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Arnaud Petit Takes Comp Climbers for New Big Wall

Top French climbers Arnaud Petit and Jonathan Crison have established Soavadia with a team of strong competition climbers in a program established by the French Federation of Mountaineering and Climbing.

Arnaud guided the young climbers in how to rig a big wall for free climbing and how to spend time on a monster project.

The climbers included Dora Sulinger, Manon Barnier, Tom Durel, Tristan Roguiez, Robin Valet, Julien Forgue, Gaël Bouquet des Chaux.

The new 600-metre 5.13a climbs the big Tsaranoro Atsimo in Madagascar and climbs parallel to existing line from 2017.

The team took nearly a week to establish and work the route before sending it. Unlike most big wall route, the bolts are close enough together that you don’t feel like you’ll take a 50-footer at every crux.

Petit wrote on Instagram, “Long, sustained, beautiful. On this unique featured granite made for face climbing, with a surreal bivy spot in the middle – for the ones who wants to enjoy even more the wall: I have the feeling Soavadia put up in six days by our team will become a classic. Thank you to Amélie Bonnet, who drew us the mountain.”

Petit was one of Europe’s best competition climbers back in the 1990s with a number of big wins to his name. This is not his first time to Tsaranoro and has freed old aid routes.

Having a team that takes young competition climbers away from the gym and up onto big walls is a great way to get the next generation of strong climbers excited for their own projects in the future.