Jimmy Webb and Charles Albert have both sent Le Pied à Coulisse in Fontainebleau, France, making
the second and third ascents of the forest’s only proposed V16.
It was only a month ago that Guilaume “GuiGui” Glairon-Mondet completed the three-year project and graded it 8C+/V16. He invited others to come and try the route, which if confirmed, could stand as the hardest route in the area.
“This problem seems to be a new level of difficulty in the forest,” Glairon-Mondet wrote on his blog, “a lot harder than the other things I have already
Both Webb and Albert made quick work of the boulder problem. Webb, curious to use the beta Glairon-Mondet based his rating off of, climbed left and through
the roof. Albert, 18, who completed yet another difficult problem barefoot, as is his style, escaped directly upward and cut six moves off the challenging
“Today I sent Le Pied à Coulisse,” Albert writes on Facebook, “but a different version by going direct and missing out the right hand version. It’s easier than the original method, but maybe only possible without climbing shoes.”
The elephant in the forest is, of course, the grade. Is V16 justified?
“I personally feel 8C is more appropriate,” Webb wrote on his 8a.nu scorecard. “It is,” however, “definitely one of the
hardest [problems] in the forest”—a big statement from Webb, who sent the famous Font test-piece l’Alchemiste earlier this month and downgraded it to 8B (V13), two grades below the previously suggested 8C (V15).
Watch GuiGui make the first ascent of Le Pied à Coulisse: