Women’s Climbing News – January 2020

Happy New Year Gang ! May you have a Joyful and Sendy 2020!

And Welcome , to the Third edition of Women’s Climbing News !

The blog where I hope to share incredible stories of women crushing, projecting and sending.

Tandia Mercedes on over the transform

The idea behind this blog is to bring together the main news stories from the women’s climbing world into easy bite-size chunks, and raise the voices of climbers whose stories might otherwise be missed. This blog won’t capture all the news from everywhere, but aims to share highlights from the month, to showcase inspiring achievements, sends and stoke.

Thank you to everyone who read, commented, liked and shared the first few editions of WCN. I really didn’t know what sort of reaction I would get and I was completely blown away by everyone’s support and interest. I hope you enjoy this next edition as much as the last, and as always I hope you have a month full of sends… Happy Climbing!

Top news stories from December and January 2019/2020

What can I say. Women have been crushing Left, right, and center. From sport climbing to dry tooling and from Spain to Tennessee it’s been another month full of sends. There was so much to write about that I struggled to pick just 5 news stories, and in the end I decided to settle with Six… there was a pretty impressive highball that I just couldn’t not share. I hope you enjoy reading them as much as I enjoy writing about them!

News Story Number One –  Laura Rogora – absolutely crushing in Spain.  

And what a news story to start the new year, Laura has ticked off a seriously impressive list of climbs during a trip to spain. This Includes La Bongada her fifth 9a and Pal Norte (8c+/9a) both in Margalef. As well as crushing L-mens at  Montsant an 8b+… Onsight. As if that wasn’t enough after onsighting an 8b+ she went on to onsight “devoramingas” an 8a in the same day, pretty incredible right?

Laura Rogora on La Bongada. Photo Credit Sara Grippo

News Story Number Two – Favia Dubyk sends her project “Chung-li” for a new boulder PB

Favia Dubyk on Chung Li. Photo Credit to Favia

Favia sent “Chung-li” at the end of december having projected it over the summer, breaking through to V11. She described the send on her instagram:

 “Despite it being it being miserably cold with snow, ice and icicles, I was determined to try Chung-li again. My first two attempts I didn’t match my highpoint. Frustrated and sunset approaching, I gave myself one more attempt, where I almost fell off on the third move! I struggled through the next few moderate moves but when I got to the crux moves, they felt easy! I made it to the crimp that I had fallen off of countless times and stared down the jug I had to throw to. When I hit it, I let out a celebratory scream! Then panic hit me because I didn’t want to punt off the last few moves. Luckily my numb fingers held on and I went home with a send!”

 Head to her instagram: FelineFavia for more stories from the project and a whole load of bouldering inspo. 

News Story Number Three – Angelika Rainer climbs Iron Man in Eptingen

As I’m not a dry tooler I didn’t really appreciate the significance of this achievement straight away. To give you a bit more information Iron man is a route in Eptingen in Switzerland first established in 2012 by Robert Jasper with a grade of D14+, at the time it was the hardest dry tool climb in the world. It is 40m of stamina combining three different routes across an enormous roof.  
Angelika is at the top of drytooling and has previously climbed D15 A line above the sky in 2017, which you can read about here. She attempted Iron man in 2012 and again in 2013 only narrowly missing out on the send, giving this route huge personal significance as well as an amazing achievement.

View this post on Instagram

Finally settling an old dept. Ironman, D14+ ✔️ 🎉😬. There is no better way I could have finished 2019 and with it the decade I dedicated myself so much to the climbing with iceaxes! . This is quite a long story. I tried this route for the first time in March 2012, shortly after the first ascent by the strong @robertjasper_official. Then it was the hardest drytooling route in the world and quite a bit harder than the routes I had done but I was immediately interested in trying it. More than 1.5 years later, after some tries I made it all the way through the horizontal roof, I was shaking out my hands at the last quickdraw before the last quite easy moves to the ancor, when the hold I was on exploded and I was dangling in the air. It had cost me so much motivation to try a route so close to my absolute limit, that the disappointment was huge. I did not come back to the route for 6 years. This year, after having climbed harder routes than Ironman in the past years, I finally decided to come back to this old, open bill. I stil had quite some respect, or even fear. The route stil made itself desire quite a bit. It took me 3 visits in Switzerland until I finally clipped this ancor. . Sorry for this long story, but it was really an important one for me 😅. . Thanks for the lucky belay @nikolayprimerov and thank you @marco_serva for always believing in me, even when I don’t do it. And for the 📸. . . #drytooling #iceclimbing #climbing #climb #climbinglife #climbinggirls #climbing_lovers #climbing_is_my_passion #climbdifferent #weareclimbers

A post shared by Angelika Rainer (@angelika_rainer) on

News Story Number Four – Kathy Karlo completes Tennessee Triple Crown

Kathy Karlo on Hands Across America. Photo Credit to Tim Deroehn.

The triple crown was put up by Rob Robinson in 1985 and 1986 in Tennessee, consisting of 3 5.12c (around 7b+) trad roof cracks: Fists of Fury, Celestial Mechanics, and Hands Across America. 
Fists of Fury is a 30m climb Kathy describes in her blog as “about 30-meter long climb consisting of an intense, burly start, a bombay roof crack, and an invert you absolutely have to battle through to the anchor.” : you can read more about her journey on the route here. She climbed Fists of fury in 2018, before Celestial Mechanics in 2019. Celestial Mechanics is another challenging climb with three cruxes consisting of a vertical face, a chimney, and an over hanging off width. Kathy finished the triple crown climbing Hands Across America at the end of December.

When we asked Kathy if there was anything she wanted to say about the routes, she gave us this reply. “I think I’d just like to say that being the first woman to complete all three, I hope it opens the door for more women to try these routes and achieve a similar goal.” We hope so too Kathy.

News Story Number Five – Solveg Koherr is sending in Kentucky

Solveg Koherr on Lucifer. Photo Credit to Billy Simek

Solveg has climbed her first and second 15.14C (8c+) with Southern Smoke and Lucifer in the Red River Gorge. Southern Smoke is Solveig’s first 15.14C, she says that sending the route gave her more confidence on other routes the same difficulty and she went on to climb Lucifer quickly afterwards. Both routes are a huge achievement and have received attempts and sends from world class climbers. You can read more about the routes, as well as a long list of other sends here.

News Story Number Six – Karoline Sinnhuber sends 8a+ highball in Austria.

Karoline Sinnhuber on Knockin’ on heavens door.

I just couldn’t leave this story out, so I’ll keep it short… Karoline climbed Knockin’ on heavens door, an 8a+ highball in the Zillertal established in 2010 by Tobias Haller. She described the line as “one of the scariest highballs I’ve ever done” and you can watch her climb the route here. I would recommend you do it’s 1 minute 38 of pretty Awesome climbing. 

Go Follow!! – Accounts and shares 

In the last edition of WCN someone commented that I should make an easy list to make it simple to go and follow any of the climbers and photographers from the climbing news…. Well here it is! Enjoy! 


Tandia Mercedes, Laura Rogora, Favia Dubyk, Angelika Rainer, Kathy Karlo, Solveg Koherr, Karoline Sinnhuber.


Sara Grippo, Tim Deroehn, Billy Simek , Marco Serva

That’s all for this month! 

A huge thank you for reading this month’s post and being part of this community, I hope it’s got you inspired, stoked to send, and sparked a generous amount of joy! If you have enjoyed WCN please let us know, I’d love to hear your views and of course feel free to share this post with anyone who might enjoy it too!

 Do you have any news stories you think we should share? An idea for a “Not so New News” feature? Want to have your image featured ? or want to contribute in literally any other way? I would love to hear from you! Drop me a comment, hit up my IG Dm’s or fill out my contact form! Till next month!

Happy Climbing!

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