Become a Member

Get access to more than 30 brands, premium video, exclusive content, events, mapping, and more.

Already have an account? Sign In

Become a Member

Get access to more than 30 brands, premium video, exclusive content, events, mapping, and more.

Already have an account? Sign In



Sébastian Bouin Claims Third Ascent of Chilam Balam (5.15b), Spain

Bouin's was the third ascent and his hardest send yet.

Lock Icon

Unlock this article and more benefits with 25% off.

Already have an Outside Account? Sign in

Outside+ Logo

25% Off Outside+.
$4.99/month $3.75/month*

Get the one subscription to fuel all your adventures.

  • Map your next adventure with our premium GPS apps: Gaia GPS Premium and Trailforks Pro.
  • Read unlimited digital content from 15+ brands, including Outside Magazine, Triathlete, Ski, Trail Runner, and VeloNews.
  • Watch 600+ hours of endurance challenges, cycling and skiing action, and travel documentaries.
  • Learn from the pros with expert-led online courses.
Join Outside+

*Outside memberships are billed annually. Print subscriptions available to U.S. residents only. You may cancel your membership at anytime, but no refunds will be issued for payments already made. Upon cancellation, you will have access to your membership through the end of your paid year. More Details

Séb Bouin.

Sébastian Bouin, of France, clipped the chains of the 80-meter monster Chilam Balam (5.15b) this week, claiming the third ascent of the famous—and controversial—Spanish route.

Bouin began working the 22-bolt endurance test-piece, located at Villanueva del Rosario in the Andalusia region of Spain, in February. He made quick progress on the lower section but was stumped by a bouldery section up higher. Bouin returned to work the route earlier this month—along with the Spaniards Edu Marin and Dani Andrada—and reached the anchors this week.

In 2003, Bernabé Fernández reported climbing the route and proposed the unprecedented grade of 9b+ (5.15c)—two grades harder than Chris Sharma’s benchmark 5.15a Realization/Biographie in Céüse, France.

Both the 5.15c grade and the legitimacy of Fernández’s first ascent were questioned by the climbing world.

In 2011, Adam Ondra made the first repeat of the route—after three days of projecting—and suggested a “lower end” 9b/5.15b. Ondra may have cleared the air regarding the route’s difficulty, but the legitimacy of Fernández’s ascent remains a mystery.

As for 22-year-old Bouin, Chilam Balam is the first 5.15b in his growing tick-list of impressive sends. In 2012, he made the first repeat of La Madonne (9a+/5.15a) in Luberon, and in 2014, the first repeat of Staphylocoque (9a+/5.15a) at Pic St. Loup, both in France.

Other notable ascents of Bouin’s include Era Vella (5.14d), Tierra Negra (5.14d) and Perez Victimas (5.14d) in Margalef, Spain and Little Badder (5.14d) in Flatanger Cave, Norway.

Click Here to Watch the Video

Adam Ondra on Chilam Balam (5.15b): 

Also Read

Séb Bouin Tames Monster 5.15a/b in France

Also Watch

VIDEO: Séb Bouin – First ascent of La Côte d’Usure (5.15a)