Matteo Marobin completes Pornographie (9a)

Matteo Marobin, who last year made the finals in three Euro Youth Cups in Lead and Bouldering, has redpointed Pornographie (9a) in Céüse. The 19-year-old has previously redpointed four routes 9a and harder.

Can you tell us more about the ascent?
Pornographie is a short endurance route on crimps and pockets in a 35° overhang. The first ascent was made by Alex Megos without a kneepad. After that, the first repetitions were done with a kneepad, providing a good rest in the middle of the route (where you can let go with both hands).

What I love about trying hard routes is the challenge and the playing around. If it can be done without a kneepad, then I'll try it without a kneepad, even if it makes it harder.

So I decided to try Pornographie without a kneepad. In my opinion, the beauty of this line lies is the fact that you need to be strong enough to maintain a high level of intensity throughout the 40 moves without a good rest. Since I decided not to use a kneepad, I also chose not to use the knee bar at all. I thought I might as well go all the way and just climb it with my two hands and feet.

The process was long and mentally tough, as I felt very close to sending it quickly. In the end, it's probably my biggest rock climbing battle so far. Nevertheless, I am proud to have persevered and completed the route in this way. I fell more than 20 times after the last draw and more than 5 times going to the last hold.

What are your summer plans, will you be competing like last year?
This summer I really want to try Three Degrees of Separation (9a+). It is my first year in the adult category. I felt in shape but didn't managed to make the selection for internationals comps so I keep training for next year.

Marine Thevenet sends One Summer in Paradise (8B)

Marine Thevenet reports with an Instagram video that she has done One summer in paradise (8B) in Magic Wood, which is a five move extension to Pura Vida (8A+). The 34-year-old has completed more than 100 boulders 8A to 8B+.

Can you tell us more about One Summer?
I had climbed Pura Vida in 2019 and had never tried One Summer in Paradise. After Pura Vida, which had taken several sessions and a lot of effort at the time, I needed to do something else, but I always told myself I would go back to it. This year, I went for a session in May and redid all the moves of Pura Vida fairly quickly. I changed my method at the end by opting for a knee, which made the finish less « low-percentage », all on the advice of Alizée Dufraisse :)

I went back on June 13th and it took me 2 attempts. I am really happy to complete this boulder because I have been dealing with a finger injury for several months, so I have limited outdoor sessions and prioritized training a bit more. I hope my finger holds up for the summer season in the mountains :)

I am also very happy to share beta and climbs with Alizee. It is really inspiring for me to learn from her technical skills.

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

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Connie Shang does Spyfiction (8c+)

Connie Shang, who has previously redpointed three 8b+’s, has completed Spyfiction (8c+) in Mt. Charleston, after projecting it for some 20 sessions over two years.

How were you able to go from 8b+ to 8c+?
My two main climbing areas, Mt Charleston and the Red River Gorge, have very few 8c's. The 8c+'s are fun and classic so I decided to spend time on the better routes!

Can you tell us more about Spyfiction?
I believe this was the first female ascent and certainly my first at the grade! It climbs like a comp route, where each successive move is harder than the last, with few opportunities to rest until the last bolt. My strategy was to climb it quickly before my arms went lactic, but on the send go I caught the final dyno badly and had to improvise a swapped hand sequence. Instead of my rehearsed sprint to the finish I had to shake out a full 2 minutes before tackling the redpoint crux.

In some ways the steep blocky limestone plays to my strengths - underclings are my strongest grip - but also the route is short and strenuous, which forced me to level up my power endurance. I'm grateful for the time I spent projecting this route because it unlocks many variations, including the extension Manphibian (9a), and an alternate start Dad Bod (8c+/9a).

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

Iris Bielli, with just one previous 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 for better formatting and layout purposes)

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 on 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!

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!”