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Seb Bouin

Sébastien Bouin is one of two climbers who have managed to expand the limits of climbing to this day. On April 29, 2022, he became the second person in history to successfully climb a 9c sport route after Adam Ondra. Bouin is a veritable collector of grades, with over 60 9a and above routes under his belt. When it comes to difficult climbs, Bouin takes no prisoners.



Date Of Birth



Sport Climbing

Hardest Sport


Hardest Boulder


Hardest Trad


Seb Bouin

Ascent Log

ClimbTypeSuggested GradeDate of AscentNotes
DNASport Route9c29th Apr 2022FA. Second confirmed 9c route. Video and Instagram Post
BibliographieSport Route9b+4th June 20234th ascent. Instagram Post
Supreme Jumbo LoveSport Route9b+1st Nov 2022FA of the extension to Jumbo Love. Video
ChangeSport Route9b+5th Aug 20228a Article
Beyond IntegralSport Route9b+22nd Oct 2020FA. Video
La Rage d’AdamSport Route9b+4th Sep 2019One of Seb’s hardest routes at the time. Video
MoveSport Route9b+17th Jun 2019Video
Jumbo LoveSport Route9b19th Oct 2022Instagram Post
Iron CurtainSport Route9bJuly 2022Instagram Post
The DreamSport Route9b16th Dec 2019FA. Instagram Post
MamichulaSport Route9b15th Apr 2019Instagram Post
Les Yeux Plus Gros Que L’antreSport Route9b11th May 2018Also known as the French Chilam Balam.
MyrSport Route9a+7th Mar 2022FA. Instagram Post
La Moustache Qui FâcheSport Route9a+28th Aug 2020Video and Instagram Post
BiographieSport Route9a+13th Jun 2020Video
CatxasaSport Route9a+9th Feb 2020He sent this two days after Joe Mama. Instagram Post
Joe MamaSport Route9a+7th Feb 2020Gripped Magazine
PatanicsSport Route9a+29th Oct 2019Video
PapichuloSport Route9a+18th Apr 2019Instagram Post
PachamamaSport Route9a+6th Mar 2019Instagram Post
La Côte D’usureSport Route9a+15th Sep 2018He made the first ascent after bolting it 9 years prior. Rock & Ice Magazine
La RamblaSport Route9a+6th Dec 2017Instagram Post
L’homme DemainSport Route9a+27th Aug 2016FA. UKC Article
MangarboSport Route9a+24th May 2016FA. Gripped Magazine
Chilam BalamSport Route9a+21st May 2015Video
Le Playboy Rôde Sans ComplexeSport Route9a+25th Apr 2015FA
Tierra NegraSport Route9a+18th May 2013UKC Article
La MadoneSport Route9a+20th May 2012Gripped Magazine
Gold ThauracSport Route9a24th Mar 2022Facebook Post
Guère De BruitSport Route9a24th Jan 2022FA.
Comité D’accueilSport Route9a19th Jan 2022Instagram Post
Axe D’aile IntegralSport Route9a11th Nov 2021FA.
De L’autre Côté Du CielSport Route9a23rd Nov 2020Video
AkiraSport Route9a21st Nov 2020The first world 9b route from proposed by Fred Rouhling.
HughSport Route9a30th Oct 2020This was the first French 9a. FA’d by Fred Rouhling in 1995
Le Goût Du SangSport Route9a1st Sep 2020FA.
Bulle D’airSport Route9a8th Mar 2020FA.
No Pain No GainSport Route9a5th Nov 2019
De Battre Mon Coeur S’est ArrêtéSport Route9a3rd Nov 2019
DetectivesSport Route9a18th Oct 2019FA.
BeyondSport Route9a26th May 2019FA.
Super FinaleSport Route9a25th Apr 2019Facebook Post
La Terza EtaSport Route9a28th Oct 2017UKC Article
Definición De Resistencia DemócrataSport Route9a16th Mar 2017Desnivel Article
Ciudad De DiosSport Route9a2nd Mar 20178a Article
Novena EnmiendaSport Route9a21st Jan 2017Instagram Post
Thor’s HammerSport Route9a22nd Jul 2016He proposed a downgrade to 9a. UKC Article
La Mandanga TotalSport Route9a22nd Apr 2016
A Muerte BilouSport Route9a29th Aug 2015FA
Moutchiki ExtensionSport Route9a18th Sep 2014FA
PajaritoSport Route9a30th Jul 2014FA
StaphylocoqueSport Route9a11th Jul 2014Bouin downgraded this from a 9a+. Rock & Ice Magazine
Mollans CuléSport Route9a13th Feb 2014FA.
Punt’XSport Route9a18th Oct 2013
Little BadderSport Route9a20th Aug 2013FA.
Trip Tik TonikSport Route9a10th Oct 2012
La Prophétie Des GrenouillesSport Route9a19th Jul 2012
Casi MonoSport Route9a5th May 2012FA.
Le Complexe Du PlayboySport Route9a18th Dec 2011
Promotion Canne À PêcheSport Route9a30th Aug 2011FA.
PPPSport Route9a5th May 2011

Kit Bag

Climbing Career

Learning the Ropes

Seb Bouin was born and raised in the southeastern French town of Draguignan and comes from a family of climbers. He completed his first route when he was around 11 years old, belayed by his mother Claire. Unlike most of the world’s top climbers, this veritable dragon slayer avoided the indoor competition circuit, instead focusing on the roots of climbing and keeping it as close to nature as possible.

Seb Bouin after he sent La Tierra Negra 9a/+ back in 2013 ©Francisco Taranto

What makes Sebastien such an intriguing character is that he is also a qualified PE teacher; as he stated in an interview with UKC, his qualification makes him enjoy climbing more knowing he has some kind of safety net in case things don’t go as planned.

“ Education is a chance to have something other than climbing because you know that hard climbing has a finite physical limit. There is less pressure knowing I have a career to fall back on in time which means I can enjoy my climbing 100%.”

Seb, also known as The Undercover Crusher, began claiming titles when he was around 20 years old (2012-2013), having completed his first 9a/a+ routes (Tierra Negra 9a/9a+, La Modone 9a+). Around this time, Bouin began to emerge as one of our generation’s most notable climbers.

Seb Bouin making the third ascent of Adam Ondra’s Change in Flatanger ©johnthornton_photography

In his pursuit of the ultimate challenge, Seb sent his hardest grade, DNA 9c, on April 29th, 2022, after spending more than a half-year projecting on it. This feat of strength propelled him to the top of the sport climbing world, joining Adam Ondra as the only two people in the world to redpoint such a difficult route.

Seb’s summer of 2022 was quite productive, with him sending more than a couple of 9b routes. Together with DNA, he successfully climbed Nordic Marathon (9b+), the longest single pitch ever recorded, a stunning 131-meter cave route connecting some of the world’s most difficult climbs.

I guess that being one of Ondra’s favorite climbing partners must have some great benefits in terms of motivation and personal development.

Notable Ascents

With over 60 climbs ranging from 9a to 9c, Seb most definitely has quite a few notable climbs, crushing each and every hard route in his home country and then some.


After making the first ascent of La Rage d’Adam (9b/+) in 2019, Seb bolted his next big challenge, DNA, in the cage of La Ramirole, France. He needed a new motivating route, and the proximity to his home would be a great plus.

Seb becoming the second person to climb the elusive 9c grade ©christianadam

As Bouin describes the route, it consists of several boulder problems ranging from 8a+ to 9a+ with specific limestone moves including tufas and kneebars. 

“DNA starts with an 8c (5.14b) intro of five quickdraws to reach a rest. Then there are some moderate moves to reach the first boulder crux at 8A+ (V12). It is a rather special bouldering move. You have to throw a right foot like in the modern bouldering competitions. Then you must propel yourself [onto] a very, very far tufa. The physicality of the move makes it low percentage. It’s really random.”

Seb spent more than 150 days slaying this 50-meter dragon, with the first attempts feeling nearly impossible. Finding the right beta was difficult, he told Climbing Magazine in an interview shortly after redpointing.

In preparation for solving the series of boulder problems, Seb started by doing two types of training: lots of easy routes and boulders followed by harder climbs, as well as fingerboard and suspension training.

It seems that his former PE training came in handy, and by doing so after long and frustrating fails even above the crux, in April 2022, Sebastien made history by joining his climbing partner Adam Ondra in the 9c Hall of Fame.

Nordic Marathon

In his search for the ultimate challenge, shortly after finishing DNA, Seb turned to another titan’s crag in Flatanger, Norway, to establish a new premiere. On the 25th of July 2022, the Undercover Crusher FA’d Nordic Marathon, a behemoth of a route measuring 131 meters in one single pitch.

The climb consists of the linking of a long route called Nordic Plumber (8c+) with Magnus Midtbø’s route Thor’s Hammer (9a+). Considered the easiest link possible at Flatanger, Nordic Marathon was first envisioned by Adam Ondra and made possible by Seb Bouin.

Seb Bouin in Flatanger on one of the biggest routes in the world, Nordic Marathon 9b ©MarcoMüller

When confronted with the actual climb, Seb told Fanatic Climbing in an interview about what this kind of challenge looks and feels like.

“The sheer size of the route makes it hard mentally. You can have one go every two days. It’s so much climbing, in one intense burst that you simply can’t give two goes in a day.

“The rope drag was also insane. Even if I had already switched ropes once during the route – I had to untie my knot and free-solo the last 5-10 meters. “Nordic Marathon” is my pure climbing style. Endurance, big moves,…”


After conquering the world’s most impressive lines, Seb decided to visit Alex Megos’ Bibliographie (9b+) and give it another go. Even though it’s a difficult route that “does not particularly suit his strengths,” Seb achieved his big goal for 2023 on June 3rd despite having to wait for perfect weather conditions.

Seb Bouin climbing biblographie 9b+
Bouin on his anti-style climb, Bibliographie ©ClarisseBompard

Even if this isn’t his natural climbing style, with small crimps, Seb managed to complete the route in 11 attempts, despite falling a couple of times right after the main crux. This wasn’t his first shot at Bibliographie; originally, Bouin tried redpointing it in the summer of 2021.

When asked in an interview if he would start crushing crimpy bouldery lines from now on, the fourth climber of Bibliographie said that it was a great challenge but he will return to something more appropriate to his style.

With this climb completed, we can only wait to see when the battle for the world’s 10a begins.

Video Library


Born and raised in Jiu Valley, Romania, I am a true mountain enthusiast, absorbing knowledge from each sport the area offers. Snowboarder in the winter and a hiker and climber in the summer, I love spending my days up in the Carpathians. I have had a passion for writing ever since I laid my hands on my first keyboard, and I always have a curiosity for gear and great stories. I split my time between various jobs and hobbies, including being a full-time psychologist, repairing skis in the winter, and working with kids at my local gym whenever I have time.

Catherine Destivelle
Miho Nonaka

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