Wednesday, 7 October
Petr Blaha has during the last three weeks done three 8c+' in Gorges du Loup, including the FA of La constante de Boltzmann." My own personal ineffable connection at Déversé. You start with New Power Generation, at third bold decide the left clip is a hard bolder on its own, so you flow left with Magma, after crazy high foot decide it's boring and you want to rise and shine, so it's up in Jouleman till you get to the Zulu man, then the jug is too big, so you scorn it and go back right with Soul of fury to the chain. Only way up now is with Ultimate Sacrifice, so that's what you do until you have nowhere to go." (c) Roman Bayon
Helena Lipenska, WC finalist in both Boulder and Lead also born in Czech Republic in the same age group, has helped us out with some questions to the 44-year-old doctorate in theoretical physics.
What keeps you so motivated in climbing during all these years? It is absolutely admirable and very motivating for our generation.
Answer to this question requires a reflection on the topic of climbing and aging. There is no reason to lie to ourselves - climbing is a sport for young ones. As they say “technique is another side of strength” and with years our physical abilities are degrading. Where to start if one wants to fight entropy? First thing is to keep motivation high. There are two points of view on how I kept my motivation. I would say that I kept it due to my outstanding patience, ability to stay concentrated both in the short and long term prospective and widely diversified portfolio of my goals and projects. My friends would tell you I am a psycho. I really have no idea why. Training on a campus board at 1 am is the most natural thing in the world. Then you should avoid any injuries. Here I am just lucky and I am not inclined to any injuries. It is also not an easy task to make harm to those massive pegs I have instead of fingers.
This takes us to the question of weight. If you want to climb tough routes, you simply can’t afford to carry any extra weight with you and with age it becomes more and more difficult. After Abyss my weight started to slowly go up, last year I worked a lot and did not climb that much, so when after Christmas I stepped on the weight, I was really scared. That was how I first time in my life started to eat healthy. Then, due to the quarantine I’ve started to cook and now my weight is back to where it was 25 years ago and my physical condition is like during Abyss times. During the quarantine I kept training on my home wall 3-4 times per day and results are visible.
Wednesday, 7 October
Jakob Schubert, the best male Lead competitor the last ten years, reports on Insta that he has flashed Lichtjahre 8c+ and Goldrausch 8c. It should be mentioned that Lichtjahre has been considered a hard 8c until a hold broke and Alex Megos suggested an upgrade. Furthermore, Jakob is one of the open climbers being honest having several times given personal grades. Olympian Michael Piccolruaz gives us the story.
"I kind of demo climbed Lichtjahre. In Goldrausch he got the beta from Heiko Wilhelm. Always pretty much in control 😅 he followed the beta we gave him quite exactly as we said 👍".
Tuesday, 6 October
Dave Graham reports on Insta that he has done Ali Hulk Sit Start Extension Total 9b in Rodellar. The story he has published is as good as it gets finishing with, "One of my most memorable and rewarding ascents in my life 🙌🏻"
Here is how it begins building up the dramaturgy, "The day it went down I had zero expectations to climb it 🤣 It was one of the last hot days we had, particularly humid, and not a lot of wind, I was tired from trying No Pain the day before, and had some nagging splits that needed tape, so I sat myself down at the start whimsically for a good old training burn, planning to fall at the first crux..."
The 38-year-old has been one of the leading rock climbers for the last 20 years. He is also known from videos and social media for his energy, expressing and adding detail after detail for whatever climbing subject he is talking about with often a philosophical touch. On Insta he has 101 000 followers. Chatting with him means he clicks on Enter 50 times just within a ten minute interview adding interesting comments. He is also very very popular and familiar among the hard core elite climbers as he has been on the road for like 20 years. The coming Mellow Climbing video is something to look forward to ;) There is also an 8a interview coming up as soon as there will be some rainy rest days in Rodellar, we have been promised.
Interesting is also that Dave says there are three harder sit starts possible in the middle of the cave most certainly kicking up the grade.
Monday, 5 October
Matt Fultz, who last week did his first 8C+ Hypnotized Minds, has done his seventh 8C in 2020, Echalo in Clear Creek Canyon. Amazingly, the 29-year-old did his first 8C just 18 months ago and now he is #3 in the 8a ranking game. In 2018, he was mainly around #20 in the ranking game.
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.
Monday, 5 October
Monday, 5 October
Sunday, 4 October
Gonzalo Larrocha has had a productive week in Rodellar having done one 8c+ and two 9a's; Mona lisa L1 and La menina sixtina R2. The latter he personally think it is 8c+.
"I did "La menina sixtina" one week ago. It is a combination of La menina and la capilla sixtina. Last Tuesday I sent "Mona Lisa" which cost me a lot of tries in June, but now I only made six more. It was strange because on Sunday I could not do the hard crux. Finally on Wednesday I sent "Se me fue la Pinza" a new 8c+ bolted by Dani Andrada in June and which has been done by Jonatan Flor and Dani. It's a strange route where you need to manage the knee bars very well."
Sunday, 4 October
Mathew Wright has done Hubble at Raven Tor which was put up by Ben Moon in 1990 as the first 8c+ in the world. Although none of the first five repeaters did upgrade it, the UK scene including Moon did start some eight years ago saying it should be upgraded. Then the three latest ascensionists, all from UK and including Wright, have confirmed it to be 9a. (c) Georgie Lane
"Hubble has taken me around 25 sessions this year. 10 sessions to do the moves, 10 sessions doing links and 5 sessions redpointing. I also spent a massive amount of time training specifically for the route! I also spent an additional 4 sessions on it last year but didn’t get anywhere.
Previously, the hardest routes I’ve done are Evolution (8c+) and Kaabah (8c+). The hardest boulders I’ve done are Serendipity (8B+) and Belly of the Beast (8B/+). Hubble for me was much harder than any of these climbs. Serendipity taken me less time to do but was my previous hardest tick. Hubble for me is without a doubt the hardest piece of climbing I’ve ever done and if Kaabah and Evolution are 8c+, Hubble is certainly 9a. It taken me longer to do the moves on Hubble than it did to redpoint any of my previous hardest routes.
I’m around 180 cm. I do believe that it’s easier if you’re short as the crux moves are very bunched for me and I found it incredibly hard for this reason. Short people can also get a left leg knee bar like what Sean McColl used. I’ve not used this knee but I’ve seen people do it and I can see that it makes the crux much easier. Basically, if you’re short and can get the left knee bar in, it is probably 8c+ but I can’t say for certain."
In an Insta video, we can see that Mathew is the first climber to have used a knee pad on his right leg possibly making the start of the crux a bit easier. McColl (169 cm), who has not done it, was the first climber who used a knee pad on his left leg
Sunday, 4 October
Saturday, 3 October
by 8a Founder and Editor-in-Chief Jens Larssen including also Analyses, Reviews, Training, Polls and Opinions etc.
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