Watch Chaehyun Seo Cruise ‘La Rambla,’ the Hardest Climb of Her Life

While I sat back and watched on my computer screen, Chaehyun Seo demolished La Rambla (9a+). And one word planted itself in my mind: mastery.

News that the Korean became the second woman to climb the benchmark Siurana, Spain route arrived in November. Now, audiences worldwide are welcome to watch — and for anybody interested in sport climbing technique and pacing, I strongly advise it.

In the video, Seo’s decisive movement makes it clear she has committed the route to memory in high fidelity. And her steady motion and calm demeanor indicate she’s fit enough to blow it away.


Seo also shows a disciplined tendency to clip behind or below herself (rather than pulling armfuls of rope to clip above), and brings it all together for a performance that’s hard to critique.

Back on the ground, she beams widely, dances giddily, and says only, “I did it.”

There’s no need for her to explain; what good are words to a master athlete at work?

Sam Anderson

Sam Anderson takes any writing assignments he can talk his way into while intermittently traveling the American West and Mexico in search of margaritas — er, adventure. He parlayed a decade of roving trade work into a life of fair-weather rock climbing and truck dwelling before (to his parents’ evident relief) finding a way to put his BA in English to use. Sam loves animals, sleeping outdoors, campfire refreshments and a good story.