Angela Eiter has made the first ascent of a new 9b route which she has named Madame Ching. If the grade is confirmed, this would be the hardest first ascent climbed by a woman.
Madame Ching is near Eiter's home in Tyrol, Austria, and was a project of her husband's until he handed it over to her. During a lockdown in May 2020, Eiter started working the project out of necessity and explained on her Instagram that she 'found the sequences very hard,' speculating that it may not be possible for her.
After struggling on the project for some time and going through a 'humbling' process of working the route and struggling due to her heigh, some refinements to her beta and progress in her performance meant gradual improvements.
The weather was an issue towards the end of Eiter's redpointing. She told Red Bull that on the day of her ascent she arrived to find the route wet. After waiting an hour and carefully drying the holds, the route was dry enough to attempt. She arrived at the top of the route just as the rain started.
On the grade, Angela commented: 'All the time I am asked what's the grade. I love the challenge to climb a route [at] my limit but I like it less and less talking about the difficulty. I've been wrong several times. [I'll] share my personal estimate; due to the power endurance style that [suits] me well, I think it could be similar to Planta de Shiva which I did in 2017.'
Eiter was the first woman to climb the grade of 9b in 2017 with her ascent of La Planta de Shiva at Villaneuva del Roasario, southern Spain. Since then, only Laura Rogora and Julia Canourdie have matched her effort.
Head over to the Red Bull website to watch a video of Eiter on the route.