In climbing I do things that I enjoy and want to do not the ones that are currently in fashion.
Muriel Sarkany
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Hot Chilli X 8c, Déversé sector, Gorges du Loup
(photo: arch. Muriel Sarkany/

I have noticed that your favorite way of working on a project is setting off for at least 2-month trip. In 2011 you spent three months in Gorge du Loup and you sent three lines graded 8c. This year you went to Santa Linya for twomonths and consequently you came back with two such routes on your list. Is it because you need to spend more time warming-up and getting used to the rock?

No, that’s simply how everybody works on a hard rock project. People stay for months in the spot trying the projects they want to send. For me it’s a little bit different because I need to go back home regularly. So in general I work on the same project one week or ten days maximum and then I go back to Belgium for about 2 weeks.  But it’s true that at this level, a project makes you work harder but at the same time respect rest periods that are necessary for the recovery process to take place. My main problem is that when it comes to hard routes I often can’t do crux sequences using “normal” methods because of my height so I always need to spend some time to find my own solutions.


Last Soul Sacrifice 8c, Déversé sector, Gorges du Loup
(photo: arch. Muriel Sarkany/

On your website I read that your favorite climbing spot is Saint-Leger-du-Ventoux. You also spent some time there in June working on one 8b+ line. When should we except any extreme ascent of yours from that area and what might it be?

;-))) Saint Léger is a very beautiful place but for the time being I go climbing there just for fun ;-).  There is no 9a yet but some day maybe there will be one ;-)))

Do you still tend to visit some of your local climbing spots in Belgium?

You know, in Belgium the weather conditions are not so favorable ;-))) it’s really difficult to find a god route and good conditions at the same time;-).

Your name is associated mostly with competitions. Recently, you have focused more on rock climbing. Are you looking for some new inspiration in climbing or heading in the direction of universality? Maybe next year we’ll hear something about your big wall ascents or bouldering achievements?

I don’t know… I try to live the present ;-) and I do things that I want to do. Devoting more time to rock climbing is what I always wanted to do. So I’m enjoying it. I also like bouldering so maybe one day I will try some hard boulder ;-) But I’m not going to do big walls just because it’s in fashion now…


Bouldering session during the Melloblocco event and...
(photo: arch. Muriel Sarkany/

Have you ever thought in some sort of moment of weakness or doubt that you’re not going to be as strong as you used to be and that maybe it is time to stop pushing yourself?

Sure!  Sometimes it is not easy to stay motivated all along because it takes a lot of time and effort to send something really difficult. For me the whole struggle with Rollito was exhausting but now I know that if the project becomes too hard for my head to deal with it, I must replace it with something else, try another route or simply do a small break instead of staying focus all the time on the same moves/projects…

What are your plans for the future?

I would like to continue what I’m doing at the moment: discovering new climbing spots, meeting people and trying to send a 9a ;-) !!!!* Magic Woods
(photo: arch. Muriel Sarkany/

* Muriel continues her conquest of Gorge du Loup and is getting closer to her dream 9a level. At the end of August 2012 she added another extreme route to her list being simultaneously her first 8c+Ultimate sacrifice. The route was set by Axel Franco in the 90s and is the combination of New power generation 8b and Last soul sacrifice 8c.

Ultimate sacrifice 8c+, Déversé sector, Gorges du Loup
(photo: arch. Muriel Sarkany/

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