La Castagne 9a+ by Alexander Rohr

6 December 2022

Alexander Rohr has done the third ascent of La Castagne (9a+) in St Léger. "Nice route! Hard Boulder in the middle and then resistance climbing on crimps." (c) John Thornton

Adam Ondra did the FA in 2018 and then Alex Megos did the first repeat in 2020. Rohr has previously done 14 9a's and harder.

Can you tell us more about the route and the ascent?
The route is roughly 25 meters long and hard on the first half. The Crux is a hard boulder on maybe 7 moves, leading into a very resistant part on small crimps. The crag of St. Léger is located right underneath Mont Ventoux and hosts a ton of routes from 8a to very hard. Usually, the conditions are very dry, lots of wind and usually the temperatures are perfect. This time it was more or less the opposite. Within the two weeks of the trip we had 4 days of no climbing at all because of a completely wet crag. Several days were too hot or extremely cold. 4 good days was all we had. I knew the route from trying it three days last April after having completed Retour Gagnant, another 9a, plus some brief tries on another trip earlier this year. At the start of this trip, I was pretty sure to do it as I planned in enough time. In the end, the weather made it exciting. I had one day where I was too nervous to climb well. On all the other days, I was able to give it all and I sent on the very last opportunity before the weather changed to the worst. Having learned a thing or two on all my recent projects or failures was my biggest asset on La Castagne and it just all came together this time. There was flow in my mind even tough, it was very hard to give some good tries. Progress was made - that is all that counts and that probably is the reason why this project made me very happy.

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