Victor Baudrand, from Salt Lake City, has done L'Enfumette 8c+ in St Legér. "Feels good to get back to rope climbing. Hadn’t sport climbed in 6 months. Happy to get this thing done in 8 tries! A confidence boost for me!"
So how come you are in France?
I turned 18 in January and my mother helped me move to France by myself to climb because I finished high school early. My parents love rock climbing and are very supportive of my goals. The initial plan of the France trip was to visit the country, train and compete in local France competitions. However, soon after I arrived in France in early January, competitions began to get pushed back to later dates or cancelled. I took this opportunity to simply continue my bouldering training so I could stay strong for Fontainbleau. With rain and bad conditions, I only had a few days in Fontainbleau but it was amazing.
What is your next plan?
My plan is to move to Voiron so I can continue to train with the French team and so that I am close to climbing areas like Ceuse. I would like to test myself on a 9a. Later this summer I also have planned to compete on the IFSC Lead World Cup circuit.
What about the coming new lockdown?
I am able to continue my life in France even with the new Lockdown and COVID restrictions because I have a “high level athlete” pass that allows me to continue to train and travel around France.
Alex Johnson, who did her first 8A, out of 23, in 2008 has done her second 8B, The Swarm in Buttermilks. "I’ve tried The Swarm several times over the last 10 years. My first trip out to project I spent 3 months trying it, and in the years that followed, each time I went, I got more and more discouraged. Taking a few years away from it was the best thing I could have done for my mental game. Part of me wondered if I’d ever go back..... but I’m really glad I did!! We went up 6 days this trip, but I was only able to climb 4 days due to GNARLY WINDS." (c) Bree Robles
Alex has won two World Cups, the latest in 2010 when she was #4 overall. She stopped competing in 2015 but was on it again last year when she tried to make the Olympics and her best result was #7 in Bouldering.
Daniel Woods reports on Insta, (c) Bobby Sorich, that he has done the FA of Return of the Sleepwalker 9A which is a pure 8B sit start into Jimmy Webb's Sleepwalker 8C+ in Red Rocks. Video from 2019 when Daniel did the 8C+.
"It’s all just a game people... and I play the game
The game is how comfortable can you become with your own insanity"
Already in February, he announced that he had done Sleepwalker from the stand 15 times out of which four times during one session. His insanity is best explained in an Insta one week ago where he, among other things, says; "I don’t sleep at night because of it. I don’t think about anything else in life besides internally feeling my flow on this thing. Figuring out how to speed sections up, when to breathe, when to hold my breath, when to ramp up, when to slow down."
The 31-year-old has created headlines during the last 15 years, and with more than 25 8C's and 6 8C+'s he has the most impressive boulder tick list in the world. Add to that 20+ 9a to 9b as well as winning a World Cup in 2010, and he is one of the world's best sport climbers. More to come including a video!
Alex Garriga, who previously has repeated three 9a+ and done seven 9a FAs, has done the FA of Malleus Maleficarum 9a+ in Cuenca. "The hardest thing I ever did by far. Brutal thanks, my friends." (c) Alfonso Martinez
Please describe the route. How many one- and two-finger pockets etc?
5-6 one finger and around 8 two fingers. Starts with 10 m 7c+ then a hard boulder with a low percentage move, followed by a big roof with big moves and then a vertical finish with a lot of endurance. In total 30-35 meters. It is the route that has cost me the most.
What is next?
Trying to do the routes and boulders close to my home until the situation improve. We are not allowed to leave our region in Spain. I would like to try some routes in Cataluña someday.
"Seb Bouin heads to the crag where the evolution of french free climbing took place, and to meet the protagonists who created the pages in its history books."
Jorge Diaz-Rullo reports on Insta that he has repeated Chris Sharma's First Round First Minute 9b in Margalef. (c) Adri Martinez
The 21-year-old did the easier variation First Ley 9a+ at the beginning of March and then he needed nine more sessions to link it to the final two quick draw crux of FRFM. In total, he has now done six 9b's and 13 9a+ and Jorge has been the #1 in the 8a ranking game the last two years.
Loic Zehani has done tha FA of Les colos travlo 9a (+) in Orgon. "It is a very natural route with a great gesture bolted by Olivier Bert. It is a resistance route in an overhang. You have to do the same 1st hard section as "Les colos fachos" then a nice diagonal on the right with beautiful movements. For the difficulty, I would say a small 9a+ or only a big 9a. This is the most beautiful hard route of Orgon."
In total, the 19-year-old has done 29 routes 9a to 9b out of which 17 FAs. Loic did his first 9a at age 13, video, and it is still unrepeated.
Moritz Welt has done his 13th 9a, Halupca 1979 in Osp/Misja Pec. This was also his 8c and harder #100.
"My main goal for this trip, already some tries back in 2017, luckily only three sessions this time. One of the best I've done so far, various hard moves and lots of styles combined in one route!" (c) Miro Enze
Could you please describe the route
It is about 25m long with about 10m in horizontal roof. I made 3 kneebars but I think even more would be possible. There is actually a second pitch bolted which could possibly add another 8c or 8c+ and make it a 50m cave climb... maybe someone should try that in the future :) The extension has been done from Troja 8a as Couch Surfing 8c+.
What is next?
So it's my last week here and I have one more hard project (Sanski Par 9a) ready for some tries. But I also want to enjoy some easier holiday climbing on my last days :)
Martina Demmel continues to deliver in Oliana with a second go of Paper Mullat 8b+ and a fourth go of La Morenita 8c+. In total the 19-year-old has during the last two weeks done 30 routes in Oliana and she is a superior #1 among the girls. (c) Toni Mas Buchaca
"Overhanging slab after already getting destroyed in "Marroncita" 8b the first 30 meters without a proper rest to recover before hitting the extension! Unique one move wonder for me with a brutal but amazing shoulder move:) fell twice there not being pumped at all but just a little bit of body tension was missing what made me even happier to send it the next day, 4th try! The last missing piece to start trying my luck on "Joe-cita":)"
How can you explain being in your best shape ever and how is that feeling?
It's still hard to believe for me because it feels like I'm climbing the same way like a year ago but maybe this now is the result of trying lots of different styles over the past few years which helps me with finding my own perfect beta pretty fast😉 but that's just guessing who knows there are so many factors which are playing a part of that especially mentally🙈
by 8a Founder and Editor-in-Chief Jens Larssen including also Analyses, Reviews, Training, Polls and Opinions etc.
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