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25-year-old Chiara Hanke climbing Sever the wicked hand in the Frankenjura. In doing so she has become the first German woman to climb 9a.
Photo by Hans Radetzki

Chiara Hanke in Frankenjura becomes first German woman to climb 9a

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25-year-old Chiara Hanke has repeated Sever the wicked hand in the Frankenjura and, in doing so, has become the first German woman to climb 9a.

Chiara Hanke has set a Meilenstein, a huge milestone in Germany’s Frankenjura with her repeat of Sever The Wicked Hand, a 9a at the Hängender Stein established by Markus Bock in 2011.

Hanke’s rotpunkt came about after waking up at 6am and dragging her mother-in-law to the crag, and sets a number of important precedents: firstly, it is her first 9a, secondly, it is the first 9a to be climbed in the notoriously powerful Frankenjura, thirdly it is the first 9a to be climbed by a German woman and, last but not least, it is the first 9a to be climbed in Germany by a woman.

Originally from Ingolstadt, the 25-year-old moved north to the Frankenjura to complete her master's degree. In-between her studies she evidently managed to session outdoors, redpointing high-end Frankenjura classics such as Wallstreet (in 2018 Hanke became the first German woman to repeat this, the world’s first 8c established by Wolfgang Güllich in 1987), Klondike Cat 8c, Odd Fellows 8c, Lost Schnuller 8c and Battle Cat 8c+.

Hanke’s ascent of a 9a in Germany has been a long time coming; in 2001 Marietta Uhden climbed Germany's first 8c by repeating Sonne im Herzen in the Kochel area, while in 2016 Lena Herrmann became the first to master 8c+ with her ascent of Battle Cat in the Frankenjura. Hanke has now taken female climbing in the Fränkische Schweiz - and Germany for that matter - to the awesome level first achieved by Wolfgang Güllich with his Action Directe in 1991. Three years before she was born.

Links: chiaraclostermann.wordpress.com, SCARPA

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