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The Bow 9a+ FA by Stefano Ghisolfi

Monday, 13 July

The Bow 9a+ FA by Stefano Ghisolfi

Stefano Ghisolfi has done the FA of The Bow 9a+ in Arco. In total, the Italian, who has also been one of the best Lead competition climbers in the world, has now done 18 routes 9a+ to 9b+. (c) Sara Grippo Video starting 1.40 showing the amazing crux. Uncut video from below.

"I started trying the route after the lockdown and then it came warmer and warmer weather, so I was thinking about stop trying this summer and try again next fall, but I kept going and finally did it yesterday. The bow move is kind of crazy, when I was trying at the beginning it felt weird and quite impossible, but probably it is the easiest and only way to do it."

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Three 8c's by Molly Thompson-Smith

Sunday, 12 July

Three 8c's by Molly Thompson-Smith

Molly Thompson-Smith, who was #7 in the World Cup in 2017 at age 19, has done three 8c's in Frankenjura the last six weeks.

"With no competitions up until now, and the GB Climbing Team not sending anyone to the upcoming World Cup events, as no climbing walls are open in the UK, I could focus on rock for more than short December trips to Spain for the first time ever! I’ve been with Jan (Hojer) in Germany since the U.K. lockdown began in March, and have been making the most of the lighter restrictions over here climbing on rock in the Frankenjura.

After the surgery I had on my finger in 2018, I didn’t think I’d ever climb in the FJ because of its intense and fingery style. So before our first trip I was a little nervous, but it didn’t take long for me to realize I really liked the short and powerful style. I’ve just been picking routes I’m psyched for and trying to do them quickly (mostly within a session or two) rather than choosing any long term projects. I’ve not really done that much on rock so I wanted to get more comfortable with the process of climbing something- it’s pretty different to comps!

It was cool to be able to do some 8c’s and 8b+‘s fairly quickly and this has given me a confidence boost in my current shape as well as motivation for more. I'd like to try some 8c+‘s or 9a’s this summer just to see what they feel like! We’re back to the Frankenjura again next week and then maybe on to Céüse. I’ve never been there before and I’m sure I’ve been missing out on some great climbing! "


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Napred I Nagore 9a by Niki Rusev (14)

Sunday, 12 July

Napred I Nagore 9a by Niki Rusev (14)

Niki Rusev has done his first 9a, Napred I Nagore in Karlukovo. It starts with a 30 m 8c he did last month and then adds a ten-meter 8c+ roof followed by a five-meter 7B+ boulder. Ivailo Fazata put it up in 2015 as the first 9a in Bulgaria. "He taught me how to love climbing, taught me how to be disciplined and believe in myself." (c) Ivan Totev

"The hardest move on the 8c (Napred) is the last big jump for a hole. Then you must go to a very big crack. Then you slowly move your knees along the slit, as they are clamped, because there are no holds. Then the ceiling is turned. It gets even bigger. To send the 9a you have to go out through one of the eyes of the cave, and right in the end, there is a difficult boulder." More info on his Insta.

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The Bomb 9a by Fabrizio Peri (49)

Saturday, 11 July

The Bomb 9a by Fabrizio Peri (49)

Fabrizio Peri, who did his first 9a at age 42, has done his third, The Bomb in Collelpardo. "Before the lockdown I managed to send a project that I had been trying for two years. It is a connection of about 90 movements which starts with the most of the 8b+ Callagan and then continues with a 10 meters traverse into the second half of Sitting bull of 8c+/9a."

So how is it possible to be in peak performance almost 50-years-old?
It's possible if you have a great passion and if you like to always train to the maximum ... and you must be lucky to not get injured. I am a lover of training and I like to study and always try new methodologies. I am a military teacher of physical education and climbing and I can train two times a day for an hour and a half per session.

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Le mur du son assis 8A+ flash by Charlotte Andre

Saturday, 11 July

Le mur du son assis 8A+ flash by Charlotte Andre

Charlotte Andre, who was #14 in Chongqing in 2018, has flashed Le mur du son assis 8A+ in Fontainebleau, video. She was mainly a competition climber before the lockdown and had just bouldered few days in Font previously. Before she made the second ever 8A+ flash, after Ashima Shiraishi, she had just done a handful 8A's and now few days later she has done eleven. (c) Block’Out

"It was the first time I was in Font for ten full days and with a genuine drive to climb after being in lockdown for two months. The first days I discovered a new (for me ) but "classic" area: Le cuvier rempart with the first 8a of the forest and the "big five" famous and incredible boulders. Then, I realized that my fingers felt very strong. Manu (Cornu) told me that he tried the perfect boulder for me the previous week, a basic and short boulder, where "you are able to hold the crimps or not". I decided to try this problem but I was not thinking of flashing it. Once there Manu gave me all the betas. Just before trying, I was thinking to climb the stand 7C but he advised me to try directly the sit start... And well it worked!

I crushed the crimps one after the other. I was focused on my climbing and just thinking to go to the next hold. When I got the last jug, I started to realize I could do it and started to think and shake.... It was such a struggle in the easy mantle, haha."

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La Fuga 9a FA by Patxi Usobiaga (39)

Friday, 10 July

La Fuga 9a FA by Patxi Usobiaga (39)

Patxi Usobiaga, one of Adam Ondra's trainers, has done the FA of La Fuga 9a in Coll de Nargo. The 39-year-old has now done 15 routes 9a and harder, most of them prior to his traffic accident in 2010 when he sustained an injury to a disc in his neck. In both 2006 and 2007, Patxi was the 8a climber of the year and in 2009, he won the World Championship. (c) Alexander Hick

"During the confinement, the first month we were sick for a month at home. We do not know if it was the Covid-19 since at that time there was no option to do any test. Once we recovered, we started training at home. It was a very rare moment, since the social status, fear and situation meant that you did not have a motivation to train. To train, you need to have a goal, and the goal was unclear.

Due to my old injury, I had to undergo surgery a year ago where they transplanted a disc, that is, they put an artificial disc (C5-C6) on me, and little by little I felt better. It is true that I have limitations, in big overhangs, I am very limited, but in the process of not so steep climbing, it is really as if there was no injury."

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Social Distancing 8A+ flash by Zander Waller (16)

Thursday, 9 July

Social Distancing 8A+ flash by Zander Waller (16)

Zander Waller, who was #3 in the Pan Am Olympic qualifications, has flashed Social Distancing 8A+ in 11 mile. The 16-year-old has also done three 8B's, six 8A+' and one 8c route during the last month which he mainly spent around RMNP. The pic is from Honor Amongst Thieves 8A+.

"The flash was relatively unexpected, but the climb itself may have been soft. It was not really my style so who knows. The top out ended up being the crux because it was the middle of the night and I had no headlamp, and I was very close to falling. There was no beta for the top out though. I am excited to try much harder boulders in the near future."

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