Bar Raised: Woman Climbs First 5.15b

Angela Eiter sent La Planta de Shiva, rated 5.15b/9b, in Spain last weekend. It’s a grade harder than any other climbed by a woman and at the cutting edge of what is humanly possible.

This has been a standout year for female rock climbers, and Angela “Angy” Eiter’s ascent of La Planta de Shiva adds to the trend. La Planta de Shiva, rated 5.15b, is one of the world’s hardest climbs, period.

On October 22, Eiter topped out on la Planta de Shiva, a climb only men had accomplished before, and one of a difficulty no woman had previously achieved.

Eiter, 31, from Austria, first tried the route two years ago, according to an article on She trained for the style, crimps, and tiny holds of her ascent this past weekend.

Previously, she won four lead climbing world championships before focusing on outdoor climbing.

5.15b Sport Climb: First Female Ascent

Women’s climbing has seen rapid ascent this year. Margo Hayes pushed limits when she sent La Rambla, 5.15a, in February. In September, Anak Verhoeven added her first ascent of the 5.15a Sweet Neuf while Hayes added another 5.15a to her list.

A climb of 5.15b, however, eluded all of them.

When Adam Ondra and Jakob Schubert made ascents of La Planta de Shiva, their attempts were noted by the climbing world.

anak verhoven margo hayes rock climbing
Pushing Limits: Margo Hayes, Anak Verhoeven Send 5.15a Projects
Two of the hardest climbs in the world just saw groundbreaking firsts. Read more…

Eiter’s 5.15b is just two degrees below the hardest grade ever climbed, Ondra’s 5.15d Silence. To put that into perspective, there are only three climbs rated 5.15c in the world, and only two people have sent that grade: Ondra and Chris Sharma.

Thus, Eiter’s groundbreaking ascent of La Planta de Shiva establishes her as a top climber on the ropes outside.

Watch Jakob Schubert’s ascent of the climb to get an idea of the absurd strength required:

Congrats to Eiter on this ceiling-shattering achievement. Onward and upward!

Nate Mitka

Midwest born, Nate Mitka is based in the GearJunkie Denver office. He is an advocate of all outdoor activities and has developed some habits, like running without headphones, eating raw vegetables, and fixing the chain on his ratty old bike.