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Euro Trash 8A+ by Akiyo Noguchi

Euro Trash 8A+ by Akiyo Noguchi

Akiyo Noguchi, who got the bronze in Tokyo, reports on Insta that she has done Euro Trash (8A+) in Little Cottonwood Canyon (UT). Her send, which just took a couple of tries, starts 5.40 in this video. (c) Albert Ok

Akiyo is one of the most successful female competition climbers in history. Between 2008 - 2019, she won the Boulder World Cup four times and got runner-up six times. Five times she has made the podium in Boulder World Championships. In Lead World Cups, she has made the podium ten times, including in her last Lead WC in 2021. Noteworthy is also her competition career started off in 2005, at age 15, when she got her only bronze in a Lead World Championship, in her first-ever senior IFSC event. After getting the bronze in the Tokyo Olympics she retired from the competition scene and got married to Tomoa Narasaki. Here is a great video - The Story of Akiyo Noguchi. Together with Tomoa and some friends, they have started a youtube channel and her is the latest video.

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


Garnbret and Grupper win the semi in Villars

Janja Garnbret was the only athlete to top the semifinal route in Villars. Runner-up was Chaehyun Seo and the third was Brooke Raboutou, which also was the final ranking in Innsbruck last weekend. Among the male, Jesse Grupper got the highest ahead of Colin Duffy. Interestingly, Team Japan got four …

5.09 and 5.04 by Kiromal Katibin

In the Villar Speed qualification, Kiromal Katibin from Indonesia set two World Records. In his first run, he did 5.09 and then 5.04 in his second race, video. Runner-up was Long Cao from China with 5.22. Besides the several World Records in 2022, the level has been pushed significantly and 5.58 was…

Michaela Kiersch leads the current 12-month female combined ranking

Michaela Kiersch leads the current 12-month female combined ranking

Over the last 12 months, Michaela Kiersch has sent two 8B+ boulders and one 9a route. There might be some unreported ascents out there from other female climber…

We are looking for a Senior UX/UI Designer (full-time, m/f/d)

We are looking for a Senior UX/UI Designer (full-time, m/f/d)

This is an opportunity to combine your passion for climbing with your professional expertise. You’ll get to design interfaces that tens of thousands of people r…

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Speed Integral 9a by Mel Janse van Rensburg

Speed Integral 9a by Mel Janse van Rensburg

Mel Janse van Rensburg, African Champion in both Lead and Boulder last year, has done Speed Integral (9a) in Voralpsee. "Lets go!!! After falling twice near the top yesterday and in the extension today I didn't think I had another go in me, but somehow the 22ish day siege is over. What a route and what a journey." (c) Gus in Boven

The 20-year-old South African did his first 8c at age 16 although he begun climbing being 13 and had a personal best of 7a until he turned 15.

Did you do all the 22 sessions only in 2022?
No, about 6 in 2020, 12 in 2021 and 4 this year.

How come you are travelling from SA almost every year ticking your hardest climbs in France or Switzerland?
I've got family in France, so I've been coming to Europe almost every year.

What are your summer plans?
Turning into a comp climber for the next 2 months. Going to be doing Innsbruck and Villars WC then World Games in the USA.

Dr. Michaela Kiersch: the only 9a and 8B+ female climber last year

Dr. Michaela Kiersch: the only 9a and 8B+ female climber last year

Michaela Kiersch was #22 in her Boulder World Cup debut in 2010 at age 15 and the next year she was #18 in a Lead World Cup. Her competition career did not take off and instead, she focused on outdoors and University studies. At age 21 she did her first 8c and 8c+. In total, the 27-year-old has done nine 8c+' and last fall she did her first 9a, Dreamcatcher (9a) after just five days of projecting. In April she got her doctoral degree in hand therapy and did directly go for her first extended long trip only focusing on climbing, which began with the Petzl Roc Trip. Switching to bouldering and Magic Wood she has significantly stepped up her game sending two 8B+ and another 12 boulders 8A and harder in just three weeks.

In other words, Michaela's combined route and boulder tick list is one of the most impressive of all time and she is the only female that has sent a 9a as well as an 8B+ during the last year.

How did you start climbing and how were the first years?
I officially began rock climbing around age 7, but I was a climber from a much younger age. Before I could walk, I was climbing out of my baby crib. Soon after, I was climbing trees, fences, buildings - anything I could get my hands on. My parents signed me up for classes at a local climbing gym and I haven’t stopped since. My first competition was within my first few months of climbing and I placed 2nd of 2. I was motivated to keep improving and my love for the sport only grew. I became more serious about my climbing around age 10, when I signed up to train with a competitive team. We had practice 3 days per week and competitions on the weekend. As a teenager, I developed a very tight-knit community within climbing. All of my friends climbed and trained at a high level and we pushed each other to improve. I loved the camaraderie, travelling, and being able to spend time outside.

What were your best competition results and why did you not pursue that career?
I have won nationals for lead and bouldering as a youth competitor and also placed as high as 5th at the youth world championships. I also have competed on the US Team in all three disciplines. Ultimately, competitions are not my passion and I really love climbing outside.

Which were your first hard sends you remember and what did they mean to you?
My first 8b+ was Omaha Beach in the Red River Gorge (at age 17). In the US, climbing 5.14 feels like a benchmark. It was a goal that as a child I couldn’t imagine ever achieving. It pushed me to reevaluate my dreams in a positive way. The Red River Gorge also holds a special place in my heart as it is the area I went to most frequently growing up.

How has your climbing been scheduled during the last seven years when you have been at the university?
It was hard to follow a consistent training routine while studying. My climbing fluctuated heavily depending on my assignments and exams. It forced me to develop excellent time management skills and get the most out of shorter climbing sessions. Each year I was able to perfect the balance a little bit more. It really helps me to have goals or trips that I am looking forward to. My motivation dwindles if I feel like I am just training with no objective in sight. Usually, those trips would take place during my breaks from classes.

Did you follow any structured regime or did you just climb?
My sessions focused on projecting the newest set of boulders at the gym, climbing on the Moonboard, and using training specific tools like hangboards or campus boards. I structured each session depending on my current goals. When my sessions were only an hour-long it was important to plan the training in order to maximize the potential results. I climbed between 3-5 days a week for about 1-3 hours each day.

How is it realizing that you have become one of the best female combined boulder and route climbers in history?
It feels surreal to accomplish goals that I had previously been afraid to admit to myself. I am motivated to continue my growth as a climber and person for the rest of my life.

Tigris Sit 8B+ by Alex Puccio

Tigris Sit 8B+ by Alex Puccio

Alex Puccio reports on Insta that she has done Tigris sit (8B+) in Magic Wood. "I believe today was my second day trying it from the low, but I did the stand start to it some days before and that was my first day trying that line. I didn’t try it from the sit that day. Then I went back and tried the sit and got really close and then went back today and sent it first try." (c) Luis Gerhardt

During her three weeks trip she has also done another six boulder 8A and harder and a flash of Conan (7C+). In total, the runner up in the World Championship in 2014 has done 250+ boulders 8A and harder including eight 8B+'. This means, the 157 cm tall, has by far the most impressive female boulder tick list out there.

Which boulders did you like the most during this trip?
Definitely Steppenwolf (8B) :). The bizarre Ride (8A+) is really cool too, just sad it’s a drop off.

What are your summer plans?
Keep getting fitter and stronger in Colorado and climbing out there. :)

Touch by the Devil 8A+ (B) by Emilie Gerhardt

Touch by the Devil 8A+ (B) by Emilie Gerhardt

Emilie Gerhardt reports on Insta that she has done Touch by the devil 8A+ (B) in Vernayaz. The 22-year-old, who got a silver in the Youth World Championshíp in 2013, did earlier this year send her second 8B as well as her second 8c route. (c) Julius Westphal

"The boulder includes many moves and starts from an easier section at the bottom into a crux section in the middle and a mantle top out. My boyfriend Julius and I were figuring it out together and made tries on the first day. The beta turns out to work pretty well for Julius but I felt I needed to look for another beta for me. At the end of the boulder session, I searched for another solution and found something which felt pretty good to me. Unfortunately, the weather wasn‘t on our side for the first days and I had to wait for the rain to stop. The weather changed and turned good. Luckily my new beta worked out for me! It‘s always impressive to see how you can find a total different beta on the same boulder dependent on your body morphology and individual strengths."

Silent Singer 8C by Will Bosi

William Bosi has done his seventh 8C during the last ten weeks, Silent Singer in Bowder Stone, which was put up by Aidan Roberts earlier this year. "Really happy to get the second ascent of this one! three really fun crimp moves lead to a weird kneebar which cost a lot of attempts. When the knee works the top of the boulders not too bad though."

Could you please say something about the process how you took it down?
So I guess I had 3 sessions but in the first session I was only able to try the first two moves as the top was wet. In the second session, I got really close multiple times, failing from the kneebar at the end of the boulder… Then yesterday I was able to get it down the third go of the day. It felt really important to do it fast as it’s very sharp and with the hot weather now skin would become an issue very fast I think!

Tigris sit 8B+ by Michaela Kiersch

Tigris sit 8B+ by Michaela Kiersch

Michaela Kirsch continues to strike in Magic Wood and, besides two more 8As, she has sent Tigris sit (8B+) after some four sessions. In total, the newly graduated doctor in occupational (hand) therapy has during less than three weeks in Magic done 16 boulders 8A to 8B+. During the last year, she has also done one 8c+ and her first 9a as well as another handful of 8A to 8B boulders. (c) Nina Williams

When was the last time you trained indoors or had some specific physical training?
I haven’t trained since May 4. I left the states for the Roc trip May 5.

How often have you taken rest days in Magic?
I’ve been climbing 1-2 days on and then a rest day. I haven’t taken more than one rest day in a row, but my body is starting to feel tired and I could probably use a few days of recovery!