La Planta de Shiva

DISCIPLINE: Sport Climbing
LOCATION: Andalusia, Spain
GRADE:  9b/5.15b
LENGTH: 45m (150ft)
FIRST ASCENT: Adam Ondra

An endurance-zapping, 45m line in the Villanueva del Rosario cave in Andalusia, Spain. The 150 ft route was first bolted by José Irigoyen (first pitch) and Manolo Castillo (second pitch) in November 2006 although the first ascent, done by Adam Ondra in April 2011, was sent as a single-pitch climb.

Image by Javipec / ASP / Red Bull Content Pool

La Planta de Shiva Bio

Villanueva del Rosario, an imposing crag sitting above the remote Spanish village is home to two 9b, endurance testing routes, Chilam Balam and La Planta de Shiva.

La Planta de Shiva, although shorter than Chilam Balam, is still a renowned endurance-zapping test piece. The 45-meter route consists of powerful tufa climbing and technical crimps sections, with limited opportunities for resting throughout the route.

First Ascent – Adam Ondra

On a two-week trip to Andalusia, Ondra was looking for an ascent of Chilam Balam. After making quick work of the 82m monster, he turned his focus to La Planta de Shiva, a project of the local climbers that had gone without an ascent for over five years.

The project immediately appealed to Ondra and his natural climbing style, with ‘first ascent obsession’ overcoming him after he began working the line. 

Over the course of seven days, Ondra set to work on the route, deciphering the beta, discovering the best holds hidden within the sea of sandstone. He even reinforces some holds with sika to preserve the line. After fourteen attempts on the route, Ondra eventually clipped the chain and claimed the first ascent on 22nd April 2011.

He awarded the route the grade of 9b, and stated that it was one of the hardest ascents he had done at the time. 

Second Ascent – Jakob Schubert

During the IFSC World Cup winter break, it has become a tradition for Jakob Schubert to take a trip to Spain and bag ascents of some notoriously difficult lines. In the winter of 2015/2016, Schubert set his sights on the second ascent of La Planta de Shiva. 

From the outset, the route proved to be a challenge for Schubert, both physically and mentally. The sheer size of the line proved a daunting challenge, with the route consisting of many sections of endurance climbing.

After taking a few days off to work on some other projects, Schubert came back rejuvenated and better prepared to tackle Ondra’s testpiece.  After an impressive four extra days of effort, Schubert made the second ascent of La Planta de Shiva. Upon completion, he claimed that the route was one of his hardest redpoints to date and shared his excitement within an Instagram post:

“After the biggest fight of my life, I managed to clip the anchor of this amazing line in Villanueva del Rosario. 2nd Ascent after Adam Ondra. Super happy and proud to have sent this one, my hardest route so far. Time for fiesta!”

By claiming the ascent of La Planta de Shiva, Schubert joined Adam Ondra, Chris Sharma and Dani Dani Andrada to become the 4th person in history to climb two 9b’s.

Third Ascent – Angela Eiter

Before Schubert claimed the second ascent fellow Austrian and the accomplished comp climber, Angela Eiter, was already hunting for an ascent of La Planta de Shiva.  On the back of her ascent of Hades 9a in late 2014, Eiter was looking for her next challenge, and in 2015, she has set her sights on Andalusia and an ascent of La Planta de Shiva.

The battle to clip the chains, and in the process become the first women to ever climb 9b, became a two-year-long challenge.

Even from the outset, Eiter was skeptical of her chances of completing the route. As she admitted herself, the route was at the limit of her climbing ability and a series of unfortunate injuries made the chances of a quick ascent near impossible. Despite being skeptical of her ability to climb La Planta de Shiva, Either was determined to give it her best shape.

She made multiple trips to Andalusia over the course of two years and even re-created the route in her gym in Imst to dial in the moves and train at the same intensity. On her last trip in October 2017, and after three weeks of effort, she finally made the third ascent of La Planta de Shiva.

In doing so Angela made history as the first woman to ever climb a 9b. As of 2021, she is only one of three women to achieve this grade, joined by Laura Rogora with her ascent of Ali hulk sit in July 2020 and Julia Chanourdie on Eagle-4 in November 2020.

“It is definitely not one of my easiest routes, but before I sent it was certainly one of the best times I had on a climb!” Angela stated.

On her Instagram page, she shared her joy with climbing La Planta de Shiva:

“Today I sent La Plantas de Shiva 9b in Villanueva del Rosario, Spain. It was one of my biggest dreams to climb this route and it really means a lot to me! La Plantas is definitely not an easy way but I’m so happy that I could do it!”

La Planta de Shiva is one of the most demanding routes in the world. The sheer size and difficulty of the line have proven to be a challenge that few can overcome.

Although La Planta de Shiva is a route that demands much from the climber, La Villanueva del Rosario offers a plethora of beautiful lines for climbers of all abilities to scope out.

Located a mere hour’s drive from the bustling city of Cordoba, La Villanueva del Rosario provides climbers with a sports climbing playground in their own backyard. With over 500 routes across La Ferro, La Ferrera and La Cámara de Mena sectors, the mountain is a must-visit crag for both local and foreign climbers alike.

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