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Why I graded Silence 9c  Facebook

Moscow highlights  Facebook

How competition climbing evolved  Facebook

1985 1st official competition, Bardonecchia: Stefan Glowacz wins
1986 Arco: Patrick Edlinger and Catherine Destivelle in front of 10 000 spectators and seven TV channels
1987 1st Arco Rock Master: Lynn Hill & Glowacz
1988 World series: Jerry Mofatt
1989 1st World Cup, Leeds: Moffat and Erbesfield
1991 1st World Champion, Frankfurt: Francois Legrand & Susi Good
1992 1st Youth Championships, Basel: Sarkany, Bibik, Petit etc
1999 1st Bouldering WC: Christian Core and Stéphanie Bodet
2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo

8c+ and 8c's by Moritz Welt (16)  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureMoritz Welt has during the last three weeks done three 8c's and Markus Bock's Demonized 8c+ in Frankenjura. "Chipped, Short and painful but good moves."

In the 8a Combined junior ranking, having also done seven 8B's and harder during the last two months, he is #2. Franz Kaiser

Two 8a+' by Cathy Wagner (52)  Facebook

Cathy Wagner has done two 8a+', in Aixorta, Los Angeles de Daddy and Bien atrapado. "A perfect link-up starting on the first 5 bolts of Buenas migas then leftwards into Atrapados. This combo skips the chipped start and the no-hand rest straight after. Good knee-bar skills make a difference in the upper part."

During the last month, the 52 year old has also done seven 8a's and in total she has done 645 routes 8a and harder. Is there any female who has done more? Interestingly, it seems Cathy continues to progress and her last year is actually her best ever. If she would have participated in the 8a age bonus ranking game, Cathy would have been #2 in the world after Adam Ondra.

Three 8c+' by Dalton Bunker  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureDalton Bunker has done three 8c+ the last week including the FA of Fire Pit Project again 8C in American Fork. "Finally put the "fire pit project" to rest! Classic american fork power. I finished through the wizards crux and stopped at the burning/melting chains(bats out of hell was too wet) i also replaced the original start with cannibals direct,it may be harder or the same im not sure but this routes gotta be the hardest climb i've ever done considering the number of days i put into it. Could be 14d its hard to say as i've never climbed one. Big thanks to Jess for getting me psyched to try the route." (c) John Evans

On his Facebook he has published several videos in regards his interesting thoughts on taking Cold Showers, Eating and Stretching etc.

The Japanese boulder domination increases  (11) Facebook

From the World Cup rankings we can see the total Japanese male domination, six in Top-13 and 8 in Top-17. Among the female, two in the Top-3. In regards the world ranking, based on the last 12 months, 9 male Japaneses among Top-15. It must be very few sports that have seen such an extreme domination from one country.

Runner-up, is the very small country Slovenia with just 2 million inhabitants, with two in Top-7 among both male and female.

Based on that the next two World Cups are in China followed by one in Tokyo, most likely, we will see an even stronger Japanese domination in the ranking lists coming up. Last year, Japan participated with 41 athletes in Tokyo but this year they will be allowed to compete with 47.

8B in some 45 min by Alex Puccio  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureAlex Puccio has done her 25th 8B, Green in the face in Cadtle Rock and amazingly it went down in just some 45 minutes. "3rd try from the start and 5th try in total. Fell going to the last hold before the send go.... really sharp rock, but fun climbing for sure!!! Lots of small holds, my style I guess. :) Small little crimpy holds on about 30 degree overhung wall."

Alex at 153 cm and 56 kg's says she is some four kg's heavier than the last year. "Honestly haven’t felt like I’m in great shape since the past 4 months. I can definitely feel the weight difference right now when I climb, but I still feel strong and powerful."

Slovenia and Japan shared the podiums  (9) Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureExcellent route setting also in the final in Moscow where it was thrilling to the very last try. Janja Garbret had to flash and so she did, winning on count back over Miho Nonaka. Also last starter in the final, Jongwon Chon had the chance to secure the victory but could not reach the top, and ended #4. As you can see below, Slovenia and Japan shared the podiums equally.

1. Janja Garnbret SLO 44:7/5 - Tomoa Narasaki JPN 44
2. Miho Nonaka JPN 44:7/5 - Jernej Kruder SLO 34:5
3. Akiyo Noguchi JPN 34 Gregor Vezonik SLO 34:6
Complete results

Noteworthy is also that Vezonik was #51 in Meiringen last week. Eddie Fowke from The Circuit Climbing and the IFSC official photographer, who has captured almost all World Cups the last five years, was very impressed of the whole competition and the final show.

"Very good comp. Too many dyno's in finals though. Super well run, the Russian's put on a great show and put a huge effort into everything going right."

In Speed, Yoshiyuki Ogata was best of the top ranked boulderers being #43 with 7.90. Among the female, Miho Nonaka was #44 with 10.51.

Extraordinary great semifinals in Moscow  Facebook

Five of the female semifinalist in Meiringen made it to the final also in Moscow and the one missing, Sandra Lettner, did not participate. Among the male, four are the same as in the last event. Japan and Slovenia got three in total to the final and the Japanese domination continues with four male in Top-10 and three female in Top-8. Complete results

All boulders were topped out and in fact, based on the top out percentage, it seems they were all of similar difficulty. This is very seldom the case and the route setting also in terms of style and variation were extraordinary great.

Moscow finals 16.45 Euro Time  Facebook

Great female qually with no sensations  Facebook

There were no big sensations in the female qualification in Moscow and the Top-4 ranked were finalists in Meiringen. In general, very good route setting and although five girls topped all five problems, three boulders were good enough to make it to the semi tomorrow. Complete results

8 male Japaneses to Top-20 semi  (14) Facebook

Great qualification round where all the ten boulders were topped in Moscow. Japan continue their strong domination in the Bouldering World Cup with eight guys qualifying to the Top-20 semifinal. Winners of the two groups were Gabri Moroni and Jongwon Chon. Jakob Schubert and Jan Hojer were the big surprises not making the semi final. Other sensational results were Gabri Moroni moving from #27 in Meiringen to #1 in Moscow, Alex Khazanov from #57 to #3 and Martin Stranik from #73 to 9. Complete results

118 male 100 female to start in Moscow  Facebook

The Bouldering World Cup is booming and there are 118 male in the starting list for the qualification starting 07.30, Euro time, Saturday morning. The female begin 15.00 with 100 female participating.

On Sunday there will be live-streaming from the semi starting 08.00. The finals start 17.00 with the female and around 18.30 with the male. Live results

8c by Matilda Söderlund  (5) Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureMatilda Söderlund, one of the leading female climbers in 2012, before she begun her University studies, is back in the game with the FFA of Golden for a moment 8c in Welcome Springs. With her MBA degree her plan is actually to work with climbing in the future. (c) Sophie Odelberg

"Golden was my big goal for the spring. This was actually my first experience of projecting a route and the first trip I have done with the aim and focus of just climbing one specific route. Definitely an awesome and developing experience - and an emotional rollercoaster. Sent the route on the very last day of my trip, epic! So happy! One of the best routes I have ever done." Instagram

Alexey Rubtsov speaks out  (4) Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureInnsbruck 2018 has published a very interesting interview with Alexey Rubtsov who won the World Champion in 2009 after just having trained bouldering for three years. His big focus is the Olympics and last year he tried Lead and was #17 without any training. Here are some of the lonely wolf's straight forward messages.

"The brain is the most important part in climbing. Maybe not in speed (laughs), but in bouldering for sure.

In Europe, every coach thinks that he's the smartest one and his system is the best. They are authoritarian. But they should understand that they know nothing and start their education from zero. I can't tell you what I do, because that is my secret. Laughs.

You need to widen your repertoire to improve, not focusing on small things, but on the big picture... It is better for me to be alone.

You could maybe remove the bonus, even. You can do the boulder, or you can't. Bouldering is good. One bonus, two bonuses, ten bonuses, ... what is that? It's not Bouldering."

Caro Ciavaldini climbs The Quarrymen E8 7a (~8a trad)  (13) Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureCaroline Ciavaldini reports on Instagram that she has climbed the FFA of The Quarrymen E8 7a in Twll Mawr, Wales. This 4 pitches route was put up by legend Johnny Dawes in 1986, and it is one of the most iconic routes in the world with the extraordinary Groove Pitch (on the picture). © Neil Hart

"“THAT IS NUTS" What on earth made me come up with: “I want to do The Quarryman”? Well… It seemed impossible so…"

8th 8c+ by Michaela Kiersch  (4) Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureMichaela Kiersch has done an impressive second go ascent of American Hastle in as well as her eight 8c+, Joe Blau, both in Oliana. "Yay!!! Epic battle after breaking a hold at the top."

The 152 cm american, who took the silver in the USA Lead nationals recently, is the superior 8a Combined ranking game leader. (c) Matty Hong

Michaela has just graduated from University and this is her second trip to Spain. Unfortunately it has been raining a lot and she has only two weeks left and now a heat wave is coming in. Next up to try is Papier Moyat.

Estado Critico 9a (8c+) by Piotr Schab  (1) Facebook

Click to Enlarge PicturePiotr Schab has done a very quick ascent of Estado critico 9a (8c+) in Siurana. "3rd go. Cool moves in the crux and then some technical pumpy climbing to the top. 9a in a day feels damn. I assume it’s low end, but I had to fight very hard for it." In the 8a ranking game, the Pole is #2 after Adam Ondra. (c) Wojtek Kozakiewicz

Ingo Filzwieser - Volumes and brain instead of crimpers  (33) Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureIngo Filzwieser, the previous national coach of Austria who still is the personal trainer of Sandra Lettner (16) #4 in Meiringen, has a saying. "My motto is that you can not train like the last winner... you have to train like the next winner."

When he became an Austria coach seven years ago he analysed the types of holds used and it was like 65 % crimps. This can be compared with 2017, with some 5 % crimps and like 80 % volumes.

"Part of the reason for this might be that it was getting more difficult for the route setters to check the right level for the male. I saw Sharafutdinov (superior #1 in 2013) doing a pull up with 65 kilo extra weight. Today, there is very little benefit of such strength, instead bouldering has become a coordination sport, giving chances for the route setters to actually do the problems.

You need to be very smart and also tactically skillful. Most boulderer have different shoes they choice from, in order to adapt to different steepness and types of holds. Coming into the boulder, you need to immediately get a plan and then start executing within seconds to not loose time. You can not just start trying hard. Sometimes I see competitors start brushing the holds before they start which actually will make them just loose time.

Doing and filming simulation is very important. Later you as a coach can actually give feedback on why they rested so many seconds and how many attempts they did etc. It will become more of a mind game in the future and this was one part how Kilian (Fischhuber) won 22 World Cups. He was also, and still is, physically really strong but he always solved the problem first in his head.

In general I like this as it also becomes a better and more injury free sport for the youngsters. It is also good that it becomes more of a team sport as it is a constant process of learning technical and tactical skill from each other. I was quite amazed seeing Narasaki and Noguchi closely following what the others did, in a training camp in Innsbruck, even on yoga classes. You could feel that they really cared about each other.

It is also important for the kids to finish school, have other interests and reducing the time they spend on social media. I agree on what recently have been pointed out on 8a that the trainers should have an holistic approach.

Mark Zaus

Halber Wahnsinn 7b+, Ka
JP Cordero

Tufa Luna 7c+, El salto
Dubard Loïc

Haut de gamme - 7C/V9,
Ravine des Avirons
Camilla Moroni

Première 7c+, Seynes
Bernhard Schwaiger

BURNOUT, Hohe Tauern
Mike Kimmel

Attempting "Good Day Ba
d Day" 8A. Moab.
Calvin Wagner

Green Lantern (Low) 7b+
, HP 40
Martin Bigatti

Whore's Gold 7a+, Wild
Peter Doubell

Andreas Hanisch

Kirk Windstein Stand 7c
+, Cresciano
Christian Bortz

Bread Loaf Factory (V10
Yau Ka chun

8b Local Spirits, Centr
al Crags HONG KONG
Jesús Gascón

Sangre de un Tsunami Et
erno, La Muela
Adam "Gaduła" Karpierz

Fatamorgana 7c+, Polish
Leo Skinner

dizdira 7C at albarraci
n, spain
Talo Martin

James Pearson on Dancin
g with myself, 8b+ El V
ellón, Spain
Fabian Gomiz Lopez

Aren de hembras 8a ferr
Markus Adamaszek

Varanito, Fb 7a bloc, A
Search & Add Ascents
Stefan Billmeier - Bamboozalled, V7 Laos/Thakhek - a perfect bloc, wonderful line, solid V7
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Selected Top List ->
Editorial by 8a Founder and Editor-in-Chief Jens Larssen including also Analyses, Reviews, Training, Polls and Opinions etc.
Speed Climbing Moscow - all about false starts and falls  Facebook
The start of the Speed World Cup in Moscow put the light on the problem with false start, falls and very little excitement. Out of the 16 female runs, only 2-3 can be said to have great excitement.The biggest problem is the false starts which we actually did see in five cases for the female and four times for the male. What about just adding 0.5 seconds or so for a false start and have them run again?

Climbing is getting into the Olympics and what a big anticlimax if there will be a false start in the finals. Female result board which is actually pretty comic, in spite of Anouck Jaubert's tied world record at 7.32.
Ryan Air flies to Kos again  Facebook
Ryan Air will start flying again from Berlin and Dusseldorf 3 + 3 times a week starting in June until late October. Some years ago, they had some 30 weekly flights from seven airports in Europe but the last years, everything was cancelled.
The First Global Summit in the Indoor Climbing Industry  Facebook
Click to Enlarge PictureADVERTORIAL - Walltopia, the biggest climbing wall manufacturer, will be hosting the first edition of a major global gathering in the climbing gym industry – the World Indoor Climbing Summit (WICS) 7-9/6 in Sofia. The event will be the first global conference and exhibition entirely focused on the business aspect of indoor climbing. Gym owners and industry leaders from 28 different countries will gather to share experience, discuss hot topics and talk about the future of indoor climbing.

The conference will feature a series of panels, during which visitors can share their views on everything from getting loans to the latest trends in climbing gym design. Aside from the conference, WICS will host an exhibition area where manufacturers and suppliers from the industry can showcase their latest products, and meet potential clients/partners.

The conference’s entire schedule and list of confirmed speakers and exhibitors can be found on the event’s official website.
The final format is boring  (7) Facebook
Reino Horak, former Swedish National coach who now works as the National coach for Norway, shares his somewhat boring experience looking at the 3.5 hours boulder finals in Moscow. He has previously possibly seen a dozen boulder finals in the front row but this was the first time way back with the spectators.

- Within an hour, many around me started to get bored during all these one minute breaks in between tries. After two hours even myself started to loose interest as it was just too many dead moments. Normally, when I am in the front row, you can observe so many details and feel the pulse, breathing and the adrenaline from the climb.

Sitting just 50 meters away, I must say, after three hours, all these dead moments with long waiting in between attempts, the format need to be speeded up giving more excitement for the spectators. Around me I actually saw people almost fell a sleep in their chairs.

The simple solution is to just the female and male compete at the same time but personally, I would like to go for the solution as pointed out in the 11 point system format with three climbers rotating at the first three boulders.
Era Vella should officially be called 8c+  (38) Facebook
Click to Enlarge PictureEra Vella is a stunning 45 m line in Margalef that was put up by Chris Sharma in 2010. He called it a soft 9a and the FA was actually done during a warming-up try. Quickly it become the most repeated 9a in the world and based on several comments and personal best, 8a started saying it might be 8c+. In 2015, Jonathan Siegrist did it and said was like an 8c and 8a started to report it as 9a (8c+). Later also Magnus Midtbö and Seb Bouin reported it as 8c+.

Interesting is that since Midtbö's ascent in 2015 (c) João Giacchin , only four more guys have done it included Alex Megos last week. Previously, it had been done five times every year. In the big databases it is in fact not considered 9a any longer and that goes also for the Vertical-Life app based and published in cooperation on Dani Andrada guidebook.

During the last few years, we have seen some popular hard core routes in the Lleida area beeing down graded in order to fit with the international level. Probably, we will see more down gradings in the area, as a chain reaction, as others that are already contenders of being down graded, now need to be compared with Era Vella being 8c+, although hard for it's grade.

Grades are the number one criteria for the media selecting and reporting ascents. Since 2002, 8a has in order to present the most accurate, sometimes commented the grade. In practice, it is not average consensus that change gradings. Instead, it is more like in the Emperor's clothing, somebody speaks out and then later repeaters follow.

It should me mentioned that 8a thinks it is just natural that most climbers do not bother giving personal grades and instead focus on just the beauty of the route. On the other hand, the climbing community should be thankful towards the guys sharing their personal view as otherwise we would all climb 9a and we would not understand how hard and give appropriate credit for the first guys doing 9a's more than 25 years ago.
Zangerl and Larcher trad on bolts up to 8c  Facebook
8B+ by Dave Macleod (39)  (2) Facebook
Moscow prediction  Facebook
The easiest way to predict the Bouldering WC in Moscow, which starts on Saturday, would of course be to just copy the Meiringen results. Another possibility is to calculate the finalist based on the total result from the qually and the semifinal, from the two groups respectively. Beside that, we should look out for the Japaneses and especially Kokoro Fujii. Bear in mind also that the Japaneses are the only team that go all in also in Speed where the qualification is just right before the Bouldering final.

1. Yuji Fuyiwaki JPN 78 (7 Tops and 8 zones)
2. Aleksei Rubtsov RUS/Tomoa Narasaki JPN 67

1. Jakob Schubert AUT 89
2. Tomoaki Nakati JPN 79
3. Jongwon Chon KOR 78

1. Akiyo Noguchi JPN 79
2. Janja Garnbret SLO 78
3. Stasa Gejo STB 58

1. Miho Nonaka JPN/Sandra Lettner AUT 69
3. Fanny Gibert FRA/Jessica Pilz AUT 58
Rule change for starting in Bouldering  (2) Facebook
IFSC has published some 2018 rule changes with the most important is how to start in Bouldering.

"The competitor must pass through a stable position before moving.

In practice this means you can not just tap your foot against a starting hold before moving. Instead you need to place the foot there and remain in a "stable position" which might be 0.5 seconds or so. If you just tap the hold, the referee should stop the climber.
Worse friction for the semi winner  (28) Facebook
Click to Enlarge PictureInnsbruck 2018 has published an interesting Meiringen analyses talking about technical skill adapting to different types of challenges, carried out by Udo Neuman. As the route setters will be the same in the WCH in Innsbruck 2018, important lessons have to be learnt. Udo also points out the problem with the conditions deteriorating which in practice means that the better result you had in the semi, the worse friction you will get in the final.

On the first problem, that can be seen in the picture, the first three guys did it at the same time the four last guys, and higher ranked in the semi, failed.

"Once someone has slipped off a foothold twice, the risk of slipping again increases dramatically. This also had a big influence on the result in Meiringen." Video of last man out, Jakob Schubert, slipping from that big yellow hold.

Udo also says, "It can only be hoped that a more level playing field will be made available in the future.". IFSC comp stats since 2007, confirms that the semi winner seldom actually wins the final and this is especially true for the WCHs. Other reasons for this is of course, the increased pressure starting last out, having heard that other guys topped and also that plastic holds and the whole arena get slightly heated up from the first to the last climber.

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