Home > News

14-Year-Old Erwan Legrand Sends a 5.14c Barefoot

The young climber has sent two 5.14c routes in Fall 2022

Photo by: Fred Ripper

French climber Erwan Legrand recently made the first ascent of Dévers Sévère 5.14c (8c+) in the Buoux climbing area of France. Two things make this ascent particularly impressive. The first is that Legrand is only 14 years old. The second is that he climbed the route shoeless in bare feet.

In an interview with 8a.nu, Legrand provided his reasoning for climbing the route sans shoes: “I’ve been climbing barefoot on my wall at home since I was little, but I’ve always climbed outdoors with climbing shoes. I had tried this route for three sessions, and I thought it might be easier by climbing barefoot. Then I started climbing barefoot in it and it immediately felt better.”

Legrand on Dévers Sévère 5.14c. Photo by Fred Ripper.

Dévers Sévère is incredibly steep and features a wild 360° footless rotation near the end. Shortly after climbing the route, Legrand sent his second 5.14c, Le Brillant Saoulé in Buoux. Throughout his climbing career, the young climber has also climbed three 5.14b’s and seven 5.14a’s. He’s flashed 5.13c and onsighted 5.13b.

Legrand bolted Dévers Sévère with his father Francois, a former top competition climber. In the 1990s, Francois Legrand won five gold and three silvers in Lead Climbing World Cups. Four of these gold medal wins were consecutive (1990, 1991, 1992, 1993). He also won three consecutive Lead Climbing World Championships in 1991, 1993, and 1995.

Photo by Fred Ripper.

We’ll have to wait and see what this promising young climber does next, including potentially putting up more shoeless first ascents.

Photo by Fred Ripper.
Lead photo: Fred Ripper