Ghisolfi, Puccio, Leslie-Wujastyk and Chanourdie: women’s climbing galore
A brief roundup of the latest sport climbing and bouldering sends carried out by Claudia Ghisolfi, Alex Puccio, Mina Leslie-Wujastyk, Katrin Gründler and Julia Chanourdie.
There’s been a flurry of recent hard female climbing at the crags and in bouldering worth looking into. France’s Julia Chanourdie set the ball rolling at Tetto di Sarre in Valle d’Aosta, Italy, where only a few months after having repeated Ground Zero she managed to send Hell’Avaro 8c+/9a. This is a connection of the climbs Hell and L’avaro, first linked by Stefano Ghisolfi in 2015. In May 2016 the 20-year-old had sent L’Avaro, and at the time this was her first 8c+.
Hard bouldering seems to be at the core of Alex Puccio’s climbing and last April at Wild Basin, Colorado, USA she made short work of The Tea Cup. At the start of June she then climbed Dead Meadow before moving on to the Rocky Mountain National Park where she repeated Bear Toss. Puccio sent the first two problems in just a single day, and all three are graded 8B, meaning that the American has now climbed a staggering 19 boulder problems graded 8B. This is no mean task and while at present the list of women capable of climbing this hard is still very select, Britain’s Mina Leslie-Wujastyk recently made the grade with her ascent of The Pursuit of Happiness at Redhill in South Africa. Another climber who added her name to this list is 27-year old Mirit Heyden from Germany who in March made an astounding leap in the grades to send Feuerwalze, an 8B/+ traverse at Schwäbische Alb.
Two other ascents worth mentioning occurred on German soil, in the Frankenjura to be precise. The first was carried out by Italy’s Claudia Ghisolfi who managed to flash Slimline, the steep route immediately to the right of Action Directe. This is Ghisolfi’s most difficult flash to date, and possibly also one of the most difficult female flashes in the Frankenjura. The other news to come out of this forest concerns 38-year-old Katrin Gründler who redpointed her second 8c, Roof Warrior, after having sent Father and Son two years ago. Obviously these results are no flash in the pan and it comes as no surprise to learn that Gründler’s maiden name, i.e. before being married, was Sedlmayer. Yes, that Katrin Sedlmayer who in 2000 was crowned European Champion!