A teenager brings the 9a in Turkey

Illya Bakhmet Smolenskyi climbs Phantastica

11 November 2020
Illya Bakhmet Smolenskyi, 15 years old, has established the line that could be the first 9a in Turkey, in Citdibi.

Could be because he says could. Just for talking, Illya has climbed the 8a+ at age 9, the 8c at 11 and he has sent his first 9a at age 13. This one could be the first 9a in Turkey or the fourth 8c+/9a. The route is very long, with a weird rest in between. At the top of it, there is the crux, some moves on tiny crimps. About the grade, Illya says:

“Grade or not to grade?

Or "Grade harder or grade lower?" to be exact. Have you ever thought of how difficult it actually is to grade a brand-new route? After buying a guidebook and going out exploring the crag it seems to be quite easy, the grade written in there jumps in your head and sticks as an initially correct statement.

What if you were given a totally new wall, that has only bolts on it. Before trying, you can't even guess how hard it might be. After some time, when you finally send the line and everything is seemingly over, a new load of responsibility and questions fall upon you.

Was that the easiest way possible? Would it be easier/harder for shorter/taller people? What if that crucial kneebar rest works only for me? And how should I give a proper grade after all those unanswered questions?

Since grades are all really subjective and differ from one person to another, there's no way to make a system which could help to solve this problem. After making this kind of statement, it seems that an FAer shouldn't worry too much and the proper grade will come on its own with time and bigger amount of ascents, but it would be quite a disaster if your grand project that you were proud of would be downgraded. Then your reputation as a bolter or grade-giver would befall.

I got the inspiration for this post from yesterday's FA. A pumpy 8b continued by a super intense crimp crux.

L1+l2+l3 "Phantastica" 8c+/9a FA.”

Illya Bakhmet Smolenskyi: definitely a man, despite his young age!

From Illya Bakhmet Smolenskyi IG page


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