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Babsi Zangerl: Sending Speed Intégrale—Her First 9a

Sunday, July 8, 2018
BD Athlete Babsi Zangerl is no doubt one of the strongest climbers in the world. She’s climbed 5.14a on El Cap, bouldered V13, and sent runout 5.14b trad. You could say it was only a matter of time until she took her sport climbing to the ninth degree—claiming what would be her first 9a (5.14d) route. The day finally came this past May, when Babsi clipped the chains of Speed Intégrale in Voralpsee, Switzerland.
Video: Johannes Mair/Alpsolut Moving Pictures

It was 7 a.m. and Babsi was coming off the graveyard shift at the hospital where she works as a radiologist assistant. Her chances of sending, she figured, were slim. But going climbing was better than not, so her and a few friends headed to the crag.

The morning was wet, and conditions were humid. It rained a little, then let up, so she gave her project a burn. She was trying Cedric Lachat’s Speed Intégrale (9a), an extension to Speed (8c+), which was put up by the Austrian stalwart Beat Kammerlander.

Oddly enough, and despite her fatigue, Babsi climbed really well. She felt no pressure and climbed to a highpoint on her second go. Later that evening, she figured she’d take one more fitness lap on the route, just for fun.

Babsi tied in, and with no expectations, battled to the top of her first 9a, proving that it always pays to go climbing.


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