Pic Saint Loup is a special place to me. This crag is on the top of the highest mountain in the region, looking down into the valley. The view is incredible, there is a unique atmosphere up there. The approach is tough, but the crag really makes it worthwhile. It reminds me somehow of Clark Mountain and Jumbo Love. A wild place with a stunning wall.
I live close to this crag, and it's such an amazing playground for me. I bolted ACL five years ago, in memory of my grandfather. It's a fantastic line in a fantastic place. Working the route was a good opportunity to keep him close to me during all these years. ACL means Ariegeois Coeur Loyal, which was a name bestowed upon my grandfather by the Compagnons du Devoir when he became a master carpenter.
ACL goes straight up the middle of the Pic Saint Loup wall, on the most overhanging part.
This route combines two 9a's (5.14d’s). The first one is quite physical and takes a lot of energy out of you. The second one is trickier and resistance climbing. The real difficulty is in completing the first section with enough energy in reserve to send the second 9a.
I fell on the last moves of this route a lot. This last crux requires a lot of precision and body tension.
I was pretty close to sending the route in autumn 2022 and I fell on the very last move. But then the rain came and the key holds were suddenly wet and not drying out. I had to give up for the fall season.
I came back really motivated this Spring and it took me a month to finish the job.
I finally did it on my birthday when I turned 30.
I am happy about this process. It was an important route for me, where the love for my family was present all the time.