Become a Member

Get access to more than 30 brands, premium video, exclusive content, events, mapping, and more.

Already have an account? Sign In

Become a Member

Get access to more than 30 brands, premium video, exclusive content, events, mapping, and more.

Already have an account? Sign In



Chiara Hanke Climbs “Sever the Wicked Hand” (5.14d) in the Frankenjura

She is the first woman to climb a 5.14d in the Frankenjura, and the first German woman to climb the grade.

Lock Icon

Unlock this article and more benefits with 40% off.

Already have an Outside Account? Sign in

Outside+ Logo

40% Off Outside+.
$4.99/month $2.99/month*

Get the one subscription to fuel all your adventures.

  • Map your next adventure with our premium GPS apps: Gaia GPS Premium and Trailforks Pro.
  • Read unlimited digital content from 15+ brands, including Outside Magazine, Triathlete, Ski, Trail Runner, and VeloNews.
  • Watch 600+ hours of endurance challenges, cycling and skiing action, and travel documentaries.
  • Learn from the pros with expert-led online courses.
Join Outside+

*Outside memberships are billed annually. Print subscriptions available to U.S. residents only. You may cancel your membership at anytime, but no refunds will be issued for payments already made. Upon cancellation, you will have access to your membership through the end of your paid year. More Details

Chiara Hanke has become the first woman from Germany to climb 9a (5.14d), with her recent send of Sever the Wicked Hand in the Frankenjura, Germany.

The route was established in 2011 by Markus Bock, and was repeated by Alex Megos, Gabriele Moroni, and Adam Ondra, all in 2013, as well as by German climber Moritz Welt in 2018.

The 26-year-old Hanke began climbing when she was 13 years old, following a shoulder injury from wakeboarding. One year later, she started going to regional competitions. Since then, she has distinguished herself within the German climbing scene, and has competed nationally and internationally in addition to pursuing outdoor climbs. Over the years, she has sent several 8b+ and 8c routes, including Wallstreet, Odd Fellows, and Klondike Cat, in the Frankenjura, an area known for its shorter, powerful, pocketed routes. The area is also home to Action Directe, first ascended by Wolfgang Güllich in 1991 and recognized as the world’s first 9a.

Hanke’s previous toughest send was the 8c+ (5.14c) Battle Cat, also in the Frankenjura. That route comes with its own legacy: just three years ago, Lena Herrmann sent Battle Cat and in doing so, became the first German woman to climb 5.14c. Before Herrmann, the previous record for German female climbers was held by Marietta Uhden, who claimed the first ascent of 5.14b Sonne im Herzen in 2001.

[Also Read Angy Eiter Bags Another 5.14d With “Pure Dreaming”]

On Instagram, the film and photo production company White Van Media shared that Hanke rose at 6:00 in the morning and “dragged her mother-in-law to the crag” before completing the climb.

Hanke’s own Instagram post described a prescience concerning her completion of the climb: “I felt it the whole night and it has robbed me of sleep.” She also thanked her husband Christoph Hanke—a competitive climber himself—for his support. “Such a great feeling to climb a route like this!” she wrote.