Grupper and Mori win in Edinburgh

Grupper and Mori win in Edinburgh

Jesse Grupper from the USA was the only one to top out the final route in Edinburgh. Luka Potocar from Slovenia took the silver and Toby Roberts from Great Britain the bronze. Japan was the best overall having five guys in the Top-11. Interview with Jesse is coming up. Grupper commented to IFSC. "I’m pretty ecstatic. After last weekend [in Koper] I definitely felt I was at a low point in competition climbing. I knew I still had it in me, and I have been training pretty hard. I am probably the most fit I have been all season and it feels so rewarding to feel that I am back."

Grupper is one of the slower climber on the circuit and has been timed out. "I was super aware of the time. In qualis I had six seconds left. In semis I had three seconds left. The only way to go in finals was to have no seconds left." Complete results
(c) Lena Drapella/IFSC

Among the females, the routes turned out to be too easy again. First, we saw six double tops in the qualifications, and then Ai Mori from Japan and Chaehyun from Korea topped the semi. Janja Garnbret then topped the final but Mori won on countback as she also topped. "I was feeling nervous before I started because I knew Janja had reached the top, and that meant I had to. But when I climb I just forget about my nerves and enjoy it." Seo took the bronze and was timed out. Complete results


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

Luca Bana and the FA of Extrasistole 9a

Luca Bana did the FA of Extrasistole galoppante (9a) in December 2021. "Outstanding project on the 'heart' sector, bolted in 2010 by Yuri parimbelli and remained unclimbed until now. A mix of big exposure, rock quality and savage moves makes it one of the best hard routes of the area!"

Japan, USA and Slovenia dominated the 2022 WC

Here is the Combined national World Cup ranking in 2022. It was more or less the same ranking in 2021, aside from Japan creating an even bigger gap between themselves and the other countries chasing them. The Czech Republic has dropped in ranking due to the absence of Adam Ondra. Remarkably, Sloveni…


My Curse 8c+/9a FA by Joe Skopec

My Curse 8c+/9a FA by Joe Skopec

Joe Skopec has done the FA of My Curse (8c+/9a) in Lion's head. His previous PB was the FA of Home Away From Home (8c+) which took him 2+ years to put up. The access situation is very sensitive. Here you can stay updated.

"Fought this route for over one year… I had to push my limits mentally/physically. I trained so hard and gave up so much in life to send this route… It’s time to relax and move on to other adventures in life. Hopefully, my Curse of being so obsessive to complete any goal does not come back for a while. My mind needs a break. I need a break haha. It’s done… it’s finally done… I can sleep in peace :)"

Could you tell us more about this FA?
The route breaks down to 5.13d (8b) to a good rest, v12 (12 moves 8A+), to a good rest, to a pumpy 5.13d (8b) that finishes with huge dyno to the anchors. But the route comes down to more than just the difficulty. Many big run-outs and skipping two bolts during the crux were always a mental battle for me. (I usually only train alone in the garage and don’t have a chance to work my mental game on rock).

Lion's head cliff is always an adventure. The hike in is a minimum of one hour, rap down 100 feet (33m), and then at the end of the day climbing back out with the backpack on is always a bit more tiring than you want haha. Please come prepared for Lion's head. One can easily be stuck at the bottom of the cliff if one is not experienced enough. As for the grade, all I know is it’s harder than the 8c+‘s I’ve tried, so I’ll grade it 8c+/9a. I have no idea what a 9a feels like. Took about one year and a half to send :)

La menina sixtina R2 8c+ (9a) by Daniel Fuertes (41)

La menina sixtina R2 8c+ (9a) by Daniel Fuertes (41)

Daniel Fuertes, who, two years ago, climbed Ali Hulk sit start extension total (9b), has done La menina sixtina R2 8c+ (9a) in Rodellar.

The first pitch is an endurance 8c, easy for some people but very hard for me. The second pitch is more tricky with very technical kneebars. Sending the first pitch was the hardest for me. It took me about ten sessions. Once I did the first pitch I also did the second pitch."

Insomniac 8C+ by Shawn Raboutou

Shawn Raboutou reports on Insta that he has repeated Drew Ruana’s Insomniac at Lincoln Lake. It starts by doing eight moves of Wheel of wolvo (8B+) followed by a good rest and then continues through We Can Build You (8B+).

The 24-year-old has previously done a handful 8C+ boulders and Alphane 9A, which was published several months after the ascent. 8a has also received word that he has done one more 9A FA, The Megatron project in Eldorado Canyon - A seven-move 8C low start, with zero resting options, into Daniel Wood’s Tron 8B+ put up in 2017.

If this turns out to be true, he must be considered the best boulderer in the world along with Daniel Woods.

Ghisolfi breaking the beta on Silence

Stefano Ghisolfi is making progress on Silence (9c) by breaking the Adam Ondra beta. Adam is excited to see that Stefano has taken on the challenge, but thinks the new beta is equally hard.

Ramayana 8b+ MP by Alex Huber (54)

Ramayana 8b+ MP by Alex Huber (54)

Alex Huber, who has been a globally impressive first ascensionist since the 90s, has put up the six pitch Ramayana 8b+ on Waidringer Steinplatte in Austria. In the area, the 54-year-old has previously put up two 8b+ and two 8c MPs. Alex worked it last autumn climbing ground-up alone with a soloist set up.

"Ramayana is a new, six-pitch long alpine climb in the Tyrolean Steinplatte which hosts many other alpine climbs like Nirwana, Sansara, Mauerläufer, Highway, and Feuertaufe. It's basically a challenging route with high technical difficulties, but it also needs to be protected with removeable gear. The first redpoint ascent took place on the 18th of July. Thanks to Tobi Ebner for giving me the belay on the ascent. Big thanks to Klaus Fengler for taking the great photos."

Pitch 1: 35 meters, 6c+, Cams, Nuts
Pitch 2: 20 meters, 7a+, Cams
Pitch 3: 40 meters, 8b+, 5 bolts
Pitch 4: 25 meters, 7c, 1 bolt, Cams
Pitch 5: 20 meters, 7c, 1 bolt, Cams
Pitch 6: 35 meters, 8a+, 3 bolts, Cams

P con fin mas Hulk extension 9a by Alex Ventajas

P con fin mas Hulk extension 9a by Alex Ventajas

Alex Ventajas has been on a trip to Rodellar where he did four 8c’s and P con fin mas Hulk extension (9a) (c) Silvia Coppola

Rodellar is one of my favorite spots to spend the summer holidays. I love this climbing style with a lot of knee pads, overhang, and roof climbing. It is like a little paradise for climbers.

Since few days before departure, I wasn’t sure about what to do, but in the end, I took the guide and made up a list of the 8c routes I haven’t done yet. I thought it could be a good compromise between climbing hard and having fun. Also, an Italian friend of mine was coming with me and I wanted to show him different sectors, instead of having to go always in the same place to try one specific route.

In the end, I think I made a really good choice. The 8c routes I choose were super different from each other, so it ended up being a really stimulating and fanatic challenge:

Welcome to Tijuana (8c) is a very demanding and bouldery route, with super powerful moves on crimps,

El hijo libre (8c) it’s pure roof climbing with lots of kneebars and tricks to figure out,

La Florida (8c) is 40 meters endurance climbing with some hard moves in between.

Hulk extension (8c), a classic in Alì Baba cave: a very physical line with bad holds and crazy kneebars.

After sending it I got curious about the 9a “Proa + Fin de Ali Hulk Extension”, a logical line that connects an 8A or 8A+ boulder problem with the 8c: it’s a super physical route that tires all your body, especially your legs and I managed to solve the boulder quite rapidly and, in the beginning, I thought that if I could pass the boulder I wasn’t going to fall in the second part. Things went exactly in the opposite way: the route in fact it’s quite longer than it seems and in the last few meters hides an infinity of moves! Actually, in the first two attempts, I manage to pass the boulder falling in the last move of the 8c because I run out of strength, and I finally sent the route on my third go.

I found it pretty funny to combine boulder and rope in the same route, so maybe next trip here I would try the original connection “Ali Baba Hulk extension“ (9a+), that crosses the entire cave!

TTT 9a by Théo Blass (12)

TTT 9a by Théo Blass (12)

Théo Blass has done Trip tik tonik (9a) in Gorges du Loup, after trying it for some ten odd sessions. The 12-year and 9-months-old climber has now taken "the youngest in the world to reach 9a title", from Gianluca Vighetti, who was two months older. (c) Alizée Blass (9) who, on the same day, did her first 8a.

Fanatic Climbing has made an interview with his father Vladimir Arnaoudov about the ascent. When Théo was 10 years old he did his first 8c his father explained his son's climbing background to 8a.

"Theo started climbing more regularly when he was 8 (he was climbing before, but quite irregularly). His progression was quite interesting: it took him a few months of projecting to send his first 6b+ (on top rope) and then he progressed from 6b+ to 8b in less than a year and a half. His training is a bit chaotic and highly dependent on motivation, time of the year and availability of other more fun activities (such as mountain biking, skiing or building a shack in the garden). At the beginning of the lockdown he trained a lot at our small home bouldering wall but then he lost motivation and did not train for a month.

From the dad's perspective, there are two key takeaways from the experience of belaying, watching, encouraging, counseling, supporting and occasionally arguing with Theo about beta: (1) adult grades are a bit of a nonsense when it comes to kids - two of the hardest moves on the route for Theo are among the easiest for adults - so not worth getting too excited about grades (especially when you are under 1m40); (2) even if fear, frustration and failure are part of the game, climbing kids of the world, enjoy every moment of climbing, projecting, trying hard, sending and try to have fun, and confidence - the future belongs to you."

Redoublement d’effort 9a by Tanguy Merard (18)

Redoublement d’effort 9a by Tanguy Merard (18)

Tanguy Merard, who did La moustache qui fâche (9a+) in July, has done the second ascent of Redoublement d'effort (9a) in La Roche-de-Rame. In June, the 18-year-old was #3 in a Euro Youth Cup.

"I heard about this route when my friend Diego Fourbet did the FA a few years ago. Then I lived two years in Briançon to climb with a great team and suddenly I was able to try it. In my first year there (2020) I was able to do La proue debridée (8c+) which is the start of Redoublement d'effort (9a). At the end of the year I started to try and put 3/4 sessions into it with.

This spring I did not try because I did a lot of competitions. I went back on it when I worked as a server in Ailefroide this summer. In my first session on it, I had trouble and I arrived pumped at the crux. From the second session, I fell at the last movement. Then I did a little Moonboard at Mélissa's (Le Nevé) in La Roche, rested a bit and it went down on the 3rd session.

Now I am concentrating on Biographie (9a+). Last week I passed the crux for the 2nd time and I fell one move before the final jug. I am so happy to finally have made this progress on that route. Just have to be patient and love it 😁"