Over the weekend, 31-year-old Austrian climber Angela Eiter bested the previous most difficult climb by a woman when she became the first female to ever send a 5.15b (9b) route.
Eiter completed the La Planta de Shiva climb in Villanueva Del Rosario, Andalucia, Spain on October 22, a route previously only completed by men.
Back in February, 19-year-old Margo Hayes became the first female to climb the most difficult rating in rock climbing (the 5.15/9 category) by ascending the 5.15a (9a+) La Rambla.
Now, Eiter has upped the ante by going a notch further with the 5.15b (9b) climb. The most difficult climb a woman has ever completed, it’s clear the evolution in women’s climbing is happening at a mad pace right now.
Unbelievable! Slowly I start to realize what I've triggered in the climbing community when I clipped the anchor of a route 24 hours ago. I didn't expected so many congratulations . People you are awesome ! Trying "Planta de Shiva" was an amazing experience and I really enjoyed every session on the route since October 2015 although I struggled with many defeats during the process. I didn't believe I can do it and actually decided just to focus on the second pitch of "Planta de Shiva" without the first one as it turned out to be hard enough for me. Many sessions where needed to figure out the moves. Anyway, I knew it was my style and I was inspired by the moves, which I guess was the key to my success. In support of a specific preparation at home I started to try combining the second pitch and I surprisingly made very good progress. This October I completed the second pitch. Then, I wanted to know if I can also add the first powerful 8c pitch. Two days later on Sunday 22 October I found the answer… @michal_climb #verleihflügel #jedentagtirol @team_edelrid @lasportivagram
The 5.15b (9b) is only two degrees below the most difficult rating of 5.15d (9c). The Silence 5.15d (9c) climb has only been completed by one person ever, Adam Ondra. And there are only three climbs in the world rated at 5.15c (9b+), with only two people having ever completed that grade (Ondra and Chris Sharma).
Eiter even recognized the magnitude of what she had done, posting today on Instagram, “Slowly I start to realize what I've triggered in the climbing community when I clipped the anchor of a route 24 hours ago.”
Simply put, this is historic for not only women’s climbing but more so climbing itself, as the likes of Eiter, Hayes, Anak Verhoeven, Ashima Shiraishiare and others are all starting to close-in on making ascents of routes that only a few men have ever completed. The future (of rock climbing) is most certainly female.
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