Escalatamasters 9a (8c+) by Anak Verhoeven, twice

11 January 2022

Anak Verhoeven reports on Insta that she has done Escalatamasters 9a (8c+) in Perles. The excellent climb was originally 9a but was later downgraded but is probably back to 9a again after a hold has broken in the upper part. In total, the former very successful competition climber has done twelve routes 8c+/9a and harder. (c) Ramon Pajul

"Esclatamasters is a route of about 35 meters and is made up of 2 very distinct parts: an overhanging traverse on tufas and a more vertical, technical top part. This last one is the most difficult and gives the route its 9a grade. It’s an amazing line situated in a beautiful landscape. I first spent 2 pretty relaxed days working the traverse. In the third session, I worked the upper part; I went up twice and managed to do all the moves. I would have preferred to know the route a bit more into detail, but the end of the trip was drawing near and if I still wanted to have a chance of climbing it, I had to do an attempt the next climbing day. So that’s what I did and I topped it in my first redpoint try! (With a bleeding ring finger – not ideal for delicate climbing and deadpoint moves on 3-finger edges, haha)."

And then you did it a second time, without knee pads?
Climbing it again without kneepads was a completely unplanned, personal challenge. Not easy because I had only had one hour of rest between the sends (it was getting cold and dark). In my opinion, there wasn’t that much of a difference between climbing it with or without kneepads (for this particular route), because of the no-hands rest in the middle of the route which is also possible without pads.

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