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Pungitopo 8c+/9a by Adam Ondra

Adam Ondra did Pungitopo (9a) in Red Point Wall in March. "Bolted by Francesco Morandi. Epic line, epic rock! Hard to say the grade, tried one day with soft skin and wrong beta, then did it next day with better beta. Could be 8c+."

EDITORIAL

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


Euro Youth Cup Dornbirn

Austria dominated the European Lead Cup at home-turf in Dornbirn getting four golds. In the female Youth A they had four girls in the Top-5 ranking. It should be mentioned that France and Switzerland did not participate, probably as they wanted to prepare for the European Championship the next week.…

Male Lead dominated by USA and Japan

Male Lead dominated by USA and Japan

In the male Lead ranking of 2018, Sean Bailey was #18 and the highest ranked from the USA. The second highest was #43. In 2019, Sean had advanced to #9 and Jess…

Garnbret and Grupper win the semi in Villars

Janja Garnbret was the only athlete to top the semifinal route in Villars. Runner-up was Chaehyun Seo and the third was Brooke Raboutou, which also was the final ranking in Innsbruck last weekend. Among the male, Jesse Grupper got the highest ahead of Colin Duffy. Interestingly, Team Japan got four …

Knowing when to use softer shoes and stiffer shoes (especially if you're shorter in stature)

Knowing when to use stiff shoes and when to use soft shoes, as well as how to size them, can sometimes feel like quite the dilemma. As climbing shoe technology and our understanding of performance evolve, the growing trend has been to no longer downsize your climbing shoes to the smallest possible s…

5.09 and 5.04 by Kiromal Katibin

In the Villar Speed qualification, Kiromal Katibin from Indonesia set two World Records. In his first run, he did 5.09 and then 5.04 in his second race, video. Runner-up was Long Cao from China with 5.22. Besides the several World Records in 2022, the level has been pushed significantly and 5.58 was…

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Daños con-laterales 8C+ FA by Nacho Sanchez

Daños con-laterales 8C+ FA by Nacho Sanchez

Nacho Sanchez reports on Insta, with a 4 min video, that he has done the FA of Daños con-laterales 8C+ in Fortuna, after 30+ sessions. The Spaniard has previously done two 8C/+ and eight 8C's.

Could you say something about the process of how you took it down?
I started trying it some years ago. When I solved the isolated moves, I thought I wasn't too far from sending it, but I needed years of training to link the first three moves and another year to send it. Sometimes I had to stop trying it because of some injuries, but I finally overcame them and felt strong enough to send it. It has been hard mentally, but I've enjoyed the process very much.

Did you do any replica or specific training?
I did a lot of body tension and compression exercises and climbed many problems on the board with side pulls too.

Outliers 8C by Will Bosi

William Bosi, who has taken a break from comps in 2022, has done done his third 8C in six days, Outliers in TROMBARROW. "Really happy to get the 2nd ascent after a huge battle totally in 4 broken footholds. causing me to change beta multiply times."

Yannick Flohé wins a well deserved gold in Brixen

Yannick Flohé wins a well deserved gold in Brixen

After having won both the qualification as well as the semifinal, the pressure was on Yannick Flohé shoulders starting last in the final. He had heard that all his five competitors did the first boulder, out of which one flash by Maximillian Milne. Yannick sends it on his third try after having failed to match the Top on his second attempt. Later, Maximillian is the only one who tops the second boulder at the same time, Yannick can not match the top. As also the third boulder looked a bit too hard and Yannick fell on the second last hold, after a tiring attempt, the pressure increased on the 22-year-old German.

On his next try, he finds a solution on the crux and tops relatively easy and the crowd goes wild as well as the commentators and the DJ. Nobody tops the last and Yannick has secured the gold before trying the last boulder. He makes some good attempts and is again the one getting the closest to send showing who has been the best throughout all three rounds in Brixen. Runner-up was Maxmilian Milne GBR and Tomoa Narasaki got the bronze. Complete results

How did you deal with the pressure starting last as well as first falling so close to topping out the first three boulders?
I think I was lucky as there wasn’t too much pressure as there weren’t that many tops. On #3, I knew that nobody topped before. On a flash round (on easier boulders), it’s much harder to perform well when you come out last. I think I was capable of making finals last year but my head didn’t work. I got much stronger this year but I would never emagine winning a World Cup. Making another final after Salt Lake City was my main goal. (c) NEWSPOWER.IT

Interestingly, Yannick is an active outdoor climber and last year he did two 9a's. In 2022, he started by doing Off the Wagon Sit (8C+) but later he broke his foot. Even so, he did trips to Fontainebleau and Ticino, sending three 8B+ and two 8C in March, which have been covered in 8a articles. The injury made him decide to skip the first two world Cups as he could not run around jumping on volumes.

It should be mentioned that Yannick got the bronze in the World Championship in 2019 and that he in 2021 was the Combined World Champion. However, besides these comps he has only twice been in the Top-16 out of 16 Boulder World Cups before he was #5 and #7 in Salt Lake City in 2022, although having previously several times won or placed Top-3 in the qualifications.

9a and 8c+ (9a) by the Hörst brothers

9a and 8c+ (9a) by the Hörst brothers

Cameron Hörst has done Manphibian (9a) in Mt Charleston and there is a video. "Currently, I am on a summer-long climbing road trip in the western United States with my brother Jon. We have been on the road for three weeks now. We started our trip climbing in the Utah Hills (for about two weeks) and now are climbing at Mt. Charleston which is outside of Las Vegas.

Manphibian was established by Andy Raether a few years back. The route breaks down into two parts. The first part being a 35 feet of bouldery 8c+ to an average rest. The second half is 8b/+. You fight your way up a steep arete feature and then have to compose yourself enough to dance your way through a desperate 5.13 slab feature to the chains! Actually enjoyed the intensity of the slabby/vertical redpoint crux at the top! Was sketched out hahaha. 8c+/9a maybe, but I did think this was fairly harder than Arrested Development (9a), the stout 8c+ at the crag."


The day after, Cameron's little brother Jonathan did AD and comments. "Stoked to tick this line off relatively quickly before it got too hot for the summer. Got to the hole on day 2 and subsequently fell at the crimp move for 3 days ugh. As much as I would like this to be my first 9a it really is not. Amazing test of power nonetheless." More grade thoughts on the 19-year-old's Insta (c) Joe Kinder. Jon is sending AD and Cameron is belaying.

The Hörst brother started to make 8a headlines in 2013 as both were setting new standards in climbing. Jon did his first 8b at age 10 and Cameron did 8b+ being 11-years-old. Their father Eric is one of the most well-known climbing coaches out there and he has published numerous training books. Here is his first, out of many, 8a articles from 2013 on how to balance early progress for kids.

4th straight win for smiling Natalia Grossman

4th straight win for smiling Natalia Grossman

Hannah Meul from Germany made the competition of her life and put extreme pressure on Natalia Grossman, by doing all problems in just six attempts. After Natalia fell one time on the last boulder, the American needed to send it on the next try, to win, which she did. Zhilu Luo from China got the bronze and amazingly this was her first-ever World Cup. The 16-year-old had actually never done a competition outside China but last year she won the Chinese Championship. Complete results (c) Lena Drapella/IFSC

Natalia comments to IFSC: “I’m really grateful and excited for more. I feel like at least during the qualification and semi-final rounds, I had the most fun I’ve had in a really long time. It felt really good to compete without pressure again, because in Salt Lake I had a lot of pressure. Hannah definitely kept me on my toes the whole final round so that was kind of fun dealing with the pressure, but I’m glad I was able to keep it together,” said Grossman following her win. “I’ve been focusing mainly on boulders this year, but I’m very excited to get the opportunity to compete in Lead because I love Lead climbing. We’ll see how it goes!” she added when questioned about the upcoming IFSC Lead World Cup season.

Hannah, who previously has been #7 and #13 in the Boulder WC in 2022, comments to 8a: "It was amazing but I had the feeling that it is my time to shine. I was confident during all rounds. I got this feeling the day before the competition and I can not explain why I got it but it sure was a great feeling. It is a dream come through :)”

Before the final, 8a talked to the German Head coach, Ingo Filzwieser, and congratulated him for the great results also for having four guys in the male final. Asking him about the reason for the great progress of the German climbers he hesitated and gave it a long thought. "I think most important is the mindset. Everyone is stronger mentally and somehow myself and they all think they can make finals. We have a great team and train together at the same time as Hannah for example is doing most of her training with her personal coach in Cologn. You know, everyone is individual and different approaches are necessary at the same time we often meet and train together. I am not surprised that Hannah made it to the final and she can send all problems in the final."

It should be mentioned that the route setting was perfectly creating a big drama. On the second move on the first boulder, we did see six different solutions with Hannah's figure-four as the most spectacular. Everyone says that it has been a great organized competition. The live commentators did together with the DJ, the athletes, the route setters and some 1 700 spectators an event to remember with a smile similar to Natalia's and Hannah's.

Perfect female semi in Brixen

Perfect female semi in Brixen

Clear blue sky, 26 degrees, a fully packed stadium and Italian Camilla Moroni flashing the first problem created the perfect start of the semifinal in Brixen that lasted for another two hours. Smiling Natalia Grossman flashed all four being less than three minutes on the wall. Interesting to see that on the two first boulders she had returned to the isolation in less than a minute at the same time the other three girls had just begun climbing. Miho Nonaka also topped out all problems needing just five attempts. In the end, a score of 34 in six attempts was needed to make the final. Japan was superior with four girls in the Top-8.

The chief route setter thought it was a bit too easy and felt pity for Jessica Pilz and Futaba Ito who scored 34. Stasa Gejo #10 was probably the most unlucky as she somehow placed one hand at the top but then reversed in order to change her foot and fell. The commentators and the general view was that the setting was perfect and everyone says the venue is great.

- This wall and arena are on my Top-5 list having competed for eight years, says Mickael Mawem who made it to the semi. The Olympian continues, The Brixen city is lovely. It is like being in Chamonix or Arco.