Julia Chanourdie Third Woman to Climb 9a+

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Julia Chanourdie has become the third Woman to climb a confirmed 9a+! The route was “Super Crackinette” in St Leger, France. Julia revealed the incredible achievement in an instagram post you can see below.

She said of the route “INCREDIBLE ! Today I’ve just sent my first 9a+ “Super Crackinette” in Saint-Léger-du-Ventoux !!! ??
Finally, I see the end of a pretty hard battle … ?”

* article corrected from earlier – Anak Verhoeven was actually the second Female to climb a confirmed 9a+ (after Margo Hayes) with her route “Sweet Neuf” in Pierrot Beach, France. She has also climbed Joe Mama 9a+.

She’s been working the route based on her latest few instagram posts – a huge congratulations on the persistence paying off!

Julia Chanourdie as the third Female to climb 9a+ is just another big achievement. She also qualified for Climbing in the 2020 Olympics and will be representing her home country France. Julia qualified at the second event she was able to back at the IFSC Combined Qualified in Toulouse 2019.

The route started off as “Crackinette” 8c, which was itself a variation on the “Sault qui peut” 8a route. The original was set by Laurent Triay but first climbed by Gérôme Pouvreau. The “Super” variant/extension starts below the original at a severe overhang. It then moves up into the original route which finishes with the legendary hard crack on a vertical wall. The Super route was set by Quentin Chastagnier but first ticked off by Alexander Megos back in 2016.

The crag is “Praniania le maitre du vent”, in the Ouest area of Saint-Léger-du-Ventoux in France. You can watch a video of Jeremy Bonder trying the amazing 9a+ line back in 2018 below.

“Super Crackinette” was historically the first 9a+ to be flashed. Adam Ondra sent it on his first go in February of 2018 after getting the beta from Quentin Chastagnier. He got in depth beta on the route before climbing though didn’t get advice during the actual climb – i.e Quentin wasn’t shouting up advice move by move. He knew each hold down to the exact way it would be held and visualized all the moves beforehand.

Both Alex Megos and Adam Ondra will be competing in Sport Climbing at the 2020 Olympics.

The crag at St Léger – Image from GaliiVANtations

Margo Hayes was famously the first Woman to climb a confirmed 9a+ in February of 2017 with the route “La Rambla” in Siurana. Margo has since climbed two more 9a+ graded sports climbs. There were previously other ascents of 9a+ rated climbs but those don’t have a consensus on the grade being 9a+. This is a bit controversial but in the climbing community grade consensus is a big issue.

9a+ isn’t the hardest sport grade climbed by a Female climber. Angela Eiter climbed “La Planta de Shiva” in Villanueva del Rosario, Spain in November of 2017. This remains the hardest female sport climb to date.

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