A few days ago, the Belgian Anak Verhoeven managed the redpoint ascent of the Gimmelwald route Jungfraumarathon (9a).

The route book is getting fuller and fuller Anak Verhoeven, in terms of successful ascents of routes in the ninth French degree. She has scored over ten sport climbing routes >9a in the past seven years.

She climbed her first 9a in 2015 Margalef with Era Vella. Just two years later, she caused a stir with a difficult first ascent. She was the second woman ever to climb a route with a difficulty level of 9a+, Sweet Neuf near Vercors (France).

Video: Anak Verhoeven at the first ascent of Sweet Neuf
Anak Verhoeven on the first ascent of Sweet Neuf

Since it was a first ascent, we headlined that it still had to be shown whether the grade would really level off at 9a+. And he did. The Swiss repeated first Cédric Lachat the route and confirmed the grade. The second repetition succeeded Nico Pelorson, who, according to our information, did not downgrade the route either.

Retirement from the competitive circuit

About a year ago, Anak Verhoeven decided to retire from the competitive circuit. She wanted to concentrate fully on outdoor climbing, she announced in 2021.

I've always wanted to focus my career fully on rock climbing. It's the beginning of a new adventure, a new challenge.

Anak Verhoeven

The current year got off to a promising start. In January she managed to inspect the 9a route Esclatamasters (with kneepad) in the Spanish climbing area Pearls. And because an 9a a day is not enough, Verhoeven climbed the route a second time after a one-hour break. On the second ascent, she wore no kneepad.

Next success in the Bernese Oberland

About a week ago, the strong Belgian then came to the Bernese Oberland, to be more precise gimmelwald. Verhoeven felt right at home in the spectacular climbing area with its breathtaking backdrop, which obviously inspired her. On Monday she announced: «Virgo Marathon (9a) 🥳 ✅»

Victory jump with a breathtaking view

That might interest you

Do you like our climbing magazine? When we launched LACRUX, we decided not to introduce a payment barrier. It will stay that way, because we want to provide as many like-minded people with news from the climbing scene.

In order to be more independent of advertising revenue in the future and to provide you with even more and better content, we need your support.

Therefore: Help and support our magazine with a small contribution. Naturally you benefit multiple times. How? You will find out here .

+ + +
Credits: Cover picture John Thornton Photography