Lacrima Low 8B by Tristan Chouvy (11)

Monday, 22 November

Tristan Chouvy, who previously has done 13 boulders 7C to 8A, reports with an Insta video that he has done the first repeat of Lacrima Low 8B in Fontainebleau. It was put up 20 years ago by Loïc Le Denmat and this was the first repeat. What is interesting is that there also exists a 7C+ high start of the problem that has only been climbed once, by Manuel Marquès, in 2002. Furthermore, the 11-year-old actually did a 7B+ finish instead of the original 7A+ top out. (c) Pierre-Arnaud Chouvy

"Needless to say, I'm unable to confirm the grade: no experience in that grade and very little experience in the 8a grade. All I can say is that it felt hard and painful. Hard all the way in fact, till the very top! 😁." It should be noted that by looking at his profile we can see that most of his sends are 7A's. In any case, Tristan is the second youngest climber to have done an 8B boulder after Ashima Shiraishi who did it a couple of weeks before she turned eleven.

What is the climbing background of your family and what is your level?
My wife and I (Pierre-Arnoud) are long-time climbers and both of our children grew up climbing since they could walk. Living in the Fontainebleau Forest helps of course. Tristan has a twin sister who just did her first 7A. I have climbed 7C but have been climbing much less since I spot them all the time. I don't want them to fall too much at such a young age.

How come your son started trying an unrepeated 8B in Font?
Well, after he climbed Duel 8A, Philippe Le Denmat, who did Duel's first ascent, advised him to try Lacrima, whose first and only ascent had been done by his son Loïc twenty years ago. It became Tristan’s somehow unrealistic project: when he first tried months ago it just felt impossible, especially the first move of the low start.

What do you think are the reasons Tristan has been able to climb so hard?
Tough question. He has always had a natural inclination towards climbing, even as a very young child. Climbing is just natural for him and he has an internal drive to progress and to push his limits. He doesn't doubt himself and is not deterred by a high grade. He clearly feels the moves and fine-tunes each step. So, altogether, I guess that makes a very good climber. In the end, he's lucky to have been exposed to the sport he was maybe made for. And living near the forest, he's lucky to be able to spend all his free time climbing. Which is not everybody's case.

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