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Sierra Madre 8C by Jan-Luca Posch

Saturday, 10 October

Sierra Madre 8C by Jan-Luca Posch

Jan-Luca Posch has done his first 8C, Sierra Madre in Zillertal. Video on his Insta. Until ten months ago, his hardest boulder was an 8A flash and later he has done six 8B and harder. The picture is from Agnet 8A+ in Flatanger.

Do you think your progress relate from you previously focusing on comps and seldom going outdoors? And what is next?
I think it's a combination of both. For sure the hard training in the gym and the comps, but also rockclimbing, where you also learn a lot about trying really hard. I won the european championships in bouldering in the juniors in 2017, also I got 3rd at the junior world championships in bouldering 2017. I didn't reach the top level in the seniors yet. My best international result in the seniors was this year at the studio bloc masters, where I could reach the finals among many top world cup climbers.

This fall I will focus on rockclimbing. There are so many world class boulders and routes I want to climb here in austria. Around Nov/Dec I will start to prepare for the next worldcup season in lead and bouldering, and hopefully reach my goals there. Also, I have many projects on rock that I want to send :)

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Saturday, 10 October

Frankenjura anno 2002

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Drew Ruana, 21, is about to set a new standard

Friday, 9 October

Drew Ruana, 21, is about to set a new standard

Daniel Woods is the best boulderer in the world having done some 30 8C's and a handful 8C+' since 2008. However, comparing annual tick lists, Daniel or any other boulder, are not close to what Drew Ruana has done during the last 12 months; 3 8C+', 9 8C's and 20 8B+'. Amazingly, last October he had only done one 8B+ and he was still doing World Cups in Japan trying to make it to Tokyo. Then there was the the Covid-19 lockdown and in September he started Chemical engineering at Colorado School of Mines. (c) Alton Richardsson from Drew's Insta, where you can find many videos of his hardest sends.

How was this amazing progress possible?
I don’t know, I think it’s just the way I pick climbs. I like to build a base before trying a hard hard project and then it makes climbing feel easier. An 8C now feels like 8B+ did in February. I don’t train at all right now, I feel way physically weaker than I was before. Just better at linking stuff together. I also went vegetarian in July , and that’s when I started sending a lot of stuff fast haha. (His father says, "He was so stressed out on the World Cup and was miserable. I think climbing outside with friends and in nature has really rejuvenated him.")

Which has been the hardest boulder and the most beautiful you have done? Echalo 8C (+) was the hardest of the recent ones. It took me nine days. (Most beautiful) Probably White noise or Dicktopia (8C's).

What is next? There’s probably 15 other 8B+ to 8C+ boulders I got really close on but never sent too 🤷‍♂️. There’s also a few more 8C and 8C+ boulders around here I wanna do but I’m not sure yet gotta see what looks cool.

How much how you been climbing outdoors lately?
4-5x a week. My normal amount. I just go by myself to whatever I’m psyched on or I get one friend to come with. But I have to be focused to get al my school done.

It should be mentioned that Drew was #13 in the Combined World Championsip last year, missing to qualify to Tokyo by one spot. Later the 21-year-old skipped the last chance to qualify in the Continental. During the years, Drew has made the headlines some 20 times mainly as a route climber. His first appearance was in 2012 when he as age 12 did his first 8b+. Being 16-years-old he did his first 9a. Here is an 84 minutes podcast with Thundercling from September and here is one from May with The Nugget.

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Marine Thevent does New Base Line 8B+

Thursday, 8 October

Marine Thevent does New Base Line 8B+

Marine Thevenet reports on Insta that she has done New Base Line 8B+ in Magic Wood. (c) Clement Lechaptois

"I think it took me 7 sessions! I tried it for the first time at easter 2019! Not sure if there was only one key 😂 I believe that the last months I earned a lot of expérience by trying harder boulders; I did a lot of moon board and smartboard training; and... I am on holidays so it is easier to climb when the conditions are good and when I am rested!"

In total, the #7 in the World Cup in 2014, has now done 56 boulders 8A and harder out which 14 only in 2020. The 31-year-old lawyer retired from the competition scene in 2016 being #19 in the World Championship.

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No kpote only 8C (9A) by Nico Pelorson

Thursday, 8 October

No kpote only 8C (9A) by Nico Pelorson

Nico Pelorson, who previously has done one 8C, reports on Insta that he has done the third ascent of No kpote only in Fontainebleau. It was put up as a 9A by Charles Albert, who climbed it without shoes and has later been repeated by Ryohei Kameyama who suggested 8C+/9A. Now Nico says that after finding better beta and using climbing shoes he calls it a "solid 8C"!

Comparing the videos we can see that the biggest difference is that Nico using two heal hooks, creating different beta also for the hands. In the picture by Hugo Parmentier, we can see part of the the new beta.

"It took me about eight sessions, seven last year and one this year. I did a super hard training of biceps and triceps with Lucien Martinez. I saw Rhyohei pass with a heel instead of a toe like Charles in a photo. So I tested this beta and it was much easier. In fact, in all the boulder, I did only one move common with Charles."

The 23-yer-old has previoulsy done six 9a's out of which four FA's. This summer he did a 9a FA in Céüse but beside working an extreme boulder project not tried any hard boulders."I prefer route climbing but maybe I am a better boulderer ."

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Prsty houslového virtuosa 8B+ FA by Petr Resch (46)

Wednesday, 7 October

Prsty houslového virtuosa 8B+ FA by Petr Resch (46)

Petr Resch has done the FA of Prsty houslového virtuosa 8B+ in Petrohard, video, after some 15 days of projecting.

So please explain how it is possible to set a new personal best at age 46?
I have been preparing every year 300-600 new boulders for the "Petrohradské padání" event for almost twenty years. About 300 boulders 8A and more (a total of 5000 boulders). Last year 8B and 8B/B + where the 8B was confirmed and the 8B/B + has not been repeated. It is mostly about climbing on small edges. This winter I started testing the traverse for 8B+. Due to the Coroana virus pandemic, we had to cancel this year's Petrohradské padání. I didn't climb all summer because of the heat and I trained. As soon as the temperatures dropped, I returned to the project and climbed it relatively quickly. As I got older, I changed my eating habits significantly and I train less with a focus on my weaknesses.

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Gancho Perfect 9a (+) by Tom Bolger

Wednesday, 7 October

Gancho Perfect 9a (+) by Tom Bolger

Tom Bolger, who previously has done eight 9a's, reports on Insta that he has done Gancho Perfect 9a (+) in Margalef. (c) Eduardo Navarro

"Gancho perfecto is an awesome steep route bolted by Chris Sharma. I was super psyched to complete this project as I had a bit of a mental barrier with the route having fallen on the last move! Psyched to carry on with the run of form that I have this year :) enjoying the climbing to its most! The route has three main boulders with a heartbreaker finish, a dead point from a shallow two finger pocket to a slopey hold on the lip of the overhang, that last move is as much mental as physical to hit it right ...."

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Three 8c+' by Petr Blaha (44)

Wednesday, 7 October

Three 8c+' by Petr Blaha (44)

Petr Blaha has during the last three weeks done three 8c+' in Gorges du Loup, including the FA of La constante de Boltzmann." My own personal ineffable connection at Déversé. You start with New Power Generation, at third bold decide the left clip is a hard bolder on its own, so you flow left with Magma, after crazy high foot decide it's boring and you want to rise and shine, so it's up in Jouleman till you get to the Zulu man, then the jug is too big, so you scorn it and go back right with Soul of fury to the chain. Only way up now is with Ultimate Sacrifice, so that's what you do until you have nowhere to go." (c) Roman Bayon

Helena Lipenska, WC finalist in both Boulder and Lead also born in Czech Republic in the same age group, has helped us out with some questions to the 44-year-old doctorate in theoretical physics.

What keeps you so motivated in climbing during all these years? It is absolutely admirable and very motivating for our generation.
Answer to this question requires a reflection on the topic of climbing and aging. There is no reason to lie to ourselves - climbing is a sport for young ones. As they say “technique is another side of strength” and with years our physical abilities are degrading. Where to start if one wants to fight entropy? First thing is to keep motivation high. There are two points of view on how I kept my motivation. I would say that I kept it due to my outstanding patience, ability to stay concentrated both in the short and long term prospective and widely diversified portfolio of my goals and projects. My friends would tell you I am a psycho. I really have no idea why. Training on a campus board at 1 am is the most natural thing in the world. Then you should avoid any injuries. Here I am just lucky and I am not inclined to any injuries. It is also not an easy task to make harm to those massive pegs I have instead of fingers.

This takes us to the question of weight. If you want to climb tough routes, you simply can’t afford to carry any extra weight with you and with age it becomes more and more difficult. After Abyss my weight started to slowly go up, last year I worked a lot and did not climb that much, so when after Christmas I stepped on the weight, I was really scared. That was how I first time in my life started to eat healthy. Then, due to the quarantine I’ve started to cook and now my weight is back to where it was 25 years ago and my physical condition is like during Abyss times. During the quarantine I kept training on my home wall 3-4 times per day and results are visible.

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