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Catatonica 8A+ by Mie Kastet (38)

Catatonica 8A+ by Mie Kastet (38)

Mie Kastet has done Catatonica (8A+) in Brione. "Love this problem! Appearance can be deceptive. It packs a punch! Not too experienced with these grades, so I'm running with the original suggestion. But it might be 8a. It may have suited me quite well too, so idk."

Interestingly is that the 38-year-old has had steady progress, since 2014, when it comes to scorecard points.

Can you tell us more about the ascent?
To be honest, Catatonica was not on my radar at all when we came to Brione this year. I had other goals. But I injured my right hamstring on a heel hook and felt pretty helpless on most of the problems I had originally wanted to try. So when we stumbled across this one and all the body positions and moves worked with little to no pain, I got psyched!

To me, it felt like a very technical challenge, so I had a rare experience with the flow state. Felt super calm and didn't think. Except for the top out where I told myself "keep it together". Two big sessions working the moves and sequences, then another short session where nothing worked. But on the 4th session, everything clicked. ☺️

Could you say something about your daily climbing life?
At home, there's a mix of training and going outside for bouldering to try some problems that I am motivated for. I also have a funny and very active dog, so she makes sure I take time away from climbing and get some sort of cardio done. 🤣 I happen to work at the world's best bouldering gym Bergen Klatresenter and got the sweetest colleagues who allow me to go for longer trips from time to time. And I wouldn't be where I am without my partner (Knut Sømme), who's both psyched to climb and very supportive.

JoeDan 9a by Leo Bøe

JoeDan 9a by Leo Bøe

Leo Bøe, who did three 8c+' and flashed Janus (8c) in 2022, has done JoeDan 9a in Santa Linya. "My first in the grade. Awesome and powerful climbing down low, then endurance to the top! Felt a lot harder than Fabela (8c+) which I also think is hard for the grade. Super happy with this one!!"

Could you tell us more about the ascent?
Last year the goal was sending a 9a, but it didn’t happen as I lacked a lot of endurance. I had to take a large step back and work 8c’s and 8c+’s and regain some more confidence and fitness. And now since I moved to Santa Linya I could relax and not rush for the grade. Instead, I did a lot of 8c-8c+ and took my time finding a project that I was properly psyched on. I started trying Open Your Mind, but this one felt really hard and condition dependent, so I left it for later. Then I tried Fuck The System, but this one was always wet… Some weeks later I saw my friend Pol Ortiz try JoeDan which got me psyched to tag along. The moves in the bouldery section down low felt hard, but they suited my style a lot.

This was an ideal project since I had already done Fabela 8c+ which shares the same bouldery ending. After 4-5 sessions I was able to pass the boulder down low and fell at the crux in Fabela. It felt way harder with pumped forearms from the JoeDan start, but today everything clicked. It felt awesome to clip the chains and it must have been my most emotional moment in climbing and maybe life as well! 🥳😁 I totally fell in love with the place and the lifestyle and I’ll stay in Santa Linya for 3-4 more months or so. Let’s see what else I can do during my time here! 👊

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


8c by David Bermudez (13)

8c by David Bermudez (13)

David Bermudez Carbonell, who started climbing two and a half years ago at age eleven, has done El calvario del sicario (8c) in Cuenca, in just ten tries. We sp…

Slashface 8B by Alex Puccio

Alex Puccio, runner-up in the World Championship in 2014, has done 250+ boulders 8A and up, which is a female record. In the video she sends the classic Slashface (8B) in Hueco Tanks (TX).

Contre-courant 9A traverse by Jean-Pierre Bouvier (65)

Contre-courant 9A traverse by Jean-Pierre Bouvier (65)

Grimper reports that Jean-Pierre Bouvier has done the FA of Contre-courant, which is a 60 move, back and forth, 9A traverse in Fontainebleau. Traverse grading h…

Game over on Excalibur?

Stefano Ghisolfi has published a video on Insta, saying he is just, "one foot and one hand move from the final jug." Meanwhile, Adam Ondra says it is "game over", due to the risk of finger injury.

MORE NEWS

Appointment of the king 8A+ by Jana Švecová

Jana Švecová (Vincourková), who last year did two 8B+, has done the FA of Appointment of the king (8A+) in Al Tawian. Last winter was also spent in the United Arab Emirates doing FAs.

Can you tell us more about your second trip to UAE and your 8A+ FA?
We came to the United Arab Emirates for two months, from December till the end of January. We decided to go to the Emirates because we know that you can enjoy climbing in winter here. It’s most of the time about exploring new areas and doing FAs. One of my FA is also boulder Appointment of the king which I graded 8A+. It has just really small holds, even for me 😃 whole climb is powerful and technical at the same time and it's in a 50-degree overhang. I also try to add a sit start now since we roll out one big stone and it is possible to start two moves lower, those two moves alone are around 8A maybe harder. I am 100% sure it will be around 8B+ 😀 We have two weeks left so let’s hope I will report some ascent of the lower start soon.

Kráter 8C/+ by Martin Stranik

Kráter 8C/+ by Martin Stranik

Martin Stranik has done the first repeat of Adam Ondra's Kráter 8C/+ in Holstejn and here is the video. " 11 days in total. Had to climb very precisely and fast on this 22 moves long boulder, which was really on my physical limit. Could send it on my 7th session, but after a hold broke I had to work much more on it, thus I recommend upgrade to 8C/C+." (c) Jakub Konečný

Martin won silver in the World Championship in 2007, at age 17, and has been one of the best climbers in the world since then. In total, the Czech has done 17 8C's, out of which four was in the last year. Until 2019, he basically only did Boulder WCs but later he started doing Lead events as well. In 2021, he made the podium twice at the WC and was #4 at the World Championship.

Open Your Mind 8c+ by Illya Bakhmet-Smolenskyi (17)

Open Your Mind 8c+ by Illya Bakhmet-Smolenskyi (17)

Illya Bakhmet-Smolenskyi has done Open your mind (8c+) in Santa Linya. The Ukrainian made his first 8a news at age eleven when he did his first three 8c’s as well as his first 8a onsight. Since grade one, he has basically been home schooled and for the last seven years been travelling around Europe with his family. Previously, the 17-year-old has done 16 routes 8c+ and harder and last spring he did No Kpote Only 8C+, calling it 8C after finding a new sequence.

What are your plans for 2023?
I really hope to explore Tirol and all the amazing crags/routes it has and properly settle down in Innsbruck for the studies (will finish the German preparation next semester and then will start a proper course). I suppose because of it I won't really have the possibility to travel a lot except for the uni vacation days, so homecrags/projects are going to be the main focus. Would also really like to start bolting/developing/FAing some stuff, because it definitely lights me up!


What do you plan to study at Uni?
I'll study Computer Science, so first semester is going to be full on math with not too much time to chill in between. Most of it will be offline. If I'm lucky I'll get some days to go out for a bit longer then a weekend, but longer is unlikely.

Wild West 9a by Vojta Trojan

Wild West 9a by Vojta Trojan

Vojta Trojan, who previously has sent seven 9a’s, has done the fourth ascent of Tom Bolger’s Wild West (9a) in Margalef. ”Hard bouldery start, then endurance leading into a last crux under the anchor. Very cool route.. 9a/a+ feels right for me - as it's much harder then the left exit.” (c) Jan Erben

Can you tell us more about the ascent? Since I was in Margalef in November and sent the left exit, Wild Publico (9a), I wanted to finish this hardest and purest version of the route, as I got back here after Christmas. It took me way longer than I thought and I'm glad, that the one perfect condition day saved my ass and I could clip the anchor.

The route took me 6 days (1-2 tries a day) to finish, + I knew the start moves from Wild Publico. Thanks to Tom for bolting the start and opening this quite new and very cool route as well as many others!