My version of Ed's list now includes a spreadsheet of first ascents by person and date. (yosfap.xls)
Check it out and tell me what climbs are missing, what mistakes are in there, etc.
[I know the pitch counts are off for many of the older routes] http://www.stanford.edu/%7Eclint/yos/update.htm
The main list is up to 2711 routes, which includes some duplicate pitches.
You know Clint, if there was a separate column with the date of the first free ascent then you could do a sort by difficult, secondary sort by date and quickly find the date of the first 10a and the first 12b etc....
It would be more like a "Free Date" column, since many routes were freed on the FA and don't have a separate FFA.
You can get the info on first 5.10a, 5.12b, etc. with a little more effort by sorting yos.xls on year (FA), then by nrating, then check the first ascent column to check the FFA date.
For example, if you wanted to find the earliest 5.8, the earliest one without an FFA is:
Sentinel Rock - Northeast Bowl 5.8 A1, John Salathe, Anton Nelson, 6/1948
5.8s with earlier FAs all had FFAs after 1948.
However, this is not decisive, because there might exist some climbs done before 1948.06 which were 5.8 A_ but were freed at a higher grade.
We wouldn't know for sure unless we checked the original ratings before climbs were freed.
I believe Ed's version includes the original ratings, or at least some guidebook ratings for many climbs before they were freed.
Also the rating for Sentinel NE Bowl might reflect how people climbed it in 1971, but the 5.8 parts might have been aided in 1948.
So it's probably not the best example.
For a purely free 5.8:
Overhang Route 5.8, FFA: Mark Powell, Bill Feuerer, 1956
by comparison with the earliest 5.8s without a separate FFA (all done in 1958):
Split Pinnacle - East Arete 5.8 **, Chuck Pratt, Krehe Ritter, 1958
Watkins Pinnacles - from Tenaya Canyon 5.8, Gary Hemming, Dick Long, Jim Wilson, Larry Lackey, 5/1958
The Cookie - Original 5.8, Chuck Pratt, Dick Sykes, 8/1958
Arrowhead Spire - Northeast Side 5.8, John Fiske, Dick Scheible, 8/1958
and also (my rating):
Arrowhead Arete 5.9 **, Mark Powell, Bill Feuerer, 10/1956
First 5.9 is easy (and predates first 5.8):
Higher Cathedral Spire - Regular Route 5.9 **, FFA: Chuck Wilts, Spencer Austin, 1944
(I believe this was the first recorded FFA in the Valley)
Rixon's Pinnacle - East Chimney 5.10a *, FFA: Royal Robbins, Dave Rearick, 1960
Reed's Leads 5.10b (originally rated 5.9), Wally Reed, Mike Borghoff, 1963
Split Pinnacle Lieback 5.10c, FA(rap): Dave Rearick, Mort Hempel, 6/1961
Twilight Zone 5.10d **, Chuck Pratt, Chris Fredericks, 9/1965
5.11a-d (but remember, Slack Center and Serenity Crack were freed in 1967, and rated 5.11 in the 1971 Roper guidebook)
Butterfingers 5.11a **, Jim Bridwell, Charley Jones, 8/1971
Cream 5.11a **, Mark Klemens, et al, 8/1971
The Hourglass - Left Side 5.11a R *, FFA: Peter Haan, Rick Linkert, Mike Farrell, 9/1971
Swan Slab Aid Route 5.11b *, FFA: Loyd Price, et al, 1967
General Hospital 5.11c R, Rik Rieder, Phil Gleason, Chris Wegener, 1972
Abstract Corner 5.11d **, Jim Bridwell, et al, 1971
Hotline 5.12a ***, FFA: Ron Kauk, John Bachar, 1975
Tongue and Groove 5.12a, Andreas Maurer, 1975
Fish Crack 5.12b **, FP(cleaned): Ron Kauk, Werner Braun, by 1975; FA: Henry Barber, et al, 1975
Hang Dog Flyer 5.12c **, Ray Jardine, John Lakey, 1976
Owl Roof 5.12c, FA(using chockstone placed by Bridwell): Tom Higgins, 1973; FFA(chockstone removed): Dale Bard, [not Jardine], by 1977
Tunnel Vision 5.12d *, John Bachar, et al, 1982
The Phoenix 5.13a ***, Ray Jardine, John Lakey, 5/1977
Cosmic Debris 5.13b ***, Bill Price, et al, 5/1980
Excellent Adventure 5.13c, FFA: Peter Croft, 1987
Book of Hate 5.13d, Randy Leavitt, 1999
Nose Free 5.14a, FFA: Lynn Hill, 1993
Magic Line 5.14b, FFA: Ron Kauk, 1997
Meltdown 5.14, Beth Rodden, 2/08
The above might make a cool tick list!
You can also sort by type, to find the first 5.10a slab, first 5.10a thin crack, lieback, etc.