The Belgian Simon Lorenzi climbs what is probably the most famous and one of the most difficult bouldering problems in the world: The seated start version of the boulder The Big Island in Fontainebleau. Is it the second 9a boulder in the world?

The seat start version of The Big Island was one of the really big and persistent bouldering problems of the worldwide elite. Especially the American Jimmy Webb invested a lot of time in the project and tried to decipher and climb the entire line.

For me the sitting start is at least 8b +, if not more difficult than The Big Island itself. The first sequence is very powerful and technical at the same time with a tricky knee clamp that gets you to the actual start.

Jimmy Webb

So whoever climbs this first sitting start sequence has to climb the actual boulder The Big Island (8b + / 8c) without any rest. As an overall rating for the Simon Lorenzi Now the climbing seat start version is 9a or 8c + (hard) obvious. Simon himself has not yet commented on the difficulty of bouldering.

Simon Lorenzi: Rows of heavy boulders devalued

In the recent past, Simon Lorenzi bouldered numerous difficult boulders, including Satan I Helvete Low (8c) What's up (8c) and the original version The Big Island (8c) within a few sessions. He downgraded all boulders to 8b + because he was able to climb them all in a short time. The big question now, of course, is what grade he gives for The Big Island Assis.

Simon visiting The Big Island

Long story about the boulder

For the first time on the block in Coquibus Rumont The American climbed successfully Dave graham in 2008. He named the line he had climbed The Island - the level of difficulty leveled off at 8b +. Vincent Pochon climbed a deeper version that became famous under the name The Big Island and a rating of 8c. However, the rating of 8c has wobbled in the recent past.

Simon Lorenzi planning the boulder

The Frenchman was the first to provide Lucy Martinez, who recently cracked the boulder, questioned the rating and gave it 8b +. An inspection by Antoine Kauffman followed on February 6, 2021 - he also rated the boulder down to 8b +.

It would be easy to realize my dream of an 8c boulder in which I take the grade uncritically. But that wouldn't be fair. I think it's appropriate to rate The Big Island at 8b +.

Antoine Kaufman

How will Simon Lorenzi rate the boulder?

The original version, The Big Island, rated Simon Lorenzi, like Lucien and Antoine, only with 8b +. He will probably not reach for grade 9a and classify the seated start version as a difficult 8c +. We will contact Simon Lorenzi to find out more.

Simon Lorenzi during the ascent of the Quoi de Neuf boulder (8b +)

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Credits: Cover picture Giles Charlier


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