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La Rambla 9a+ by Jorge Diaz-Rullo

La Rambla 9a+ by Jorge Diaz-Rullo

Jorge diaz-rullo reports on Insta that he has done La Rambla 9a+ in siurana. "How happy to do this historic route. And also to get it faster than I expected (8 tries) chaining the first real try where I was going to the death but with very good methods and conditions! Thanks people!" (c) Javi Pec, who says he first met Jorge six years ago, "An unknown young climber, 15 years old, travelling by bus to the crags, sleeping under the routes... full of motivation."

At age 21, Jorge has done five 9b's and twelve 9a+ and he is #1 in the 8a ranking game just ahead of Adam Ondra. In bouldering, he is #8 including having done five 8C's. Here is a short 8a interview from last month.

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Colin Duffy (17) Olympic preperation interview

Colin Duffy (17) Olympic preperation interview

Colin Duffy, youth world champion twice, qualified to Tokyo last spring by winning Pan American. This was the first international IFSC senior competition by this 167 cm tall 16-year-old. "I didn't really have my eyes on the Olympics until the start of 2020."

How is your Olympic preparation going?
I am climbing 4-5 days a week, making sure to train each discipline during the week. I typically speed climb once a week and train endurance and comp style boulders the rest of the time. Along with climbing, I am working with a physical trainer to improve general strength and doing mobility work for flexibility.

What is your goal in Tokyo?
My Olympic dream would be to create memories I will remember forever and climb to the absolute best of my ability.

What are your Speed record, training and goal?
My official speed PB is 6.92 seconds. My speed goal for the Olympics would be to be in 6.6-6.7 range. To train for speed I like to do different drills such as working different sections of the route. These drills help me work on minor details. I also like to train leg power by doing exercises like box jumps and squats.

How has Covid-19 affected your training?
As of now Covid-19 doesn't have too much of an impact on my training, however, it affected me when the pandemic first started. When Covid was first spreading in the first few months of 2020, the gyms were closed and I was forced to train on my home wall. To adapt, I set different climbs on my wall and worked on physical training as well. Thankfully, I have full access to climbing gyms now and my training isn't affected. I have adapted to climbing in a mask though haha.

Who are your training partners and what do they mean to you?
Normally I train with my climbing team during the week so I don't really have any set training partners. I have been training a bit with Brooke Raboutou though who is a friend and fellow Olympian for Team USA. My training partners are very important to me as they help push and motivate me to be better!

Interview of his background from when he qualified to the Olympics winning the Pan American last spring. "I started climbing when I found the sport at a local recreation center around 4 years old. I fell in love with the challenge of the wall and would beg my parents to let me do it again. From there I practiced the sport periodically until I started taking it seriously at age 8. I'd say my coach Robyn Raboutou has meant the most for my career. When I started on team ABC in 2012, she has always believed in me and motivated me to try harder and perform better."

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Lorenzi suggests 9A for The Big Island assis

Lorenzi suggests 9A for The Big Island assis

Simon Lorenzi from Belgium did the Big Island in October after just two sessions. After another 23 sessions, he yesterday did the FA of The Big Island assis, i.e. from starting sitting. On Insta he describes the process, saying that he personally thinks it is either a hard 8C+ or a 9A. Based on that some other guys who have tried it think it is 9A, the Belgian concludes that 9A is probably the appropriate grade (c) Gilles Charlier

How hard do you think both parts are individually?
For me, it is a hard 8B (like harder than all the 8B I did) into a hard 8B+. But it's weird because this first part is so conditioned dependant. With 12°c it felt way harder than the second part and then if it's between 0 and 5°c it feels like 8B.

How good is the hold in between? Can you chalk there or somewhere?
All the way to the top without chalking up :) So just chalk up once before climbing. The end is complicated on the slopers.

Did you make a replica or just train at the site? What was the key for eventually taking it down?
Training at the site mostly because it's tricky and if I don't try it for a week I lose the feeling. Good short résistance and optimise every detail to spend less energy.

Did you have to use any special tricks being just 168 cm tall, beside your +8 cm ape index?
1: Using stiff shoes instead of soft shoes to put more pressure into the kneebar.
2: Using a stiff kneepad with something under (I first tried with old chunks of wood).
3: Stretch my upper body to gain mobility. Like that, I improved my arm reach a bit.
4: Using a different beta for the crux of the stand start.

What is next?
Next it's the world cup season in bouldering (I hope). And after that back outdoor to try hard stuff!

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Philipp Gaßner has done Toni Lamprect's Angeschossens Wolf 8C in Kochel. "The boulder is a harder exit version of Real Absurdistan‘ that I did a week ago. Then it took me one more session send it and grab its first repeat. Close to the finish it turns right and adds an explosive dead point to the saving top hold. The key to success was to climb the lower part as fast and precise as possible in order to save the necessary power for the last move. That boulder is just the epitome of my style and for now, I feel very fortunate about having these boulders at my home crag. So already looking forward to return for some remaining projects. There is Bokassas Fridge 8c that I'm psyched to try and a few easier ones."

Angeschossenes Wolf 8C by Philipp Gassner

Philipp Gaßner has done Toni Lamprect's Angeschossens Wolf 8C in Kochel. "The boulder is a harder exit version of Real Absurdistan‘ that I did a week ago. Then it took me one more session send it and grab its first repeat. Close to the finish it turns right and adds an explosive dead point to the saving top hold. The key to success was to climb the lower part as fast and precise as possible in order to save the necessary power for the last move. That boulder is just the epitome of my style and for now, I feel very fortunate about having these boulders at my home crag. So already looking forward to return for some remaining projects. There is Bokassas Fridge 8c that I'm psyched to try and a few easier ones."

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