28-year-old Nolwen Berthier has climbed her first 9a+, Super Crackinette at Saint Léger du Ventoux in France.
28-year-old Nolwen Berthier has made a remarkable repeat of Super crackinette, the powerful and technical 9a+ testpiece at Saint Léger du Ventoux established in 2016 by Germany’s Alexander Megos. The route caught international attention two years later when Adam Ondra climbed it first go, completing the historic world’s first 9a+ flash.
After competing extensively in the World Cup circuit until 2019, Berthier set her sights on the line in late 2020, shortly after having redpointed the nearby 8c+ La ligne claire, and before redpointing La flûte en chantier at La Ramirole in the verdon Gorge.
She spent six months working the moves in 2021 but was eventually forced to admit defeat and switch objectives, but returned this season stronger and fitter than ever. Demonstrating unshakable resolve, two days ago she stuck the elusive one-finger pocket and complete her long-term goal. Berthier’s success crowns a process initiated more than a year ago and, interestingly, means that she has skipped the 9a grade entirely.
9a+ is, and always will be, a world-class performance. The first woman to climb 9a+ was Margo Hayes with her ascent of La Rambla at Siurana in March 2017. Anak Verhoeven followed suit six months later with her first ascent of the 9a+ Sweet Neuf at Pierrot Beach, while in October 2017 Angela Eiter became the first woman in the world to climb 9b with her redpoint of La Planta de Shiva at Villanueva del Rosario in Spain. Julia Chanourdie climbed Super Crackinette in March 2020, and Laura Rogora joined the select group of women capable of climbing 9a+ or harder in May 2020 with Pure Dreaming Plus at Massone in Arco. She upped this in July 2020 with the 9b Ali hulk sit extension total at Rodellar in Spain, as did Chanourdie in November 2020 with her ascent of the 9b Eagle-4 at Saint Leger.