Toby Roberts, who got the silver in the Combined Euro Youth Championship this summer, reports on Insta that he has done the fourth ascent of Steve McClure's Batman 9a/+ at Malham. "I've not much to go on for the grade - but it's definitely harder than Rainshadow in my opinion and others agree 🤷♂️". The grade comments relate probably to that UKC called it 9a when recently reporting that Josh Ibbertson had also done it. (c) Marsha Balaeva
How was the process taking it down and what is next?
The process went pretty quick. I was on redpoint goes after only a few days and was feeling pretty good on the route. After feeling it would go down pretty quick I fell on the last move around ten times which was hard because it felt so close.
My hardest previous was Rainshadow (9a) that I did last year. Next is definitely Rainman (9b) which starts up Rainshadow and connects into Batman around halfway, which feels really hard.
Francesca Medici has done her second 8c, 5 Uve in Arco. "I think that this route was a sort of "unfinished business" because I injured myself exactly two weeks after my first 8c so I always felt like a sort of need to came back at the exact point where I left two years ago."
How can you describe the route and how was the process taking it down?
It's a physical route with a lot of powerful moves and three kneebars. The first part is easiest if compare to the last 3 quickdraws where is the crux of the route. I think that for me it was more a mental game than a physical one.
I injured myself really bad in May 2019 and needed surgery. Then I started climbing again at the end of 2019 but due to pandemics and my degree in Medicine, I wasn't so motivated to train hard again. Then I started a new job in February 2021 and decided to try this route again in April of 2021 and it became my obsession and in order to do that, I begun training again between my hospital shifts and my motivation slowly came back. So it's easy to say that the reason why I still climb today is because of this route 😅
What kind of accident and surgery did you have in 2019?
I dislocated my elbow in the gym. I fell really bad on the mattress and broke all the ligaments in my elbow's joint. So I needed surgery in order to rebuild both my medial and lateral ligaments. The incident happened in May 2019 and I had surgery in July. Then I started climbing again some months later but due to exams and the pandemic, I didn't have the real-time for a proper recovery. Then I graduated in Medicine in July 2020 and after that, I returned to climb with a little more time. In February 2021 I started my internship in Anesthesia in Padua and I started climbing more seriously again thanks to the beautiful gym that I found there.
What are your winter plans and what is your long time ambition?
I don't know about my winter plan. It all depends on my hospital shifts and how much time I am able to climb. In the next weeks, I hope to find a new project. Maybe some slabs but I don't know really. My only long time ambition is to continue to enjoy climbing as much as possible and to find other routes that can inspire me to improve myself, regardless of the grade 😁
TOP IMAGES OF THE WEEK
Anak Verhoeven reports on Insta that she has done the first repeat of Patxi Usobiaga's Patxitxulo 9a/+ in Oliana. "This one is a linkup between an 8c+ and a 9a+, creating a nice line with cruxes of both routes, no big rests and cool moves all the way." (c) Ezra Byrne
The 25-year-old Belgian has previously done eleven routes 8c+/9a and harder which is second-most in the world after Laura Rogora. She has won three World Cups and was runner up eight times, almost always behind Janja Garnbret. She stopped competing in 2019 after having had an elbow injury since 2017 and in 2020, she ruptured a pulley and had to do surgery.
Nacho Sanchez, who previously has done a dozen 8C's, reports on Insta that he has done the FA of El Muro sit 8C. (c) David Redondo Vegas
"It is a very crimpy line of the best limestone, located in La Collada de Quirós, a small but great area in Asturias (northern Spain), where there are other hard problems as "Demogordo" or "Cucumber". The crux is a lock-off to a small crimp, but there is another hard move after it, going from the small crimp and a gaston to a better but far away crimp."
Lulu Deubzer, who made her last 8a news in 2011 at age 17, doing an 8b, has done her first 8c, Rio Negro in Voralpsee. (c) DAV/Silvan Metz
I was, obviously, super happy that everything worked out in the end to send the route. Voralp is one of my favourite crags and the atmosphere that day was especially calm, with the deer roaring all day. Even though 8c is not a big deal in the grand scheme of things, it’s exciting to see that breaking into new grades is still possible for me. All the more, since sport climbing hasn’t been my sole focus anymore in the last few years. Just before the send for example, I was multipitching in the Dolomites for 10 Days and over the summer in general I spent less time cragging and more time doing easy alpine multipitching and some mountaineering. Mixing it up a bit seems to work very well for me, both for motivation and in order to not be too bummed about the occasional small injury.
What are the hardest multipitches you have done and what is next?
In the winter I’ll hopefully do more dry tooling, ice and mixed climbing again (which I all completely suck at). Last winter I didn’t touch a climbing hold basically, just hangboarded and dry tooled and I was really surprised that I was way fitter in spring than I would have excepted because drytooling seems to address my weaknesses quite well. This winter I should have more time, so I'll try to still go bouldering a bit on the side.
The only harder multipitch I’ve tried/climbed was just now, Camilotto-Pelissier (around 7c+) with my friend Janina. That was definitely a good first experience in projecting multipitches and we had heaps of fun in the process during those 4 days.
Vadim Timonov has done A Muerte 9a (8c+) in siurana in just two days and four tries. The Russian is a world class boulderer who has done 15 8C. His previous personal route best was an 8c+ in 2016.
What is next?
After tomorrow I will try to do Jungle speed (I fall from last hold one day ago😅). Then maybe a journey to Mallorca for a couple of days. We have a lot of plans here in Spain😅.
Is a 9b project included in the plan?
Yes. But not for this trip :) not enough time.
by 8a Founder and Editor-in-Chief Jens Larssen including also Analyses, Reviews, Training, Polls and Opinions etc.
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