In conversation with LACRUX, Swiss climber Samuel Ometz describes the ups and downs of the red point ascent of the 9a route L'Oeuvre in Valais.

Several strong climbers have already tried the route set up by Cyrille Albasini in western Switzerland. The American was able to decrypt it for the first time Shawn Raboutou, which is otherwise more likely to be found on the blocks than in the climbing gardens.

Long-term project finally completed

It took a little more than another year for the route to be red doted a second time.

“L'Oeuvre is the most aesthetic route I've ever seen and has kept me busy longer than anything before. So I'm all the happier to have gotten the second ascent of this dream route. "

Samuel Ometz

Samuel first tried the route with Shawn in November 2018. Until then, Samuel did not venture into Cyrille Albasini's old project because the route was traded as 9a + or even 9b.

Samuel Ometz in the 9a route L'Oeuvre. (Picture Jean-Elie Lugon)

“When I got on the route with Shawn, it didn't feel that difficult. A few days later Shawn scored the route and I was very close to the climb. "

Samuel Ometz

Samuel thought he would score the route very soon, but things turned out differently than planned. The dry time with perfect conditions came to an end and he had to wait until spring 2019 to get back on the route. Samuel got on the route several times, but fell repeatedly on the penultimate move, with some attempts even on the last move. Frequent rains and the often not completely dry route did not make it easier for him to climb through.

Fall 2019 also thwarted his plans. He was only able to climb the route once because otherwise it was always wet. So the time passed and he came back to the area on March 20, 2020, in perfect conditions. The time pressure was high because Samuel did not know whether the corona crisis would soon put an end to climbing for several months.

"In the second session of this year, after two falls on the last jump, I was finally able to redpoint the L'Oeuvre."


In total, Samuel invested around 12 days over two years in the Route L'Oeuvre in Valais. Since he almost got through right from the start, he knew that it was possible and was able to maintain the necessary motivation.

“On the psychological level it was a big challenge to always fall in the same place and still be motivated to get back on the route. Fortunately, the route and the surroundings are beautiful and I had motivated friends who came along. "

Samuel Ometz ascending L'Oeuvre (9a)

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Credit: Cover picture Jean-Elie Lugon