La Planta de Shiva 9b by Anak Verhoeven - Twice!

© Anak Verhoeven

Belgian climber Anak Verhoeven has climbed her first 9b - twice - with ascents of La Planta de Shiva (9b) at Villanueva del Rosario, Spain, becoming the fourth woman to climb the grade. A few days after her successful redpoint, Verhoeven repeated the 45-metre endurance route without knee pads as a "personal challenge."

On 16 May, she reported: "Have I really just sent my first 9b?! A dream come true… which hasn't fully sunk in yet!"

Yesterday - before she had even had time to process her achievement or share further detail of her redpoint journey - Verhoeven posted a video update:

"Just sent La Planta 9b again but without knee pads."

She explained:

"A personal challenge. Because I knew I could. And because the first ascent of 'La Planta de Shiva' in 2011 had also been done without pads. So I just wanted to try!"

But Adam Ondra did wear a knee pad on the first ascent in 2011, as shown in this film of his climb. When this fact was pointed out in an Instagram comment, Verhoeven replied: "You're right. I had forgotten he was wearing 1 knee pad in that video. Oh well!"

The line joins an 8c into a more difficult second section to create a single 45-metre-long, endurance-based pitch. 

This is not the first time that Verhoeven has climbed a hard route twice. In October last year, she made a nighttime repeat of Cosi se Arete 9a by headtorch as another "personal challenge" (UKC News).

Other female 9b ascensionists include Austrian Angela Eiter, who became the first woman to climb 9b with an ascent of the same route in 2017 (UKC News) and climbed her second of the grade with Madame Ching in 2020 (UKC News); Julia Chanourdie of France, who redpointed Eagle-4 in 2020 (UKC News) and Italian Laura Rogora, who ticked Erebor 9b in 2021 (UKC News).

Verhoeven is a former World Cup winner who retired from the IFSC circuit in 2021 to focus on outdoor ascents. 

In 2017, she became the first woman to establish a 9a+ with an ascent of Sweet Neuf 9a+ (UKC News).

Verhoeven has now climbed twelve lines at 9a or above. 

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28 May

What an absolute unit 🔥🔥🔥

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