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Lena Herrmann climbing Battle Cat in the Frankenjura. With this route she has become the first German woman to climb an 8c+
Photo by Stephan Vogt
Lena Herrmann climbing Battle Cat in the Frankenjura.
Photo by Stephan Vogt
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Lena Herrmann first German woman to climb 8c+

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22-year-old German Lena Herrmann has climbed her first 8c+, Battle Cat in the Frankenjura. With this ascent she has become the first German woman to climb a route of this difficulty.

Germany’s Lena Herrmann has climbed Battle Cat at the Hängender Stein crag in the Frankenjura. In doing so, the 22-year-old has become the first German female climber to send 8c+ and, interestingly, she has also become the first woman to climb this grade in the Frankenjura.

First ascended by Markus Bock in 2011, Battle Cat is somewhat unusual for Frankenjura climbs: instead of being short and intense, it is a 70-move outing which requires not only superb power but also outstanding endurance. The first section follows Cringer, an 8b+ in its own right which Hermann redpointed in 2014, before continuing steeply through the bulging overhang.

Banking on her three previous 8c’s - Klondike Cat, Father and son and Odd Fellows - Herrmann first tried the upper half late last year, but bad weather soon stopped play. She returned this spring and made the redpoint after little more than 10 separate sessions on 8 June.

Commenting after the climb, Herrmann told planetmountain.com "Although the physical crux is in the first half of the route, I never actually fell there. I kept falling off higher up because of lack of stamina. And it became a psychological battle."

As mentioned, Herrmann’s ascent is significant for two reasons. Firstly, because 15 years after Marietta Uhden’s repeat of Sonne im Herzen in the Kochel area, she has now finally taken German female climbing one stage further, from 8c to 8c+. And secondly, because despite the Frankenjura’s international appeal, she has become the first woman to climb an 8c+ in this region. As previously reported, very few women have actually managed to climb this grade in this notoriously powerful cradle of German sports climbing. These include local climber Sarah Seeger, Sweden’s Matilda Söderlund, France’s Mélissa Le Nevé and Austria's Johanna Ernst.

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