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Christoph and Chiara Hanke are the couple at the top of German climbing. He has twice been a semifinalist in lead climbing at the world championships, and she was the first German woman to climb a 9a. While they prefer different types of surfaces, they are united by a shared passion that brought them together and led them to settle with their dog in Betzenstein, a small town in the Frankenjura area of Germany.

The Hankes share not only a very technical and explosive climbing style but also a simple and minimalist lifestyle that has allowed them to become one with the natural environment that surrounds them. In the rock and the forests near their home, Chris and Chiara have found the freedom to fully express themselves, learning to go beyond new limits imposed by the shoulder injuries that over the years have undermined their capacity, but not their determination to return to the base of another wall.
Let’s get to know more about them.


For Chiara Hanke, climbing was not an instinctive choice. She started when she was still a child, on the advice of her doctors, to strengthen an injured shoulder, then decided to take an introductory course with her parents. In a short time, she developed the strength in extension and the versatile use of her fingers in holds that distinguish her even today, demonstrating that she was destined for pro climbing.

The results confirmed it: first came the callup to the national team, then victory in the women’s German Cup in 2013. A continuous upward trajectory, leading to the repetition of “Wall Street” (2018), the first-ever 8c in her Frankenjura region, repeating the exploits of the legendary Wolfgang Güllich, and the repetition of “Sever the Wicked Hand” (2019), with which Chiara became the first female German athlete in history to complete a 9a.

Her love for nature has led her to travel around Europe and the world in recent years, leaving her light and respectful footprint everywhere.


2023 Stradivari (8b)
2022 T1 Full Equip (8b+/c)
2022 Pain Makes Me Stronger, Every Day (8c+)
2018 Sever the Wicked Hand (9a)




Born in 1994, Christoph Hanke has climbing in his blood. He started rock climbing during his first outdoor experiences with his family, and then, as a teenager, he decided to focus exclusively on this activity. For the blond native of Kochel, one of the most iconic climbing locations in Germany, there could be no other destiny. As a youngster, Chris spent his days on new route attempts and bouldering sessions, often favoring lessons on the rock over those at school. During that same time, he entered the world of competition, reaching the national and European Cup finals in the youth category.

His competition results also included the senior national title in 2020 and 12th place in the lead World Cup in 2021. First-rate results, made all the more meaningful by the difficult recovery from two shoulder injuries (first the left, then the right) that prevented him from returning to the highest level in a short time.
But Chris is an all-round athlete: over the years he has broadened his horizons to include rope climbing, bouldering, and mountaineering. Among his most important repetitions in the Alpine area, Hotel Supramonte (8b) and Delicatessen (8b) stand out.

Even when he’s away from the wall, his thoughts turn to climbing. Together with his friend the pro climber Alexander Megos, he has developed a web series on YouTube on how to physically and mentally approach sport climbing.



Chris and Chiara, what is your relationship with nature?
Chris: My relationship with the rock has changed a lot over time. For me, today, climbing on a wall means respecting it, challenging myself, but without being in competition with other climbers. For this reason, I prefer to avoid the most crowded crags and focus on the experience rather than the difficulty of the route.
Chiara: When I climb, nothing else exists around me. Nevertheless, nature has taught me respect for my limits, for people, and for resources. I’m not willing to achieve my goals at any price!

What are your future goals?
Chris: Definitely a top-10 placement in my next competitions, and overcoming the 9a barrier on rock.
Chiara: Exploring new crags across Europe, and pushing myself beyond 9a with Chris.

What’s your favorite Karpos product?
Chris: The Highest Down Hoodie jacket. I use it every day from September to March, both for approaching the wall and for climbing when there’s strong wind and intense cold.
Chiara: I really like the design and versatility of the 80’s Hoodie W Fleece. The fact that it’s halfway between a jersey and a down jacket means I can take it with me for any activity in any conditions.


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