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Mejorando la Samfaina 9b+ FA by by Jorge Diaz-Rullo

Mejorando la Samfaina 9b+ FA by by Jorge Diaz-Rullo

Jorge Diaz-Rullo reports on Insta that he has done the FA of Mejorando la Samfaina in Margalef. (c) Adri Martinez

The route is a connection that links Mejorando Imagen 9a+/b and Samfaina 9a+ which, according to Jorge, is his most difficult route to date.

Three 8A's by Michaela Kirsch

Three 8A's by Michaela Kirsch

Michaela Kirsch, who just last week did the 35m endurance test piece La Rambla (9a+), reports with Insta videos that during her first two days in Brione she has done Fake Pamplemousse (8A), entwash (8A) and Frogger (8A). (c) Tina Johnson Hafsaas

In the La Rambla interview, the Doctor of hand therapy, explained how she had prepared for her Euro trip. "I did a really regimented training block of about 6 weeks following my trip to the RRG (Red River Gorge). It included moonboard, kilterboard, circuits, and hangboarding. And, sauna every day!"

How long did it take to get into the groove of bouldering after having focused on endurance in Siurana?
On my first day I did Entwasch and Fake pamplemousse, so it didn’t take long at all! I had one gym session in Barcelona, it's close to the airport. It’s a nice surprise to be here and having fun in the forest. And less windy ;)

As it stands, the 28-year-old is a contender for having the All-Time High best Combined route and boulder tick list. In just the last year, she has done around 30 boulders 8A to 8B+. In previous years, she was more of a route climber having completed a dozen routes 8c+ and harder.

Michaela was #22 in her Boulder World Cup debut in 2010 at age 15 and the next year she was #18 in a Lead World Cup. From there, she put competitions to the side, and chose to focus on rock and University. Michaela did her first 8c and 8c+ at age 21. Interview from last summer.

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by 8a Founder and Editor-in-Chief Jens Larssen including also Analyses, Reviews, Training, Polls and Opinions etc.


Jo Nesbø’s (62) road to 8a

Jo Nesbø’s (62) road to 8a

Jo Nesbø, a global bestselling crime writer, who has sold 50+ million books in 50+ languages, has done Elephant (8a) at Railay. (c) Hanna Jordan "I'm not going …

8c by David Bermudez (13)

8c by David Bermudez (13)

David Bermudez Carbonell, who started climbing two and a half years ago at age eleven, has done El calvario del sicario (8c) in Cuenca, in just ten tries. We sp…

Slashface 8B by Alex Puccio

Alex Puccio, runner-up in the World Championship in 2014, has done 250+ boulders 8A and up, which is a female record. In the video she sends the classic Slashface (8B) in Hueco Tanks (TX).

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Sleepwalker 8C+ by Ryuichi Murai

Sleepwalker 8C+ by Ryuichi Murai

Ryuichi Murai, who already has five 8C+ ascents to his name, reports on Insta that he has done Sleepwalker (8C+) in Red Rock (NV), after projecting it for eight days. (c) Momoka Oda

Sleepwalker was opened by Jimmy Webb and later Daniel Woods added a sitstart, calling it Return of the Sleepwalker (9A).

Did you give the 9A sit start a go? Did you do any special training in order to get in shape for this trip?
Tomorrow is the last day. So the sit start is for the next time. I made some sloper and fat pinch problems at the spray wall and trained sometimes with the Beast Maker 2000. Additionally, I also did full span training from an undercling to sloper hold. (Sleepwalker requires wingspan).
My basic climbing style is training on the gym's spray wall 2-3 times a week. The amount will increase a little more one month before a trip. The content includes max power training with problems of V12 (8A+) and above, and circuit training with problems of V7-9. And I often do finger pull-ups using the Beast Maker 2000. I sometimes do plank training at home on days when I don't climb.

When and where do you plan to travel next ?
Maybe Alphane or South Africa in June-July.

Smoke Wagon 9a by Cameron Hörst

Smoke Wagon 9a by Cameron Hörst

Cameron Hörst has done Smoke Wagon (9a) in Mt Potosi. (c) John Kasaian

Can you give us the lowdown?
I started trying “Smoke Wagon” (9a) in the winter of 2021 but never came back to it until the end of December 2022. Since December, I have taken a couple one week trips to Vegas (from Salt Lake City) to try the climb between training. I haven’t kept track of the number of sessions but I put a good bit of work into it. I chose to work this route, in particular, because it is a pure resistance route (which has historically been my anti-style). The goal being… that trying this route, in between training, will hopefully help equip me for harder projects in the future!

What's next for you this year?
I have some lingering projects here in the states I want to finish off throughout the year and will be travelling to France this summer to climb in Céüse!

Cameron made his first 8a news in 2012 when he did his first three 8b+. In addition to excelling at climbing, Cameron excelled at American football in high school.

Excalibur 9b+ FA by Stefano Ghisolfi

Excalibur 9b+ FA by Stefano Ghisolfi

Stefano Ghisolfi has done the FA of Excalibur (9b+) in Arco. It was bolted by Christian Dorigatti and Morris Fontanari who invited Stefano to try it two years ago. Over the last year, Stefano has been trying it with Jacob Schubert, Will Bosi and Adam Ondra. (c) Diego Borello

Can you tell us more about the ascent? Did you do any specific training and did you benefit from trying it with others?
It is a short route but there are 18 moves and the rest in the middle is very important, a huge amount of strength is needed but it is not enough, power endurance is crucial for the last crux. I think it took me from 20 to 30 sessions. I didn't do any specific training but I focus my training more on power and power endurance in the past months. Trying the route with other climbers speeded up the process of finding the perfect beta and helped with motivation in the long term.

With more time, do you think you can go beyond the difficulty that something like Excalibur presents?
Yes, sure! Actually, there is a possible low start of Excalibur 😅😉 I don't know if it is possible but seems hard. We start from a rock, it is possible to start further down. There are 3 or 4 moves under probably but we never tried. I'll try it for sure, with some crash pads.

The 29-year-old has previously done three 9b+'. On the competition scene, the Italian has been one of the best performers over the last ten years having won six World Cups and being Top-8, in 39 such events.

El Koala Extension 8b+ and an 8b onsight by Jorge Diaz-Rullo

El Koala Extension 8b+ and an 8b onsight by Jorge Diaz-Rullo

Jorge Diaz-Rullo has dropped into Santa Linya, and onsighted La Mare del Tano 8b and El Koala Extension 8b+. The 23-year-old has onsighted 29 routes 8b to 8c, out of which, ten he's sent in the last year and he is #2 in the onsight ranking game. The Spaniard has logged 130 days on his mega-project, in Margalef, where he has once has fallen on the final crux move.

Are you training specifically for your project?
My specific training is just to try the route. Doing laps on sections, repeating the crux, doing tries with weight... The rest is training that helps me but it is also for improvement for other projects

Do you think it could be a 9c contender?
I really don't know about the grade because I don't have any reference, I never tried one route for so long like Café Colombia. But definitely, I am sure it is the hardest route that I ever tried. l always thought that the grade is just a symbol, the story that I am living to try to send this route is something really (more) amazing.

Bouin in Tautavel (The French Chilam Balam)

Sebastien Bouin: "Tautavel is a historical place here in France, close to the Spanish border. There is one particular sector, with an impressive route. It looks like the famous Chilam Balam, a prow of tufas climbing followed by an amazing wall. It's an esthetic line for sure. This route was bolted 30 years ago by Manu Da Silva and it has been waiting for a First Ascent since that time."

Pal Publico 8c by Angie Scarth-Johnson (18)

Pal Publico 8c by Angie Scarth-Johnson (18)

Angie Scarth-Johnson, who last year did two 9a’s, has done Pal publico (8c) in Margalef. ” Great route! The moves felt really far for me so I used a few intermediates that I think made it a little harder.”

The next day, the 18-year-old onsighted Rodillar (8a), also in Margalef. Here is an article with Angie, who has been a globetrotter since the age of 9. "I write my own programs and have done this since I was 8. I find that this really works for me."

Les yeux plus gros que les roubignoles 9a+ by Tanguy Merard (19)

Les yeux plus gros que les roubignoles 9a+ by Tanguy Merard (19)

Tanguy Merard, who earned a bronze in a Euro Youth Cup last year, has done Les yeux plus gros que les roubignoles (9a+) in Russan.

Can you tell us more about the route and your ascent?
The route, (Les yeux plus gros que l'antre (9b)) was free-climbed by Seb Bouin in 2018. and it starts from the bottom of the cave. When I tried, I went there just out of curiosity because I didn't have the level to do it from the bottom of the cave but I found it too beautiful (to forget) so I went back. I started to try the route starting higher in the cave, in an 8a. It had been a long time since I had been so motivated by a route, so I threw myself into it and I didn't give up because I really liked climbing on the route. I progressed very quickly in the route and ended up doing it. It took me around 10 sessions on the route spread over a month. I hope it will motivate people because it's worth the detour, it's not only the hardest route I've done but above all the most beautiful 🤩.

How much shorter is your line compared to Seb's?
I think Seb's line is 80 meters and my line 35 meters.

What are your competition goals for 2023?
For 2023 I want to be qualified for the Lead World Cup, I have to do (make) the final in the France Championship for this.

Return of the Dreamtime 8C+ by Yannick Flohé

Yannick Flohé, who last week did his second 8C+, has done the FA of Return of the Dreamtime (8C+) in Cresciano. "Start like Dreamtime but go right after the Dyno and finish on Somnolence (8B).".

This has been an open project for many years and links 8B/+ into 8B.