Iris Bielli does Kingda Ka (8B) in two quick sessions

Iris Bielli, with just one 8A under her belt, has made a quick ascent of Kingda Ka (8B) in Ticino. (c) Isaac van Hoogstraaten (Please note: Portions of this image have been generated using AI to adjust the news format.)

I tried Kingda Ka for the first time at the end of October, and that day I immediately had a good feeling. I went home desiring to return the following weekend. Unfortunately, then it snowed, and the Gotthard Pass was closed. Months have passed, but the curiosity to get my hands on it again has remained. Only a few days ago, I managed to return. I quickly tried the movement top rope, and on the first attempt, I unexpectedly found myself at the top of the boulder.

I rarely go for outdoor bouldering, but when I saw this slab, a spark went off, and I couldn't resist the curiosity to challenge myself.”


What are your summer plans?
First, study for university exams [Environmental engineering], then climb some demanding multi-pitch routes in the Dolomites and the Swiss Alps.

Hugo Parmentier FA's a new coastal MP and redpoints a Céüse testpiece

Hugo Parmentier has over the last month placed third at the French nationals, done the FA of the multi-pitch 1477 Sauvage (8b+) at the new crag Brezellec and redpointed Le Cadre Nouvelle Version (9a) in Céüse. ” Finally this line and moves felt appealing. Tried the first part as a warm up few times in the past and it always felt weird and uncomfortable. Went on it this year as a back up and it felt all of a sudden "incredible", hahha. [I spent] two days on the right one + one on this one, and then came back for a further four days for the left. Did the crux move with a really high right foot in the left hand pocket before the crimps and the two finger pocket as an intermediate. I feel like I could have done it the first day as I only ever fell on the bump up to the final crimp all along. But, the timing to stick it right was really hard in the end. Huge fight with no more endurance at the end of trip. Yeah!!” (c) Gilles Puyfagès

Can you tell us more about your latest multi-pitch adventure?
A few days ago I did an amazing multi-pitch on the coast of Bretagne in France. After a battle of 3 trips and 7 days, I’ve completed this perfect and complex line: "1477 Sauvage" (8b+, 7c+, 8a) above the water. The first pitch is marked by a huge horizontal dyno which makes the difficulty of the line. Then the second pitch is really complex and involves a hard-changing corner section which could be found in a modern gym. The last one is short, overhanging and powerful and involves hard undercling moves.

We bolted pretty incredible routes from 7a to 8c/+? on my last trip. It completes the 30 routes sectors going from 6a to 7c that my friends bolted in August. We hope this incredible area will have the light it deserves and the development will continue. We developed the sectors together with friends and there are still places for gems in this granite area! As the place is near the ocean the Titanium bolts won't last forever and we believe this area needs to be on the map so it will be preserved.

What are your summer plans?
This summer I’m going to spend quite some time on multi-pitches! I have Ratikon, Petit Clochet du Portalet, Verdon and Chamonix in my mind. But as always I’m better at improvising than at planning a lot! So let’s see, I’m also going to go surf in Hossegor for a week or two with the crew!

Jules Marchaland did Punt'X (9a+) last year. "Puntx was a hard mental battle for me, I fell 20 times on the last two moves (and they are not super hard). It was a bit like a dream route for me because when I was younger I always saw some strong climbers trying the route. I did it in 18 sessions and …

Gogor a “must” in your backpack

Advertorial: Climbing Gogor is a small device that allows you to exercise the phalanges of your fingers. This is very important in activities such as climbing,…

Pietro Vidi does F the System (8C+)

Pietro Vidi has repeated Shawn Raboutou’s Fuck the system (8C+) in Fionnay. The 21-year-old has during the last year also done five 8C’s and he is #2 in the ranking game.

I first tried the boulder last summer and couldn’t really understand the tricky kneebar crux. Then I came back this year after having spent the Bavona season with Dave Graham, which definitely improved my technical skills and I quickly unlocked the knee sequence. The boulder has been wet for weeks making me fall at the end a few times and giving me some proper mental challenge, but it eventually worked out!”

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 move 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.

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!”