14 April 2023

Sven Lempereur does Supercrackinette (9a+)

Sven Lempereur, has done Supercrackinette (9a+) at St Léger after a 1.5 years battle falling 35 times on the last move. (c) John Thornton

Can you tell us more about sending Supercrackinette?
After my 21 birthday, I decided to focus on outdoor climbing, and I really wanted to find a big project that would motivate me and would make me progress on the projecting process. So, I decided to go four days on the route during the autumn 2021 to check what it was like to climb a 9a+ and what I needed to accomplish it. I chose this route because one of my best friends, Sébastien Berthe, did it a couple of years ago. I know that the route suits my style, with lots of crimps and resistance. This route is on a corner in the middle of the St-leger crag. I really like this place because it is not too far from my home (8 hour's ride), so it is possible to come here just for one week and there are always some strong guys to share my climbing days with.

For me, it was important to climb as fast as possible so I could be fresh for the top section. A fun fact is that I shared the progress with Jules Marchaland. We timed our attempts, and we tried to set a record between the first move and the mono movement. This fun thing helped me a lot to arrive as fresh as possible to the last part of the route. For me, the mono movement was not too hard because it’s perfectly my style. After this move, there are just 5 movements left to the final jug. I fell on this part more than 35 times. Most climbers don’t fall after the mono movement, but I didn’t manage to hang on the resting hold, and I fell a lot on the last move. For this, an important challenge for me was not damaging the skin on the side of my finger. In this resting hold, my finger was compressed against the rock, and I opened it every time, because of my big fingers and soft skin.

This route was a real mental battle because I was close to sending pretty quickly, but I just kept falling so many times in this last move. I was not able to find the solution in this last move from the ground, and I knew that I wasn’t able to do the move when I was tired. I remember calling my coach or my friends every trip and saying, "ok, I give up and I come back home", but they helped me each time to find the motivation to try again.

The game changer for me was that after my last trip in January, I decided to focus not just on trying hard boulders or hard routes but on the main goal of sending. In order to do that I chose some classic 8c routes in Belgium and just continued to try them until I sent them. The day before my send, I decided to retry an old beta for the last move and I train to do it 10 times in a row. The result is that work and I didn’t doubt or hesitate in this last move. After this send, I’m a little bit lost because the process that motivate me all this time is finished, but I have some nice projects in my mind like hard multi-pitches or the objective to be the first Belgian guy to do 9b.
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