Matt Fultz, who did his first 8C less than two years ago, has done his 15th, Pegasus in Joe's Valley. Add to that two 8C+'s, and the 29-year-old late bloomer is a rather superior #1 in the 8a ranking game.
How many sessions did it take?
Pegasus took 3 sessions. One is way-too-hot conditions, one with great conditions but I split my tip, then sent 1st go on my 3rd session.
How has Covid-19 affected your climbing life?
Covid has affected my climbing pretty dramatically. We’ve moved into a 35 feet long RV so we can travel as safely while still staying “at home”. Also, since competitions have been pretty much dead, I’ve been able to get outside more days than ever before, which has been a giant blessing. I’m not sure I’ll ever want to do comps again!
How can you explain being able to step up your game so significantly?
Honestly, I think a lot of my progress has come from my nutrition. My wife, Hailey, is a nutrition coach for climbers. She has guided me on a nutrition journey that has been life changing. It’s been excellent for my recovery, energy, and longevity.
Are you fully professional now?
My wife and I own a strength and nutrition coaching company called Off the Ground. Besides that I am lucky to be on salary with a few brands.
Clément Lechaptois has flashed Heritage 8B (+) in Valle Bavona. It was put up as an 8B+ and in the 8a data base, half of the 18 ascents have actually called in 8B+. The 27-year-old has previously done three 8C's and flashed six 8A's.What kind of beta and preparation did you use?
I watched some videos before going to the boulder. Then I watched Marine and Diego trying the problem and Giul gave me the methods he did.
Dru Mack, who previously has done six 8c+'s, has done Life of Villains 9a in Hurricave which was put up by Joe Kinder.
"I first climbed the ending piece to this route last year, with Flight of The Conchords. I moved here this winter to work at a new climbing gym and just climb a TON. Living here gave me the opportunity to try on and off since about January. A lot of days spread out over those 3 months though! Over the last few weeks, I got a lot more consistent at falling off the last crux. Even falling in the last moves multiple times in a day. The day it came together felt like one of those flow days that everything feels effortless! Jonathan Siegrist came out for the last little bit. Having his energy and support was super helpful! I followed it up with ‘86’d’ (8c) and ‘Killer Z’ (8b+). My best day ever! (c) Tradisplaid
What is your climbing background?
I grew up climbing in the Red River Gorge, Kentucky since I was like 12 years old. I lived in my van at Miguel’s as soon as I had a drivers license ha! Over the last few years, I’ve been pursuing climbing full time! I’ve been able to travel a lot more and just trying to do the hardest sport routes I can!
You did your first 7c+ at age 17 and then your scorecard shows rather slow and steady progress, including a wide pyramid?
Ya, I guess so! Building a pyramid really helps with confidence. I’m excited to not have a BIG project for a little bit and keep climbing lots of routes!
Nolwen Berthier has done La théorie des cordes 8c in St Léger. "I have always wanted to do it even if the bottom does not fit my style. I challenge myself to do this route while trying my big project and I decided not to focus on that route. The process would have been faster with another strategy … But the bet was won! To be honest, I don't really know how many session because it was not my main project and I tried it always at the end of the day."
Until 2018, when she was #14 in the Briancon WC, her focus was competitions. During the last year, the 27-year-old has done five 8c's and two 8c+'s and her long term project is Supercrackinette 9a+.
Piotr Schab reports on Insta that he has onsighted Darwin Dixit which due to a broken hold is "probably closer to 8c now" and made the first repeat of Tom Bolger's recent Wild West 9a/+ in Margalef. The Pole has previously onsighted nine 8c's meaning that he is one of the Top-10 best onsight climbers in the world. When it comes to 9a and harder, he has done 28, meaning he is Top-15 in the world.
Wild West: "New addition to Espadelles first ascented by Tom Bolger. Shares first few moves with Enemigo Publico, then goes right to Pal Oeste. I've tried it for two days in January, fell at the very top and now finished it off in the second go. Very my style but very good too. Those last moves of Pal oeste can be heartbreaking :)"
Stefano Ghisolfi has done his third 9a+ FA the last twelve months, Terapia d'urto in Padaro, near Arco. It is a link up in between L'arciere (8c) and and Goosfraba (8c+) with no rest bolted by Marco Erspamer.
What is next and what about comps this year?
I'll stay around Arco until the situation gets better, and maybe Céüse in May, I'd like to try Bibliographie. I'd like to compete this year but just in the lead circuit.
Martina Demmel continues her rampage in Oliana by doing Fish Eye 8c and El Gran Blau 8b+/c on her second go. The 19-year-old also onsighted her second 8b in a week, Marroncita. (c) Toni Mas Buchaca
”Another Oliana gem went down way quicker than expected without any warmup! Luckily the wind got stronger and the grip better the higher I got:) somehow managed to read all those tricky bouldery sequences just perfect that I was literally cruising up the climb with the pump kicking in while lowering down;) deserves more than 5 stars!
In the Top-10 onsight game, the 19-year-old is #6 but counting Top-50 onsights last year, she is a surperior #1.
Please say something about your onsight strategy and tricks having the pump under control?
I don't know a trick which works for everybody but for me it's climbing relativly slow and always trying to be relaxed in the whole body especially the face but this doesn't always works while doing a hard move but at least when arriving at the next hold, I try to immediately relax again. The mind plays a big role in regulating the pump as well😉. But mostly climbing on long endurancy routes for weeks is probably the best trick😜🔥
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