Elite Female Austrian Climber Angela Eiter Scales a Groundbreaking First Ascent
World Champion sport climber Angela "Angy" Eiter overcomes injury and physical and mental challenges to become the first female athlete to ascent an almost impossible Austrian route, “Madame Ching”.
34-year-old World Champion Austrian climber Angela ‘Angy’ Eiter has become the first female climber to scale a fearsome rockface near her home in Tyrolean Oberland, overcoming not only injury and physical and mental challenges but also the restrictions of a global pandemic. She nicknamed the route, “Madame Ching” after a fearless, legendary 17th Chinese pirate.
Check out her week-long struggle with the rockface in the documentary ‘Erste Sein’ (Being First) right here: http://win.gs/37l9Nuv
Angela, who between 2014 and 2019 completed four 9a routes in Austria, Spain and Italy and the 9b ‘La Planta de Shiva’, in Spain, describes ‘Madame Ching’ as “unforgiving”: The climb is completely without climbing traces and she had to clean the dirt from rocks and broken holds, some of which had to be glued to not break away.
To prepare for the climb Angela trained for months indoors, struggling through old injuries, strengthening fingers and visualising the route in her mind; her finger strength and body contortion would need to work in harmony to master ‘Madame Ching’. "I kept failing at the route in the beginning," she remembers, "but figuring out the way up and where the holds are gives me the incentive when climbing a route for the first time."
Two days before the ascent the sun shone, Angela was confident and in her own words she felt “very strong”. But on the morning of the climb she found the rock wet and dangerous. “I waited an hour and used tissues to dry the holds,” she says but knew that she had to climb fast with a storm moving in.
It would take Angela – who is inspired by great female climbers including Lynn Hill and Beth Rodden – nearly 100 moves to summit, “and about five moves before the top,” she recounts, “I felt rain on my skin.”
“I never thought that I would go back to this route,” says Angela after her ascent, “but Madame Ching was a Chinese pirate and she fought with a lot of strong nations and I fight with hard routes.” Her resolve and strength of character is tangiable.
Angela admits she is not the strongest woman and is “small” at 5 foot 1 but she adds with familiar determination, “I’m happy that I can show other women that they can also do it," whatever the mountain they want to climb might be.
Angela ‘Angy’ Eiter is a Four-time World Cup holder, four-time World Champion and has a European Championship gold medal.