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Rainman 9b by Josh Ibbertson (18) Updated!

Rainman 9b by Josh Ibbertson (18) Updated!

Joshua Ibbertson reports on Insta that he has done Rainman 9b in Malham. (c) Marsha Balaeva

"Rainman has inspired me ever since I watched Steve McClure working it many years ago. It looked impossibly hard to me then and was blown away when he redpointed it in 2017, creating the UK’s first 9B! The route takes a super direct line up the centre of Malham cove on an impeccable rock all the way. It starts up the mega classic Raindogs (8a) continuing through the crux roof of Rain Shadow (9a) before heading into the headwall of Batman (9a/+)/Bat route (8C).

I guess my road to climbing Rainman started when I was 11 and first climbed Raindogs. I returned to climb Rainshadow in 2020 and Bat route and Batman in 2021. It was only after climbing Batman that I really started believe I could link it all together. Having redpointed all the others, I haven’t a clue how many sessions I’ve actually spent on the route. Lots! Since March I spent as much time on the route as I could, trying to redpoint. I’m currently sitting my end of school exams so it’s been quite a challenge to manage my time. The route spat me off the final hard boulder, (where it joins Bat Route) numerous times. On my 18th birthday, I hit the hold at the end of the crux but didn’t stick it...I was hoping Rain Man was going to be a birthday present for myself, but it wasn’t to be! I had to wait another week and a few more sessions for the send. I’ve put so much effort into this route, so it feels unreal to have finally ticked it.

To prepare over the winter I worked closely with my Lattice Coach Ella, we put in lots of antagonistic training and general strength work so that I was robust enough to give it my all, while not getting injured. I think this really helped. We also did a lot of work to improve my power-endurance, including the use of replica problems as well leg training for the kneebar rest. The thought of heading back to Rainman in the Spring always kept my training psych high!"

EDITORIAL

by 8a Founder and Editor-in-Chief Jens Larssen including also Analyses, Reviews, Training, Polls and Opinions etc.


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More Magic days for Michalea Kiersch

During the second half of May, we reported about four boulders 8A+ to 8B+ in Magic Wood sent by Michalea Kiersch. Now, 155 cm tall with some 7+ cm apeindex, has done five more 8A to 8 B;

Pura Vida (8A+), Never ending story 1 (8A+), Electroboogie (8A+), Foxy Lady (8A) and One summer in paradise (8B). (c) Nina Williams

Which one did you send the fastest and which one was the most beautiful?
Pura vida was one session. Electroboogie was two sessions to find beta that worked for me and also the most beautiful boulder.

What are your next plans?
One more week here and then back to SLC and maybe some Colorado bouldering!

Just prior to leaving for Europe Michaela did her first 8B/+ and her eighth 8c+. Including also a 9a last fall, she has one of the most impressive female ticklist out there, the last year. Michaela's answer last week about how come she is peaking now is even more applicable.

"I’ve always had a lot of support for my climbing. Community, friends, and family have been the foundation of my climbing for years. I climb my best when I am happy, and I feel that I’m at a time in my life where everything has fallen into place. Finishing graduate school is one of my greatest accomplishments to date. I think it gave me confidence and momentum that has carried into my recent projects. I haven’t changed much of my training routine other than having a little more time than before. I think it can be intimidating to try hard boulders. Maybe the difference is that now I’m up to the challenge and have been putting time into figuring out my limits within bouldering."

Water world 9a by Matjaz Zorko

Water world 9a by Matjaz Zorko

Matjaz Zorko has done Klemen Becan's Water world (9a) in Osp/Misja Pec. "Very nice, took me about 20 tries. For me easier than Halupca (9a). I guess climbing on tufas in big caves really suits me. I didn’t spend much time in Osp since I climbed Halupca, also because in spring I wanted to finish multipitch Spomin in Paklenica. I can say that Waterworld is more my style than Halupca because it's more about endurance and not that bouldery." Halupca was his first 9a which the 29-yer-old did in January.

How can you explain being a late bloomer?
In the last few years I managed to organize my life and work so that I can climb more outside. Also I feel the mindset is here and that is the key 😊.

What are your summer plans?
Well now in summer we are planning to go back to Bosnia with my girlfriend. Because there seems to be a lot of potential to develop new climbing areas with hard routes, but lets see what happens in the summer. For sure it will be full of climbing.

Victimas Perez 9a by Angie Scarth-Johnson (18)

Victimas Perez 9a by Angie Scarth-Johnson (18)

Angie Scarth-Johnson, who did her first 8c+ at age 12,has done the first female ascent of Victimas Perez (9a) in Margalef. (c) Jorge Diaz-Rullo

How many sessions did it take and how many times did you fall on the last move?
I didn’t count but I tried it from last season so 2 seasons! I’d say it was around 50 sessions but this season the conditions were so bad that some days I barley climbed. I fell at the top many times hahahah, I lost count, maybe 15.

What was it in the end that made the trick?
I guess just persistence gave me the send.😊 I'm super happy to have achieved the first female ascent. 😊

Did you do any specific physical or replica training?
I was doing replica and endurance training indoors and then I’d also do laps on the last crux when I was projecting it.

The Australian has been a life style globetrotter since age 9 when she did her first 8b. "I started climbing when I was 7 years old, not long after I began climbing outside in the local crags after school with my dad. When I started climbing, competitions weren’t really a massive thing and I wasn't really interested in it anyways. I enjoy the challenges that came with climbing rocks and the process of projecting. When I was 9 years old my parents planned our first overseas family trip to the United States. By this point, I was totally in love with climbing and it was mostly all I thought about. My parents suggested we could maybe stop by and visit some outdoor crags in the states to try out the climbing in another country. This was extremely exciting for me, with Australia being pretty far from the rest of the world, climbing in another country was a big deal."

Two 8A's by Allison Vest

Two 8A's by Allison Vest

Allison Vest, who previously in 2022 has done her first 8B+, has sent two 8A's and she is #2 in the female ranking game.

Mass Hysteria in Joe's Valley (UT); "Took longer than it should have cause I fell on the upper cross a couple times and lost the will to crimp for a second. Climb so nice."

Red Feather in Big Cottonwood Canyon (UT); "Super cool new one up big cottonwood with super unique and finicky edges from Odin. Always psyched to check out new boulders that haven’t had much traffic yet."