The Frenchman Camille Coudert repeats the boulder Soudain Seul and rates it with 9a. Soudain Seul is back in the race as the second 9a boulder in the world.

It's a constant up and down. After the first ascent by the Belgian Simon Lorenzi a murmur went through the climbing scene. He rated the line he walked with 9a. Thus, at that time in the world existed alongside Burden of Dreams by Nalle Hukkataival a second boulder with this rating.

While Burden of Dreams was projected unsuccessfully several times by strong contenders, two months after the first ascent, Soudain Seul repeated it for the first time. The French succeeded Nico Pelorson aka Mister Downgrade. He got this nickname earlier and it was also given to him in the case of Soudain Seul just.

I think there are many climbers in the world who could climb the boulder with a big enough investment and that would not be the case with a real 9a boulder.

Nico Pelorson

So Nico Pelorson gave Soudain Seul an 8c+ and thus deprived the boulder of the title "Second 9a boulder in the world".

Upgrading follows devaluation – Soudain Seul 9a

Almost a year later, the tables are turning again. The 26-year-old Frenchman Camille Coudert wrestles the difficult boulder as a third person from an ascent. Initially, Coudert did not comment on the level of difficulty and gave himself two days to think about it. Apparently it was not easy for him to rate the boulder. But now he let the cat out of the bag.

"It is important to me to evaluate the difficulty of this boulder as honestly and adequately as possible. I thought about giving it 8c+ because I don't think I'm one of the strongest boulderers in the world. I only climbed a few boulders in the 8c range.”

Camille Coudert

In his remarks, Coudert refers to well-known and established bouldering lines in the 8c/8c+ area, which he has already planned, including Off the wagon sit, The Story of Two Worlds, La Rustica, La Révolutionnaire or No Kpote Only. Compared to these blocks, Soudain Seul is worlds more difficult. According to Coudert, the first climber of Soudain Seul, Simon Lorenzi, also agrees with this opinion.

Camille Coudert in The Story of Two Worlds

So either the other boulders aren't rated correctly or I can't really assess their difficulty. But compared to the other lines, Soudain Seul just doesn't feel like 8c+. If Soudain Seul is a 9a, it fits again in comparison to the other ratings.

Camille Coudert

Interim result after three rounds | 2:1

After three inspections, there are two 9a ratings and one 8c+ rating. In purely mathematical terms (rounded), Soudain Seul is again classified as 9a, even if the rating is on shaky ground.

Camille Coudert inspecting Soudain Seul

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Credits: Cover picture Arthur Delicque