Martina Demmel onsights Stiqueul man (8a+/b)

Martina Demmel has onsighted Stiquel man 8a+/b in Saint Léger. ”Maybe being very limited with my right knee due to a recent injury helps me commit faster... shocked that I fully took the risk to fail. (c) Felix Bub

The 22-year-old competition climber onsighted her first 8b, out of ten, four years ago when she had only been climbing for three years. In the 8a ranking game she is #7 in the onsight ranking, all men included.

Can you tell us more about your injury and how it made you climb faster?
In qualis in Wujiang, we had a pretty aggressive heel-toe-jam where my calf dislocated for a short moment and injured the capsule. It's not as bad as it sounds because it completely heals by itself in about 6 weeks but now for the first few weeks, I'm very limited with the use of my right leg (no heel-hooks, dropknees, twisting, high steps, pushing, pulling with the toes - so standing on it frontally is ok).

I guess while trying a hard onsight especially in steep bouldery terrain, there isn't plenty of time to choose the ideal footholds. Not having several options for the use of my right leg helped me decide quicker, hesitate less and just commit to the obvious beta right away by taking more risks. I hope to apply this more even after my knee is healed again. I definitely feel my upper body getting much more tired than usual...

Tanguy Merard puts up Hannigraal (9b)

Tanguy Merard, who three weekends ago sent three 9a’s, has carried on with more productive days in L'Abattoir making the FA of La cinquantaine éclatante (9a+), Brouncha (9a) and Hannigraal (9b). (c) Jocelyn Chavy

I started trying La Cinquantaine Éclatante because the route consisted of making an easier start of a 9b [project Hannigraal]. It was motivating because it gave me an intermediate objective. In terms of climbing and holds, I've never loved a route so much, I couldn't stop climbing it, I loved it. These routes didn't require any mental effort because climbing them was just a pleasure, and I didn't care if I did the route.

[Two days later] On my first try I sent the new route that I bolted with a friend, "Brouncha" 9a FA. The same day I tried the hardest project on the cliff that we were trying with Seb Berthe, which consists of doing a 9a and continuing into "La Cinquantaine Éclatante", 9a+. So I launched into the route without any expectations just to see what it was like, telling myself that if I did the first part (9a) it would already be good. I was flying on the holds and I arrived at the first anchor so easily without feeling pumped, so after that I started to believe. I gave it my all for the final boulder , got back into the slab and managed to calm down before sending the final jump over the edge of the cliff. Everything was perfect, I clipped the anchor in shock and I was surprised, I had just completed my first 9b Hannigraal FA.

About the grade of "Hannigraal" which for me is much harder than all the 9a+ I did. I had a little doubt because I did it super quickly, but the route suits me very well. I also had a discussion with Nicolas Pelorson and Seb Berthe who tried the route, and they told me that they agreed with me.

Advertorial: Focus on the essentials! The POCKET is a warm-up and training tool at once! The mini hangboard offers a 15mm and 20mm edge and can be loaded with up to 300kg. With a size of 110 × 65 × 30 mm, the hangboard can be stowed in any trouser pocket and weighs just 130g. Learn more ✅ FAIR, SOC…

Pierre Trolliet sends Cosi se Arete (9a)

Pierre Trolliet has done Cosi se Arete (9a) in Rodellar. This stunning line is 50 meter long and follows the crag’s most overhanging section. (c) Léo Giroudon

Can you tell us more about Cosi?
I started projecting this route last year. I thought it could fit my style, since the route is long, overhanging, and not too crimpy. Still, the boulder problem at the top was quite a big challenge for me. But, the place and the line are so incredible that I was ready for some serious dedication. With a tricky combination of beta fine tuning, and perfect weather conditions, I could reach the top, after a huge mental fight. I am really happy about sending this dream line, and very thankful for those who helped me through the process, particularly my girlfriend, who clearly made this possible.

David Bermudez Carbonell (14) climbs ¡0,7 ya! in Cuenca

David Bermudez Carbonell, who earlier this year climbed two 9a’s, has ticked ¡0,7 ya! (8c+) in Cuenca, after working on it for around ten days. (c) Javi Pec

"This route has been a challenge for me as it is undoubtedly the hardest 8c+ I have ever done and since it was bolted in the 90's it has received very few ascents. In fact, it has cost me more than the 9a's I have done. The route is divided into the first 20m which will be like 8b/+, an active rest followed by a 7C+ boulder and finishes on a very technical slab where it is easy to fall off."

Congrats on your latest redpoint! Do you train most weeks to prepare for your projects and the climbing you do outdoors?
On Monday I rest actively and only do some stretching and wrist exercises. Then on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday I train, with Sputnik Climbing plans. On Friday I rest and I climb outdoors on Saturday and Sunday

Do you have other projects and goals in mind?
The next target here in Cuenca is to send El intento (9a), which is a route that I have given some 30 tries already.

Leo Bøe redpoints Fabelita r2

Leo Bøe has done Fabelita r2 (9a) in Santa Linya. "Great extension to Fabelita! Suits me pretty well as I am strong on the toe-hook. 2 days last year, and 3 days this trip! The line is quite straight and is one of the cooler climbs in the cave, despite it being a bit bouldery. In total, you end up climbing around 45 meters & 100+ moves to get to the top of the cave!! " (c) Jaume Cebolla Vincent

Is there another climb that you have in mind in Santa Linya?
Now I will try to get through the start of Ciudad de dios (9a), my biggest project!

Fabrizio Peri (52) completes Tomorrowland L2 (8c+/9a)

Fabrizio Peri, who did his first 9a at age 42 and his third at age 49, reports on Instagram that he has repeated Laura Rogora's Tomorrowland L2 (8c+/9a) in Collepardo, after trying it for four years.

Can you tell us more about the ascent?
I started trying the route before the pandemic. Two years of attempts, specific training, and nutrition I had always under control, but nothing [achieved]. I managed to do it with only one rest but I never succeeded on a move in the center of the route, not even starting from a hanging position... I couldn't give up because I felt that if I had taken that step the route was ready, but that launch [dyno] just wasn't working. The decision is made...I give it up. For another four years, I climbed between the Grottone in Sperlonga and the Pala in Collepardo but my thoughts always went to that passage, there in that meter of the wall at the Cueva. A few months ago I returned, I was determined, I didn't have to be stronger, I had to change the method. And in fact, for the first time, I was able to make that movement that seemed impossible. Then yesterday the north wind accompanied me to the chains!!!!!

How were you able to suddenly solve the crux?
I tried a different beta. Instead of going with my left hand to a closer grip I tried to go with my right to the farthest grip and that movement, which I thought was impossible, turned out to be the right one.

How do you train?
I get to rock climb two times a week and train the rest of the days for about 2 hours for each workout. I alternate strength and endurance training, but I prefer endurance training because it is less traumatic compared to maximal exercises. I also make a couple of trips each year to Spain.

Maya Ene (14) flashes Prince of Thieves

Maya Ene, who earlier this spring climbed her first 8B, has flashed Prince of Thieves (8A) in Joe's Valley (UT). The 14-year-old started to make headlines on Vertical-Life [8a] in 2021 when she did her first 8b+ and last year she sent her first two 8c+'s.

Can you tell us more about your trip to Joe's Valley?
We spent about a week there. Mid-trip I had the chance to climb with four very strong teenagers: Beckett Hsin, Landers Gaydosh, Bayes Wilder and Banlu Rogaway. All of us climbed a couple of problems V10 [7C+] and above. Being in such an impressive company I pushed my limits a lot getting “Prince of Thieves” first try. I also sent: “Death Scream” V10 and “Renaissance Man” V9. “Masterpiece” V13, indeed a masterpiece, became my project, but I was not able to send it.

What kind of beta did you get on your 8A flash?
I watched Landers go first (he was the one who knew the beta because he climbed it before). Beckett was second and he flashed it too. The crux was at the bottom, but the top was still tricky and you could mess it up, however, I believe this boulder was my style.

Stefano Carnati does Halupca 1979

Stefano Carnati, who the last year has sent six routes 9a to 9b, has completed Halupca 1979 (9a) in Mišja Peč. ”Not the style I prefer, but when you figure out how to navigate in the sea of tufas it might be fun.

Can you tell us more about the ascent?
I believe that for climbers with the proper fitness, figuring out what to do is definitely more time-consuming than the actual send. The Osp cave is not much my place, repetitive movements, same gesture and if you are skilled at kneebaring you get kneebars everywhere and whenever you need. Anyhow it was nice to tick one off here as well!

Yannick Flohé ticks Lazarus (9a+)

Yannick Flohé has repeated Moritz Welt’s Lazarus (9a+) in Frankenjura. ”Third ascent ? after Alex Megos. One of the best lines in Frankenjura and my first 9a+. (c) Rainer Eder

The 24-year-old German is foremost a boulder specialist with four 8C+’ under his belt. In 2019, he won the bronze in the World Championship and in 2021, he became the Combined World Champion. The year after, he won the World Cup in Brixen.

Can you tell us more about the ascent?
Tried it last weekend at 25 degrees and already came close falling in the last hard move. Yesterday I stopped on my way to Munich for a team training camp and climbed it after 4 tries.

What are your competition plans in 2024?
I’ll compete in Salt Lake and the two OQS comps and hopefully qualify for the Olympics. After that I’ll focus more on rock climbing.

Jernej Kruder repeats La Bruja (9a)

Jernej Kruder has done the second ascent of Ignacio Mulero's La bruja (9a) in La Pedriza, which is protected both by bolts and trad gear. The 33-year-old Slovenian has been a very active IFSC competition climber since 2004 and in 2018 he won the overall Boulder World Cup.

Can you tell us more about this hybrid route and your ascent of it?
The route starts with an awkward gaston jump and continues with a very pleasant 6b layback/hands with placing 2 cams (you can use more to feel safer. I wanted to use only 1, but 2 was easier for the belayer). Then you enter a long, power endurance crux with some kneebars (I used only 1 knee pad, Mulero used 2), which ends in a good rest. This section is about 8A/+ boulder problem. Still, my main problem was to recover well enough. After that, you enter a steep crimpy section of approx. 7B+ bouldering. The last crack rail is not too hard, but you're quite tired and before you enter the first hand jams, you can fall easily. Also, you need to protect yourself here. I used 3 small pieces (2x purple- first fell out on my send go, 1x green) and I got rid of a Nr. 4 in the last off-width. I fell several times on the last crack, but luckily never on the top out off-width (although I failed there 2 times only trying it). I was also climbing with crack gloves, just like the first ascensionist, Mulero.

The route has about 70 moves in total, with some no-hand rests. Although it's long, it's also so steep and there's a tree underneath, that you have to be constantly careful, not to get injured. Again, Mulero used a crash pad on the tree, I was rather focused on performance (hit the tree only twice :P ).

What are your competition plans this season?
At the moment I'm not sure if I'll be selected for any of this season's World Cups.