13 April 2023

Katherine Choong does Les Nerfs à Vifs (8c+)

Katherine Choong has done Les Nerfs à Vifs 8c+ in La verrière. The 31-year-old is a former competition climber and already has two 9a’s and several hard MP’s up to 8b+ under her belt. (c) Mélanie Cannac

Can you tell us more about Les Nerfs?
Before the start of the multi-pitch routes season, I really wanted to find a project to get back in shape after a little winter break where I couldn't go to the crag because of the weather in Switzerland and my job. Finding an 8c+/9a route that fits my small size is always a bit complicated. Fortunately, Cédric Lachat is the best climbing partner to find a good project for me, he is the one who told me about a hard route which could suit me located in La Verrière, not far from Millau (France). Indeed, no morpho movement, physical sections on tufas, underclings, crimps, and a long fight of resistance until the end, the perfect route for me! So we spent 7 days there in February, at the end of which I fell in the very last hard moves. I really wanted to finish this route so I came back as soon as I could in April. When I arrived, several key holds in the crux sections were wet and on my first day, I got a split on my finger that wouldn't stop bleeding. It was pretty hard mentally but fortunately, I really managed to just focus on my performance, no matter the conditions or anything else.

Last Monday, on my first attempt of the day, I fell at the very first crux, my hand slipped on a wet hold. I tried again, but I fell again at the very top. The sun was coming up, I only had time for a short break before a last try, I fought on every move, close to falling on the last moves before the belay, not being able to see the holds anymore because of the sun that had reached the top of the route, until finally clipping the anchor! What a fight! Many thanks to Pierre Soulé and Julien Mayet for bolting this amazing line, and Matteo and all his family for their kindness, the betas and the precious support.
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