Slovenian climber Klemen Bečan, age 35, has jumped on the La Rambla send train in Siurana, Spain, making the 17th ascent of the
5.15a route, and the 6th ascent this year alone.
La Rambla was originally put up by Alex Huber in 1994 and considered 5.14c. The line was later extended by Spanish climber Ramón Julián Puigblanque
to produce the 5.15a version in 2003. This route has become one of the most popular 5.15a routes in Spain and is fast becoming a test piece for the
grade. The route has seen numerous ascents in the last four months alone, and earlier this year 19-year old Colorado local Margo Hayes made the first
female ascent of the route and became the first women to climb the grade.
Earlier this year, Bečan found himself conveniently stranded in Siurana after his car broke down, and decided to make the most of the misfortune and find
some projects. Attracted by the throngs of people trying La Rambla he decided to join the crew in El Pati sector and give the route a
go himself. He told Rock and Ice:
"I knew I could do La Rambla quite fast but there was another problem: there are many routes in Siurana, so it was not the only one I tried. I’m still trying to do A Muerte, Golpe de Estado and some others that are still the projects. Many times I was climbing in a different sector, so when I finally got back to La Rambla I again forget how to do the moves exactly. In the end I had enough of it, so I took it more seriously."
On the day of the send Bečan didn't think it was going to happen after falling from the last few moves. Pumped and tired, he waited until the last rays
of daylight and tried again.
"This time was hard and I needed to fight from the beginning. I got to the rest before the crux too pumped. I could just say take, but where is the fun of that?! Somehow I screamed myself through the crux and I was in the final rest again. Now totally pumped and I didn’t want to fall again just under the chain. Breathing and focusing on just the hold in front of me helped and I clipped the chain.
Cool, happy, now I can finally put more energy in other projects!"
This is Bečan's third 5.15a. His other 5.15a ascents both took place in 2016 in Oliana and include Chris Sharma's Papichulo and
the first ascent of Joe Mama, the three-year open project bolted by Joe Kinder. Bečan also made history in Chulilla, Spain, in 2015 with his
onsight first ascent of Siempre se Puede Hacer Menos (8c+ 5.14c), which was only the second 5.14c onsight first ascent to date.
Read more about recent ascents of La Rambla
Q&A: Matty Hong Sends La Rambla (5.15a), Spain
Margo Hayes Sends La Rambla (5.15a)!