Mori and Potocar win their first WC

Mori and Potocar win their first WC

Ai Mori from Japan, who took the bronze in the WCH in 2019 at age 15, won the World Cup in Koper by climbing three holds further than Janja Garnbret from Slovenia. This was the first WC in 2022 that the 18-year-old Japanese climber took part in. Brooke Raboutou from the USA took the bronze. Complete results (c) Dimitris Tosidis

Among the men, Luka Potocar from Slovenia earned his first WC victory, winning over Sascha Lehmann from Switzerland on countback. Luka has previously been #2 in the WCH in 2021 and he is now #2 also in the total ranking. Yannick Flohé from Germany, getting the bronze, was one hold behind. Interestingly, Japan had five guys in the Top-11, which is their best result ever as a team. Complete results


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

Japan, USA and Slovenia dominated the 2022 WC

Here is the Combined national World Cup ranking in 2022. It was more or less the same ranking in 2021, aside from Japan creating an even bigger gap between themselves and the other countries chasing them. The Czech Republic has dropped in ranking due to the absence of Adam Ondra. Remarkably, Sloveni…

The story of Flatanger's pioneers

The story of Flatanger's pioneers

Flatanger is a municipality in Norway with 1 100 inhabitants and also the name of one of the most impressive climbing caves in the world which the locals call, …

Japan adds Lead to their list of team wins.

Janja Garnbret and Luka Potocar both from Slovenia are the overall Lead World Cup winners in 2022. However, the team rankings are as follows: 1. Japan 21 355 2. Slovenia 18 274 3. USA 16 598 4. Germany 9 484 5. Italy 7 947 Complete results


Idée fixe 8c by Birte Gutmayer

Idée fixe 8c by Birte Gutmayer

Birte Gutmayer has done Idée fixe (8c) in La Saume. "~7c+ to a good rest, followed by a 12-move power endurance crux where precision and beta were key for me. The right mindset and good conditions had to come together to realize this project."

The 32-year-old's grade pyramid is very impressive and in total, she has logged 1 150 routes with comments in the 8a database. In her latest Insta from July, she comes with interesting thoughts.

"To find a well matching climbing partner is as hard as finding a good hold on Frankenjura limestone. Some look good but won’t bring you further. Others are maybe deep enough but don’t fit your fingers. Others may be to fragile and they break once you put force on them. Joy, motivation and awareness are some of the key features my climbing partner should bring to the crag. Positive energy is as essential as the air I breathe but nevertheless the choice of good climbing partners is often underestimated in an individual sport as climbing.

The choice of climbing partners is sometimes based on their maxgrade - the higher the better - but this doesn’t tell you much about the personality. They are probably motivated to climb but also to belay? Is your success of similar importance as their own? Other climbers choose their climbing partners based on fun - the funnier the better. It is getting complicated as soon as the evening beer is preferred to another belay session.

In my opinion good climbing partners are always aware and with confidence. They give me advice and share the perfect beta. While resting they don’t stare at their smartphones but enjoy our common real life with good vibes. They encourage me at the start and cheer at the right moment so I can push to my limits and beyond."

Could you tells us more about your ascent?
In June with „Idée fixe“ in my mind I came to Briancon to check out the route. The line in dark grey rock looked like the perfect endurance test piece where I could take advantage of my strengths. I had six days of projecting in three weeks with really good progress. In this phase I rehearsed all the moves, tried to optimize the beta and only did links between the rests. As a side project I climbed „Saume sweet home“ whose crux is part of Idée fixe. But „Idée fixe“ has a harder crux in the midsection. In the fourth week of my stay in the Briancon area I started to do redpoint attempts. I realized that Idée fixe won‘t be a matter of endurance because I didn't even get really pumped until the crux moves but my fingers and shoulders weren’t strong enough to do the last three hard moves on crimps. In three days I fell nine times at the same move without any improvement and I felt close to my physical abilities. Also the heat wave in mid July didn't increase my chances. So I decided to drive back home for training.

My motivation for training was high. So I was confident when I came back in August. But in my first week back on the route I struggled a lot with single moves due to quite humid conditions. After a weak the conditions changed. The humidity dropped down to 40% and I could do a big linkup from two moves after the first rest to the end of the 8c crux sequence.

I got psyched again to have some promising tries the next day. And finally it happened on my second try then. Compared to the 8c crux in control the 8b-part to the anchor was a bit shaky and risky because I took the gamble to not climb this part in one link since my first stay back in july. The whole process had its ups and downs but probably that’s part of projecting at your limit. And so I am even happier to climb this great power endurance test piece.

78 boulders 7B+ to 8A by Arief Nagara (12)

78 boulders 7B+ to 8A by Arief Nagara (12)

Arief Nagara has done Mark's Traverse (8A) in Mortar Rock and Midtown Brown 8A (+) in The Freaks. Amazingly, the 12-year-old has now done 78 boulders 7B+ and harder including three flashes. The picture by his father Innosanto, is from Action Jackson 7C+ which he has not yet done.

How much do you take part in your son's climbing?
I mostly am just lucky in that I have a very flexible schedule, and I know climbing so I can take him wherever he wants to go. I was never much of a boulderer and I'm from the era before crash pads, so nowadays my role in that is mainly helping carry pads, spotting, and videotaping. For sport climbing, I'm more useful because I can assess any cleaning issues if he has to bail on a lead, etc. But really he is very self-motivated about climbing. He has had some really great coaches and mentors. As I said, I quit climbing 25 years ago. My sport is martial arts, and I'm an instructor at a dojo here in Oakland. But he discovered climbing himself. The fact that I could support him in it definitely helped of course, but he's mostly motivated by his team and coaches. I think the climbing community has been great too--after some initial presumptions by some people, most climbers are willing to take him seriously as a fellow climber.

If anything I try to step back as much as I can because dad as a coach or someone trying to relive my youth vicariously through his accomplishments is a mistake.

Before this year I didn't allow him to post grades with his sends, but with that much experience I feel he now has a strong sense of what climbing grades mean in relation to his sense of self as a person and as a climber, so it's okay to have fun with that. His base is pretty strong, with almost 80 sends V8 (7B+) or above. Some are of course going to be disputed. Some are "soft". Some are hard.

Arief comments on his send of Midtown brown: "I first tried it three weeks ago and over two sessions got some really good links. But it still felt impossible because even though I could do all the individual moves I could only do the crux in isolation once every five times or so. And I couldn’t do the crux when I started from the start. Plus the second part is hard. But then I went back this week I was able to repeat the finish pretty easily and did the crux in iso on my first try so I was feeling really strong. I started trying send goes and taking long rests in between, which is unusual for me. But it worked because I ended up having enough energy to send even though it was at the end of a five-hour session"

Honour and Glory 8c+ (9a) by Mike Doyle (44)

Honour and Glory 8c+ (9a) by Mike Doyle (44)

Mike Doyle, who has previously done two 8c+ routes, has sent Honour and Glory (9a) in Echo Canyon, giving it a personal 8c+ grade. "What a fight to the finish! I'm really stoked to have managed to take it to the top the first time hitting the big flake! An endurance monster and masterpiece. Found really good beta (double kneepads) through the bottom. IMO 8c to the flake then 8a+/8b to the summit. That can take it up a grade but there's probably still better beta to be found. Lots of options and I really loved that about this route." The picture is from his Insta

Mike did his first 8c+, by the FA of the classical Lucifer (8c+) in Red River Gorge (KY) back in 2007.

Cabane au Canada 9a (8c+) by Thomas Joannes

Thomas Joannes, who previously has done five 8c+, has done Cabane au Canada (9a) in Rawyl, giving it a personal 8c+ grade as it only took him three tries. Adam Ondra onsighted it in 2013 and last year he updated his scorecard by calling it 8c+. Thomas comments, "Pure line, 100% competition climbing style. 🙂 Soft 8c+ in my opinion."

The 27-year-old has been an active competition climber until 2018. Seven times he has made the final in a Lead World Cup including once being #3.