Samuel Ometz brings a new test piece to the St. Loup climbing area

The strong French-speaking Swiss climber Samuel Ometz makes the first ascent of Avant demain (9a) in St. Loup. His line in the Bain de sang sector is a variant of Nightmare and Demain.

“I’m happy that I was able to free up a new, hard route on this mystical wall,” enthuses Samuel Ometz after the successful red point ascent of Avant de main (9a). This year, the Valais resident invested eight days in the first ascent of this line.

I'm happy that I was able to free up a new, hard route on this mystical wall

Samuel Ometz

Difficult slab climbing

Avant demain (9a) is a variant of Demain that starts in Nightmare (8a+) and bypasses the first key point. The rest is challenging enough, says Samuel Ometz. “A first flat crux with a structureless sloper is followed by a second low-percentage crux on very bad steps.”

Rectangle_Knatsch in Magic Wood

As with the rest of the routes in St. Loup, Avant demain's style is very old school: flat, finger-heavy and not really pumpy.

Samuel Ometz

The first challenge was to find a good beta. A frustrating part given the fact that the number of attempts at the sharp holds is limited. “At the same time, I also really like this phase because you have to be very strategic in this puzzle-solving process.”

During my redpoint attempts I quickly made it to the second crux, but fell on the same two moves there during four sessions.

Samuel Ometz

He was able to do this job almost every time in isolation. It just always felt different when he came from below. «I didn't know what else I could improve. I just kept trying and eventually it worked.”

Historic climbing area

The St. Loup area, located between Lausanne and Yverdon, was mainly visited by the brothers in the 90s Fred and François Nicole known. They were routes like Non à la bomb 8c + Bloodbath 9a, Bimbaluna 9a / 9a + and Ultime suffrance 9a, which quickly attracted international visitors. Typical of the area are the often almost non-existent kicks and its small handles.

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Credits: Cover picture Samuel Ometz

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