Jonathan Siegrist climbs Martial Law (9a+)

Jonathan Siegrist has done the second ascent of Cameron Hörst’ Martial Law (9a+) in Mt. Charleston, which is a 20 moves direct start into Arrested Development (8c+). (c) Ryan White

As with AD, this route was ALL about the massive move in the roof for me. I had to get fit enough on the bottom half to basically eliminate any fatigue when I arrived there. Thankfully I only had to do that move once from the ground. I started in the very back of the cave like Cam did for full value. Burly route!”

Irmgard Braun, 72, ticks Le string à Fredo (7c)

Irmgard Braun, who was featured in an interview sending a 7c+ in 2021, has done Le string à Fredo (7c) in Gorges du Tarn. "This year I tried the route on six days; the middle part felt quite easy, the slopy end hard. I had a big problem after the first little overhang low down. Maybe I was stupid, maybe I was not tall enough. Finally, I found a solution with very small crimps that looked like they had never been used before. I am so happy that now, one year after my knee surgery, I am able to move (for me) difficult routes again!"

Can you tell us more about the knee surgery?
I had an accident going on my bike (a car hit me) and got a cruciate ligament in plastic last year at the end of June. Two months later I could do easy climbs on a toprope. For leading I had to wait about nine months, said the doctors, and I missed the sharp end of the rope very much. Now the knee feels still not normal, but I can climb better than walk.

How often do you climb during the week?
At home, I climb about 3-4 times per week, on rock, if possible, and quite often in a climbing hall. At least once per week, I climb at my limit, bouldering with a rope. Other training except climbing: antagonist and core training 1-2 times a week combined with stretching. One session takes about 1 hour. My lifestyle is not at all ascetic, I like to drink good wine and love chocolate.

Gogor a “must” in your backpack

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Jana Svecova, with nine 8B boulders and some 8a routes under her belt, has started to project Stefano Ghisolfi’s Excalibur (9b+). After four sessions she has done all but one move. ”I never took rope climbing outdoors as seriously as bouldering but now I’am kinda into it 🫢”How come you raise the ba…

Sonnie Trotter, 44, completes Spirit Quest (9a)

Sonnie Trotter reports Instagram that he has sent Spirit Quest (9a) in Squamish. "I’ve been trying this beautiful line on and off for the last 20 months, and during that time I’ve spent somewhere close to 30 days on it. To me, it’s one of the most beautiful faces I’ve seen, dotted by impeccable (and sometimes improbable) granite edges, surrounded by old growth trees and thriving bird life."

The 44-year-old, who has one of the most impressive trad climbing tick lists in the world, did his first 9a in 2004 by climbing Forever Expired in Lion's head which is still unrepeated. His second 9a was Estado Critico in 2015.

Can you tell us more about the training behind the ascent and why you think it is possible to keep progressing being 40+?
I focused on not doing anything that would injure me, slow and controlled movements, adding weight, fingers for stamina. Climbers can definitely progress after 40. Absolutely! They just need to be focused and approach it properly.

What are your summer plans and how does a normal climbing week look like?
I have plenty of more projects to try this summer:) so no shortage of inspiration this year. I will try to rock climb at least 2-3 days a week this summer, and I aim on training 2-5 days a week during the off season. depending on the phase that I’m in. Endurance, strength, stamina, etc…and I train for about 1-3 hours per day.

Anak Verhoeven’s story of climbing a 9b twice

Anak Verhoeven sent La Planta de Shiva (9b) last month, twice. Here is her story. (c) Jona Oberle

This spring I traveled to Villanueva del Rosario in Spain with a goal in mind: to check out a 9b called La Planta de Shiva. It’s a route of about 45 meters and the main crux is a long traverse on tiny holds. I knew that I might not be capable of sending it within this trip and that I might have to train for it specifically and then come back later to try and send. 

Figuring out all the movements was a tough process, but step by step I felt that I was getting closer until I had found all my beta and knew that I was ready for redpoint attempts.  I had 3 good tries and reached a new highpoint every time. And then it happened: on my 4th  attempt I sent the route and  almost couldn’t believe that I had just done my first 9b! A dream come true! 

A couple days later, I decided to give myself a personal challenge by trying to send the route again, but this time without kneepads. I felt less pressure than during the first send and the no-kneepad-send worked out! What an experience...

I’m so glad and relieved that it was possible to finish the project this trip and I’m quite surprised that I even got such a special bonus send.  A lot to be grateful for!”

Moritz Welt ticks Classified (9a)

Moritz Welt, with 23 routes 9a and harder under his belt, has repeated Alex Megos’ Classified (9a) in Frankenjura. ”A lot of ups and downs on this one. Finally found a way that worked for my finger. Quick send this season.”

Can you tell us more about the ascent and your finger situation?
Classified was kinda special for me because I injured my finger on it some years ago. There is one particular mono in the lower part of the route (not even the crux) that damaged my lumbrical and since then I couldn't hold it anymore. Luckily this year I found a new hold next to the mono, which made the move a little bit harder but at least possible for me. I immediately knew I could do it and on the second session of the season, I fell three times at the last move. Yesterday was my third and I did it on my first try of the day 🙂

What are your summer plans?
A bit of everything, some alpine bouldering, french sportclimbing and of course a handful of Frankenjura projects on my mind.

What does a normal climbing week look like?
Usually, I do one session of non-specific strength training and one board bouldering session. Most weeks I have to do one day of routesetting and I try to have at least two quality outdoor sessions, depending on the weather.

Christoph Bräuer sends Intermezzo XY gelöst (9a)

Christoph Bräuer has repeated Klem Loskot’s Intermezzo XY gelöst (9a) in Plombergstein. ”First 9a. It took me 4 days and I struggled only on the hard second move on the big pinch. Did it today even though some holds were a little wet. About the grade I‘m not sure if it is solid 9a or a little softer but I don‘t have a lot of references. Still happy about it!”

Jules Marchaland does Three Degrees of Separation (9a+)

Jules Marchaland, who did three 9a+’ last year, has repeated Chris Sharma’s iconic Three Degrees of Separation (9a+) in Céüse. ”Crazy route, maybe the best I have ever climbed. Took me 6 days and I fell two times at the last dyno…" (c) Marc Daviet

How hard is the start of the route and how hard are the dynos?
I think the first part is like a soft 8c+ , but it depends on your [preferred] style of climbing. After that (for me) the first dyno (with the fews moves before) is around a 7C+ boulder, and then the two next dynos (also with the few moves before) are around 7B boulders.

I felt good on the dynos. I flashed the 2nd and 3rd one and did the first and hard one 2nd go. This route is just crazy, so fun to try.

Tanner Bauer flashes Quintessential (8B)

Tanner Bauer has flashed Quintessential (8B) in Rocklands. The 20-year-old has a very solid bouldering foundation having already flashed six 8A+ graded boulder problems and completed close to 60 8B’s and harder, including one 8C.

I've been chasing after the infamous 8B flash for around 3 years now. Unfortunately, there is a limited amount of good contenders to do so. I've gotten close to achieving this goal before while climbing in Red Rocks and Moe's Valley but was never able to pull it off. Once my trip to Rocklands was confirmed, I knew I would have another good opportunity to try and finish off this goal.

On my very first day of the trip and my first day ever climbing day in Rocklands, I ended up at the Quintessential. I quickly realized that it would be very feasible to flash this boulder because of its easy accessibly. There are a ton of really good warm ups right near it and all the holds are reachable from the ground. Two things that are really important for flashing hard boulders.

I spent about an hour just touching the holds and deciding which beta I was gunna use. The hand moves are extremely straight forward but there are a ton of different foot options. It came down to two main betas that I had to choose from. The first being a more physical method that required more pure strength. The second being a more technical method that required highly specific body positions. I ended up choosing the beta that was physically harder because I didn't want to blow the flash due to a silly mistake. The more physical beta meant I had to pull harder but at the end of the day, I think it was easier to execute due to it lending to more natural body positions.”

Lorenzo Bogliacino does Moksha (9a)

Lorenzo Bogliacino, who two months ago did his second 9a+, has completed Moksha (9a). (c) Mattia De Leo

I went a couple of weekends to Pic St Loup since I wanted to see the crag for a really long time. I checked Hélix au pays des merveilles (8c+) on my first weekend and already tried a bit the crux of Moksha. Next weekend I did Helix on saturday and Moksha on Sunday. Conditions were bad in the morning but then the air came and I did the route at the end of the day unexpectedly. Had a huge fight on the top part since I was very tired!”