With her brother Tristan, Louna Ladevant climbed the day’s route, on the lead, on Wogü, in Rätikon. It’s one of the most challenging big routes in this part of the Swiss Alps, where there’s no shortage of them. Here’s a look back at a great day’s climbing on this legendary wall in Switzerland.
The sheer number of pitches makes the head spin, or vertigo, of anyone who loves climbing: Wogü totals no less than 7 pitches from 7c+ to 8c, in the eighth degree, over ten pitches. The route is on the legendary Rätikon wall, a jewel in the crown of Swiss climbing, along with other very difficult gems such as Silbergeier and Der Kaiser Neue Kleider. Opened by B. Kammerlander in 1997, it wasn’t until 2008 and Adram Ondra that the first free link-up was made. Wogü has not seen many repeaters, given its ultra-demanding slab style.
So, after Adam Ondra, Edu Marin, Roland Hemetzberger, and most recently Cédric Lachat (in 2020, on the occasion of his filmed tour Swissway to Heaven) are the only ones to have come up against Wogü… until Louna Ladevant on 12 October. Her success was no accident, but the result of hard work and unfailing motivation. After an initial session lasting several days of deciphering, which was as hard on the skin of the fingers as it was on the mind, with some passages very exposed, Louna and Tristan, who met in Grenoble, said they wanted to finish the job and do it again. And now they have.
After 2 or 3 pitches of approach (6c, 6c+ and link) the route gave no respite: seven pitches followed in this very difficult style: L4 in 8c of 45 m, L5 7c+, L6 8b+, L7 8b, L8 8b+, L9 8a+ and L10 7c+.
“To be able to help me as much as possible, Tristan had to do and learn every difficult move on the route, which was a real rope performance,” says Louna. Especially as nothing went according to plan. “I fell several times on the third pitch, the 8c. I lost a lot of time and energy earlier than expected”, explains Louna, who remained motivated right up to the last difficult pitch, which he finally climbed… by headlamp at the start of the night! In the end, it was at almost 10pm that Louna got through Wogü.
The tension was still there, given the spacing of the bolts, the impossibility of completing the existing equipment on these huge slabs, and the finger-jamming that goes with this style. So Louna Ladevant adds a very nice notch to her list of achievements. Linking up for the day is undoubtedly the best way of doing it.