The American Sean Bailey succeeds in climbing one of the most difficult routes in the world: bibliography in the French climbing area of ​​Céüse.

He calls it the toughest fight he's ever had. “I've never been so obsessed, waking up every day just thinking about the route. I fell asleep thinking about the route. The route was omnipresent. ”This summer, the young American from Shoreline, Washington, followed it for the first time Céüse and made first attempts on the route.

"Fortunately, I got through the middle key section pretty quickly, but fell around twelve times in the difficult upper part of the route."

Sean bailey

Every time Sean made a serious attempt on the route, he had to take a day off, the route claimed him so much, he says. “It felt like I was resting more than climbing. I kept questioning the whole thing, wondering why I was doing this to myself. I could have just gone home, trained and returned the following year. "

The attraction of securing the ascent of one of the most difficult routes in the world was obviously great enough. With the red point ascent of Bibliography the 25-year-old only secures the second repetition.


Sean Bailey during the ascent of the Val Bavona classic Coup de Grâce


9c, 9b +, ...?

Apart from the fact that Sean describes the route as extremely strenuous and the process as "the fight of his life", he succeeded in the ascent relatively quickly. Alexander Megos., who first started the route in July 2020, invested around 60 days spread over several years in the route, which led the Germans to rate the route with a 9c.

In August 2021 it was the Italian Stefano Ghisolfiwho succeeded in the first repetition. When evaluating the route, he too was guided by the number of days he invested in similarly difficult routes. This led Ghisolfi to downgrade the route to 9b +.

Little experience in the upper ninth French degree

Sean Bailey also cracked the route relatively quickly compared to Megos. He has not yet commented on the level of difficulty. Will he rate the route as 9b + or 9c? Will he confirm the grade or even further devalue it? The American has climbed a maximum of 9a + so far, so he skips two or three degrees with the bibliography - if you use the previous rating as a reference.

Like Ghisolfi, Bailey only communicates the inspection in a first message and is silent about the grade. The climbing scene now asks itself the big question: How does Bailey rate the route? And: Will the Frenchman Seb Bouin add something soon? He also climbed twice over the key point and only fell in the upper part of the bibliography.

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Credits: Cover picture Sean Bailey

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