William Bosi does the FA of King Capella 9b+ in Siurana. "Wow, what a route, climbing the first half of Davids "i have a dream" before going left and joining "A 2 Bandas" some of the best climbing i have done including a crazy jump to a crimp. felt a full level above la Capella so makes sense to be a grade harder. time will tell"
Jon Glassberg who previously has done 32 8B's but just one 8B+, in 2017, has done his first 8C, The Nest in First Creek. With 86 kg and 191 cm, the 36-year-old should be one of the biggest climbers having done 8C. (c) Jess Talley from Louderthan11
"I’ve been climbing for 26 years and when I started in 1994, the grade hadn’t been proposed yet. In 2000 Fred Nicole did Dreamtime calling it 8C and the Story of Two Worlds in 2005 by Dave Graham became the first confirmed 8C. I imagined that grade to be reserved for the best of the best who could dedicate 100% of their time and effort to achieve the goal, definitely not for me to ever realize.
In 2017 I decided I was going to give 8C/V15 a shot and train, diet, and prepare as best I could for the one 8C that might just be “my style” and suit me well enough to go down. I thought it was “The Big Island” in Fontainebleau and I started to siege over the course of 4 trips resulting in a couple of herniated discs in my lower back and a 2-year recovery that is still ongoing. I gave up for a while, thinking my 190lb 6’3” (86 kg and 191 cm) frame wasn’t built for 8C/V15.
After a research trip to Red Rock this past December I made quick work of The Nest Stand, a V13 in its own right and thought that adding a V11 into the stand seemed like something I could train for and maybe actually do one day. I invested 3 months of power endurance training and campusing and headed to Red Rock to begin the process no matter how long it took. After 9 sessions of incremental progress, it was DONE and I was on top, in shock. I came prepared and executed without an epic and it felt good.
I knew this boulder fit me well and I am pretty good at power endurance. The climb for me breaks down into V11 into V13 so the grade certainly feels like a massive step up for me in overall difficulty but I have never been this prepared. During COVID I had extra time to train and focus on climbing so I put that new found strength to the test on my dream project and it all came together."
Adam Ondra has done the FA of Directa Bongada 9a in Margalef. "Start like Directa Rodellar, finish in Bongada. It is link-up, but honestly, as a line it is the most direct and logical one. You do all the hard part from Directa Rodillar 8c+/9a, good kneebar and all the upper part of Bongada. Unfortunately the kneebar is too good to make any harder than hard 9a, maybe 9a/+, but definitely not 9a+. 1st real try after both Directa Rodillar and Bongada, in the very last minutes of the day."
Matt Fultz has done two 8B+' and the FA of Sound of Violence 8C in Joe's Valley and Warp Speed in Taco Cave. Amazingly, he did his first 8C two years ago and now at age 29, he has done 19, including two 8C+. The 183 cm tall and 74 kg powerhouse has previously explained that nutrition is a major factor of his progress.
Christof Rauch has done Monkey Line 9a in Zillertal. This route is an extension to Hias Line 8c+, which he did one day earlier. "Psyched to finish the next project. One more session was enough to finish this beast! Adds another boulder problem followed by a 7c+ route to „Hias-Line“. Onto the next!"
The 26-year-old has previously done 810 boulders 8A and harder including eleven 8C's. Doing multiple hard routes, he basically started in 2019 and just during the last 12 months, he has done 15 routes 8c and harder as well as 18 boulders 8B and harder. Amazingly, he is working full time as an engine building technician at a water plant.
So how come you focus more and more on routes? Did you run out of good boulders to try?
Yeah, that's the problem. I would love to try some boulders in Swiss but the route climbing at home is also pretty cool and a good change.
So what could be next?
No real plans at the moment. I have to look for a new project but there is also a slightly harder exit to Monkey Line. Maybe I invest a bit of time on this one as well. It‘s called „Walk the line“, FA by Jakob Schubert last year.
Stefano Ghisolfi has done the first repeat of Silvio Reffo's The ring of life 9a/+ in Covolo from 2014. (c) EnryChris
The Italian has won five World Cups and in 2017 and 2018 he was #2 overall. Including also two 9b+' and seven 9b's, he has been one of the best route climbers in the world in the last few years. Currently, he is #3 in the 8a ranking game.
Yannick Flohé, #3 at the 2019 World Championships, has done Geocache in Frankenjura which he thought was 9a as he just needed three sessions. Last week, the German did Working class in just four tries giving it a personal 8c+ grade. (c) Cristoph Hanke
What is next and what is your 2021 ambition?
I tried Corona a couple of times and some other 9a's but Meiringen is already in two weeks so I’ll spend more times in the gym 😅 I’ll focus on the Boulder WC season and hopefully spent some time in Céüse again.
Barbara Zangerl reports on Insta that she has done the first repeat of Sprengstoff 9a in Lorünser Wändle. It was bolted some 25 years ago by Beat Kammerlander and Jacopo Larcher, her boyfriend and who also took the picture, did the FA last November. In total, Babsi projected it for a month calling it her probably hardest route ever.
"At the end of the day the coolest thing about such a project is that you wake up every single day highly motivated. I couldn’t wait to get there and just try as hard as I can and find the perfection of every single movement. It is probably my hardest and one of the best single pitches I have climbed."
How have you been able to train during the winter?
We have built our own small climbing wall at home. So we trained at home during winter.
What is your next plan?
In April and May, we will stay around home. We can’t travel because of the Covid situation. It is all a bit insecure at the moment. In June, we want to visit Norway to check out some multipitch climbing there. In summer I want to focus on big wall climbing. We will go to Pakistan to have a look on the Trango towers.
The Austrian has previously done four routes 8c+/9a and harder. Including also her boulder, trad and big wall tick list, she is the superior best female multi-discipline rock climber out there. As a matter of a fact, when it comes to big walls, only a couple of male have a better or equal tick list. In 2019, she was awarded National Geographic adventurer of the year.
Daniel Woods shares his totally amazing “Into the Wild” story of doing the FA of Return of the Sleepwalker 9A in Red Rock, with a perfect “Hollywood ending”. Previously, the 31-year-old had never projected a boulder for more than 15 days but this time he worked it for five months, not counting doing (the stand) Sleepwalker 8C+ in 2019. On Insta he has talked about the obsession and "how comfortable can you become with your own insanity." (c) Bobby Sorich
Could you please describe the process of taking it down and the "insanity"?
In order to get fit enough to do this line I only climbed on it for 3 months straight. Literally had one day where I went and tried something else. I told myself that complete obsession had to occur in order to understand how to perfect the movement on this climb. The upside to this approach is that I got fuckin strong on it. The downside was I really got into my head in a way that I had never done before. Sleep was deprived, I was alone a lot for the last 2-week portion of the sessions. Being alone is both depressing and empowering. I had to create my own positive energy in times where having energy from others would have helped a lot. I struggled to understand my reason for continuing to try it. I had many instances where I was like “dude just move on, climb other shit, go get stronger at home, and come back fresh next year. But this was a cop-out in the end. Something in me wanted to get the job done this season.
The final 16 days of my trip I put myself in complete isolation in the desert and camped. Every night I just watched video footage of myself on the line to stay psyched. I started talking to myself a lot as if someone was there with me haha. The final week the climb was starting to feel more stressful than fun. I’d wake up every morning with butterflies in my stomach, anxious to know if I could get one more move further or not. Waiting for the point where I was gonna see regression and then that was it for my motivation. But each day I told myself to go one move further... every day was just a training day to get fitter. 2 days before I sent I stuck the final move and fell kicking my toe hook up into the final end jug. I knew then that I had sent... but didn’t. I also knew I had one more good day left before conditions were too hot to do it. I put everything in on that final day and sent. Sent alone (got iPhone footy of the send). It was a powerful feeling doing it alone. My friend Jon Glassberg walked up as I was preparing for the final slab and filmed me topping out. Was a fuckin dope experience that I will take with me into the next projects.
So for the insanity piece of my statement, I felt crazy as fuck in my head. I had to accept this feeling of self uncertainty and rise above. My head was my most important muscle in getting the job done. Blocking out negativity and constantly creating self-reassurance.
by 8a Founder and Editor-in-Chief Jens Larssen including also Analyses, Reviews, Training, Polls and Opinions etc.
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