Anak Verhoeven Achieves First Female 5.15a First Ascent

History has been made in the climbing world this week, thanks to the vision and dedication of 21-year-old Belgian female climber, Anak Verhoeven, who on Monday, September 11, achieved the first ascent of Sweet Neuf —a suggested 5.15a at Pierrot Beach in France’s Northern Alps.

With a send of this route, Anak has become the first female to complete a first ascent at the grade, and the second female ever (following Margo Hayes) to send 5.15a.

Can I get a hell yeah! for the women of climbing?

This new 5.15a, Sweet Neuf, links the first pitch of Sang Neuf (5.14d) into a Home Sweet Home (5.14b/c) to create a long, 40-meter route on steep limestone. Anak also achieved the FA of Sang Neuf just prior to attempting the 5.15a linkup.

If you haven’t heard of Anak already, she’s a highly accomplished competition climber who placed second overall in the 2016 IFSC World Cup and currently holds a #2 ranking in the world. She has been climbing since she was a mere four years old.

Aside from her significant competition successes, Anak has also climbed just shy of 30 5.14s outside, making her no stranger to hard ascents on real rock.

Anak climbing her first 5.14d, Era Vella in Margalef, Spain:

Anak’s FFA of Broadway (5.14c/d) in Siurana, Spain:




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