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.
Sweet neuf 9a+ First ascent • After having climbed Sang neuf, I had 1 climbing day left. Sébastien Richard suggested that I could try to link Sang neuf 9a with the 25 meter second pitch of Home sweet home 8c/+ and I accepted the challenge. After a rest day I climbed Sang neuf 9a again but this time I did not stop at the chain, but climbed on to the chain of Home sweet home. ? • This new route is now called Sweet neuf: Sang neuf & Home sweet home combined. • Photo by Sébastien Richard @belinda.metz – #rockclimbing #vercors #pierrotbeach #france #sweetneuf #9a+ #climbing – @lasportivagram @petzl_official #lasportiva #petzl #srcfc #heistsport
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.
In Kranj (Slovenia) I’ve won a world cup for the second time. What a blessing to be able to end the season this way! In the overall ranking of the complete 2016 world cup season I became 2nd and Jain Kim 3rd. Congrats to Janja Garnbret who has won the overall 2016 world cup title! Photo taken by Eddie Fowke – @thecircuitclimbing.
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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