Sera Gearhart flashes Zero Zero (7C+)

Sera Gearhart has flashed Zero Zero (7C+) in Squamish. "Gotta eat big to get big, but this time I ate big to get food poisoning [prior to sending]. Pretty soft if you have small fingers, [my] first V10 [7C+] flash."

In the Vertical-Life female ranking game, the 27-year-old is #3, in the boulder ranking, having also completed three 8B's in the last 12 months.

Soline Kentzel does Le Voyage (8b+) trad

Soline Kentzel has made the fourth female ascent of Le voyage (8b+) in Annot, after working it during five trips. Interestingly, 8b+ is also her personal best on bolts and her resume also includes an ascent of Golden Gate, on El Capitan, in 2022. (c) Julia Cassou

"Le Voyage always had a mystical dimension in my eyes. I no longer know exactly how the desire, mixed with anxiety and curiosity, to confront it appeared, but it has been on my mind for a while. I was trying my maximum level in trad climbing the logical next step in my climbing journey? Is it pretentious? This is the feeling that comes over me, while watching a video of Babsi Zangerl, who is none other than the climber I admire the most. In any case, as I often like to say: if everything goes wrong, it would still be excellent training for my future goals.

And the first climbs confirmed my fears: dangling on the static rope, I understood nothing about climbing, and the gap between the protections seemed quite frightening. Despite everything, it was love at first sight. Firstly because it's beautiful but above all, because I realized the magnitude of the challenge this line represents for me. I realized that I dream of being a climber capable of reaching the top of this wall; and that, physically and mentally, I am not there yet. Becoming that climber, able of climbing the line of her dreams, that unique crack that escapes towards the sky, will henceforth be my reason for climbing.

When I came back the fifth time, my mindset had evolved: I arrived more humble, prepared for things not to go as planned, and found ways to reduce the pressure. some of my close friends were there, and I felt their support. Deep down, I knew this time I was here to deliver the final blow and that I wouldn’t leave without succeeding, no matter the consequences for my studies and other obligations. Finally, this time the stars aligned, or almost: on the second day, I fell with my hand in the final jug, a bit too low, probably due to a left biceps failure. No problem, I had integrated the sensations, and it was only a matter of time. When I finally linked the moves, under my friends’ encouragement, not a grain of sand disturbed the unique sequence of this vertical precariousness. Even the run-out section after the upper crux didn’t perturb my serenity (though my legs trembled a bit—it had been a while since I left the ground…). I breathed calmly before engaging in the very last section, a round and awkward crack that had caused more than one drop of sweat. Finally, I clipped the anchor, overwhelmed with immense relief: I could finally end this exclusive relationship, leaving this jewel behind. Enjoy a few moments of respite before falling again into the trap of another dream line."

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QA with Charles Albert

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Raboutou and Lee win OQS in Shanghai

The first round of the Olympic Qualifying Series took place in Shanghai and after four days of climbing, Brooke Raboutou and Dohyun Lee won the final round. The second stage will occur in Budapest 20-23/6, with a total of ten Olympic tickets at stake.

1. Brooke Raboutou USA 140.9 - Dohyun Lee KOR 134.5
2. Chaehyun Seo KOR 134.3 - A. Gines Lopez ESP 124.5
3. Erin Mcneice GBR 127.8 - Adam Ondra CZE 124.1
4. Miho Nonaka JPN 127.7 - Paul Jenft FRA 113.1
5. Futaba Ito JPN 116.5 - Sascha Lehmann SUI 110.4
6. Ievgeniia Kazbekova UKR 107.2 - H. van Duysen BEL 94.6
7. Zhilu Luo CHN 98.8 - Hamish McArthur GBR 93.9
8. Zelia Avezou FRA 96.5 - Sam Avezou FRA 9.8
Complete female results - Complete male ascents

Raboutou said, “It means a lot. I have been working really, really hard. I have big goals and dreams and I was really proud of the climbing I put in today. I still feel like I have more to give which is exciting. I really just climbed for myself which is when I climb my best. I was able to get in a really good mindset and enjoy myself but with determination. It felt really good to try really hard and show what I am capable of. I went through some really hard times last year and I learned so much from them. Honestly, I am grateful for them because I feel like they are making me stronger today, both physically and especially mentally. Nobody wants the hard times and the challenging times but that’s just part of my path and journey. So, I am proud of what I am doing."

Lee comments on his victory, “Even though the Boulder results weren’t great, I wasn’t that affected. I was still confident in Lead because Lead is my main discipline. I just wanted to do what I could do but I didn’t believe I could top it. I didn’t feel any pressure, but I was surprised to top the climb. I am not very expressive, I am very calm normally, but today I was emotional. I trained a lot for this and I realised what it meant. This is the main reason why I am climbing. For Korea, Climbing is not that big so this will tell many people about Climbing.” More quotes on IFSC.

Jorg Verhoeven climbs Papichulo (9a+)

Jorg Verhoeven reports on Instagram that he has repeated Chris Sharma’s Papichulo (9a+) in Oliana. This route marked the first 9a+ ascent for the 38-year-old, who won the Lead World Cup in 2008, and sent his first 9a some 20 years ago. (c) William Barchelo

Can you tell us more about the ascent?
In my long-term goal of climbing, I often used Papichulo and its variations as a training route to train finger strength and power endurance, but also as a personal fitness-check. I must have been on the route around 30-50 times.

This year in April I decided to make Papichulo my primary project, as I felt the route deserved more than to be my 'training route', and I was motivated by others who were also projecting the route (Hugo Parmentier, Josh Ibbertson, Dylan Chuat). At the end of April the conditions were ideal and I knew that my fitness should be good enough to climb the route. Surprisingly I could climb all of the hard part with relative ease, but I kept failing high up, since I lacked the endurance and believe in myself, putting too much pressure on sending.

After a week of rain and training, I gave the route a go in less good conditions while feeling tired. I struggled all over and was about to give up, but decided to keep going and started feeling better and better towards the top. I still don't really understand how on this day I could send the route, and not on the days before, but that seems to be one of the nice intricacies of rock climbing. Expectation is treacherous.

I've always enjoyed climbing on this route, and I still do. I'm very thankful for all the routes in Oliana; this crag really means a lot to me. After the fire two years ago, I was happy to see the usual traffic this year, with many local and international visitors. Even if that meant issues regarding parking, access, toilet, etc., I still prefer the crag to be busy than abandoned.

Some details:
I used a kneepad
I did not pre-clip
the route is almost 100% natural, and despite the often brittle rock in Oliana, only very few holds are reinforced with sika. No holds are chipped.
The fire only caused two small changes.
The burnt fixed draws were exchanged with steel draws, yet rebolting (ideally with chemical anchors) is necessary in the near future.

Jorge Diaz-Rullo does Tierra de Nadie (9a) and onsights Triple (8c)

Jorge Diaz-Rullo reports on Instagram that his fourth season on his mega-project in Margalef, Cafe Colombia, is over for now. The 25-year-old has previously done nine 9b's and two 9b+’s. (c) Williclimb

During the last ten days, he has onsighted a 14 routes 8a and harder including Triple 8c (b+) in Baldellou. “Amazing line between holds, crimps and tufas. Really difficult to read and without so much chalk. One of my hardest onsight ever. Will be a mythical [line] in this crag, probably a little 8c.”

Jorge also recently repointed Tierra de nadie (9a) at Juncosa. “Really nice hidden cave in the middle of nowhere. Tricky and physical moves, I really enjoyed this style. I was close to send on my first day but I had to come back another day.

Anak Verhoeven redpoints La Planta de Shiva (9b)

Anak Verhoeven reports on Instagram that she has completed La Planta de Shiva (9b) in Villanueva del Rosario. Adam Ondra made the FA back in 2011 of the overhanging 45m line, and in 2017, Angy Eiter did the FFA.

Verhoeven is statistically speaking one of the most successful female Lead competition climbers. She made finals, at the World Cup, 36 times in a row, and the podium on 19 occasions, but in 2019 she stopped competing due to injuries. In 2021, she made a full recoverey but decided to focus solely on rock climbing. During her active comp years, she did a dozen routes 8c+ to 9a+, and post-competing the 27-year-old has added another dozen routes graded 9a to 9b to her tally.

Álvaro Munguía completes Il Domani (9a)

Álvaro Munguía has done Il Domani (9a) in Baltzola. The steep 27m long route was put up by Patxi Usobiaga in 2003. It has only been repeated a handful times including Adam Ondra’s onsight in 2014, which also was the second latest ascent of the route.

Can you tell us more about your ascent?
I'm a super fanatic climber, I just like to do all routes I can, I don't care if it's 6a or 9a, I want to do all routes in every single crag. I started trying Il Domani in January. The process was a bit slow since I couldn't do the shoulder move on the first tries, but when I managed to do that move, I could do the whole boulder quite solid.

Then I started trying the route from the ground, and in my second go I fell in the boulder. After that, I just kept falling every single time on the boulder and almost every time in the shoulder move. At a certain point, I was doing every time the route with just one fall, and I knew it was close.

Yesterday, the conditions seemed to be really bad since the clouds were almost covering de cave, but surprisingly the conditions felt really good. On my first try, I was super close doing the boulder but I just dry fire from the little undercling hold.

After that, I rested for about a 1'5 hour and I gave it another try, where I managed to pass the boulder quite solid and could send the route. I was really really happy about that.

How come you think it has only been done twice during the last ten years?
The route it’s around 8b+ until the boulder (7C+) and then it's around 8a, so basically you are climbing every single time up to the boulder and then you fall, and over and over, and your have to be really motivated and strong mind to know that you'll fall many times there until one day you'll pass the boulder en 99% you'll send it.

Austin Purdy does Stil vor Talent (8C)

Austin Purdy, who two weeks ago sent two 8B+' and flashed an 8B, has done Stil vor Talent (8C) in Magic Wood.

Can you tell us more about the ascent?
Stil Vor Talent is an extension to the classic Never Ending Story in Magic Wood, and in my opinion, a very beautiful and logical line that tops out what is normally a drop off. Instead of going to the normal jug that The Never Ending Story (8B+) finishes on, it climbs along the rail before finishing on a powerful 8A/V11 boulder with a committing highball top out. I was excited to try it because it seemed like a good challenge to top out Never Ending story without a rope, or traversing/downclimbing. I ended up falling off of the last move of the entire line twice before finishing up Stil Vor Talent on my second to last climbing day before leaving Magic Wood. Over the past year or so I have been trying to focus more on trying lines that are at or near my limit, as in years past I have often spent more time doing climbs I knew I could complete relatively quickly. This has resulted in me not only doing more difficult climbs, but I also think has helped me level up and do these hard climbs more easily as well. For this trip specifically I mostly tried to not put too much pressure on my performance, but to instead try to enjoy the process and wait for the right moment to do climbs instead of trying to force it.

David Bermudez Carbonell, 14, does El Intento (9a)

David Bermudez Carbonell, who previously in 2024 has done two 9a’s, has sent El intento (9a) in Cuenca.

"Very happy about making this mythical route in Cuenca, which has taken me a lot of time. I started trying this route in May of last year but I had to leave it because of high temperatures. Then I went back to it in November, but I also had to leave because of the cold. Two weekends ago, I went back to the route and I felt very close to sending it and today, after falling the last two tries in the previous two moves, I could send it."