On March 13, French climber Julia Chanourdie redpointed Super Crackinette (5.15a/9a+) in Saint-Léger-du-Ventoux, France. The route is the hardest to date for the 23-year-old climber and makes her the fourth woman to ever climb the 5.15 grade.
“To cut a long story short, it took me 17 days to clip the chain of Super Crackinette,” Chanourdie wrote on Instagram. “I just loved it. Physically I felt really close quite fast, but mentally it was a way harder battle. I found myself falling many times on the upper crux.”
Chanourdie was born in the Alps in Southern France. Her parents owned a climbing gym, and she had a decorated youth competition career before moving onto the adult circuit. Last year, she placed second at the Toulouse Olympic Qualifying Event to earn a berth at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Just after qualifying, Chanourdie wrote: “I am so happy... Once again, I kept my focus and enjoyed myself during the entire event. That was the main goal this year, and the last competition of this very long season. After so much doubt, joy, tears, desires, sadness, motivation, fears and determination... I finally succeeded!”
On stone, Chanourdie has two previous 5.14d ascents. She now joins the elite list of women who have climbed 5.15, along with Margo Hayes, Anak Verhoeven, and Angela Eiter. Hayes became the first woman to climb a 5.15a with her ascent of La Rambla in 2017, and has since sent Biographie (5.15a) and Papichulo (5.15a). Verhoeven was the second woman to climb the grade, making the first ascent of Sweet Neuf (5.15a) in 2017 and later climbing Joe Mama (5.15a). Eiter was the first woman to climb 5.15b, skipping the 5.15a grade, with her ascent of La Planta de Shiva in 2017.
Super Crackinette was equipped by the French climber Quentin Chastagnier. Alex Megos made the first ascent in 2016, and Adam Ondra flashed the line in 2018. Ondra's ascent was the world's first, and so far only, flash of a 5.15 route. In reporting on his ascent, Climbing described the 65-foot route as "a flurry of power-endurance 'micro' management, a 28-move sprint followed by eight easier moves."