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9a FA by Dani Andrada (42)  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureDani Andrada, one of the pioneers around Lleida making it a world class destination, reports on his Instagram account the FA of Poderosa Afrodita R2 9a in Siurana, Spain. © David Munilla

"Two parts, a hard 8c+ and an 8b/+ above... A route I bolted 3 years ago in El Pati, Siurana. More motivation venga!"

Zangerl and Caprez doing an 8b+ MP 420 m long  Facebook

9a+ (9a) FA by Daniel Jung  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureDaniel Jung, who has done a dozen 9a or harder including La Rambla, reports on Instagram that he has done the FA of Jamais Deux Sans Toit 9a+ (9a) in Mollans. (c) Hannes Kutza

Hueco Rock Rodeo #25  Facebook

Hueco Rock Rodeo 2018 from Cold House Media on Vimeo.

8B+ by Moritz Welt (16)  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureMoritz Welt has done his first 8B+, Hips don´t lie sit 8B+ in Frankenjura and the 16 year old goes to #2 in the junior ranking game.

"Finally my little nemesis is over! After a lot of sessions where i was ill or nearly every hold was wet, I finally did the last remaining boulder at this spot! Definitely my hardest problem until now!"

8C by Daisuke Ichimiya  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureDaisuke Ichimiya, who last autumn did Creature from the black lagoon 8C+ in RMNP, has repeated Dai Koyamda's Gekirin 8C in Ryutosen.

"It has unique holds in a hard traverse and with a dead point crimper crux. I did suffer for the crux move. After practicing the moves, it took me some 12 tries. My next project is a new boulder on the same block. (c) Chikara Ishizuka

Big Island 8C by Giuliano Cameroni  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureGiuliano Cameroni reports on Instagram that he has done Big Island 8C in Fontainebleau. (c) Jess Talley
"I tried it a little in 2017 but I wasn't strong enough to do it. This year the conditions were much better and it took me two days."

9a+ FA by Stefano Ghisolfi in Arco  Facebook

Daniel Woods does First Ley 9a+  (1) Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureDaniel Woods reports on Instagram that he has done First Ley 9a+ in Margalef. Now he just has to finish the line straight adding an 8A boulder to do First Round First Minute 9b. It should be mentioned that the other day, Daniel broke a fixed quick draw which almost resulted in a ground fall.

"Reminder to check your gear and pre placed gear to prevent anything serious from happening. Be safe out there.

(c) Alex Kahn who belayed Daniel during his close-call fall, also witnessed a friend fall and break his leg and arrived to Siurana the day of the rock fall at El Pati. Be smart and stay safe!

Sending train in Siurana  (2) Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureAnna Liina Laitinen reports from the sending train in Siurana, where she did Pati Noso 8c+, Jon Cardwell and Matty Hong both did Estado Critico 9a (8c+) and Daniel Woods Jungle Speed, which gets back to 9a after one hold has broken.

(c) Jon Cardwell of Daniel Woods, who says on Insta, that it took him four days. "Savage opening boulder (hard 8B) to an 8a outro."

Cardwell and Hong have reached out saying that as it only took them 6 respectively 3 tries. "We think that the grade of Estado Critico is much more 8c+ than 9a :) It’s rather hard and bouldery still but just not enough for 9a."

8C FA by Clément Lechaptois  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureClément Lechaptois, who the last two weeks has done a Font 8B+ as well as being #5 in the French Nationas, has done his first 8C by Malédiction assis in Rioupéroux.

"Finally!!! What a battle... It took me ~15 sessions after that I did the (8B) stand-start in 2016! The line is complete now... The sit adds only 4 moves to the stand start but it's enough for it becomes a way harder! We'll see what the next repetitors say about the grade. Soooo happy to finally have finished it off!

I didn't do a specific training for that boulder. But I train regularly to progress in climbing in general. I am passionated about rock climbing for years... I always try to improve my weaknesses."

8A+ by Caroline Sinno in Targassonne  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureCaroline Sinno has spent the weekend in Targassonne where she did Bouillon de culture 8B and she is #9 in the ranking game.

"So happy and such a memorable fight! Props to Rackam for putting up this cool line. Nice moves on slopers and then into a tiny crack. Felt harder than la cicatrice de l'ohm in the same style in Font. I like Targassonne because once you get used to the rock, which is granite, you can really find cool boulder problems. It’s a nice scenery in the Pyrenees, no one there and weather is very often perfect."

Fujii and Bestvater won CWIF  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureA great show in CWIF was won by Alma Bestvater and Kokoro Fujii. Big favorite Stasa Gejo was only four but with the old rules she would have taken the silver. Here is the scoring based on points/attempts, if needed, and the official scoring with Tops Zones and Attempts. The standing scoring was occasionally shown on the screen but anyhow, the commentators could sometimes not give the correct conditions before the last boulder. (c) Eddie Fowke

1. Kokoro Fujii 44 points (6 attempts) - 4T4z 6A
2. Alex Khazanov 44 (9) - 4T4z 9A
3. Tim Reuser 34 - 3T4z 4A

1. Alma Bestvater 24 - 2T4z 3A
2. Michaela Tracey 14 (3) - 1T4z 3A
3. Leah Crane 14 (4) - 1T4z 4A

8B (A+) by Dorothea Karalus  Facebook

La Danse des Balrogs was put up by Fred Nicole in 1991 as the world's first 8B but many hade said it is 8A+. Here is Dorothea Karalus pretty obsessed story actually doing several 700 km solo trips to it. She has previously done one 8B and some ten 8A+'.

La Danse Des Balrogs, world's first 8B from Dorothea Karalus on Vimeo.

Fifth 8A+ by Nina Williams this winter  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureNina Williams shares her great story for how she did Bambi 8A+ in Matthew Winters on her Instagram and 8a. This was her fifth 8A+ this winter and she is #4 in the ranking game, just three points below ranking #2. (c) Eddie Fowke

"Two days ago I solo-sessioned one of my nemesis projects with two pads. I worked the moves in sections, starting with the middle, then the end, and finally the beginning, refreshing my muscle memory. I figured I would come back another day with 4-5 pads and a couple spotters. Yet all of a sudden I found myself through the crux from the start I hadn’t had any thoughts of sending; I was just climbing!"

On her 8a scorecard she reveals the amazing lucky story for the send.

"Hit the pocket from the start all by my lonesome, with one pad for the end. Cheers to Derek, Ben, and Annika walking up right at that moment to spot the topout. Sure felt hard to me..."

In own matter: 8a.nu and Vertical-Life are hiring!  (1) Facebook

Vertical-Life is expanding its team in Brixen/Bressanone, Northern Italy. If you are a passionate marketing manager, visual designer or web developer and you love climbing – please get in touch and send your application to careers@vertical-life.info.

Marketing manager
Develop innovative marketing strategies, create engaging campaigns and put communication ideas into practice.
Required skills:
- Strategic marketing planning
- Campaign planning and execution
- Experience in social media and digital marketing
- Language skills: English, German

Visual and UI designer
Transform innovative concepts into beautiful user experiences, design inspiring graphics for both digital and print.
Required skills:
- Strong and flexible skills in visual and graphic design
- Proficiency with brand design
- Experience in UX and interaction design
- Experience in the agile process of software development

Web developer
Develop and maintain our various web applications.
Required skills:
- Ruby on Rails
- Javascript
- Object oriented programming
- Relational databases
Desired skills:
- Vue.js
- Node.js

Pearson metamorphosis doing an 8c R FA  (1) Facebook

Chipping still a problem!  (2) Facebook

Based on 1 000+ unique votes in regards chipping, we can see that the community is actually slightly more positive compared to an identical poll four years ago.

10 % YES! = Better climbing (7 % in 2014)
10 % OK, but very seldom (9 %)
02 % I do not know (2 %)
58 % No, but cleaning is OK (54 %)
19 % NO! Brush is the limit (28 %)

The Dawn Wall - Trailer  (2) Facebook

8A+ 3rd go in Font by Oriane Bertone (12)  Facebook

Oriane Bertone has done La Cicatrice de l'Ohm 8A+ in Fontainebleau which actually has been 8B. Amazingly, the 12 year old did only need three attempts. Previously, Oriane has done 22 boulders 8A and harder including Golden Shadow 8B (+) in Rocklands. In the 8a ranking game she is #3.

Moi Barea

trenca egos ( 8b+) ...
.. pared gran, sant llo
renç de Munt
Deivid Hasselfor

8chenter, 8a+ Cuenka.
Patxi Usobiaga

Pachamama 9a+, Oliana
Eric Hörst

Cameron Horst sending T
hanatopsis (8c).
Gonçalo "Gongas" Coutinho

"Manuel Fruto do Mel" -
6a - Atlântida
Georgios Rouss

Apostolis Karras tries
to FA 'Alexandrou Anava
sis, Pyli crag, sector
Frederico Gonçalves

Boulder: Abrigo de Ferr
o V12/8a+
Petra Queitsch (f)

Käpt´n hook 7c, Franken
Tj Ovesen

Yangshuo China, Yangshu
o Bang 8b+,Riverside
Marcin Walasek

Sabotaj 7b+, Geyik Bayi
Martin Bigatti

Timeline 5b, Mt Evans
Camilla Moroni

Plugim-pujant 8a, Marga
Nuno Topas Gonçalves

Senhora do Salto, Palan
cas negras,7b
Stefano Ghisolfi

Pure Imagination 8c+, R
ed River Gorge
Maksym Gafovskiy

Dima Karunas Rokirovka
6c+, Korostyshev
Marcel Reimann

Le Surplomb de la Coqui
lle assis (gauche) 7a,
Marketa Janosova

Stargate 7c, San Vito L
o Capo
Matteo calledda

Tony Orrù - Cristal Wav
es 7a, Ulassai
Search & Add Ascents
Michaela Izakovicova - Please add info of the climb, your ascent and the area
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Editorial by 8a Founder and Editor-in-Chief Jens Larssen including also Analyses, Reviews, Training, Polls and Opinions etc.
St Leger - Buy local produced topos  (9) Facebook
Click to Enlarge PictureIt is normally the local climbers that bolt the new routes, rebolt, clean, work with access issues and produce the topos. Sales from the topos often contribute for bolts etc. During the years, we have seen many foreign companies more or less copying the local ones just in order to make commercial profit.

On the sign found i St Leger, we can see that the locals ask the climbing community to support the local by buying their topo and not the "Vampire Topo". The company doing most such competitive topos just to make profit is a UK company. This happened in southern France, Mallorca etc and now it could be the case in Kalymnos.
8b+ in 1991 possibly 8c+/9a 2018  Facebook
Click to Enlarge PictureMark Edwards did the FA of Nuts Are Not The Only Fruit, un cut video in 1991. "I originally gave this 40m pitch an 8b+ grade, but now think with modern upgrading adjustment it is closer to 8c+/9a." (c) Rowland Edwards

He based the modern grade on the 8c's he has done in Sella which was so much easier. In theory, 8c+/9a would mean it is a contender for being the hardest endurance route at that time. Anybody who wants to confirm this and also do the second ascent of Nuts need to rebolt it as the route was later chopped.

Mark is a Sella pioneer where he also lives and climbs and being 56 years old, he is still doing 8b's and last year he did an E9. Some of his routes from back then have been upgraded with two or three grades. "I am no grade nerd I am going for the quality but you are asking so many grade questions :) .Sadly, whatever grade the route is, is irrelevant, what is lost is a very fine sports route.
Streaming 11.30 and 16.00 on Sunday from SBM  Facebook
WC #1 Jongwon Chon beaten by six Japaneses  Facebook
Click to Enlarge PictureLast year, Japan totally dominated the IFSC boulder World Cup scene with five guys in Top-8. The North Face Cup in Tokyo last weekend indicates that it might be an even stronger Japanese domination in 2018 as the WC winner 2017, Jongwon Chon was just #7 and WC #2 Tomoa Narasaki was not on the podium. Instead it was Kai Harada, #16 in the WC 2017, who won ahead of Fujiwaki Yuji.

In 2017, Harada and Yuji was on average #24 based on 13 World Cups. This indicates of course that there just might be an even more extreme Japanese male domination in 2018.

It should be mentioned that the format is a bit different with more boulders in the qualification and semi, also including two zones. In the final, they have a knock-out system. Yuji Hirayama explains;

"I love knock out format, you can share the moment with everyone much more direct than IF format and this format is fair enough to select the champion. It is not making the ranking. We started knock out format since 1998."

Among the female, Miho Nonaka won ahead of Akiyo Noguchi and Natsuki Tanii. Complete results in Japanese.
Possible impact from new bouldering scoring?  Facebook
IFSC has changed the bouldering scoring increasing the importance for zones as this is the second criteria after number of Tops. Until 2017, attempts to Tops was the second criteria but from 2018, it will be the third criteria.

The impact from an athlete's perspective should be minor but in practice it would probably mean that we will see less resting and more attempts as long as the zone have not been reached. Previously, it was possibly more wise for the athletes, who had not reached the zone in several attempts, to just skip another try and focus on resting.

Even if you today flash three boulders, you need to get the zone on the fourth as your opponent, with three tops in 15 tries and all four zones, will beat you.

As a side note it should also be mentioned that with the new scoring, the results can be presented with points where 44 is maximum meaning you have done all four boulders. The official results will be published 4T4z 7 attempts and if the results are tied also the number of attempts for the zones will be added.
Bouldering commentator difficulty  Facebook
Click to Enlarge PictureIFSC has changed the boulder scoring so the number of zones is the second criteria which might make it easier to analyze the scoreboard. At the same time it could be more complicated for the commentator to present it as well as for the audience to understand it.

"Ondra leads by one top in one attempt followed by Chon, one top in two attempts and Narasaki one top in three attempts", is how commentators normally present the ranking and how it was done in CWIF last Sunday. The problem is that it just might be that Chon and Narasaki has done one more zones and with the new rule, zones being the second criteria, Ondra is #3.

In practice this means that the first sentence needs to be presented like this.
"Chon is in the lead with one top and two zones in two attempts ahead of Narasaki with one top and two zones in three attempts followed by Ondra with one top and one zone in one attempt. "

In other words, until 2017 you only had to present two criterias to get a good separation but from 2018, you almost always will have to present three criterias. Presenting and understanding a ranking with three criterias instead of just two will be more complicated.

One option to make it much easier for both the commentators as well as the audience, could be to just replace the definition Top with 10 points and zone with 1 point. Even the non-climbers would fully understand.
"Chon leads with 12 points and two attempts followed by Narasaki also on 12 points but three attempts and Ondra with 11 points in one attempt."
8b+ by Petter Ulmert (49) in 3- and clouds  Facebook
Click to Enlarge PictureAs the winter has hard time to let go in Europe and everyone is keen to get out we can get inspired by Petter Ulmert who sent an 8b+ outside Göteborg in 3 degrees minus fully cloudy. To make the story even better, Petter is 49 years old and this was his hardest ever and he has done 7-8 similar trips during the winter, meaning six hours in the car.

"It was cold as hell and I fell twice on the last move as I could not feel my fingers. It is hard to warm up specifically for it. On my third attempt it did go down. (c) Hampus Räf
Ranking game also in the Vertical-Life App  Facebook
Click to Enlarge PictureVertical-Life has added points for the recorded climbs available in their App meaning you can measure progress and play the ranking game at your gym with your friends. Alex Megos is leading the global outdoor ranking game at 12 658, bear in mind that you can until know only add climbs connected to the VL App guidebooks.

You can filter in different ways focusing on just the last months and count 100 routes etc. More filters and options will be added and soon. The plan is also to make it possible to run outdoor festival and gym competitions based on the new ranking game feature.
Topos also as Coffee Table Books  Facebook
Click to Enlarge PictureIt is natural that in the future, most topos will be available in Apps as a compliment to the printed guidebook. The App will mainly be used at the crag once you, back home, have selected with crag and routes to try out. The digital topos actually means you do not need to carry and dirtying the "catalog look-alike" topo to the crag.

In other words, the topo producers who also have a mobile version, could create a Coffe Table Book from their topo focusing more about pictures and the local stories. Imagine having a Kalymnos, or your local crag, Coffe Table Book to get inspired from where you also can show your friends and relatives what climbing is all about.

It is very important to support the local community and it is the topo producers who often handle the access issues and are in contact/support the guys bolting and rebolting. A Coffe Table Book could be yet one more way to support and strengthen your local community. The idea has come from talking to Mikael Widerberg who has just released the new topo for Stockholm at 17 * 24 cm.
15 m high digital led MoonBoards are the future  Facebook
Click to Enlarge PictureBen Moon, one of the greatest climber in the history, created the Moonboard in 2005 which has been a smash hit including the App and led marked boulders, introduced in 2016. Lately, we have seen many have copied the invention and it will probably not take long until the climbing wall producers will give us 15 meter high MoonBoards.

Imagine going to your gym where you can choose from 10 000+ routes marked with led lamps or similar instead of just having new routes every other months on a panel. Sure there can be walls where the route setters can create routes in the normal way and of course the holds on the Moon board needs to be washed but in practice, the gyms will also save a lot of money for route setting.

Further more, world or national wide competitions can he held just like already has been done with the Moonboard. In the long run, I would be surpiced if not digital led walls will be the standard in gyms.

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