The Bernese climber Jonas Schild succeeds in the red point ascent of the route Bain de Sang (9a) in Saint Loup, which Fred Nicole first climbed. We talked to Jonas about the route and its ascent.

The route Bain de sang is not just any 9a. It was first climbed by the bouldering pioneer Fred Nicole in 1993, the then first 9a route in Switzerland. And only the third 9a route in the world. That was a big reason why Jonas shield wanted to get into Bain de Sang.

I like to climb historically significant routes and then try to imagine what it was like to climb the route back then.

Jonas shield
Picture Daniel Bleuer

An interview with Jonas Schild

The project started promisingly, but then you got injured. What happened?

Yes, exactly, in autumn I tore my ring band while trying to make a one-finger grip. This spring I dragged my finger in the same place. Fortunately, I was able to climb the spot with a modified beta.

When did you get on the route and how often did you plan it?

I got into Bain de Sang for the first time in autumn 2020. At first only in the top rope, as the route mostly consisted of old hand-drilled hooks. They weren't four inches in the rock.

Jonas Schild removed these hand-drilled hooks in Bain de Sang and rehabilitated the route.
Jonas Schild removed these hand-drilled hooks and rehabilitated the route.

Unexpectedly, I then climbed the route pretty quickly in top rope. So it was clear: I would rehabilitate the route. Unfortunately, the climb didn't come as quickly as I had hoped. The route was often wet and then there were the injuries that thwarted my plans.

Jonas Schild in the key point of the route Bain de Sang (9a). (Photo Daniel Bleuer)
Jonas Schild in the key point of the route Bain de Sang (9a). (Photo Daniel Bleuer)

What was the crux or what was decisive for the climb?

The crux were clearly the injuries and the conditions. On the day of the ascent a strong southwest wind blew, which made the grip incredible.

When exactly did you score the route?

I scored them on May 4th, 2021.

Bain de Sang was established as 9a, but already rated 8c +. What is your assessment of the grade?

The route didn't feel super tough to me. 9a is probably a little too high. But it is extremely difficult to evaluate the route. It can hardly be compared to other routes of this degree. Most of the routes of this degree are at least a little overhanging.

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Credits: Images by Daniel Bleuer