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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.”

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by 8a Founder and Editor-in-Chief Jens Larssen including also Analyses, Reviews, Training, Polls and Opinions etc.


10 nations share the 18 medals in Graz

The third and final day of the Euro Youth Championship in Graz started with the semifinal for the oldest juniors. Surprisingly, both the boys and the girls competed on almost identical boulders as the final Youth A boulders from yesterday. Several coaches were upset as this is against the onsight fo…

Korosec and Mabboni Youth A winners in Graz

On the second day of the European Youth Championship in Graz, Allesia Mabboni from Italy won Youth A making two tops and four zones (24). Runner-up was Iziar Martinez from Spain who flashed the two boulders which Allesia could not do but she could only make three zones. The Spaniard was #15 in the …

Very hard boulders in ECH - Graz

The European Youth Championship in Bouldering started today in Graz. Unfortunately, the boulders were very hard and both climbers and coaches were upset. The Norweigian Head Coach, Reino "Nicki" Horak said that for the girls, it was the worst and hardest setting he has ever seen. "It was much worse …

We're looking for a Cloud Engineer (full-time, m/f/d)

We're looking for a Cloud Engineer (full-time, m/f/d)

As a Cloud Engineer at Vertical-Life you will be a part of a passionate and hard-working team which manages mission critical infrastructure, ensuring its stabil…

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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!"

Julia Pfanzelt (52) and Cathy Wagner (56) are in their prime

Julia Pfanzelt (52) and Cathy Wagner (56) are in their prime

Julia Pfanzelt and Cathy Wagner met last week in the Dolomites where they both did Il risanatore plus (8a) in Salares, both suggesting an upgrade to 8a+. Inspiringly, they both are in their prime at ages 52 and 56 respectively. Cathy is well known having made 8a headlines 80 times. She did her first 8a, out of some 850, in 1994, eight years before Julia started to climb at age 32. In the last year, Julia has done eight routes 8a and 8a+ meaning she has had her best year ever. (c) Chris Pfanzelt

Julia, could you say something about your climbing life, and excelling at age 52?
Before I started climbing I did other sports: as a child, I did gymnastics until I became too tall (I am 1,78, which is too tall for gymnastics from a certain level on). I then changed to long-distance running and Tennis, which I also liked a lot. But in 2002 a friend of mine took me to a climbing gym and I knew from the beginning, that this is my sport!

I slowly improved until a level of 6c and then in 2008, I met Chris, who is my husband today. He climbed all his life and became a very good mentor and trainer for me, so I could push my climbing levels really fast and in 2014 I climbed my first 8a. I was already 44 then! Until now I climbed 54 routes 8a and harder. My husband and I love climbing all over the world together and since I improved over the years, we can climb in the same projects now, which is really a gift.

We are both over 50 now and still love to always have new challenges in climbing and quite frequently I can climb 8a and 8a+ like last week in the Dolomites with the routes Il risanatore plus (8a) and Supermegabastun (8a). For that, we are very grateful and hope that we can go on like this for many more years. But the most important is to have always fun with it together… 😉

Last week in the Dolomites we also met Cathy Wagner and Seb. I was very inspired by them and it is very impressive to me, how many hard routes Cathy climbed in her climbing life, which is much longer than mine. And especially to see that they are still so motivated after so many years of climbing was really great to see. I hope it will be the same with my husband and me for many more years.

Le Cadre Nouvelle Version 9a by Jorge Diaz-Rullo

Le Cadre Nouvelle Version 9a by Jorge Diaz-Rullo

Jorge Diaz-Rullo, who previously has done 59 routes 9a and harder, has done Le Cadre Nouvelle Version (9a) in Céüse. Adam Ondra did the FA in 2010, avoiding a chipped hold of an 8c. (c) Adri Martinez

Last summer I gave the route a lot of tries being in very bad shape and I always fell at the cross over. This season, in my most tired session and in my 4th try I could do that dynamic move and reach the chain.”

To Do List 9a FA by Mathieu Bouyoud

Mathieu Bouyoud, who previously has put up 15 routes 9a and 9a+, has done the FA of To do list (9a) in La Balme. “I bolted this line last year just after I climbed Team frisouille (9a+). A white wall very technical. I made around 30 sessions on this one.”

Ratstaman Vibrations 9b FA by Alex Megos

Alex Megos, who was #3 in Briancon, reports on Insta that he has made the FA of Ratstaman Vibrations 9b in Céüse. The steep, 35m line was bolted by Chris Sharma some ten years ago and has been tried by many top climbers. Last year, Alex tried it but the actual process started three weeks ago after the Chamonix WC. After five projecting days, he took a break in order to do the Briancon WC. Upon returning to Céüse, he did it on his second day.

The route is relatively short. Only about 25 moves until it's basically over. It starts with tensiony moves on crimps and gastons which lead into this crazy sideways dyno from a toe hook. After that you have a small rest and a few more hard moves leading up to the second crux. The second crux is a low percentage move from an undercling to a small 3 finger slot. I think I fell there 10-15 times.”

What is next? European Championships 😂. Professional preparation here in Ceüse 👌🏼.