The age limit for 8c beginners is shifting further down. Théo Blass climbed Souvenirs du pic (8c) at the age of 10, red dot - and set a new record.

On Wednesday, June 10, 2020, the eighth day of project planning, Théo successfully completed the red point ascent of the 8c route Souvenirs du pic. With the inspection, the 10-year-old sets a new record. Nobody has ever climbed a route of this degree at the age of 10.

Théo joins the list with Brooke Raboutou, Adam Ondra, Ashima Shiraishi and Illya Bakhmet-Smolensky.

Previous record holders were well-known names such as Adam Ondra or Ashima Shiraishi. They all climbed at this level of difficulty at the age of 11. Adam Ondra scored the 2004c route Mascherina in Sperlonga, Italy in 8 at the age of 11. Ashima, for her part, skipped the grade and climbed the Southern Smoke and Lucifer routes in 2012, both 8c +.

Théo was born into climbing

His parents are both passionate climbers and therefore spend a lot of time in climbing gardens. At the age of seven, he started climbing himself, if only occasionally. He didn't tie himself into the rope regularly until he was eight and has made incredible progress since then.

It wasn't long before he climbed the top seventh French degree.

The first 8a's were added last summer, and an 8b route was added in autumn. Accordingly, it was foreseeable that Théo would soon also climb red point in the upper eighth French grade. The question now is: "When does he climb 9a?"

Théo Blass inspecting souvenirs du pic in Saint-Guilhem-le-Désert. (Photo by Vladimir Arnaoudov)

Anti-style route

The style of the route doesn't really suit Théo. In particular, the first part of Souvenirs du pic is overhanging and requires long stretches, which forced the 140 cm tall and 29 kg Théo to find their own solution for the sequences. But tinkering did not take long. Already on the eighth day in the route, Théo clipped the souvenirs du pic stand in the French climbing area of ​​Saint-Guilhem-le-Désert

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Credits: Cover picture Vladimir Arnaoudov