With Nordic Marathon (130m, 9b/+) Seb Bouin opens an endurance hammer of the very best quality. His new route combines the Nordic Plumber line (8c) with the second pitch of Thor's Hammer (9a+) and the direct headwall of Hanhelleren Cave. Interesting to know for potential repeaters: The strong Frenchman climbed the last 5 to 10 meters due to the enormous cable pull free solo.

strong, stronger, Seb Bouin. The Frenchman is currently repeating in Norwegian Flatanger one difficult route after another. With the first ascent of Nordic Marathon (130m, 9b/+) last Thursday he already implemented his vision of climbing through the entire Hanhelleren cave at its most overhanging point in a gigantic length of rope - albeit in the "easiest" possible version.

seb bouin in nordic marathon
With his new creation Nordic Marathon (130m, 9b/+) in Flatanger, Seb Bouin gives the term endurance route a whole new dimension: Photo: Marco Müller

"Nordic Marathon is one hell of a route, about 130 meters of climbing, climbed in a single pitch."

Adam Ondra

Three variants and 9c potential

As a Adam Ondra told him about his idea, the whole Hanhelleren Cave He was immediately enthusiastic about climbing from the bottom to the top, says Seb Bouin. “The idea is big, really big. But it's definitely the kind of challenge that attracts me - the bigger it is, the more motivated I am."

“The idea is big, really big. But it's definitely the kind of challenge that attracts me - the bigger it is, the more motivated I am."

Seb Bouin

There are three possible entry routes for the Monster Link-Up: Nordic Plumber (8c) Thor's Hammer (9a) or Move (9b/+). Irrespective of this, the crux only follows in the second pitch of Thor's Hammer (9a+), i.e. after 80 meters of heavily overhanging climbing.

In order to get an idea for the entire challenge, the strong Frenchman decided to start with Nordic Plumber. However, his ultimate goal is the hardest possible combination via Move.

Video: Seb Bouin climbs Move (9b / +)

Nordic Marathon: Only one attempt every two days

After working on the second pitch of Thor's Hammer for a while, Seb Bouin started trying to link the routes from below. “That completely changed the key point.” Getting into the 9a+ route with pump in your arms and then climbing the delicate Crux after 80 meters was just crazy.

“This guy is in amazing shape and it's really cool to see some of my routes that nobody has tried getting the attention they deserve and also to see one of the main cave projects being tackled

Adam Ondra

"The sheer scale of the route makes it mentally very demanding," says Seb Bouin. You can only try once every two days. “It's so much climbing at once that you can't do two passes in one day. And if you want to be as fresh as possible, you need a rest day in between."

seb-bouin-climbs-nordic-marathon
Seb Bouin: "The sheer scale of the Nordic Marathon makes the route mentally very demanding." Picture: Marco Müller

Cable pull forces Bouin to free solo exit

Unsurprisingly, the cable pull in the 130-meter mega route was enormous. This forced Seb Bouin to do a trick that was very untypical for a sport climbing route: "Although I had already changed the rope once during the route, I had to untie my knot at the end and climb the last five to ten meters rope-free." But the climb when getting out of the Head Wall is really easy, Seb Bouin comments on his little free solo adventure.

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Credits: Cover picture Marco Müller

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