In 2003 Barnabe Fernandez claimed the first ascent of Chilam Balam. This 22 bolt mega route is over 80 meters long and Fernandez gave it the grade of F9b+. At the time this would have made it the hardest route in the world, surpassing Chris Sharma’s Realization at Ceüse.
Located at Villanueva del Rosario in Malaga in southern Spain, Chilam Balam’s first ascent was quickly surrounded in controversy. Not only was the grade proposed a quantum leap ahead of other routes around the world at the time, but Fernandez’s claim to have climbed the line was also thrown into doubt due to a lack of witnesses of his ascent. Alex Huber commented on 8a.nu, " I cannot take Bernabé's proposal seriously as I can't see any references that would demonstrate his skills of climbing at such a high level—far above the rest of the world. I would be lying if I said that I believed in the correctness of the grade 9b+!"
For many people Ondra’s ascent is the first ascent of Chilam Balam and the grade that he has given it of ‘low-end 9b’ the more probable grade, laying to rest at least some of the controversy that surrounded the route. It is without doubt a very serious climb having resisted the efforts of Chris Sharma and Dani Andrada in the past and, if he did indeed climb it, was a superb effort by Fernandez who spent three years working it. Ondra himself needed only four attempts over three days to send the route, further proof if any more were needed that he has a phenomenal talent.
To read an interview with Adam Ondra about his ascent of Chilam Balam visit