First ascent of B.I.G. (9c)


Jakob - Newsletter #26, Flatanger 2023 | Norway

Jakob Schubert opens the third 9c in the world with his ascent of B.I.G. in Flatanger / Norway

Schubert figured out the route with Adam Ondra last year and returned this autumn when he live streamed all his attempts for the climbing community to follow his journey. Time was running out since the weather was changing to the worse and heavy rain threatened to make the route unclimbable, but Jakob took the last chance and reached the final holds of former “Project Big” on September 20. Here is what he had to say afterwards:

It took me a while to sort out my thoughts about my most important ascent so far.
I’d like to start with a huge shoutout to Adam Ondra for bolting this incredible line and inviting me to try it with him. It was such a cool process and in the end it does feel like a team ascent to me, since we helped each other so much and figured out the route much quicker that way. I‘d have never been able to send this beast without you, Adam and fully appreciate the effort that goes into finding and bolting such a king line 🙏 Without a doubt, B.I.G is 5 stars and I can’t wait for more people to try it!

Jakob Flatanger BIG 9c
Jakob Flatanger BIG 9c

My reflections regarding the grade: When we started trying this route last year, I initially thought it could very easily be 9c, but after making a lot of progress very quickly and feeling pretty close on it after 2 weeks already, Adam and me both were pretty confident it’ll be 9b+. But somehow we tried a lot more and didn’t make much progress and in hindsight I don’t even think we were actually that close, because we were mostly struggling to stick the crux move and believed to be in for the send once that happens. Knowing how my attempts unfolded this season puts things into a different perspective, as I stuck that move four times without sending.

Jakob Flatanger BIG 9c
Jakob Flatanger BIG 9c

My reference for 9b+ is Perfecto Mundo which I sent in about 3 weeks of work and which felt way easier to me than B.I.G. The only other guy who tried B.I.G. a lot is Adam and I’m happy he shared all his opinions with me which definitely helped me draw my conclusions.
I felt at a point where I had found the most efficient way possible for me, the whole route was worked out perfectly and I didn’t see any room for improvement. So all that it came down to was my physical & mental shape which I think are very good right now. Given the current information that I have and considering Adam’s opinion, it feels right to propose 9c and I’m looking forward to see what time will tell.

Jakob Flatanger BIG 9c

Anyways, the one thing I know for sure is that it will always be one of my most memorable ascents ❤️

Photocredit: Alpsolut Pictures and Moritz Klee | Nodum Sports