Schirrmacher ticks F8a

After sustained effort, Sheffield resident, Katherine Schirrmacher redpointed Raindogs (F8a), yesterday, 12 May. Katherine is now one of the few British women to climb this grade and only the third woman to climb Raindogs (Rachel Farmer and Karin Magog are the other two). Her campaign kicked off last year when she began trying the notoriously sustained twelve metre, 25-move route on Malham's catwalk. Warm, late summer conditions were not ideal and she came within a whisker of clipping the chains, before a trip to Australia put the project to rest for the winter. Feeling stronger after more indoor bouldering, including some impressive results in the international competitions (placed first among the British women at Birmingham in March, fourteenth overall), Schirrmacher hit the road to Malham once again this spring. Despite two weeks off the route, whilst coaching for PlanetFear in Sardinia, Katherine got the route 2nd redpoint yesterday, belayed by Craig Smith. Whilst F8a may not be world class, with the likes of Josune Bereziartu having recently redpointed F9a+, here in the UK, there are still only a handful of women climbing at this standard. Recently, Katherine decided to take time out from her career to focus on her climbing, and already she is finding out how much more she is capable of.

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