Mélissa Le Nevé Becomes First Woman To Climb “Action Directe” (9a/5.14d)

The 30-year-old Frenchwoman has made the first female ascent of the famous Action Directe which was one of the first of the grade.

By Rock and Ice | May 21st, 2020

Melissa Le Nevé on Action Directe
Melissa Le Nevé on Action Directe 9a/5.14d), in the Frankenjura, Germany. Photo: Fabian Buhl.

Mélissa Le Nevé has made the first female ascent of Action Directe, the iconic route in the Frankenjura, Germany, first climbed by Wolfgang Güllich and regarded as one of the first 9a’s in the world.

“Action directe 💚. Wolfgang Güllich. 9a. – The classic. The legend. The first…. What a journey … what an inspiring person… what a fight… but also ‘une histoire d’amour’… everything I searched in climbing,” Le Nevé wrote on Instagram today, May 21. “I was hoping this moment wiIl arrive for ages. Never I would have imagined how emotional it would be to clip the anchor. I totally fell in love with the process, to solve the puzzle and unlock this jump. So obsessed that it thought me patience. Years of commitment, ups and downs, hope and many doubts.”

First climbed by Wolfgang Güllich in 1991, Action Directe has become a benchmark for the 9a (5.14d) grade. Located at the Waldkopf crag and just 45 feet long with 5 bolts spaced throughout, the route is particularly famous for the opening dyno to a two-finger pocket.

Action Directe was a 6 year project, according to Le Nevé’s Instagram post.

In an interview with Rock and Ice back in 2016, when asked about possibly climbing Action Directe one day, Le Nevé talked about trying it for the first time. “I trained very hard,” she said. “The first day I did the [route’s] jump, which is the crux for me. I felt very bad on the crossover move and had to stop.” Trying it again the day after she tore a pulley in her finger.


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Action Directe has been climbed by at least 25 climbers before Le Nevé, including many of the world’s strongest—Adam Ondra, Alex Megos, Dai Koyamada, Jan Hojer and Dave Graham, to name just a few.

The French Le Nevé, 30, has been climbing in the nearby Frankenjura for years. In early May, she ticked off another hard Frankenjura line, Bionic Commando (8c+/5.14c). In 2014 she made the first female ascent of Wallstreet. Another standard-setting Güllich climb, Wallstreet was the world’s first 8c (5.14b).

More info on Le Nevé’s ascent to come!


Watch Jan Hojer Send Action Directe


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Interview: Matilda Söderlund on The Elder Statesman, Her First 5.14d


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VIDEO: Mélissa Le Nevé Has A Golden Ticket (5.14c)

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