Margo Hayes, the climber who broke the glass ceiling for women earlier this year with her ascent of La Rambla (9a+/5.15a) in Siurana, Spain, has done it again. Yesterday, September 24, the 19-year-old from Boulder, Colorado sent Chris Sharma’s benchmark 9a+/5.15a, Biographie/Realization, in Céüse, France.
“In life, we are tested. Biographie tested my commitment, my fortitude, and my belief in myself,” Hayes posted on Instagram today. “In May, I touched Biographie for the first time. Ever since, the route has been ingrained in my mind and body.”
Biographie was the first confirmed sport route to break the 5.15 barrier. French climber Jean-Christophe Lafaille envisioned and equipped the route in 1989. Seven years later, Arnaud Petit climbed the route to the first set of anchors, and in July 2001, Sharma completed the route to the second set of anchors, giving the world Realization—Sharma still refers to the climb as Biographie, however, keeping in style with European route-naming ethics.
Sylvain Millet and Patxi Usobiaga repeated Biographie in 2004; Dave Graham and Ethan Pringle in 2007; Ramon Julian in 2008; Enzo Oddo in 2010; Jonathan Siegrist, Alex Megos—in an astonishing three tries—Adam Ondra and Sachi Amma in 2014; Stefano Ghisolfi in 2015; and Jon Cardwell and Sean Bailey in 2016.
Hayes’ ascent is the 15th and—long-awaited—first female ascent on record.
“The difficulties of this endeavor were overshadowed by the sound of the birds, laughter of friends, and the changing of the seasons,” Hayes writes. “To experience the delicate power that Biographie holds is a true privilege.”
Earlier this month, Belgian climber Anak Verhoeven became the second woman to climb 5.15a with her ascent of Sweet Neuf at Pierrot Beach in France. Moreover, the 21 year old is the first woman to make a 5.15a first ascent.
“For decades, women have been taking climbing to new levels. I am honored to stand among those women,” Hayes told Rock and Ice after her ascent of La Rambla [read the full interview here]. “We will see more women pushing the boundaries of climbing in all of the genres.”
That day, it appears, is already here.
Happy !! @margojain, Biographie 9a+ FFA, Ceuse, France When the dream become reality !! . #fantastic #margooo #neverstopexploring #petzlgram #lasportivagram #livesmilerepeat #outdoor #photography #picoftheday #outdoorlife #girlpower #climbing #legend #rockclimbing #grimper #klettern #escalar #travelgram
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