Mandallaz Drive 9a by Baptiste Dherbilly

Thursday, 16 September

Baptiste Dherbilly reports on Insta that he has done the first repeat of Mandallaz Drive 9a in Allonzier la Caille. It was put up by Fred Rouling in 2004, video. Baptiste, who previously has done the first repeat also of Rouhling's 9a+ Salamandre, has projected it for three years. (c) Mathieu Pisaniello

Why do you think it has not been repeated for 17 years?
I think it’s the style of the route. It’s old school with very small holds so it’s not a popular route. It’s very specific and bouldery on the first twelve movements (8B bouldering ). After you have to climb an 8c. The whole route is very technical with a strange beta! It’s incredible for me to do it after so many years and attempts. A lot of specific training and perseverance was needed.

What kind of and how much specific training was needed? Replica?
Strength finger, Heel hooking, One finger pocket and power endurance. I began to work on Mandallaz Drive three years ago. During periods of bad weather or hot conditions, I climb on the indoor wall in the same style, or on a replica. Also, Moonboarding and dead-hang really helped me.

What is next?
I want to try Empreinte to see if it’s possible for me. It’s the last one of Fred none repeated routes. But there are so many unknown lines. They are waiting to be discovered!

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