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Longue promesse 8C FA by Nathan Michel

Friday, 23 October

Longue promesse 8C FA by Nathan Michel

Nathan Michel, who did his first out of six 8B+ in 2013, has done his first 8C, Longue promesse in Le Pertuis. (c) Self-Timer "With two flash, a self-timer, an intervalomètre that takes a photo every second, a good camera and above a little bit of luck 😉"

"The story of “Promesse” began in 2015 when I was seeking new rocks to climb (as I always am). After an afternoon spent roaming the forest I stumbled upon this piece of rock. I spent a few sessions with my friend Yann Leray trying to find a way on top of this boulder, but at the time I wasn’t strong enough to climb it. I shelved this project, but made the promise (“promesse”) to come back stronger to make the first ascent…

This summer, I decided to seriously get back into training and to tackle a few dream goals, the first of which was obviously “Promesse”. After six sessions together with Sacha Ribeyron and Antoine Girard, we finally figured out a beta that felt possible for the easier high start (8B+). Though, a lower start seemed possible, so I started working on it and quickly managed to link it to the start of “promesse”. The section adds a short 7C boulder and makes the rest of the climb considerably harder. After that, it took me three more session and perfect conditions to finally free the full line. "

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Friday, 23 October

Exploring Serbia

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Narcissus 9a FA by Matteo Gambaro (45)

Thursday, 22 October

Narcissus 9a FA by Matteo Gambaro (45)

Matteo Gambaro has done his fifth 9a, Narcissus in Albenga, which is a 40 meter long link-up. Based on 8a scorecard points, the 45-year-old is on pair with his best years ever. As a matter of a fact, he has scored higher every year after 40+ compared to when he was in his 30s. (c) Klaus Dell' Orto

"Narcissus is the end of a long process born 4 years ago when I had finished all routes in the Erboristeria sector." Then he bolted a new 25-meter line and connected it in a roof with some more bolts into another new exit.

How is it possible to keep progressing at age 45 and have you changed your training?
I don't know... I'm motivated as always to finish my project and I hope I can travel more and try new routes. Must believe everything could be possible and train, try and retry... and sometimes magic still happens. Covid changed our life and I climb more near home. I train for 3 or 4 half days a week.

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Thursday, 22 October

AirPad like the old 8a one

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The Big Island 8C (B+) by Simon Lorenzi

Wednesday, 21 October

The Big Island 8C (B+) by Simon Lorenzi

Simon Lorenzi, who has done two 9a's, including Action Directe in 2017 at age 20, has done his fourth 8C, The Big Island in Fontainebleau. As it just took him two sessions he says it is maybe just 8B+. As a matter of a fact, all his previous 8C's he thought they were 8B+ as they also went down in just one or two sessions! The 168 cm tall says he thinks his progress mainly come from climbing more outdoors and working a lot on his flexibility and mobility.

Other reasons why we have not heard more about him is that he lives in Belgium and actually quite seldom climbs outdoors as he has focused on comps. In 2016, he won the Youth Worlds and the next year he was once #10 in the WC. Later he started to struggle. For 17 straight Boulder and Lead WCs, he was mainly #30 - 50, and it was not until the very last WC last year he was back on track as #14.

"Too much pressure but also not a really smart way of training because only focus on the physical aspect but it's something that we changed now. I try to climb more and more on real routes and boulders to work on the tactical and technical aspect." Next up is the European Championship in Moscow hoping to make it to Tokyo.

"I want to find a hard project to work on this year possibly the Sit of the Big Island. Next year I'd like to go one month to Margalef to work on First round first minute and one month in Switzerland to work on Off the wagon sit-start :)" (c) Oriane Tollebeek More pics and comments on his Insta.

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P con fin mas hulk extension 9a by Alizee Dufraisse

Wednesday, 21 October

P con fin mas hulk extension 9a by Alizee Dufraisse

Alizee Dufraisse, who in September did three 8c+ variations in the Ali Baba cave in Rodellar, has added an 8A+ sit start to one of them repeating Dani Andrada's P con fin mas hulk extension 9a. (c) Josep Malo

How have you improved during the sessions and how much did you need to rest in between tries?
I made only one try a day in order to recover enough. I think I improved both in strength and endurance. Doing the boulder problem was kind of more “easy” even if it was always at my limit (super strength/resistant oriented, 22 moved on crimps, long moves). Thanks to the battle I put in on each try, I was still able to do a hard route after the boulder.

The French, who won the Arco Bouldering Rock Master in 2009 when she also got a podium in a Lead WC, has previously done two 9a's. Including also four 8B's, she must be considered one of the best ever female sport climbers. In 2008, she was the French Championship in Pole vault at 4.35!

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TCT 9a by Lorenzo Bogliacino

Tuesday, 20 October

TCT 9a by Lorenzo Bogliacino

Lorenzo Bogliacino, who has done four 8c+' since August, has done his second 9a, TCT in Gravere. Interesting is that he prior to this had never done an 8c+.

"I spent the first weeks after the lockdown trying to gain some strength and endurance back climbing in my home crags and eating healthier to get back to a decent weight. In July and August, I was able to travel quite a lot with my girlfriend and from there to September I had one of my best seasons ever doing some 8c+'s and especially "Noia" that challenged me a lot in the past. Afterwards, since I do not have a lot of 9a's relatively close to home, the choice was TCT. I struggled a bit with the first 8c part but after a couple of days, I realized I was able to do it every time and started to give serious attempts to the full line. I fell on the last move Saturday and did it Sunday in the morning! For me for sure 9a!"

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Tuesday, 20 October

Dave Graham does Ali Hulk sit 9b

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Arco Irs 8c+ MP FA by Edu Marin

Tuesday, 20 October

Arco Irs 8c+ MP FA by Edu Marin

Edu Marin, one of the very best multi-pitch climbers in the world, has made the FA of the six pitches Arco Iris in Montserrat. The last four pitches are all 8a+ to 8c+. His manager Ivan Torres from Woguclimbing has helped out with further info.

The route had only old gear from the first aid ascension. Edu added between three and five bolts in each pitch, trying to respect the original route. He didn't use the old gear in his ascent just the new bolts. He started to try the route in 2019 but he didn't free the hard pitches until the beginning of this month. October 9th, after three final weeks, projecting it he made it belayed by his father.

"It's been a mental struggle. Knowing that you have to face an 8c+ pitch with only four bolts in 25 meters and potential falls up to 15 meters is not easy.

Last year the Spaniard did put up the first 9a+ multi-pitch in the world and although he has never been in Yosemite, he must be considered as one of the Top-3 MP/Big wall climbers in the world. In total, the 31-year-old has done more than 20 9a's and including having won the Lead World Cup in Chamonix in 2006, he must be considered as one of the best multi-discipline climbers in the world. "

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