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Verhoeven Dispatches ‘No Pain No Gain,’ 5.15a in Rodellar

anak verhoeven no pain no gainAnak Verhoeven on "No Pain No Gain"; (screen capture/courtesy Andreas Hanisch)
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Anak Verhoeven is on a tear. Last week, the Belgian athlete ticked another superlative Spanish sport climb.

If you recently ran into Anak Verhoeven in Rodellar, Spain, you encountered a highly focused climber intent on a goal. Verhoeven was embroiled in the process of redpointing “No Pain No Gain,” a 130-foot Dani Fuertes testpiece that climbs out a vast and complex limestone roof.

Starting in late September, Verhoeven worked the route. By mid-October, she’d pulled within reach of the redpoint. And on Oct. 19, the 26-year-old’s highly calculated effort concluded with a 5.15a send.

After a professional engagement interrupted progress, Verhoeven “returned to Rodellar and continued the process with lots of motivation. I used my climbing days that week to perfect the beta, trained in the route by making bigger and bigger links and made sure I got enough rest so I could have quality climbing sessions; until I felt ready to go for the send,” she recounted via Instagram.

 

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A post shared by Anak Verhoeven (@anak.verhoeven)

But then rain appeared in the forecast. Verhoeven had proceeded methodically, but now she would have to pounce.

“I felt some extra pressure because I knew the rain was coming. Consequently, the conditions were not ideal, but heavy air and no wind are still better than wet holds!” she said. “So I went for my second redpoint try and felt solid. I was focused but not as nervous as during my first try a few days before. Lots of things could make me fall, but I tried to climb in a relaxed way nevertheless.”

Her patience and poise paid off, and she clipped the chains. “No Pain No Gain” is an attractive feather in Verhoeven’s hat; she’s been busy collecting them in Spain lately. In September, she ticked “Las Meninas” (5.15) in Rodellar, and in August, she raked in “Joe Blau” (5.14c) and “Joe Cita” (5.15a) in Oliana.

 

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A post shared by Anak Verhoeven (@anak.verhoeven)

Our advice: watch the throne. You’ll find it wherever Verhoeven is climbing today.

Paige Claassen currently working toward climbing her first 5.15 sport route.

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Paige Claassen has a special appreciation for projecting hard sport climbs. Meet the climber and find out what she's working toward in 2021. Read more…

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