After just 8 days of effort Belgium’s Anak Verhoeven has repeated No pain no gain 9a+ at Rodellar in Spain.
Anak Verhoeven continues her splendid run of form with a swift repeat of the 9a+ No pain no gain at Rodellar in Spain. Verhoeven worked the line briefly in September before having to leave the crag, and retuned in mid-October to perfect the beta and start making bigger links. The main crux entails a pumpy traverse on small holds that have become even smaller since a hold broke in 2020, and provides a complete change in style compared to the 3D roof climbing in the first half of the route.
The 26-year-old redpointed the line on her 8th day of effort, explaining “I had an encouraging first send attempt in which I fell high up, right before coming out of the roof. Sending felt within reach. But then a weather change was predicted… and 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! 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. When I reached the end of the last crux, I fought to stay on and managed to keep going. A big rest brought relief and gave me the energy for the last tricky boulder. And then I clipped the chains. 🙂 A few hours later it started raining. No pain, no gain, just before the rain…”
Despite her competition climbing background, Verhoeven has climbed a number of 9a+ in the past. In 2017 she made the first ascent of Sweet Neuf at Pierrot Beach in France and in doing so became the second woman in the world to climb 9a+ aftwer Margo Hayes, and the first to have freed a route of this difficulty. The grade was confirmed by Cedric Lachat two years later. In 2017 she repeated Ciudad de Dios 9a/+ at Santa Linya, in 2019 she repeated Joe Mama 9a+ at Oliana, while in 2021 at the same crag she redpointed Patxitxulo 9a/+. Reserved and ever-smiling, she is certainly up there among the very best sport climbers in the world.