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Sarah Kampf, née Sarah Seeger, climbing Headcrash 8c at the Wasserstein crag in the Frankenjura, Germany. Prior to her redpoint the 38-year-old mother of two worked the route toprope on her own
Photo by Markus Bauer
Sarah Kampf climbing Headcrash 8c at Wasserstein, Frankenjura, Germany
Photo by Markus Bauer
Sarah Kampf climbing Headcrash 8c in the Frankenjura, Germany
Photo by Markus Bauer

Sarah Kampf controls Headcrash in Frankenjura


Sarah Kampf, née Sarah Seeger, has repeated the powerful Headcrash, an 8c sports climb originally freed by Werner Thon in the Frankenjura, Germany. The 38-year-old mother of two recounts her road to the redpoint.

More than three decades after the world's first 8c at the hands of Wolfgang Güllich who forged Wallstreet in Germany's Frankenjura, female 8c in the notoriously powerful cradle of German sports climbing remains a rare occurrence. It was Sarah Kampf, née Sarah Seeger who got the ball rolling in 2009 and now, a decade later, married and with two young children, she has once again climbed this grade with her ascent of Headcrash at the Wasserstein cliff close to Obertrubach. Established in 1993 by Werner Thon and originally graded 8b+, a broken hold thwarted would-be suitors and the grade was eventually upped to 8c by Fabian Christof. Kampf juggled her time between work and motherhood commitments and, interestingly, worked the route on her own prior to the redpoint.

by Sarah Kampf

I first tried Headcrash pretty much by chance, we were looking for a child friendly crag and ended up at a cliff nearby, and at the end of the day I was curious and gave it a go. The line is unbelievably impressive and the climbing on both the crux and the rest of the route really suited my style.

After this I spent a few days there on my own, sussing out the crux moves on toprope. I really enjoyed these moments of peace and focus, and it was also a great way for me to manage my own time around my children and my work. Having said that, the days I spent with family and friends at this crag was great, too, and I slowly but surely I managed to unlock the route. Since the crux consists of only two moves (with additional intermediate holds and body repositioning), the progress upwards was actually rather minimal, but each additional millimeter or centimeter proved to be really motivating and and at one point I reached the good two-finger pocket with the right hand and was still fresh enough to battle through the upper section of the climb

My redpoint of Headcrash completes not just the route itself - which I consider one of the most beautiful in the Frankenjura - but also the entire process I experienced there. A process of contrasts: from the absolute focus required for my rope solo sessions to the lively, noisy days with my children when my attention was not just on the actual climbing. That’s how things were on the day I sent the route and perhaps it this lack of expectations, this lack of nervousness when I tied in, was one of the main reasons I successfully sent the climb.

Sarah Kampf ticklist
Headcrash - Frankenjura 8c
2018: Battle Cat - Frankenjura 8c/+
2017: Roof Warrior - Frankenjura 8c
2012: T1 Full Equip - Oliana, Spain8b+/ 8c
2012: Chrisu - Rottachberg 8c
2010: Odd Fellows - Frankenjura 8c
2009: Steinbock - Frankenjura 8c


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