Top female climbing: Ievgeniia Kazbekova sends 8c+, Muriel Sarkany redpoints 9a
While Belgium’s Muriel Sarkany has climbed Era Vella 9a at Margalef, Ukraine’s Jenya Kazbekova has redpointed her first 8c+, Güllich at the crag Red Stone in the Crimea.
Hardly a day passes without a female climber sending a sports climb that, until only a few years ago, was reserved exclusively for the very best male climbers in the world. This trend is, of course, a very important indication of how much this sport has grown over the years and the healthy state it is currently enjoying.
The following two ascents are great news therefore: Muriel Sarkany’s second 9a and Jenya Kazbekova. first 8c+. In 2013 the Belgian, Lead World Champion in 2003 and a prime player in hundreds of climbing competitions at the turn of the millennium, sent her first 9a, namely Punt-X in the Gorges du Loup in France. This ascent reaped her the prestigious Salewa Rock Award at the Arco Rock Legends the following year. Now the 43-year-old has redpointed her second 9a, Era Vella at Margalef freed by Chris Sharma and recognised by everyone as being an absolute stunner of a climb.
Kazbekova for her part has made the first female ascent of Güllich, an 8c+ located at Crimea's Red Stone crag. Famous for its tough grades, it was here that, aged only 12, she sent her first 8b.
20-year-old Kazbekova has climbing in her genes - her father Serik Kazbekov boasts 8b+ onsight and silver in the 1999 Boulder World Cup, while her mother Natalia Perlova went on to win the Boulder World Cup in 2002.
Writing to planetmountain.com, the Ukrainian stated “The route is located on very beautiful rock, I could state that I grew up at this crag. The line is very beautiful, mostly vertical wall with a small overhang at the end. There are very small crimps and lots of technical moves. At the end you have few powerful moves, that make you little bit nervous after the first vertical section. Footwork is very important here. I first tried it ten days ago and certainly didn't expect it would go so quickly!”
TOPO: the crag Margalef, Spain