Fiji Time: 9:30 PM on Wednesday 22 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 0.62150.6025
JPY 55.262252.2622
GBP 0.36590.3579
EUR 0.41410.4021
NZD 0.71730.6843
AUD 0.64430.6193
USD 0.48800.4710



Exchange Rate updated on 22nd, November, 2017

Today's Most Read Stories

  1. 'Operation Kill Bill'
  2. Line-up unchanged
  3. Teacher testifies in trial
  4. Sex crimes
  5. Rain brings floods
  6. Mind game
  7. iTLTB looks into land tenancy concerns
  8. 'Naiqama capable of captaining Tigers'
  9. Water source for 10,000
  10. Staging of works not possible

Top Stories this Week

  1. Celebration planned to welcome COP23 delegates Tuesday (21 Nov)
  2. COP23: France invite for Timoci Friday (17 Nov)
  3. The Crying Rock Sunday (19 Nov)
  4. Where there's a will... Thursday (16 Nov)
  5. Bid to win Tuesday (21 Nov)
  6. Walker brothers' radar focuses on Fiji Bati kingpin Friday (17 Nov)
  7. 'God first' Sunday (19 Nov)
  8. Timoci opens COP23 Thursday (16 Nov)
  9. Fiji Bati requests for continued prayers Monday (20 Nov)
  10. Bati rest day Tuesday (21 Nov)