Janja Garnbret makes climbing history with first female 8c onsight, Fish Eye at Oliana
Slovenian rock climber Janja Garnbret has onsighted Fish Eye at Oliana in Spain. In doing so, the 22-year-old has become the first woman in the world to onsight 8c.
Janja Garnbret has onsighted Fish Eye at Oliana in Spain and, in doing so, has become the first woman in the world to onsight 8c. The 22-year-old further cemented her place in climbing history with her faultless, first-go ascent of the classic 50m endurance test on the Contrafort de Rumbau to complete this landmark achievement that has come to represent one of sport climbing’s greatest challenges.
8c onsight was first achieved in 2004 by Japan’s Yuji Hirayama on White Zombie at the Baltzola cave in Spain and while in the ensuing years other men have followed suit, it still constitutes a level of mastery reserved to the select few. Fish Eye lends itself to being onsighted; established by Chris Sharma in 2009, in the past it has been climbed in the purest of styles by the likes of Ramon Julian Puigblanque (2014), Patxi Usobiaga (2016) and Stefano Ghisolfi (2017).
Female climbing has edged its way closer and closer to the magical benchmark 8c onsight, with 8b+ representing the former zenith until only a few hours ago. The first to achieve 8b+ onsight was Josune Bereziartu in 2006, followed by others such as Charlotte Durif in 2010, Maja Vidmar in 2010, Sasha DiGiulian in 2011, Kajsa Rosén in 2016, Anak Verhoeven in 2019, Laura Rogora in 2020 and both Martina Demmel and Vita Lukan in 2021.
Garnbret is obviously best known for her nigh unbeatable competition form - this summer she won sport climbing’s historic, first-ever gold at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and in the past has dominated over 30 World Cups as well as claiming 6 World Championship titles - but the few times she ventures outdoors she has always left her mark. 9a was climbed in 2017 without much ado, after having flashed 8c in 2016, redpointed 8c+ in 2015 and onsighted 8b earlier that year, aged a mere 15.
Now Garnbret has called the coveted first female 8c onsight her own. Hailed as one of most promising athletes of her generation, thanks to her raw talent and extraordinary level of dedication, the Slovenian has pushed the bar one important notch higher. Once again.
Links: FB Janja Garnbret, CAMP