The Big Island assis by Simon Lorenzi


I started to think about this boulder right after my quick send of "big island". Two months later i was back in Font for two week. Despite of the bad weather i spent as more time as possible in the boulder trying to figure out the moves and link sections. It took me 6 sessions to succeed the first part. It's tricky and i was not use to kneebar so it was the most complicated part for me.
At the end of the trip i was ready to put some real attempts. The very last day i fell twice to go to the crimp at the end and i thougt "I'm so close in only 8 days. It's hard but no harder than 8c+".

The following evenements showed that i wasn't that close. One week later i was back for two days and i was really confident. But there was always a problem and every solution that i found added a new problem to solve. It took me 15 session more of solving problems and find as much details as possible to reduce my energy depense in the first part. Even the day of the sent i found helpfull new small tricks for my beta. Finally it took me around 25 sessions wich is way more than i expected.

I enjoyed all the processus and the battle for the FA with @camille_coudert_ and @nico_pelorson was really cool. We've spent lot of memorable day at the boulder laughing and pushing ourselves to try hard.

About the grade i feel that is something between a hard 8c+ and 9a. I don't know if it's 9a/ V17 because i don't have enough experience to say and there is no other 9a in the style to compare. It seems that the others guys who tried it think more for the 9a/V17 grade but nobody really knows. After all the reflexions 9a/V17 looks to be the appropriate grade regarding where is our sport now. Have new kind of reference in a level is something important in climbing. That push the sport further and it's also add a new point of comparaison in this grade. As always the time and the repetitions will tell us!


Simon Lorenzi reports on Insta that he has made the sit start of The Big Island. It has been aproject for many years and James Webb has said that just the sit into the stand start is at least 8B+. ” The sit start is an incredible project. For me personally the bottom is at least 8B+ and maybe even harder than The Big Island itself. The intro (10 moves for my method) is very powerful, yet technical with a tricky kneebar that links you through to the stand. Once you’re there you just have to take a deep breath and with absolutely no rest climb the Big Island.”

Lorenzi has not yet suggested a grade, but adding an 8B+ into an 8C (B+) means that it could possibly be the second 9A in the world or a very hard 8C+. The picture by Oriane Tollebeek is from last October when Lorenzi did the Big Island after just two sessions, saying it is possibly 8B+. This 168 cm tall guy has previously done three 8C's, but as they did go down in just one or two sessions, he thought they all just might be 8B+. In 2017, he did his first 9a, ActionDirecte, after eleven days of projecting.