At a time when only two women have climbed 9a+ and only a dozen (between 10 and 17) or so men have climbed 9b, this is certainly on par with Ondra's ascent of Silence, 9c, or Nalle Hukkataival's ascent of Burden of Dreams, 9A.
Hi Angy, huge congratulations on one of the most ground breaking ascents ever!
Could you please tell me a little about the route, the process of deciding to try it and then working on and redpointing it?
After my ascent of 'Hades', 9a, in Nassereith/Imst I aimed to work on a harder project. I didn't really focus on a route in the 9b range.
However, the occasion came spontaneously. In October 2015 I first tried and completed the first pitch of 'Planta de Shiva', 8c. At the top I managed the crimp section of the second pitch. My husband Bernie encouraged me to check it out.
Actually, I only tried it twice back then, but I understood immediately that I was inspired by the beauty and difficulty of this line and that the route suited my style perfectly. I managed to check out all the moves, but on some parts I wasn't able to link more than two or three moves.
In January 2016 Jakob Schubert did the second ascent and said that sending the route had been the fight of his life.
These words really intimidated me and I started to question whether I'd chosen the right route. So I decided to focus on climbing the second part only, because the extension is hard enough. I don't know what grade it would get, but it's certainly a lot harder than anything I've ever climbed before.
During the two years I travelled to the route seven times in total, either for a week or when I managed to get away from work for longer, then I went there for two weeks. The rest of the time I trained at home at a similar intensity to the route.
Joy and disappointment came along with me, as the whole process was plagued with frustration in some parts. Especially when two holds broke off or when I got an inflammation on my pulley and tore my hamstring.
9a to 9b is certainly a significant step in terms of grades - was it also a big step for you personally in terms of difficulty?
Yes it is and actually I didn't believe that I could manage the whole route. So I focused on the second pitch only and this one turned out to be possible when I give it my all.
Now what? Planning a trip to Flatanger? ;-)
I hope I find another route that inspires me as much as 'Planta de Shiva'. But not at that grade please :-)
Thanks so much Angy, and congrats once again!