The German climber Martina Demmel scores her long-term project Heim nach Afrika (9a) in Kochel am See. The mega-diagonal, on which she worked for two years, is a combination of the existing three routes Baby Love (8b +), madness fat booty (8b +) and QL (8c).

"I still haven't quite realized that on November 5th I was able to climb this dream line, to which I dedicated two years of my life," says Martina Demmel. Your piece of resistance Home to Africa (9a) connects three separate routes and leads through the entire sector as a breathtaking diagonal Africa wall. "To Baby Love (8b+) follows a fairly good rest point before going into the crux of Madness' fat booty (8b+) and then to the crux of QL (8c) goes."

"I still haven't fully realized that I was able to climb that dream line on November 5."

Martina Demmel

Demmel's longest and most strenuous project to date

Since November 2020, the home to Africa inspection has been at the top of Martina Demmel's list of priorities. The total of 18 attempts that she needed to climb through doesn't seem like that much at first glance. If you add the five to ten attempts for the individual lines, the effort becomes even greater.

However, Martina Demmel doesn't measure commitment to a line by the number of project days anyway, but rather by the overall visualization and the deepened mental approach to a project.

"If I look at all the different preparations that led to the climb, I can definitely call Heim nach Afrika my longest and most strenuous project."

Martina Demmel

Decode the route piece by piece

Surprisingly, over these two years she never became impatient with herself, says Martina Demmel. The 21-year-old sees the reason for this in the fact that for a long time it was not certain whether she would be able to climb home to Africa at all. "Fortunately, I've really enjoyed this steady process."

Finding the right body positions, chalk-up points or moments of relaxation step by step, which all together led to success, totally fascinated her.

"The route includes all kinds of rock structures and climbing styles, from powerful moves on precipitous slopes, to bouldering moves on tiny ledges, to strength-endurance climbing on perfect sharp rock."

Martina Demmel

Masterpiece by Philipp Hrozek and Pirmin Bertle

Home to Africa was released in Spring 2018 by Pirmin Bertle set up as 9a/+. But actually have Philip Hrozek climbed the route ten years earlier and rated it as 8c+/9a, says Martina Demmel. "Only he never told anyone." The 21-year-old feels honored to follow in the footsteps of these two climbers.

"I can only say that home to Africa was my most challenging route so far."

Martina Demmel

As far as difficulties are concerned, Martina Demmel rates Heim as 9a after Africa. In their perception, the rating depends heavily on how well the line corresponds to their own style. She therefore only ever used these subjective numbers as a guide to know what to expect.

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Credits: Images Felix Bub