Legrand puts up 8c+ – or 9a?

Francois Legrand, aka “Big Frank”, best known in the UK for his prowess in winning just about any competition he enters, has put up a new route at Les Calanques, just outside Marseille. Called Robi In the Sky, it begins by climbing a 15m 8b called La Baume – and then adds another 30m straight up, to produce a 45m route which overhangs a total of 25m. Steep, eh? The suggested grade (according to Worldcrag which heard it from Planet Frontier) is 8c+ or 9a. At that length, it´s clearly a stamina route (as opposed to the short and very powerful 8c+ of Hubble), which would make sense given Big Frank´s ability to effortlessly glide up indoor comp routes half that length which overhang nearly as much. What´s his secret, you may be wondering? We like to think it´s in the comment we once overheard from someone watching him adding yet another title. “That guy never bends his arms,” they said in an awed voice. Which, when you think about it, is a good way not to waste energy on overhanging stuff.