6 November 2023

Michaela Kirsch does Era Vella (9a)

Michaela Kirsch has repeated Chris Sharma’s classic five-star climb, Era Vella (9a) at Margalef, after trying it for roughly seven sessions. It was put up 2010 and it quickly became the most popular 9a in the world until it was downgraded in 2016. More recently a foot hold broke, which has caused its valuation to climb back to 9a .

Michaela was #22 in her Boulder World Cup debut in 2010 at age 15 and the following year she was #18 in a Lead World Cup. From there, she put competitions to the side, and chose to focus on rock and studies. Michaela did her first 8c and 8c+ at age 21. Last year, she got her doctorate and over the last eighteen months she has completed more than 16 boulders 8A+ to 8B+ and one 9a and one 9a+.

Can you tell us more about climbing Era Vella?
It’s my first time here! I’ve been in Margalef for a couple weeks checking out lots of routes in the style and building my endurance after a long and chill summer break. First few tries felt really impossible to link the sections — a friend told me “it’s all jugs” so you can imagine my surprise when I was fighting for my life on two finger pockets haha!! I didn’t only climb on this route, I’ve also been climbing lots of 8a-8b+ so I think this approach helped me stay relaxed and have fun.
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