Moshka 9a by Victor Guillermin (17)

Victor Guillermin, who this spring got the bronze in a Euro Youth Cup, has done Moksha (9a) in Pic St Loup. The 17-year-old needed four sessions to take the 50m line down.

What is your next plan?
I don't really know what will be my next plans but I think I'll start to work on the big sister of Moksha: Beyond, Seb Bouin's king line, an incredible 9a+... a real dream line!

How long is the hike to the crag?
It takes approximately 1hours 15minutes ... but the hike is very steep, steeper than in Ceuse😅.

Change 9b+ by Seb Bouin - updated

Change 9b+ by Seb Bouin - updated

Sebastien Bouin reports on Insta that he has done Change (9b+) in Flatanger. (c) Marco Müller

Adam Ondra established the 55m route in 2012 as the first 9b+ in the world. Stefano Ghisolfi did the first repeat and as Seb said in his Insta, they both used knee pads which not Ondra did.

The French climber's ticklist for his one month trip to Flatanger is setting a new standard. 9b+, 9b/+ and three 9a+. Seb has yet to give a grade for Change.

After sending pitch 1 and pitch 2 independently, my goal was for sure trying the entire route. The only problem was I only had four more days, before my departure to come back home. I didn't know if it would be enough for the entire route. My body started to feel crushed by this cave. I felt tired from the trip. But I wanted to play the game until the very end.

Day 1, the conditions were terrible. It was humid and wet. A lot of the key holds were wet. I decided to not climb and wait for the next day. Day 2, it was still humid, and key holds were a bit dryer, but the humidity didn’t give me confidence. I decided to try the route anyway. It was difficult to wait much longer, knowing I had to leave soon. I passed the first pitch, rested a lot before pitch 2. Then passed the first traverse crux on Pitch 2, and fell straight after that on the second crux. The holds were really humid and almost wet.

Day 3, I still felt really tired from my attempt on the previous day, and I didn't sleep well during the night. I wasn’t planning to climb – I wanted to wait until I felt ready. I went up to the cave to check out conditions and belay my girlfriend on her route. The conditions were exceptional! I was torn in my mind. Should I try it and take advantage of the conditions? or should I wait until I knew I was fully recovered? I finally decided to try the route. I was literaly flowing through the holds, due to the good conditions. It was so much different than the day before. I am happy to say that I made no mistakes and felt the belief that I could make it to the end, and I did! I am not usually a ‘last day, last try’ kind of guy, but this time it happened 🙂 I climbed the route with kneepads, like previous ascensionist Stefano Ghisolfi.”


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Thor’s Hammer 9a/+ by Dylan Chuat

Thor’s Hammer 9a/+ by Dylan Chuat

Dylan Chuat, who previously has done nine routes 9a and harder, reports on Insta that he has done Adam Ondra’s Thor’s Hammer 9a/+ in Flatanger. “Waaaw, what an amazing line!!! The holds are so beautiful, the effort and the line are just amazing! Just a pity that the beginning is always wet.” (c) Marco Müller

In total, he did seven routes 8c harder and he also onsighted Waliserne kommer og kommer (8b) during his one month. “Flatanger is amazing! It's very unique to have a granite cave like this one and there are so many incredible and hard ways! Even the easy routes on the left wall are crazy to climb! But it rains very often haha."

How did you manage all the wet holds on Thor's?
I climbed with the rope and I was drying and put magnesia on all the holds with paper. Then I left little pieces of paper in the holds which I took off when I climbed. The process took at least 15 minutes as the wet holds are like 7m away. I had to start climbing right away or else the plugs would get wet in 5 minutes.

What is your next plan?
I don't have a plan. Now I'm back in Switzerland and I'm going to rest a bit... but I'm going to have to do a lot of route setting these next months so I'm not going to be able to climb a lot. I'm going to climb closer to home.

Amandla 8B+ flash by Florian Wientjes

Amandla 8B+ flash by Florian Wientjes

Florian Wientjes, who previously has done a couple 8C’s, reports on Insta that he has flashed the classical Amandla in Rocklands. It was put up by Fred Nicole as an 8C but it is now considered a soft 8B+ and it has been redpointed 30+ times. (c) Leonard Moser

I was playing with the (flash) idea since a month or so. I went up early to the crag and started my warm-up routine including some Hangboarding. After 40min I decided to give it a try. My mind was free, cuz I know it totally fits my style and it worked. But, all in all i just did the same stuff like everyday when I climb😅.

I watched some videos before my trip and during the trip also a few.”

La moustache qui fâche 9a+ by Nao Monchois

La moustache qui fâche 9a+ by Nao Monchois

Nao Monchois, who nine times have made it to the semi in a World Cup, reports on Insta that he has done his first 9a+, La moustache qui fâche (9a+) in Entraygues. (c) Arthur Ternant

"I had this route in mind for quite a long time, some friends were trying it and I really like this kind of short endurance route. It took me 10 sessions to get it done, within three trips. On first one, I could barely do the moves. Then I trained a bit and could make real tries on the second one. The third was the good 😊."

Why are you not doing the World Cup this year?
In France, the nationals are selective for the French team. As I messed up the semi-final, I was out for the season and the best I could do was to transfer my good shape into outdoor climbing.

So the selection is only based on one competition?
No, there was a team trial one month before the season started but there was only one spot and I finished third.

Andrea Locatelli (11) excels at onsight

Andrea Locatelli (11) excels at onsight

Andrea Locatelli, who did his first 8c last year, has onsighted El General left (8a+) in Valle dei Mulini. In total, the 11-year-old has onsighted nine 8a's and two 8a+ which means only Adam Ondra has had a more impressive onsight ticklist at age 11, i.e nine 8a+. Here is a video from a recent trip to Frankenjura.

When Andrea had onsighted his first 8a, his father David commented. "Since Andrea was very young, we got him used to spending a lot of time outdoors, often on the crag, close to home or around Europe. When he was three years old, he started to play in the small climbing gym we have in our garage, and he improved very fast. At the age of seven, he joined a climbing team and started to compete in regional and national competitions. He likes to climb in the climbing gym, where he trains twice or three times a week, but he also loves to climb outdoors. So far, he has not dedicated many days to a project, and he likes onsight climbing. At the age of nine, he completed his first 8a and right afterward his first 7c onsight. To reach the climbing areas, we often travel with the whole family in our camper, trying to offer him a variety of climbing styles, types of rocks, crags, and boulder areas. Soon, we would like to go to Fontainebleau and then Kalymnos!"

How is it mentally, focusing so much on onsights?
When we go to the cliff to try a pitch, regardless of grade, Andrea goes up as if he had to climb it onsight. The idea is: to see where you arrive, otherwise if you want you can always try again. So it’s not stressful. In recent months I think it’s almost never happened that he devoted more than a day to a route… Now, however, he wants to try something harder and raise the grade but there will also be ascents onsight!

Change P2 9a by Seb Bouin

Change P2 9a by Seb Bouin

Sebastein Bouin reports on Insta that he has done Change P2 9a in Flatanger. He explains that Adam Ondra's Change (9b+) can be divided into two pitches, 9a+ and 9a, with a proper anchor in between. The next plan is to combine them. "End of the trip is coming, and the body starts to be destroyed by this cave. Let see if I have enough time and energy to complete the whole route before the end." (c) John Thornton

Monkey Wedding 8C by Stefan Scarperi

Monkey Wedding 8C by Stefan Scarperi

Stefan Scarperi has, in just four sessions, done Monkey Wedding (8C) in Rocklands. Fred Nicole put it up in 2002 as an 8B+ but later it has been upgraded and confirmed being the first 8C in the world by at least a dozen guys, Scarperi, who got the bronze in the Euro Championship in 2015, has previously done two 8C's. "The crux of this boulder is to get all the holds in the correct position and not to do some mistakes!"