The 9th Grade: 150 Years of Free Climbing
The 9th Grade: 150 Years of Free Climbing

The 9th Grade: 150 Years of Free Climbing

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From its earliest beginnings in 1930s Europe, to the dramatic feats on Yosemite big walls in the 1970s, to the super human accomplishments of current climbers, The 9th Grade is a thrilling chronicle of a sport that pushes athletes to the far edges of their physical endurance and courage.

Both aspiring and accomplished rock climbers—as well as armchair thrill seekers—will enjoy this comprehensive history of free climbing, a sport often done with no rope or protective gear to catch the climber who makes a mistake.

They’ll learn what the seminal climbs were, who did them, and how; outrageous accomplishments have built on each other to create ever more difficult climbs that no one had thought were possible. The stories bounce around the globe as climbers compete to do the toughest, most impossible routes, wherever that quest takes them. This is a comprehensive and exciting history of one of our most extreme sports.

  • Traces the sport from its origins around the world.
  • Includes profiles of the men and women who have pushed the sport to its limits.
  • Full colour photos throughout
  • Author: David Chambre (Translated by Aubrey Lawrence)


  • Format: Hardcover
  • Dimensions: 304 pages,  23.88 x 3.05 x 27.69 cm
  • Published: Nov 1, 2016
  • Publisher: The Mountaineers Books
  • Language: English
  • Item weight: 1.7 kg

About the Author

Author David Chambre has always been passionate about climbing. While studying geography at the Sorbonne University in Paris, he first discovered the boulders of Fontainebleau and later the great alpine peaks of the Mont-Blanc Massif, including the central pillar of the Freney and the first free ascent of the Bonatti route on the Grand Capucin. During the 1980s, he was one of the first French professional rock climbers specializing in free climbing, free solos, and numerous French grade-8 routes. He eventually settled in Provence, where he shares his passion for rock with writing novellas and historical reviews for mountaineering and climbing publications.

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