Last Friday, Julia Chanourdie became the fourth woman to climb 5.15, with her completion of Supercrackinette (9a+/5.15a). Chanourdie, 23, from Aviernoz, France, has had a big few months: In December 2019, she qualified for the 2020 Olympics when she placed second at the IFSC Combined Qualifier Toulouse.
On Instagram, Chanourdie wrote, “It took me 17 days to clip the chain of Super Crackinette… Physically I felt really close quite fast, but mentally it was a way harder battle”
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In completing Supercrackinette, Chanourdie adds her name to the short list of women who have climbed a 5.15, following Margo Hayes, Anak Verhoeven and Angy Eiter. Hayes became the first to climb the grade with La Rambla, later climbing two more with and Biographie and Papichulo, all 9a+. Seven months later, Anak Verhoven climbed Sweet Neuf, a 25-meter extension to Sang Neuf (9a) that bumped the line up to 9a+. Verhoeven has since climbed Joe Mama (9a+), and put up the first ascent of Ciudad de Dios pa la Enmienda (9a/+) in Spain. Just a month after Verhoven sent Sweet Neuf, Angy Eiter climbed La Planta de Shiva, becoming the first woman to send 5.15b. Eiter worked on the climb for two years.
[Also Watch VIDEO: Margo Hayes Sending Biographie (9a+/5.15a)]
After Supercrackinette, Chanourdie still thinks she can climb harder, too. In an interview with Fanatic Climbing, Chanourdie said, “I don’t think this route represents the limit of my abilities. Having successfully clipped these anchors just makes me want to go see further.”
Alex Megos made the first ascent of Supercrackinette in 2016, which added a direct start to Crackinette (5.14b/8c) in Saint-Léger, France. The route is best-known as the first 5.15 ever climbed in a single try: Adam Ondra flashed the line in February 2018, the first—and to date only—flash of a 5.15 in history.
As her Olympic berth attests to, Chanourdie is a crusher on the competition circuit, too, with three IFSC World Cup podium finishes. Chanourdie’s specialty is lead, but she is one of the more well-rounded climbers in the field, with the capacity to climb sub-9 seconds on the speed wall.