This young Frenchman is pushing hard

Tanguy Merard was the first to climb three extremely tough routes within a week: Hannigraal (9b), Brouncha (9a) and La cinquantaine éclatante (9a+). A few days ago he drew Fight Club (8B+) and Ninjutsu (8B+) in Ticino.

The name Tanguy Merard is probably still a term known to few people. The young Frenchman is on the verge of becoming one of the world's best. In spring 2023 he scored with Biography his fourth and for him most important 9a+ route. In the same summer, the then 19-year-old doubled up with 11 routes between 8c+ and 9a+. He recently helped liberate in L'Abattoir, not far from Grenoble Hannigraal his first 9b route as well as two other lines in the ninth French degree.

Everything went perfectly. I reached the diverter - shocked and surprised, I had just completed my first 9b first ascent with Hannigraal.

Tanguy Merard

Off to the French sport climbing epicenter

At the tender age of 16, Tanguy Merard moved to Briançon. This climbing hotspot in the French Alps not only offered good training opportunities, but also strong climbing partners. “I made this choice because before I always trained alone in the garage,” he says in a portrait of his sponsor Tenaya. “I wanted to climb with other strong young people.”

The strong environment and support quickly bore fruit: in the summer of 2021 he achieved his first 9a+ with La mustache qui fâche. At the beginning of 2023, Les yeux plus gros que les roubignoles will follow in Russan and Super Crackinette in Saint Léger two more 9a+ routes.

In the spring, after more than 60 days of planning spread over three years, he succeeded in the red point ascent of Biography (9a+) in Ceüse. A success that motivated him to try new and even harder lines.

A true flash machine

The young Frenchman repeatedly draws attention to himself with tough flash climbs. At the end of February this year he managed the 8c route Rêve de poutre in this style in St. Léger. Last year the 20-year-old flashed five 8c routes. In Vertical Life's all-time ranking, Tanguy Merard is in second place behind Adam Ondra.

Comprehensive athlete

But the young Frenchman is not just a strong sport climber. In November 2022 he will prove himself with the onsight ascent of the Sardinia classic Hotel Supramonte (400m, 8b) that he also feels comfortable on tough multi-pitch routes.

And thanks to his hard training, the 2022 French bouldering champion is able to continually improve his level even on the smaller boulders. The most recent example: During a short trip to Switzerland, he repeated the two test pieces in Val Bavona Fight Club (8B+) and Ninjutsu (8B+).

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Credits: Cover picture @killian_chab

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