Reactie Nalle op zijn send van L'Alchimiste – inclusief beeld!

Vorige week berichtten we al dat Nalle Hukkataival de beruchte boulder L’Alchimiste heropend heeft. Deze boulder is in 1996 als 8B geopend maar werd al snel vernield. De boulder werd daarna onmogelijk geacht – tot de Finse geweldenaar zich er mee ging bemoeien!

Op zijn Facebook-pagina licht Nalle uitgebreid toe hoe de send tot stand kwam:

L’Alchimiste was one of the most notorious projects in Fontainebleau with an interesting history. It was first climbed by Marc Le Menestrel back in 1996 at 8B (V13). At the time it was one of the hardest boulders in Fontainebleau and no one ever managed to repeat it. Then sometime after it’s first ascent, the crux holds were broken off. Eventually it was deemed impossible, but it remained a mythical project for the next 19 years.

The first time I tried L’Alchimiste was in the spring of 2014 after having just climbed Gioia in Italy. I found a way to climb it using a nearly non-existent sloper next to where one of the crux holds used to be. Then I managed to do all the individual moves. It goes! Now it was a matter of piecing it all together.

I fully zoned in on L’Alchimiste. Soon enough I’d done it in two sections and fallen off the last hard move from the ground. I was really close! Day after day. But for this very friction dependent climb, conditions were not on my side. I ended up extending my trip several times in hopes of getting it done before the end of the season. However, soon enough the conditions became unmanageable. In the end I didn’t do it.

A year later I came back with a fresh mind and better conditions. Quickly I was getting very close again, falling from the last hard move! And then falling there again. And again. And again. This move that I had done individually maybe 30 times, proved yet again to be really hard from the ground.

Then I started experimenting with an alternative method for the ending. An idea that I had discarded in the beginning. With some advanced foot-trickery I managed to connect it all and discovered a different way to climb the ending. In Fontainebleau the brain is definitely the most important muscle and this sums it up pretty well.

One perfect evening I topped out L’Alchimiste while the sun was just starting to set over Apremont! After such an emotional rollercoaster with the project, my initial reaction was that it was finally over! Sometimes a project really tests you mentally as well as physically and this was one of those times. I’m glad it was on such a beautiful piece of rock in one of the most special places in the world!

Tot slot worden we verwend met een goed filmpje, inclusief beeldmateriaal van de originele send jaren gelden!


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Bram Berkien

Mede-oprichter van Siked! Verzorgt fotografie en een artikel hier en daar. Daarnaast ook zelfstandig werkzaam als active lifestyle fotograaf. Na een begin als boulderaar kan hij nu ook de lokroep van het sportklimmen niet weerstaan.