LATEST NEWS

Black Label 9a 3rd go by Piotr Schab

Sunday, 19 July

Black Label 9a 3rd go by Piotr Schab

Piotr Schab has had a productive week with two 8b's onsight and Black Label 9a in Frankenjura, on his third go. Then he started his first bouldering trip in six years and flashed Shining 8A and did one 8B and one 8A+ in Silvretta. !Now I'm in Magic Wood for a week more and the training for an autumn trip to Margalef." On his Insta he reports to already have done another two 8A+'. Furthermore, there is a video when he in practice does Practice of the Wild 8C but after doing the last big dyno, he swings back hitting the ventilator... Record in bad luck but also strict ethics!

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Ixeia 8b+ by Théo Blass (10)

Sunday, 19 July

Ixeia 8b+ by Théo Blass (10)

Théo Blass, who did an 8c in June, has done Ixeia 8b+ in Rodellar. The 137 cm tall and 29 kilo needed 6-7 sessions to send it and here a video from the lower part. (Three pre-clipped in order to avoid risk for ground fall.) Picture by his mother Aurelia Blass. His father Vladimir Arnaoudov gives us the story.

"Theo spotted the line last year and was dreaming about it ever since. He knew that it was possible for kids as Naile Meignan had done it when she was about his age. In the beginning progress was slow (Theo was not in great shape and the Spanish habit of going to bed very late took some getting used to) but after 6-7 sessions Theo sent it, climbing completely a muerte and skipping the last clip (which is quite unusual for him as he is still a bit scared to lead). Theo would like to thank his friend Izi Martinez (who sent the route on the next day) for the belaying and the encouragement and Dave Graham for being a great role model and staying so positive (even after suffering a knee injury and being bitten by a dog)."

How are you able to give him soft falls while belaying?
To give him a soft belay I use a Petzl grigri, give a lot of slack and hold the rope between the grigri and the climber with one hand (let's call it the shock absorbing hand) with the elbow flexed (while my other hand is holding the rope on the other side of the grigri, as recommended by Petzl) such that the slack stays between my shock absorbing hand and the grigri (there is no slack between my shock absorbing hand and the climber) - if he falls my shock absorbing hand acts like a brake/ shock absorber i.e. I try to soften the fall by extending my elbow before the grigri stops it (so the grigri acts like a fallback). As he is quite light this works quite well and as long as I pay attention the falls are very soft (even falls close to the ground). We will have to rethink the system when he gets heavier (and/or I get weaker).

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MORE NEWS

The Shining 8B (A+) by Brooke and Natalia (19)

Sunday, 19 July

The Shining 8B (A+) by Brooke and Natalia (19)

Brooke Raboutou and Natalia Grossman have done a very fast team send of The Shining 8B (A+) in RMNP. In the last month 8a ranking game Natalia, in the picture, has only seven male in front of her and Brooke eight.

Brooke: ”Warmed up by learning the beta and did all the moves very fast. First attempt from the bottom I fell near the top and then managed to send on my second go! This climb felt very my style, but still doesn't seem like 8B. PS. Beware of the growing puddle/mini lake."

Natalia: Did the moves somewhat quickly and decided that this boulder was possible. Due to the pond I knew if I wanted to send it had to be soon. My first attempt went well but then after that I fell at the bottom for hours. Finally something clicked and I was on the last holds... but with my feet. I couldn’t make room to match with my hands and after fighting for 30 seconds I fell in the pond. I don’t think I have ever been so frustrated. After letting everything dry I gave it one more go and sent!"

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Doppelganger Poltergeist 8B by Alex Puccio

Sunday, 19 July

Doppelganger Poltergeist 8B by Alex Puccio

Alex Puccio has done her fifth 8B during the last two months, Doppelganger Poltergeist in RMNP. Video on her Insta. The 31-year-old is #1 in the ranking game, which she has been more or less the last ten years in spite of having had some bad luck with some injuries. "Really nice line. A bit harder finish than the Shining. Glad I decided to check out this boulder literally before it was over a full pond! Lol"

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Parle avec elle 9a/+ by Loic Zehani (18)

Saturday, 18 July

Parle avec elle 9a/+ by Loic Zehani (18)

Loic Zehani, who did his first 9a at age 14, has done his 17th, the FA of Parle avec elle in Spot sud-est. It took the 18-year-old six sessions to do the 35 meter super steep route.

"It is a route bolted 20 years ago by Jean-Yves Leguy with an overhang of more than 30 meters. The first part is quite physical but not very hard, however the following section is the crux of the route with a super hard change of hands. Then it is a beautiful very physical section on tufas which leads to a final bloc section on smaller holds but still on an overhang. It is a superb route."

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Friday, 17 July

8c/+ FA onsight and two 9a’s by Adam Ondra

Adam Ondra has visited Schleier Wassefalle in Austria and done the FA of Warm Dusche onsight. "8c/c+ to me. A linkup - You climb Eiszeit 8c+/9a below the final crux and then move to the right into Black Pearl. For the grade - you climb most of Fight Club (8c, but maybe a little soft one), rest, hard section, rest, and final topout in Black Pearl. Adds probably a lot into Fight Club, but probably much easier than Eiszeit. INCREDIBLE fight on my onsight."

In Schleier he also did Orca 9a. "It is an Alex Huber FA back from 2001 that was not repeated. I tried it back in 2009 and could the crux moves even as a single move, but then I made the FA of "harder" (longer) exit to the right which was another project by Alex calling it Fugu 9a. Orca still remained mystery for me. In 2017 I finally unlocked a new sequence to the left but could not do it that day. Today I did it in 3 tries. Really hard to grade, but despite it is much shorter than Fugu, I think it is at least equally hard.”

It should be mentioned that Adam previously has done the first and only repeat of Alex Huber FA Open Air in Schleier Wasserfalle from 1996, upgrading it to 9a+. Ondra also made the first repeat of Huber's Weiße Rose 9a from 1994 in 2008. Few months ago, Jakob Schubert made the second repeat.

The day before he did Walk the Line 9a in Zillertal. ” Amazing diagonal line first asended by Jakob Schubert this spring. Really hard start that took me a long time to figure out, into some kneebaring and easier climbing, into pumpy finish. One try to check the moves, one more try to work the moves at the bottom and then epic fight on my third try.

The 27-year-old Czech has also logged a flash of Zwerg Bums di 8B in Zemmschlucht. "Felt pretty easy, hard to say about the grade. Later, I was REALLY close to flashing Nihilist sit 8B+."

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Pengim penjam 8c OS and a 9a FA by Jorge Diaz-Rullo

Friday, 17 July

Pengim penjam 8c OS and a 9a FA by Jorge Diaz-Rullo

Jorge Diaz-Rullo has onsighted his first 8c, Pengim panjam in Sant Miquel del Fai and he comments and share a picture on Insta. "Today, after a long time and countless unsuccesfull tries, I climbed my first 8c onsight!!! 😱 but above all I have made a dream come true and I have learned a valuable lesson."

Later during the same day he made the FA of La piedra agermanat 9a. "A link-up of a 8B/+ travers into El mon agermanat 8c. Easier start and then a big fight in the end." The-20-year-old is #1 in the 8a ranking game.

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La prophétie des grenouilles 9a by Tanguy Merard and Yannies Gauthier (16)

Thursday, 16 July

La prophétie des grenouilles 9a by Tanguy Merard and Yannies Gauthier (16)

Tanguy Merard and Yannis Gauthier, both age 16, have done La prophétie des grenouilles in Fournel. It is a link-up of an 8c and an 8b with a hard boulder traverse in between. Both actually think it is very soft for 9a but as Ondra and Bouin have done it, they do not want to downgrade it.

Yannis, who previously has done one 8c+, needed six sessions to take it down."I think my next plan is La moustache qui fâche a 9a+ in Entraygues and another 9a." Tanguy, who previously has done one 9a, did it in just one session but he had done the 8c before and he is #1 in the Junior ranking game. Next project to finish for Tanguy is Biographie, where he already has made it to the second last hold.

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Umetnost 9a FA by Domen Škofic

Thursday, 16 July

Umetnost 9a FA by Domen Škofic

Domen Škofic, Lead World Cup winner in 2016, has done the FA of Umetnost 9a in Ter. "I believe it’s the best hard line in Slovenia to date. Very cool and spicy finish, you got to keep it together until the very end. Thanks to Rajko Zajc who bolted and also named this beast." (c) Nase Gosnik

What are your summer and competition plans?
Basically I have no plans because everything is unstable at the moment. Spending time in my gym working and training is the most important thing for now. I definitely miss comps and I wanted to compete the lead world cup season this year but if the comps are made without the right atmosphere and just because they have to be done I’m not sure if I’m psyched to compete. At the moment I will find another project in Slovenian rocks and try to finish it.

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