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9a+ FA by Anak Verhoeven
OffLine 8a.nu
  2017-09-13 00:00:00    
Anak Verhoeven, #2 in the World Cup last year and winner of the European Champion in 2017, reports that she has done the FA of Sweet neuf 9a+ in Pierrot Beach, which is a link up of an 9a and a 8c/+. The 9a, Sang neuf, she did the FA last week and then it goes it the second pitch oh Home Sweet Home.

This is the first time ever a female does a 9a as well as a 9a+ FA. Margo Hayes was the first female who did 9a+ with L Rambla last year. Anak has previously done 22 routes 8c and harder including Era Vella which most think is 9a. (c) Sébastien Richard
Click to Enlarge Picture
OffLine Fan Yang
  2017-09-12 05:12:19    
Anak is well impressive to watch...! Last month I watched her climb San Ku Kai 9a at Entraygues in 4 tries in one day! All her moves looked so static and easy in the horrible condition that day. She managed to clip the anchor in the pouring rain while the top slab was soaking wet... Has any woman ever done 9a previously in one day??!
OnLine Jens Larssen
  2017-09-12 07:59:39    
I think San Ku Kaï is considered 8c+ nowadays and that is how she has listed the climb at her website.
OnLine Tanka Rhai
  2017-09-12 09:47:44    
@ Fan Yang, even if San Ku Kai is just 8c+, it's an impressive story and I don't think many women have done this so far!!!

But - even if it's a link of two hard routes - "9a+ FA", I don't believe until it's confirmed by a more experienced 9a+ climber...
OnLine Frank Grabo
  2017-09-12 10:01:49    
@Tanka Rhai - that's what i thought, too ;)
OnLine Bojan
  2017-09-12 11:14:31    
Of course, a grade is just a grade, but why someone is questioning the grade in this specific case (and not the others)?
Anak has done several routes in 8c(+)--9a range and the new route is a combination of two routes that (as I understand), of which (EDIT) one has confirmed grade of 8c(+) and the other should be harder than that...
So, congrats to Anak, a confirmation of her high ability. *First* woman FA 9a+ and in an impressive style too! And what a humble report of this extraordinary performance.
OnLine Tanka Rhai
  2017-09-12 13:08:27    
I don't doubt her ability to climb 9a+ (!!!), I think it's just a bad habit to give a FA the hardest grade of what someone has ever climbed. Nalle Hukkataival spends years in a project until he does that...
OnLine Jens Larssen
  2017-09-12 13:56:46    
Because she did them pretty fast, this actually indicates that she could do 9b :) On the other hand, as she most probably has used Era Vella as a grade reference, it might be that her routes will get down graded if Era Vella gets 8c+.
OffLine rai
  2017-09-12 15:13:54    
Time will tell... In the meantime well done!!!
OffLine Eddie Fowke
  2017-09-12 17:11:12    
Well, I'm sure as a professional, hard working and totally committed climber she's totally devastated that some random called Tanka doesn't believe in the difficulty of her ascent.
Anak's been on numerous hard routes outside, and was close on a well established 9a+ a while back until conditions turned bad. As a climber of deep integrity I can't see Anak exaggerating the difficulty, unlike several others in the sport, which sadly have left this underlying suspicion when someone announces a hard ascent.

Personally I'm waiting an ascent of Silence by a more experienced 9c climber before I'll give any credit to Adam... No... Wait... ;)
OnLine Tanka Rhai
  2017-09-13 09:32:59    
You might be right Eddie Fowke... ;) By the way, does anyone know what happened to "Ma belle ma muse"????
OnLine Jens Larssen
  2017-09-13 10:50:07    
Anak's FA of Ma belle ma muse was first reported as a 9a but now she has listed it as an 8c+ on her website.
OnLine Tanka Rhai
  2017-09-13 11:00:08    
Thank you! Ah... finally I found the link to her website. ;)
OffLine Franz the Stampede
  2017-09-13 22:56:06    
The fact that she's basically onsighted a segment that makes the difference between 9a and 9a+ would entail she can climb well past that, which may be a bit unlikely?
Does anyone know if there is a significant rest at the end of Sangue Neuf? Or whether she had climbed Home Sweet Home before?
OffLine El Scorpion
  2017-09-14 03:21:48    
Eddie you beat me too it. I too will await confirmation of Ondra's ascent; and Nalle's, and Alex's, and Sharma's etc. etc.
Pathetic sexism on this site anytime a woman does something!
OffLine nschenks87
  2017-09-14 04:32:11    
Hmmm, correct me if I'm wrong but Stefano Guisolfi's first 9b was Lapsus, which he put up (and now confirmed, by Ondra nonetheless). Did anyone call that into question? It sounds a lot to me like "I won't believe it until it's confirmed by a man". Every time Ashima or Margo or now Anak ends up on the page here, someone inevitably questions it or tries to belittle it.
OnLine Jens Larssen
  2017-09-14 07:58:24    
Anak has a 9A FA that has been down graded. Ashima has a couple of times reported the higher number for climbs with different grades. Most of the times on this site a grade has been questioned, it relates to male. Ghisilfo has a clean track record meaning his ascents has not been down graded. I do not think there exist and grade sexism on this site.

It might be that female more often just take the grade that have been suggested to them and do not bother to give personal grades. This might explain why female ascents are more questioned. When did you hear a female actually down grading something? Male does it all the time.
OffLine nschenks87
  2017-09-14 08:35:49    
Jens, I wasn't criticizing your reporting of the grades, I was just commenting on the responses some users always seem to throw out whenever a female climber does something noteworthy on rock.

I disagree though: I think sexism is unfortunately incredibly prevalent in the climbing world (just like it is everywhere else--don't worry I wasn't attacking you or 8a). It's a tricky/fine line as we should celebrate achievement for achievement sake no longer who the climber is, but I do believe many female ascents are not treated the same way as male ascents more often than not in the climbing community (excuses: "she has small fingers, she's super light, it's not a power problem, she took the highest grade, she's never climbed that grade before, female climbers never downgrade, it wasn't the true start, it was soft for the grade").

To say sexism doesn't exist on a site or in the climbing community in general is a gross denial of the reality of the situation and only serves to further ingrain this divide. This needs to be a dialog not a denial.
OnLine md
  2017-09-14 08:46:00    
I believe there should be some scrutiny for record ascents, no matter whether done by male or female. The girls have some kind of disadvantage in this regard because their records usually happen on routes which are already well travelled, so that this kind of questioning somehow becomes easier. What could you possibly question on Adam's Silence - nobody else has ever tried. Whereas for Margo's La Rambla, there is a history. So, it's not necessarily sexism (but of course in some cases it may still be).

However, this does a little less apply for Anak's ascent here (because it is a FA, however still a link-up between existing routes which are a known quantity) and also for male onsight records (but these were mostly by Adam Ondra who downgraded a bit of everything that did not seem to deserve the grades given).
OnLine Jens Larssen
  2017-09-14 09:03:40    
Anaks 9a+ is a link up of a 9a FA that Anak did one week ago and an 8C/+ route. Previously, others have thought Anaks' 9a FA was 8c+/9a when they did project it.
OnLine Tanka Rhai
  2017-09-14 19:38:43    
hahaha! Yeah, so true! Women are just good enough for cooking, cleaning the house and for belaying! If they climb something harder than 6a, they must be cheating! Yeah! hahaha!

Hey guys, just look at my profile...

@Jens: you said: "It might be that female more often just take the grade that have been suggested to them...".
I think this has nothing to do with male or female and it's much closer to a sexistic statement than questioning Anaks ascent!!!
I think this is a problem of age (Anak, also Ashima are very young) and I personally think it's an attitude that mostly competition climbers have (???), who spend most of their time in the gym and just go on rock on their holidays. Those climbers seem so say "I don't care about grades, if hard 9a or 9a+, who cares", but I just DO CARE and I don't like that attitude at all...

By the way, I downgraded a lot of the routes I've climbed, even if guidebooks and other people suggest me harder grades, and other female climbers do that too! Look at Alex Puccio...
OffLine wilfal
  2017-09-14 23:25:32    
I think Anaks route might be upgraded in the future, simply because she's awesome!
OffLine Franz the Stampede
  2017-09-15 00:53:44    
While I'll do my best not to give a shit about the accusations of sexism (surely easier to make than on-point discussion of the matter at hand) I just question what SEEMS (from Anak's account) to basically be an onsight of a segment that makes a 9a a 9a+.

Also, 8c/+ OS is definitely top level performance (regardless of gender). The fact that we are hinting at that level of performance starting not from the ground, with you being rested and all, but after having climbed a 9a is A LOT of performance.

Unless that 8c/+ was not onsight (i.e. she climbed that one line before) which would take NOTHING away from the 9a+ RP, mind you, but it would have been more accurate of her to report (I see no malice in not doing it, though)

Or unless there is a significant rest at the end of the 9a... but whether the 8c/+ should then add a + to the 9a is MAYBE debatable if there is a massive rest at the end of the 9a, remember those discussions about certain extensions in Santa Linya adding or not adding a + grade to routes ending with a massive rest...

Again, the thing that made me think is that it LOOKS like somebody other than Ondra or Megos, Schubi or Patxi maybe has not only onsighted an 8c/+, but did so with a starting point which was a 9a RP.

I guess the explanation is that she had climbed before the 8c/+ extension.

Jens can you ask Anak?
OffLine richard sébastien
  2017-09-15 11:35:38    
Anak n'a pas fait sweet home avant sweet neuf ! Au lieu de parler de la cotation, faut juste être heureux pour elle. Personne n'a parlé du fait que Margo à pris le bac dans la reina mora dans son enchainement ? on est juste content pour elle aussi. Le but d'anak n'est pas de lancer des polémiques, juste de se dépasser et humblement de proposer une cotation à confirmer... Alors venez essayer ! 9A de 15m, leger repos de 2 min et 8B/+ ca ne peut pas rester 9A. Mais on s'en fout.
OnLine Bojan
  2017-09-15 12:04:59    
@richard (or some other french user), can you please translate to English (Google translation is a bit unclear, but there is obvious relevant info for this topic: "Anak has not done sweet home before sweet nine! Instead of talking about the quotation, just have to be happy for it. Nobody talked about the fact that Margo took the ferry in the reina mora in his chain? we're just happy for her too. The goal of anak is not to launch controversy, just to surpass itself and humbly to propose a quotation to be confirmed ... So come try! 9A of 15m, light rest of 2 min and 8B / + ca can not stay 9A. But we do not care.")

@Franz: Yes, I agree it's stupid to discuss sexism in case of an achievement, which is one of the most important in history of woman sport climbing (first 9a and 9a+ FA, second 9a+, incredible style ...). Also we discuss nature of grades several times before, so there is probably no need to open this discussion again. At least before we now *all the details* that are relevant for such a discussion (and sex is probably not one of them), such as:

-- how many days/tries she spent in 1st part (Sang neuf)?
-- how many ... in 2nd part (Home)? Is the grade of this part confirmed (8c or 8c+?)
-- resting, key difficulties of combination etc.

@Jens (and other media): Such an achievement is calling for a long interview (not only about a grade, of course) and I hope we will get one soon.
OnLine pbla4024
  2017-09-15 12:45:03    
Here you go:

Anak has not done Sweet home before Sweet neuf! Instead of talking about the grade, we should be just happy for her. Nobody was talking about Margo using the jug of La reina mora during the send? We are just equally happy for her. The aim of Anak is not to start the discussions, just to excel and humbly propose a grade to be confirmed... Come to try it! 9a 15m long, small rest of 2 min and 8b/+, that cannot be 9a. But it does not matter.

End of translation.
OnLine Bojan
  2017-09-15 13:16:24    
Thanks. "small rest of 2 min and 8b/+" should probably read ...8*c*/+, I guess (?)
OffLine El Scorpion
  2017-09-15 23:52:25    
Jens, I too was not going after you specifically - I was going after the completely predictable group of people on this site who consistently question women's achievements. And any one who says Anak is young and doesn't know about the grade- BS! The group who doesn't know about the grade is all the arm-chair quarterbacks (internet jerks) who blindly question these achievements. It's this attitude of "men know more about this kinda thing than women- even though I don't climb as hard I'm somehow magicall more knowledgeable" attitude. And it's crap! I'm some impressed with both Verhoevens! Keep crushing and hopefully we'll run into each other in Yosemite or Indian Creek someday!!
OffLine Franz the Stampede
  2017-09-15 23:56:45    
Ironically, if there is downgrade of the extension, that makes the whole thing very plausible.
Controversy starts when news are controversial. Anak will learn to detail her exploits better, and well done for them.

Bojan: I'd be tempted to say Anak doesn't care about being first to do an undoubted, fully confirmed 9a+, otherwise she would have gone for a repeat.
OffLine Al arud Arud
  2017-09-16 14:10:04    
@Tanka Rhai - you are the one that is present at absolutely every topic regarding a climbing girl. And you are the one constantly bringing up the sexism argument. It's like - oooh she is a girl, and you better don't question anything about her ascent or say anything negative or otherwise I will tell you how sexist you are. At the end you are the sexist person. Let me get the definition of sexist for you - "relating to, involving, or fostering sexism, or attitudes and behavior toward someone based on the person's gender".

I would like to hear a clear argument from you why we should not question her 9a+ proposal. And let me remind you in advance - bringing up an argument based on her gender will be sexist from you, and I am sure you don't want that right?

My argument why we should question it - she does not have a solid record of ascents of grades below the suggested one. Come on, it is so clear - she has 2 9a's !!! Let me repeat it - two! One of them is FA, the other one is strong contender to be downgraded... So what is her base for suggesting a new grade? One FA and one (in the best case) soft graded route.

Why people don't question Nalle's 9A or Adam's 9c? No, Tanka, it is not because they are male. It is because they climbed almost ALL possible routes from the previous grades, they know VERY WELL how does grades feel like, and they know that the new one is GREATLY harder. Adam has done ALL - 4 - 9b+'s, Nalle has also done almost ALL 8C+s.

Last try to convince you in the obvious - there are also a lot of other FA's which grades were questioned. Just two examples - Primin Bertle and Bernabé Fernandez. Do you know why their suggestions are questioned? Let me give you a hint - no they are not girls...
OnLine fabbie
  2017-09-16 15:58:21    
@Al Arud
While I can follow your train of thought, I also disagree.
Yes it's true that Anak doesn't have the most broad ticklist (but still a quite impressive one), but that's because she's mainly a competition climber. Her power and skill comes from training indoors, not from filling up ticklists on the rock. So no, she might not have the same level of reference that Adam or Nalle have, but I think she has quite a good understanding of hard moves and their respective grades.

But the most important part: who are WE to judge or doubt the grade of her ascent? If you want to claim a different grade for the route, go climb it yourself and then downgrade it. Criticizing the claimed grade behind your computer screen and keyboard shows very little respect for the athlete.

Big props for Anak's performance. Even if the route would be downgraded in the future, I doubt she will miss one minute of sleep because of it...
OffLine Al arud Arud
  2017-09-16 18:38:03    
@fabbie, I completely agree with you except one thing. Just because I question the grade it doesn't mean I propose downgrade :D Oh wow, that would be indeed pathetic. I have no idea what so ever about routes of this grade.

Next to that, even if it is 9a, damn it, even if it is 8c+, that is a HUGE achievement, and I do truly acknowledge that. Proper respect for Anak!

So let's be clear - just because I question if this will stay as a 9a+, doesn't mean that I judge her, that I don't think her achievement is extraordinary, that I claim I know better what grade it is and so on. No... I bet, she herself questions if this is a 9a+. That's all. In the end it doesn't really matter, it is just a number, and that is why I haven't written about it until now. What triggered me was such statements as "oooh you question the grade, so you are sexists"....No, I question the grade, because I don't think she has enough of experience in this range of outdoor grades. (and please, that doesn't imply that I have more...)

I don't agree that just because you are one of the best competition climbers and most probably can climb on a 9a+ level, you have "understanding of hard moves and their respective grades". Think about it and you will see the difference...
OnLine Bojan
  2017-09-18 12:19:41    
>Why people don't question Nalle's 9A ...? ... It is because they climbed almost ALL possible routes from the previous grades, they know VERY WELL how does grades feel like, and they know that the new one is GREATLY harder ... Nalle has also done almost ALL 8C+s

That is simply not true. Nalle has *by his own standards* ("personal" grades) never done 8C+ before or after Burden. Probably the closest ones were Bügeleisen sit and Finnish line (which he both graded 8C/C+).


But this is another story.
OnLine Tanka Rhai
  2017-09-18 17:11:46    
@Al arud Arud: you said: "I would like to hear a clear argument from you why we should not question her 9a+ proposal." ??? Why we should DO question it you wanted to say???? Do I understand you right?

"I would like to hear a clear argument from you why we should not (???!!) question her 9a+ proposal." - "she has 2 9a's !!! Let me repeat it - two!" ... "Why people don't question Nalle's 9A or Adam's 9c? (...) It is because they climbed almost ALL possible routes from the previous grades, they know VERY WELL how do grades feel like, and they know that the new one is GREATLY harder. Adam has done ALL - 4 - 9b+'s, Nalle has also done almost ALL 8C+s." Exactly! I agree with you. Can you tell me more clearly what your problem is? I don't get it. What have I written that's wrong/sexistic?
OnLine Tanka Rhai
  2017-09-18 17:23:47    
Can somebody explain me Aruds problem with what I've written?