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Distortion 8C+ FA by Drew Ruana

Distortion 8C+ FA by Drew Ruana

Drew Ruana, who previously has done four 8C+', reports on Insta that he has done the FA of Distortion 8C+ in Lincoln Cave. "It’s a low start to the v14 stand start, 20ish moves. The last move is the hardest, I fell there probably 15 times. Only got 1 try a day". (c) Alton Richardson

What is your next plan?
I’m going to the Arcteryx academy in Squamish. Then school starts and it’ll get cold for front range projects.

Are there any harder projects than Distortion?
I put a lot of work into some harder stuff but I’d like to do more v16s (8Cs) now.

Drew is a former successful competition climber who was #8 in the World Championship in 2019. He stopped competing after he failed to qualify for the Olympics. Since then the 22-year-old has been one of the very best boulderers in the world. In total, he has done more than 80 boulders 8B+ and harder. Here is an 8a interview with the full time Chemical engineering University student.

La moustache qui fâche 9a+ by Stefano Carnati

La moustache qui fâche 9a+ by Stefano Carnati

Stefano Carnati, who previously has done four 9a+, has done La moustache qui fâche (9a+) in Entraygues. "Not the best line around but very good powerful climbing and a great project for the summer. Easy intro and a hard section of 15 moves of which the last is the crux. Might be slightly easier with colder temps, but I never experienced."

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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…

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Quintessential 8B by Katie Lamb

Quintessential 8B by Katie Lamb

Katie Lamb, who pulled her pulley nine weeks ago, has done Quintessential (8B) in Rocklands. “So forking good. Pure power bloc. Incredible to be crimping again at last.”

The 24-year-old has been the #1 in the ranking game for three years now and in total, she has done eleven 8B's and five 8B+.

American Project 8a (+) by Cathy Wagner (57)

Cathy Wagner has done American Project (8a+) in Becò d'Ajal giving it a personal 8a grade. "A superb overhanging and physical route made possible thanks to the (difficult) placement of a right knee in what constitutes the crux. Otherwise, it's a big forced cross on a bad RH clip with a leaning lolotte. Major in any case! In 2 days."

The 57-year-old did her first 8a in 1994 and in total she has done 852 routes 8a and harder which is most in the world, by any woman. She shows no signs of slowing down, having had more or less the same 8a score for 25 years straight. During the last 12 months, she has done 40 routes 8a and harder.

Change P1 9a+ by Alex Rohr

Change P1 9a+ by Alex Rohr

Alexander Rohr, who has previously done ten routes 9a and harder, has done Change P1 (9a+) in Flatanger, thinking it deserves a slash upgrade. (c) John Thornton

"On the 12th of August I could successfully climb the first pitch of Change, 9a+/9b. The route consists of an 8b route intro into an 8b/8b+ boulder crux. After that you have to climb a couple of easier moves into a final 7C boulder. The last quarter of the route is not that hard anymore. The total length is about 25 to 30 meters in a massive overhang whereas the crux boulder is in a roof dihedral.

I already briefly tried the route in 2019 after being successful on Illusionist, 9a, but hurt my shoulder trying the crux move in the roof. I immediately stopped trying it. Later Covid happened and I didn’t get back to Flatanger until this year. This July I came back to the Hanshallaren cave and I had the plan to do it within this trip. That proved to be quite tricky, since the weather was less than perfect and there was a lot of seepage in the route and I had to deal with generally bad conditions. It was a constant battle against wet holds. Every morning I warmed up and before giving tries I had to go through the whole route to dry most of the holds with paper and tinfoil. That is not easy on the mind because it means that you waste precious power you could use on the real tries later. Additionally it was not possible to dry all the holds. Instead of being upset about the fact, that this season is not easy in Flatanger, I tried to look at it as a challenge. I tried to persist and just kept trying. The consequence of being in a good shape and having a good mindset was, that I kept getting better and being a little closer every day. Sending the route in the end was not exactly as I envisioned the day of success. I had three really good tries the day before and I felt a bit tired. I walked up to the cave only to realize that the conditions were a lot worse than the day before. Zero wind, seeping holds and a lot of humidity. I gave my first try and immediately felt that it was the closest ever. Not doing a single move more, but feeling better. The sun came in and I had to wait for five hours until the sun got out of the route. It did, but while doing the second warmup on an 8a route, I realized, that everything was still very warm and humid. I wanted to try my luck and give it a try anyway. I set off and just forgot that I was actually climbing. Flying up the route and having a brief moment of clarity when reaching the move which shut me down all the time. I realized that I feel so much better and by that time the move was done already. I was back in the zone and I felt that nothing could stop me anymore, not even a foot slip and wet holds in the last 7C boulder. I just kept climbing towards the anchor. It was finally done.

Sidenote: I could not use the method that Seb Bouin used as I am not tall enough. I used one kneepad to get into the famous shoulder move Adam Ondra did. After that first move I did it exactly like Adam did the FA. My personal opinion is to leave it at 9a+/9b and keeping in mind, that what Adam did was probably harder than the original grade he gave."

Three 8B+ by Paul Robinson in Rocklands

Three 8B+ by Paul Robinson in Rocklands

Paul Robinson has added 15 boulders 8A and harder to his ticklist from his latest trip to Rocklands. In total, the 34-year-old has now done 1 061 such graded boulders, which is the most of anyone in the world. His hardest this trip were three boulders graded 8B+;
Menage a trois: "2 days. what a sick pure crimp power bloc! love climbing boulders like this one!"
Trust Issues: "Biffed it off the top a few times and hurt my ankle. But damn what a stunner! Prob 8B but it's Africa and I'm 34 so whatevvvvvv."
Get Railed:"Wow. One of the best and one that I am just extremely proud of myself for doing. This thing required so much mental strength and determination to get myself to get over the fear and be able to try my hardest with such an intimidating fall. Thanks to Lizzy Ethan and Keith for the support on this one :)"

Can you tell us a little more about this trip?
It was a great season! It was really special to see people from all over the world again after so long being at home with the covid years. Everyone seemed to just be so happy to be traveling again and seeing old and new friends. My trip is coming to a close now but I’m so thankful to have been able to make it back to this paradise again.

How many times have you been in SA and how many FAs have you put up?
That was my 10th trip. If you count Driehoek as well then probably 250 or so.

What is the future potential?
The future potential is insane. There will always be an infinite amount of rock to climb for those who are into going on adventures and looking for it! All over for potential. I think just using google earth and hiking to new spots is the best way!

How is your recovery after your discs replacement?
I have not been able to get all of the strength back in my lat and bicep. It’s been 18 months. I imagine now I just need to work on conditioning and being a more technical climber to over come the loss in strength. I would guess my right arm is about 85 percent of what it used to be. But I have been finding ways around it. Using better technique and finding new ways to climb hard boulders has been a great challenge for me. I have some good ideas of what to train when I get home so that I can hopefully build more strength on that right side of my body again.

Kinder Cakes 9a+ by Jonathan Siegrist

Kinder Cakes 9a+ by Jonathan Siegrist

Jonathan Siegrist has made the first repeat of Joel Kinder's Kinder Cakes (9a+) in Rifle (CO). "Intense and very physical roof climbing from the depths of the Skull Cave. A significant step up from D-Mouth. This was my main goal for the summer and an excellent challenge for me. Rifle summer camp is in full effect with a slew of good friends always around! Respect to JK, this one is brutal." (c) Cameron Maier

The 36-year-old has now done 66 routes 9a to 9b which puts him as #6 on that list. In the last 12 months, he has done eleven and if he continues with that frequency, he will be #3 on the 9a list within a year. Adam Ondra with 200+ and Alex Megos with 110+ have done most in the world.

Could tell us a little more about your send?
The process was quite linear - I made just a hair of progress with each day until I finally had enough for the tough red point crux near the end. Not sure exactly on sessions but it was over the span of a 2-week trip. It was helpful to have climbed on ‘Resisting Arrest’ beforehand to help me get in shape for big roofs. In the summer heat, both routes were sometimes unpleasant, but still so fun to try hard on.

Ondra wins the Lead gold

Ondra wins the Lead gold

Adam Ondra, who got the bronze yesterday in Boulder, won the gold in an exciting Lead final winning over Luka Potocar on countback. Interestingly, Adam reached 37+ in 3.01 min meanwhile Luka was more than a minute slower.

It was 45 holds to the top meaning both Adam and Luka would have gotten 60 points, if this would have been the Combined event.

Ondra commented to IFSC: “My son Hugo was born three months ago,” Ondra said after his victory. “Right before climbing in the final, I was thinking about my son and my wife, and I think it gave me like the ultimate power boost just before I started.”

Asked if he was confident of winning gold heading into the final, Ondra laughed and shook his head. “After two days of competition [Boulder and Lead], I still hadn’t recovered because I was destroyed, I was broken,” he said. “The semi-final was a true massacre. I just felt every muscle in my body was aching. But in the final, I saw a route I really liked and I just went for it with no fear. And after that I didn’t make any mistakes, so I am very, very happy.”