Alban seems unstoppable at the moment. After the first ascent of La Force, ~8C/9a, and quick repeats of La force du destin, ~8B+, and Hip-hop assis, ~8B, he has now made the 3rd ascent of Marc LeMenestrel's l'Alchimiste, ~8C.
When Marc LeMenestrel put up the original problem back in 1996 it was given 8B. Then someone decided to chop the holds off... What remained was an 8B, but without the key crux hold, and for a while it was deemed more or less impossible.
Then last year, Nalle Hukkataival managed to reopen the problem by climbing slightly more to the right. Nalle never suggested a grade, but Alban says he feels the the problem weighs in around 8C.
He used roughly the same method as Nalle and needed two sessions to do it, but he also says that he thinks the original line, more to the left, might actually still be possible after all.
So, it could be that we haven't reached the end of the story of l'Alchimiste quite yet...
Thanks to Pierre Délas/Fanatic climbing.
Alban Levier is sponsored by: Ocun, Rokodromo and Vertical Art