Hard rock climbing has long been the realm of the men. From the pioneers of bold and hard free climbs, to the powerful modern sports climbs, many could view women as not being able to compete in an arena where pure strength and power are often looked at as the be all and end all.
This of course – is all completely untrue. Women have steadily been pushing the envelope for years. Indeed the first free ascent of the worlds most famous big wall, the Nose on El Cap was claimed by Lynn Hill back in the early 90’s and even now, 20 years on, it’s only seen 3 other repeats.
In more recent time, people like Josune Bereziartu and Sasha DiGuilan have broken the 9a sport climbing barrier (Josune way back in 2002) and the hugely talented youngsters Ashima Shiraishi and Brooke Raboutou have climbed V13 and 5.14d respectively despite neither of them being in their teens yet.
So last week it was time for some home grown talent to step it up and raise the bar for the girls on home soil – at a mighty 33, Tiger Cat at the newly opened uber crag of Elphinstone in the Blue Mountains received an ascent from Andrea Hah.
Andreas been pulling hard for a while now but finishing her finals at uni has seen climbing put on the back burner for a while. With that safely out of the way, it seems the sky is the limit. The ascent took 14 days of effort and equals the high point of the other strong Aussie woman, Monique Forrestier who has also ticked 8c on one of the Euro crags. Congratulations to Andrea and hopefully the rest of 2013 will prove to be as successful!