.

In 2020, Theo Blass was the first ten-year-old to climb the 8c route Souvenirs du pic in Saint-Guilhem-le-Désert. Image: Vladimir Arnaoudov

In January 2021 he scored with Guère d'usure already his second 8c. Shortly thereafter he began Great Samson (8c) – also in the climbing area Claret – to project. After just eight sessions, he also cracked this route.

With the red point ascent of Trip Tik Tonik (9a), Theo Blass is now writing climbing history for the second time. Adam Ondra, who has numerous «firsts», was 13 years old when he was with Martin Krpan in Misja Pec climbed his first 9a route.

Kévin Aglaé climbs Trip Tik Tonik

Trip Tik Tonik: 8c/c+ becomes 9a over the years

2004 succeeded Cedric Lo Piccolo the first ascent of the sport climbing route in Gorges du Loup. He rated Trip Tik Tonik 8c/8c+ after climbing through. Later repeaters like Adam Ondra classified the line as 8c +, Daniel Woods or Joe Kinder even as 8c+ hard.

2011 "renatured" Guillaume Lebret Trip Tik Tonik trying to pull out one of the two glued Sika handles. This increased the level of difficulty of the line to 9a. A rating correction that Seb Bouin confirmed the following year and which was not questioned by subsequent repeaters.

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Credits: Cover picture Thibaut Pawlas

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