Jon Cardwell took down his longstanding project Biographie/Realization (9a+/5.15a) in Céüse, France
today. It was his first redpoint of the grade.
“I’ve been here a little over two weeks now, and what can I say? The air is just a fresh as I remember, the landscape just as surreal and beautiful, and
the climbing as spectacular and difficult as before,” Cardwell posted on Instagram. “For those who know me well, I really love climbing in France,
Céüse in particular, for its overall ambiance, it doesn’t get better for me than these walls.”
He said he got “reacquainted” with his old project and “things were going smooth,” before the weather turned and he had to wait for the crag to dry out
again. But once the walls dried, he was back at it, “feeling stronger and more connected with the climb than ever,” he posted.
Chris Sharma first climbed the route in July 2001, but it was French climber Jean-Christophe Lafaille who bolted the line, and named it Biographie,
in 1989. Sharma never gave the route a grade, but he named it—or, more correctly, renamed it—Realization. In France, whoever bolts
the line gets to name it, but in the United States, it’s the first ascentionist who gets to name it, hence the double name.
Cardwell’s is the thirteenth known ascent since Sharma’s. Previous repeats were made by Sylvain Millet and Patxi Usobiaga in 2004, Dave Graham and Ethan
Pringle in 2007, Ramon Julian in 2008, Enzo Oddo in 2010, Jonathan Siegrist, Alex Megos—in an astonishing three tries—Adam Ondra and Sachi Amma in 2014, and Stefano Ghisolfi in 2015. Grade consensus has settled at 9a+/5.15a.
Cardwell also onsighted Le Nabab (8b+/5.14a), established by Bruno Clément, in St. Léger.
Last summer he made the second ascent of Shadowboxing (9a/5.14d)—the
hardest route in Rifle, Colorado—onsighted Roadside Prophet (5.14a), flashed Uncertainty Principle (5.13d) and
flashed Waka Flocka (5.14b)—his hardest flash.
Big congratulations to my friend @jon_cardwell for climbing his multi-year project #biography aka “realization” in #Ceuse France! This photo here was taken in 2014, Jon battling through the upper crux. Really happy for you bro, you earned it, every step of the way, pushing through to successfully send this iconic route!! @adidasoutdoor @petzl_official ????????
A photo posted by Keith Ladzinski (@ladzinski) on
The Story Behind Jonathan Siegrist’s Send Of Biographie/Realization (9a+/5.15a):