Around three and a half months ago, Matty Hong repeated Sharma’s test piece, Biographie (5.15a), in Céüse, France, and we can all watch him send it in a new Mellow video.
The 32-year-old climber from Boulder, Colorado, is best known for being the fourth American climber to join the 5.15b club after sending Fight or Flight in 2018 after Chris Sharma, Ethan Pringle, and Daniel Woods. Truly an achievement for the Climbing Hall Of Fame.
Not a stranger to hard climbs, Hong climbed his first 5.14a when he was 15 years old in Rifle. He later went and sent Sharma’s Papichulo and La Rambla 5.15a in Spain. In 2021, Hong sent Tommy Caldwell’s Flex Luthor 5.15a back in his home state of Colorado.
Biographie, which was bolted by French climber Jean-Christophe Lafaille in 1989, was first climbed in 1996 by Arnaud Petit and was initially categorized at 5.14c as it only contained the first pitch. Four years later Chris Sharma included the second pitch, which includes a hard 7B boulder at the top. After sending it he suggested naming the route Realisation.
The route’s renaming generated some commotion in the French community as Chris wasn’t aware that in France the bolter of the route names it. True to European tradition the original name therefore stuck, although they are somtimes used interchangeably.
Biographie/Realisation is recognized as the world’s first 9a+ route. However, Open Air from Austria and Mutation from England, both bolted in the 1990s, may be considered earlier 9a/+ lines, climbed before Sharma’s ascent.
Featured image: @honngy/📷@kenzie.beeman