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La Rambla - the Great Saunter of the Freaks

Andreas Bindhammer climbing on La Rambla, Spain

La Rambla or Les Rambles (Catalan) / Las Ramblas (Spanish) is an iconic and busy street in central Barcelona, popular with both tourists and locals alike. A 1.2 kilometer-long tree-lined pedestrian mall in the Barri Gòtic, it connects Plaça Catalunya in the center with the Christopher Columbus monument at Port Vell. (...) The name La Rambla means, in Spanish and Catalan, an intermittent water flow, and is derived from the Arabic 'Ramla' which means 'sandy riverbed'.

La Rambla – one of the most famous routes in the world. It's also one of the hardest and longest... Together with Realization in Ceüse they're the only routes in the world with a confirmed 9a+ grade, which only few climbers could climb.

The 40m long route crosses the middle of the wall in the sector El Pati in the Spanish Siurana. It's always visible – you can see it from the road, from other sectors or from the village Siurana.

The route of Alexander Huber from 1994, which led through the first quarter of the wall, was waiting for completion. A decade later the Spanish top-rated climber Ramon Julian Puigblanque could climb the masterpiece which takes nearly 100 moves.
Many famous climbers tried to climb the route. Many of them failed because of the combination of endurance and strength required to climb the route. Only the Spanish climber Edu Marin and the American Chris Sharma could repeat the route and confirm the grade 9a+.

After the hard and technical sophisticated access crack (8a+/8b) – the difficulty of that part is highly dependent on weather conditions – comes a 20m long athletic face climbing sequence with hard moves which demands full concentration of the climber. With the access crack its 30m of hard 8c climbing before you get to the rest point before the key section in the ¾ of the wall. The last part, which is a face climb with extreme small holds, demands all your abilities: it starts with an athletic climb to an undergrip, which you can only reach from a small crimper, a move from a real small grip to a two finger pocket. This section could be compared to an 8a boulder problem. After you have reached the chain of the old La Rambla route you climb downwards to the right, using a toehook, to climb another 5m of the face of the wall.

La Rambla  is visually attractive and athletic challenging, so... 
On May 2, 2007 Andreas Bindhammer managed the 4th ascent of the route, the day after he climbed Broadway 8c+/9a (formerly 9a) after 3 attempts.

Read the interview with Andreas Bindhammer

Andreas Bindhammer 

Alexander Beneke

See also
 Climbandmore special
Andreas Bindhammer on the Czech Sandstone
Andreas Bindhammer about St. Anger
Andreas Bindhammer on La Rambla
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The “Hammerbrothers” free Hades
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