Marcello Bombardi, who won one World Cup in 2017, has done the third ascent of Lapsus in Andonno giving it a 9a+ personal grade. Stefano Ghisolfi put it up in 2015 and it is an extension to Noia. The first repeat was done by Adam Ondra. Marcello has previously done five 9a's out of which four the last year. (c) Enrico Veronese
"So happy and relieved that my longest battle with a route so far is over! This route challenged and taught me a lot and I'm grateful for that! About the grade... I was able to use a kneebar that allows to recover before the last final boulder. It is not an easy kneebar, especially coming from below with a tired leg, but I think it could take away the full grade. I'm not good with grades and I've never even done more than 9a so this comes just from my consideration. Future repeaters will tell!"
How many sessions did it take in total and did you have to do any special training?
It took me 20 days spread over 4 months. I already climbed years ago Anaconda which is the 8c route in which Lapsus ends. Then last October I started to try Lapsus. The only special training I've done was about the kneebar. I've spent some session wandering around the gym and trying the most difficult kneebars. Everything else was just normal training for the competitions and trying Lapsus.
On Insta, he gives more details, "It has been a long adventure, the longest I have spent so far on a single route and it has put me to the test. From believing to be able to do it quickly, to changing the method too many times to find the most efficient one, to walking to the crag with snowshoes and half a meter of snow to take advantage of the last days of the winter season, to returning to spring and fall on the top several times on the same move, to losing enthusiasm due to skin pain caused by the very abrasive rock of the first part of the route, to getting with the final jug in front of the eyes but not being able to pull and grab it and, yesterday, to finally be able to commit the final jump and clip the chain."
Claudia Ghisolfi has done her first 8c+, Noia in Andonno. Seve Scassa put it up as the first 8c+ in Italy in 1993. Claudia started working on it last November and continued projecting in April. The Italian, who is sister to Stefano, started doing World Cups in 2013 and 15 times she has made the semi. (c) Enrico Veronese
Are you planning to continue doing World Cups?
I don't know my shape in comp style but maybe I'll do some comps this June and July but then I think I'll start to work and I'll just dedicate climbing in crags 😊😊
Tobias Haug, who is running the Josito guesthouse in Geyik Bayiri has done his hardest route ever by Josito Paradise Extension 8c/+ in Öküzini. The 48-year-old has previously done nine 8c's out of which the first in 2006. (c) David Kaszlikowski
"45m of very steep and fantastic climbing. The extension has three hard, very complex and physical boulder problems. It felt totally out of reach in the beginning. Seven long weeks of finding beta, trying and doubting often that I can ever succeed. I never climbed 8c+, that's why I can not really give that grade, but the route felt harder than all 8c I've climbed before."
How can you explain peaking at age 48 :) Any special training?
I think it is still possible to improve a lot in climbing, even after 32 years of living this passion. I'm thankful that I can be here at the camp in the position to exchange and learn a lot of good climbers that come to share nice times with us at the rocks. For sure to have a motivated climbing partner, like my wife Duygu, is also pushing a lot. Normally I don't like too much long projecting, but this time I really enjoyed the whole process, also mentally.
We climb most days. I do by side some campus moves on our training wall. For the project I concentrated on short bouldery routes for 3 weeks, which was a good preparation for the hard boulder problems in this long project.
Natalia Grossman has done Euro Roof Low Low 8B in Little Cottonwood. "First go, second session!!! This climb truly has some amazing movement. I guess it is time to go deeper in the cave." (c) Quinn Mason
What can be found deeper in the cave?
If you go all the way to the bottom of the cave you’ll find the start of Grand Illusion, one of the most amazing lines I’ve seen! I believe there is also a higher start that is an 8B+, but I’m not positive.
Grand Illusion is the 8C+ or 9a+/9b that Nathaniel Coleman put up last year. It is 25 intensive moves almost roof climbing on granite without any rest which takes around two minutes to climb.
Samuel Ometz has repeated Dave Graham's Coup de Grace 9a in Ticino. "Legendary route from Dave! That last boulder in the roof has to be one of the coolest section I've ever done on a rope. Used a kneepad which lets you recover better before the roof and for sure makes the route easier. 3 days this year + few goes in the last 2 years." (c) Fedir Samoilov
In total, the 25-year-old has done nine 9a's out of which five the last 12 months. In previous years, he has been focusing more on bouldering having done 66 boulders 8B to 8C.
Katie Lambhas done her seventh 8B the last year, Chinese connection in Mortar Rock. "Legends only. Test piece and a king line in its own special, crumbly way. The most beautiful spring day in the Bae with Berkeley legends bill and ethan g. Mortar rock - where heroes are made." Video on her
Insta. (c) Ethan Goldblatt
Last week, the 23-year-old, who is #5 in the ranking game, also did her 14th 8A+, Dominator in Camp 4. "Channelled inner try hard for the last move sat. Full moon power at the bloc, amongst legends. 8 eager seshes this spring culminating in last day valley magic. Personal level up and ffalala. So special."
So what have you been up to this spring?
I have mostly been finishing school and trying Dominator. I had to focus on full-body training, including legs and neck. I was inspired by my study of F1 race car drivers, who will risk it all for glory. I study environmental engineering and the power grid.
Analise Van Hoang did her first 8A+ in March, Bayview Crimp in Mt Tam after three sessions. Her second, A Maze of Death in Bardini Boulders, occurred last week. "Yay! Such a beautiful line and scenery! Took about 45min. Feels soft because it totally fits my style, crimpy. Psyched to get this done 1st sess! Another climb ticked on the list!" Video
Her first 7C+, out of eleven, she did two years ago, at age ten. Here is a presentation from 2018 by Touchstoneclimbing, where she talks about competing. She also have a Youtube channel with most of her hardest ascents.
Dani Andrada reports on Insta that he has done yet another 25 FA's in Alquezar from 7b to 8c+/9a, Apego del Monje. In total, he spent 53 days in Alquezar. (c) Carlos "Citro" Lograño
The 46-year-old has previously done 75 routes 8c+/9a and harder which makes him #3 on that list after Adam Ondra and Alex Megos. In total, he has now done more than 4 500 routes 8a and harder and bolted more than 900 routes. However, when it comes to bolting and doing hard FAs, "La máquina" is totally superior in the world. In practice, the number one reason why the areas 1-3 hours west of Barcelona has become the hardcore epicentrum in the world is thanks to Andrada.
Thea Wulff, who did her first two 7C+' at age 13, has done her first 8A+, Euro Trash in Little Cottonwood. (c) Quinn Mason
Could you please say something about your climbing background and how you took it down?
I’ve been climbing for 9 years, but I mainly focus on indoor competition climbing (I’ll be competing at the Salt Lake City World Cups in a couple of weeks). I’ve been trying to get outside more often, but it’s hard to find the time with training. I just moved to Salt Lake City and Little Cottonwood Canyon is only 15 minutes away, so I wanted to check out Euro Roof. On my first session last weekend, I did the 7C+ start, and tried the 8A+ moves but was too tired to give a real effort. Natalia Grossman was working the 8B, so we decided to head back out yesterday, and both of us sent in under an hour! Until this climb, I hadn’t seriously tried any other 8A+ boulders, but now I’m more psyched than ever to get on some more hard outdoor blocs!
Jonathan Siegrist has repeated James Litz' Ace of Spades 9a+ in Poptire. Actually, Litz did not grade so the proposal came from Daniel Woods who did the first repeat and Jonathan agrees. (c) Matt Pincus
"I first came to this crag in 2017 and I had a really good trip, I climbed everything in the cave more or less but I just did not have the bouldering power to really imagine being able to try this route. My climbing has changed a lot in the last several years as I have gotten much more powerful (at least for my low standard!). So it was nice to come back and do this route in a couple of days.
As for James Litz, he is an incredible dark horse and has been a fixture for hard bouldering first ascents in the US for many years. These are his hardest routes, and in many ways his opus, or at least it would seem. I am not sure how much he climbs any more but he is one of those names that command respect from those who know who he is."
8a interview with James from 2018, talking about his possible 9b FA.
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