Hunger 9a by Hamish McArthur

Hunger 9a by Hamish McArthur

Hamish McArthur has repeated Malcom Smith’s Hunger 9a at The Anvil. Last year, he was the Youth World Champion in both Lead and Boulder. In 2022, he has twice made the final in Lead and in Boulder, and he has placed in the top 20 on three occasions.

“For me, this trip to the Anvil was a marker that the very long competition season was finally coming to an end. I was tired of having to perform and felt the need to disappear into the woods for a few days. Both the place we camped and the route itself were beyond beautiful. The Anvil is this perfect 60-degree overhanging sheet of rock hiding itself in the forest by loch Goil. It's hard not to be inspired when looking up, especially as Hunger follows the perfect line straight up the middle of the overhang.

We arrived late afternoon on day 1, and climbed into the night with head torches. After a questionable night sleep suspended from tree, and a hearty bowl of Scottish oats I was ready to start redpointing. 3 times that morning I climbed through the first crux smoothly, and each time I dropped the 2nd crux by a hair. I unwillingly made myself rest for a good few hours, then in the early afternoon did some star-jumps and prepared for the send.

I set off much more relaxed this time, smiling on the rests and enjoying the anticipation of one again arriving at the 2nd crux. I told myself to squeeze harder, and thankfully I wanted it enough to scream my way through the hardest moves on the 4th redpoint attempt. The route was a joy to climb, and most importantly I feel refreshed and ready to put my head down to get strong over winter.”

How do you manage to combine comp climbing with rock climbing?
With where I'm at in my career, training and competing occupy the overwhelming majority of my time. Despite this, I am absolutely in love with outdoor climbing and definitely hear the rocks calling throughout the year. For the time being I use outdoor climbing as an escape from the intensity of competing. It reminds me there is so much more to climbing than just topping routes.


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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!"


Move Hard 9b by Stefano Ghisolfi

Move Hard 9b by Stefano Ghisolfi

Stefano Ghisolfi has made the first repeat of Adam Ondra's Move Hard (9b) in Flatanger. It starts as Move and continues into the second crux of Silence (9c) which is his big project. (c) Diego Borello

On Insta he comments: "On these last days I focused more on Move Hard, and as always happens in these trips, last day is the best day, and I managed to grab the second ascent of my side project Move Hard."

Insomniac 8C+ by Daniel Woods

Insomniac 8C+ by Daniel Woods

Daniel Woods reports on Insta that he has repeated Drew Ruana's Insomniac 8C+ at Lincoln Lake. It starts by doing eight moves of The Wheel of Wolvo followed by a good rest and then continuous through We Can Build You (8B+). (c) Wes Walker

"The original way of doing “We Can Build You” (2nd part) was way more powerful and low percentage. The new heel hook beta makes the crux high(er) percentage, thus making the full connection seem probable. We originally thought “we can build you” was hard V14 (8B+) but now it feels more like hard V13 (8B) . Insomniac is on the cusp of V15/16 (8C/8C+), but (I) do feel like it is harder than most V15s I’ve done in this style. Insomniac is a daunting task to take on."

The 33-year-old has been on the cutting edge since age 15 when he did his first 8c+ route and first 8B+ boulder. Starting in 2005, he won the American Nationals for ten years in a row and he has also won one World Cup. In total, he has done 40+ 8Cs and harder, including the FA of Return of the Sleepwalker (9A).

Umetnost 9a by Jakob Bizjak

Umetnost 9a by Jakob Bizjak

Jakob Bizjak has repeated Domen Skofic’s five star line Umetnost (9a) in Ter. ”Such cool moves on this amazing line! I am also really happy to do it on that day because it was raining a lot and I almost did not go to the crag, but then in the late afternoon I and my girlfriend decided to go check it out just in case… and to my surprise, it dried out just fast enough to make the ascent possible in the evening. 🙂”

How many tries and sessions did it take?
I needed around 20 tries during some eight sessions. I am really happy that it did not turn into an epic episode with years of work but went down rather quickly (for my projecting standards at least that is). 🙂

What is your climbing background?
I have been climbing for something like 16 years, always focusing on outdoor climbing. I really enjoy spending time at the crag, don't mind boulders, long or short routes, and also have a bit of a taste for some more obscure lines and local connections 😃