- First ascent of “Histoire sans fin” (250m, 8b+) and “Promesse de l’aube” (200m, 8c) in Le Petit Clocher du Portalet
- “Fly” (500m, 8c) in Lauterbrunnen
- Multiple times freeclimbing El Capitan in a day, “Freerider”, “Golden Gate”(fastest time in 11hours), “El Nino” (first day ever on the route, almost onsight)
- "Free Heart route", El Cap Yosemite - 2nd ascent in 6 days
- Linked and freeclimbed the Alpine Trilogy (Silbergeier, Kaizer neue kleider, End of Silence) by bike with Nico Favresse
- 9a+ “Supercrackinette” Saint-Léger-Du-Ventoux
- 8c flash “Mind control” Oliana
- 8b+ onsight “Murder weapon” in El Salto
- 8B boulder
- Freeclimbed the Nose (1000m, 5.14/8b+) of El Capitan in Yosemite, first ever ground-up free ascent
- Sail crossed the Atlantic to attempt the Dawnwall on El Capitan
- 2nd ascent of “Arco Iris” (250m, 8c+) in Montserrat
- Multiple hard multipitch route climbed in a day ("Odyssée" , Eiger (1200m, 8a+), "Bellavista" TreCime, "Yeah man", Gastlosen(250, 8b+), "Father time' in a day, middle cathedral Yosemite, "Headless children" flash, Ratikon, Tarrago", Montserrat (200m, 8b+), "Carnet d'adresses", Rocher du midi (250m,8b+)
- Link up on the Tre Cime in the Dolomites: 5 routes in 20 hours
- Twice Belgian lead champion (2014 and 2018)
When and how did you get into climbing and what kept you interested / fascinated in the sport?
What I really love about climbing are all the possibilities that sport can offer you. I could not imagine doing only one discipline of climbing. I love bouldering, I love lead climbing , I love competition (former national coach and member of the Belgian climbing team), and most of all, I love trad and BigWall climbing. This adventure side of climbing really fascinates me!
Who was your childhood hero and do you consider yourself a role model now? Does it influence you at all that other people look up to you?
All my life I’ve been inspired by many climbing heroes: Lynn Hill, Tommy Caldwell, Nico Favresse, Sean Villanueva, my father,...
I don’t really see myself as a role model, but I know that people look up to me, so I really act and share things according to my values as a human and climber.
What were the most important milestones in your life so far, both in climbing and in everyday life? Did you immediately recognize them as such or only later on?
One of them is probably when I freeclimbed the Nose in 2019. At the moment I stood up on the top of El Capitan after 8 days of trying hard, a dream came true and I knew I had just accomplished something quite big. I think It probably changed my life.
What were your greatest failures / setbacks / injuries? How did you cope with them and how did you come back from them?
In 2017, I badly broke my ankle falling from a boulder in Albaracin Spain. It took me more than two years to recover properly, and I still have regular pain when I am climbing, walking or running too much.
I actually used this misadventure as a weapon: during convalescence I trained really hard my upper body and my finger strength. I would go to the gym with my crutches and hand on the board for hours. My biggest weakness has always been power and strengthbut this injury helped me to overcome this weakness.
What is your favorite climbing related story / experience?
My adventure crossing the Atlantic sailing from Europe to America in order to attempt the famous Dawnwall is probably my biggest experience so far. I learnt so much about myself… Social relationships, dealing with others, learning patience, dealing with failure, … I came back from this trip way stronger, and most of all, wiser ;-)
Do you have a strict training schedule for when and how you train throughout the year?
Yes! I try to organize and schedule in details my training and and climbing periods throughout the year.
When you want to push your limit, it is all about details!
What advice can you give to somebody looking to improve their training routine?
Planning, committing 100% at each training, and resting properly!
These are keys for improving and took me a while to understand them, and I still sometimes forget it…
What do you think of indoor climbing gyms in relation to climbing on actual rock?
It is of course totally different and I am obviously more in love with the actual rock ;-) But I still really like to climb in the gym and I think It is a necessary tool to improve as a climber.
Are you able to do a one-arm pull-up? How about a single finger?
Yes, but not much more than one ;-) Let’s keep the 5 fingers together for the moment ahah !
How much of the success as a pro climber is due to show and how much due to actual climbing skill?
Climbing skill of course! or not… hum hum ;-)
Is it possible for anybody to eventually perform a one-armed pull-up or get to the top of the Eiger/Matterhorn, or do you really have to be born for it?
I do believe that anyone can perform at the very best level putting the means and effort in the process! No need to be born for it!
How important is it to set goals in professional sports? What are your goals / targets you are working towards in climbing and in life?
Goals are the keys to make you willing to try and train hard, there are really important!
Every year, every month, every week and even every day I try to set motivating and realistic goals. That structure my life and training and nice productive way.
How to you deal with extremely hard climbing problems? Do you ever get frustrated and give up on them or do they motivate you even more?
Of course I get frustrated! And I sometimes use this frustration to find ways to overcome this problem. Think, think and think to find solutions. I don’t I ‘ve ever really given up on something I had tried properly… Postponed it of course, to come back later and stronger!
Future of climbing
Is there anything you would like to change about the current developments in climbing?
A bit more time in nature, and a bit less time in front of instagram reels? ;-)
Where do you see the sport going in the next years, what will change and what is your role going to be in it?
The number of climbers is increasing everyday. Knowing that, I think it is important to keep in mind the impact of climbing on the environment. Traveling, building new gyms, the climbing marketing, invading natural places,...
Environmental protection and the ecological fight are really important to me. Global warming and its consequences is more than just a fact, it is an emergency we have to deal with right now! I love travelling, I love climbing, I love nature and discovering new places. I know that if I want to keep climbing outdoors, if I want the playgrounds we have to remain the same, we need to change the way we live. Scientists make it clear: if we don’t fight against global warming by reducing our greenhouse gas emissions as much as we can, things will change and not for the good. I am not talking about climbing conditions and friction! Our entire lives will change and leisure as well – including climbing.We need to be aware of this impact and try to minimize it as much as we can!