Fiji Time: 10:39 PM on Sunday 19 November

Fiji Times Logo

/ Front page / World

Historic climb

Saturday, November 11, 2017

VIENNA - Angela Eiter has become the first woman in history to successfully free climb a 9b route.

The project was two years in the making for the 31-year-old Austrian, who achieved the feat in climbing the sport climbing route "La Planta de Shiva" in Villaneuva del Rosario, Spain late October.

Only two people in history - Adam Ondra and Chris Sharma - have tackled a harder rated climb.

But Eiter admitted the ascent on October 22 had almost gone wrong in its final reaches. She said: "Up there on the last moves, I was right at the very limit. Actually, I almost fell off with the last move. So it was incredible."

Ondra was the first to scale the Spanish climb back in 2011, a feat repeated five years later by Jakob Shubert, who described it as the toughest climb of his career.

Eiter had previously tackled three routes rated 9a, but both American Margo Hayes (with "La Rambla" in Siurana, Spain) and Belgium's Anak Verhoeven ("Sweet Nuef" at Pierrot Beach, France) had exceeded that with 9a+ achievements.

But the 31-year-old Eiter cemented her place in the record books with a challenging 9b climb, which she plotted by making a replica of its holds and movements at her local climbing wall at Imst in her native Austria.

It was back in October 2015 when she first came up with the idea of climbing "La Planta de Shiva", and she has made two trips annually to the site since that point.

Filmed by an amateur climber as she reached the top, a clearly emotional Eiter said of her achievement: "Truth be told, I didn't think I had a chance at all. If I'm really honest with myself, I had to admit I stopped believing it was possible.

"I knew if I was going to succeed I'd have to do everything 100 per cent right, and give it absolutely everything I had."

A four-time world champion and three-time Overall World Cup winner, Eiter has already enjoyed a victory-laden honours list.

But her bid to tackle 9b was plagued by a series of setbacks, including broken holds on the limestone climb, an injured finger and a hamstring complaint.

It was to such an extent that she said to herself, "Unfortunately, I'm going to have to abandon this beauty."

Injury free, she returned in May but was buoyed, despite faltering on that occasion, to make a subsequent attempt six months later.

Of her two-year quest, she added: "At the time, I was looking for something really demanding, a route which would require more of me than I'd ever given in the past. I was fascinated by the idea of trying something very, very difficult."

Fiji Times Front Page Thumbnail

Kaila Front Page ThumbnailFiji Times & Kaila Frontpage PDF Downloads

Use the free Acrobat Reader to view.

Code Inward TTs Outward TTs
CAD 0.62050.6015
JPY 55.545452.5454
GBP 0.36760.3596
EUR 0.41340.4014
NZD 0.71590.6829
AUD 0.64370.6187
USD 0.48830.4713



Exchange Rate updated on 17th, November, 2017

Today's Most Read Stories

  1. 'God first'
  2. 'Testament of our defence'
  3. Bati stuns Kiwis and will face Kangaroos
  4. 'We have done it'
  5. Woman's body found in harbour
  6. Keeping Fijian spirit alive in cold Germany
  7. FLP's poll promise
  8. West primary schools athletics meet finds new sprint king
  9. Goalkeeper Tamanisau back for Fiji against Estonia
  10. Nine people evicted in Fiji Bati, Kiwi game

Top Stories this Week

  1. Fiji places second for Miss World 2017 talent Wednesday (15 Nov)
  2. COP23: France invite for Timoci Friday (17 Nov)
  3. Students holiday fares clarified Tuesday (14 Nov)
  4. Where there's a will... Thursday (16 Nov)
  5. Stunningly impressive Tuesday (14 Nov)
  6. Bati-mania Tuesday (14 Nov)
  7. Tighten defence Wednesday (15 Nov)
  8. Walker brothers' radar focuses on Fiji Bati kingpin Friday (17 Nov)
  9. Timoci opens COP23 Thursday (16 Nov)
  10. Arnold pays Fiji a visit Monday (13 Nov)