Jakob Schubert live-streaming from Project Big

Yesterday, Jakob Schubert tried Project Big in Flatanger twice and both attempts were live-streamed. "This was the first go and it felt kind of awkward knowing that this is the first time we’re live… I was way more nervous than before because I wanted to at least show a good go… same as my highpoint on the first day, sticking the crux move but I was too pumped and tired… if I’m only doing the boulder I can keep my foot on, then it’s much easier placing the heel up and then it’s basically two more moves and the route is over…” © Johannes Mair/Alpsolut Pictures

Today at around 12.30 he will make one more attempt and the video will be embedded here on 8a. Here is the first Youtube from yesterday.

Domen Škofic does Valhalla (9a) sans knee pads

Domen Škofic does Valhalla (9a) sans knee pads

Domen Škofic, the overall WC winner in 2016, has sent the 65 meters long Valhalla (9a) in Flatanger. The Slovenian has previously done 21 routes 9a's and harder including ali hulk (sit start extension) (9b) and amazingly he has never used knee pads. "I just haven’t got used to climbing with knee pads and at the same time, I find it a nice challenge to send stuff with the least equipment possible…I feel more free in the wall without knee pads 🤷🏻‍♂️."

Adam Ondra comments on his Instagram post, where he mentioned he did it with just one rope and no kneepads. "Wow no kneepads is 9a+ for sure👏" Two hardcore Norweigian climbers also confirm saying it is 9a+ or even 9b without kneepads.

Can you tell us more about the ascent?
I had a very short trip last year with very bad weather but I almost sent it second go after doing Odin's Eye (8c+), which took me more than 8 tries (because I always slipped on the wet underclings). This year I came without expectations because I haven’t climbed the whole summer… I tried it for 3 days this time to get back into the right betas and shape. Yesterday I sent it the first go which was unexpected, to be honest 😅.

How much did you rest in all the obvious kneebars and what about rope drag climbing with only one rope?
It was ok because I skipped a lot of draws 😅. I have done only one kneebar for a minute and that’s it. For other rests I used only old school style hanging on the arms and a lot of heelhooks 😅.

Why have you not climbed the whole summer? How did you prepare for the trip?
I have been working on renovations at my house. I have climbed two times a month for an hour or two just to move my body a little to not get too rusty. Before coming here I did two weeks of proper training… the important thing is just to be excited I guess 😄.


by Jens Larssen, Editor-in-Chief

Niky Ceria on bouldering in Finland and climbing Silver Lining (8C)

"Silver lining is a great highball! A long-standing project in Finland that was finally put up by Andy Gullsten back in 2020. When I returned to Finland in 2021 I had 2 days on it on top-rope trying the sequences. 6 pads weren’t for me enough, so I knew I had to return more prepared. Last year this …

Two 8B+/C FA's by Cameroni in Val Bavona

Giuliano Cameroni, who has made the FA of at least 20 boulders 8B+ to 8C+, is pictured in the latest great Mellow video sending three 8B+/8C'; Peace Corps, Flip the Switch (FA) and Solar Plexus (FA).


Wu Wei (9a) MP by Ale Zeni

Wu Wei (9a) MP by Ale Zeni

Ale Zeni has made the FA of the six pitches Wu Wei in Val Nuvola, near Passo Broccon. The hardest pitch is the fourth, Pibe de Ora (9a). "The most challenging pitch is a highly technical friction slab (something like 10/5 degrees) that requires perfect body balance and finger strength. This is one of the most difficult pitches I have ever attempted in this style. I hope that other skilled climbers will try it in the future because the route is truly beautiful and the limestone is impeccable. 😊." (c) Enrico Veronese/Grivel

Ale has previously done several 9a and harder slabs including Cryptography (9b), video. In 2021 he did the FA of Eternit (9a+), and here is a mini-doc video of the ascent.

Can you tell us more about the route and your FA?
Myself and Riccardo Scarian started to bolt the route from the ground in 2016 and finished in 2021. In total, we spent something like 15 days to open all the pitches. The hardest one was really hard to open with as there was no place to use skyhooks so I decided to take the drill on my shoulder and put the bolts without skyhooks. It was a really hard challenge 😅. After finishing all the routes in 2021 we started to try the free ascent in 2022 and I did all the pitches in free climbing in July 2023. After this, I tried to do the route ground up in a day. On August 11th I made a good attempt when I climbed all the pitches in free climbing but I fell three times in the last 8b pitch. I tried again on August 16th and I did all the pitches without falling and did the route. The grades are: 7c; 8a+; 7c+; 9a; 7c; 8b.

Where does your love for slabs come from and how have you trained to become an expert?
I grew up in Primiero Valley, where the most challenging climbing routes were bolted by Maurizio Zanolla (also known as Manolo). If I wanted to attempt something difficult, I had to climb in this style. I love this style of climbing, and in a short time, I made significant progress. The best way to train for this style is to climb frequently on slabs, work on little crimps, and improve mobility. I love this style because is not just about how strong you are but specifically it is important to be a good climber, and have a good sensibility and mentality approach. For me is the maximum expression of this beautiful sport and also a lifestyle 😊

Indoors I climb especially on overhanging walls because, even if it is a bit strange, for climbing hard on the slab, you need also to have a lot of power. Of course, I did a lot of training on a hangboard but also moonboard and fingery boulders on overhanging walls. So when you are on the wall you have to connect the power with the mobility and balance. I don’t know why but climbing just on the vertical walls is not enough to find your maximum level in this style. It is very important to also increase the general strength 😊

What is your next plan?
My autumn plan is to try to do my first 9a on an overhanging wall. The route is called “9G” climbed by Adam Ondra in Gemona’s crag and he said it’s a “hard 9a” with just one repetition from an Italian guy Matteo Menardi. Will be a good challenge to try to do a 9a not just on a vertical wall in crag and multi-pitch but also in something for me harder like an overhanging wall 😊. Also, this route is in Italy. I did some good tries last winter where I fell in the last hard move of the route so I feel that this is possibly a nice goal.

Riccardo, who has been his partner throughout the whole process, comments, "Wu Wei🌀🌀🌀 a line and a dream that I had the intuition to imagine "possible or impossible" in the summer and autumn of 2011 during the opening and subsequent free ascent of "Shakti" (8b+). This was the first route in Val Nuvola. I remember that during those days my eyes often fell on that very smooth slab to my left. Only a great team could aspire to that climb up that "asphalted" wall.

It was that in May 2016 we began this great adventure on Wu Wei, an adventure that lasted seven years where we put a lot of effort into it, especially on L4 where on certain days we were unable to make any progress. Alessandro really outdid himself on a couple of occasions managing to place the bolt while remaining on his feet and holding onto nothing with one hand! This great adventure ended on August 16th this year with Ale's great ascent. The games aren't over yet for me, despite the 55 moons the sensations and progress and even the moon are a good omen now it's my turn to close the circle! On L4 I fell 3/4 of the way down on the third hard boulder but you can also fall at the end😝."

Connor Runge does his first 9a

Connor Runge does his first 9a

Connor Runge, who had 8b as his PB one year ago, has sent Spirit Quest (9a) in Squamish. Mike Foley made the FA in 2021 of the Tom Wright bolted line.

I’m really excited about climbing that route. It was an amazing process that started in July, just climbing with my friends and enjoying everyday there. Paradise valley gets kind of crazy weather in august where the air is so humid and there isn’t much of a breeze so I kind of just kept plugging away with low expectations and had the mentality that it was good training. When September rolled around and we got some good weather (cold and less humid) I was ready to get it done! A Low stress mentality and I just felt happy to be there with my friends made for a really wholesome and rewarding journey- or quest ;)”

What is your climbing background?
I started climbing on a back packing trip in Cambodia in 2016. They taught me how to belay and climb on top rope, that progressed to move to skaha bluffs and working at a gym, being psyched on sport climbing, and more climbing trips around the world. Just like so much time climbing outside and also in more recent years, a shit ton of training in the gym for sport routes!

Squamish is kinda rad for that because you have 3 bad ass climbing gyms that you can just train so hard in, with no distractions of good weather in the winter.

What about that great progress from 8b to 9a within a year?
During the winter I dedicated 3 months to training 2 days on 1 off. I trained specific energy systems during this which looked like 2/3rds Max power and 1/3 power endurance with a week and a bit of recovery after it was all said and done. I spent an average of 4 hours training per day doing various exercises and climbing specific exercises.

Now life is a better because I can climb outside and crank with the boys. I have to balance my climbing with my 40 hour work week, morning sessions at the cliff and on my days off. I have a 2 on 1 off schedule and 1 day a week where I do max bouldering, max effort campus, and max effort finger boarding in the Co-op.

What is your autumn plan?
Me and my friends are going to Smith rocks. I’ve never been there before, totally psyched to check it out! And then I’m spending 3 months in Spain and sometime in Turkey 🇹🇷

Pietro Vidi does his third 8C

Pietro Vidi does his third 8C

Pietro Vidi has done Peace Corps (8C) in Valle Bavona after projecting it for five sessions. The 20-year-old, who was #3 in the Italian Championship, is #7 in the 8A ranking game.

Can you tell us more about the ascent?
I was actually not planning to do any boulders in bavona, just some multi pitches, but once I checked out the moves of the bloc I immediately got hooked. I could already do good links in the first session but eventually I needed more time than I thought because of the super warm whether but it somehow worked out! The crux revolves in two weird and technical moves so it’s pretty tricky to give it a grade, but I definitely think is low end.

One year ago, you had done one 8B+. How can you explain the great progress having done ten 8B+ or 8C the last year?
I think doing a big amount of training during the winter in preparation of the comp season is what really keeps me progressing, then switching to the rock is a bit tricky to just re-learn some super specific skills, but once the comp season has ended i can see my level on rocks going up week by week! I would just like the comp season to end when ticino one begins😅

Esteban Daligault does Bio Sharma Graphie L1+2

Esteban Daligault does Bio Sharma Graphie L1+2

Esteban Daligault has done Bio sharma graphie L1+2 (9a) in Rocher de Beverau. "So right after the world championships in Bern, Mejdi [Schalck] and I were motivated to climb outside and we really wanted to try this line first ascended by Mathieu Bouyoud. It is an amazing line on a big physical roof. The crux of the route is on the top part and it’s hard until de chain. It was cool to climb with my friend Mejdi, and make the first repetitions together!"

What is your climbing background?
I have been climbing since I was 10 years old. I did my first 9a in 2019 with Takamine, and since then I have done a few routes in the ninth degree. I’m a climbing coach, so I don’t have much time to climb outside, but as soon as it’s the holidays I go and have fun with my friends on the rocks.

So how many 9a's have you done under the radar?
I did three 9a and two 8c+/9a. I have an account but I haven’t filled it out. I have to do it🙄😂.

Evan Hau does the FA of John Doe's Space Adventure (9a)

Evan Hau does the FA of John Doe's Space Adventure (9a)

Evan Hau, who previously has FA’ed three 9a’s, has done the FA of John Doe's Space Adventure (9a) in Planet X. “An extension to John Doe (7b) that I bolted in 2020 but didn't try much until this year as a fun side project. I knew it would be hard when I first bolted it and now I think it's the hardest current route at Planet X.”

Can you tell us more about the FA?
I tried it a little bit back then but there were 2 cruxes that seemed really hard and I couldn't do it at the time. I had other projects to work on as well so I left John Doe's Space Adventure alone for a while. In 2023 I ended up spending some time at Planet X again and I felt much stronger after 2 years of training and working on Fight Club. I got inspired to work on John Doe's Space Adventure as a side project. It took me about a month to work out the beta I couldn't do in 2020 and then still another 2 months to send. Super happy with how it turned out, one of my favourites on the wall!