Swedish climber Matilda Söderlund has climbed her first 9a, The Elder Statesman in the Frankenjura, Germany. The route is a direct finish to The Last Rites which were both first climbed by Markus Bock in 2011.
Söderlund is no stranger to hard sport climbing having previously redpointed 8c+, flashed 8b+ and onsighted 8b. At the end of 2018, she marked her return to top form by climbing Pure Imagination (8c+) after a prolonged period of studying business and economics.
The Elder Statesman is a stereotypical Frankenjura route: powerful and crimpy – a style that particularly suits Söderlund. It was here in 2012 where she flashed Friends like you, an 8b+ with a similar style. Despite her affinity with the style of climbing, she has been hard at work training for this trip for several months. In the end, the route took her two extra days of effort after climbing The Last Rites.
The Last Rites, 8c+ ⛓ Wohooo first project of the trip went down today. The Last Rites, a crimpy and powerful route put up by @bock.markus . Training seems to be paying off 🤗✊🏼 Now I just need to add the direct start of the route... Super nice day out in the forest with @chiara_hanke and @sammydahlman (who also took the photos 👏🏼📸) 🌲 @nocco @underarmournordics @lasportivagram @barebells
In September, Söderlund has a successful trip to the Frankenjura where she climbed Markus Bock's Klondike (8c) and Solitary Man (8c), both short and bouldery.