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Estado Critico 9a by Štěpán Volf

Estado Critico 9a by Štěpán Volf

Štěpán Volf has done his first 9a, Estado Critico in Siurana. The route is famous for Alex Megos onsight back in 2013. The picture is from a no-hands rest after having climbed the first 7c section. He stayed there for a minute and interestingly he had to take the knee pad off higher up in order to have the full flexibility bending his knee sitting while doing a move.

"Estado was a big challenge for me. For the past 3 years, I've been almost exclusively been bouldering, or done short bouldery routes, because the feeling of trying something for more time than three days was driving me crazy. I was really impatient. This year I've decided to change that and I wanted to choose the most challenging route for me (endurance based).

After five days of trying I knew that every attempt could be the ONE, but then the weather changed a lot. Strong freezing wind was making not the best conditions for climbing. So I've spent about two weeks of falling basically in the same move over and over again because my fingers were freezing really fast in these conditions, which started to effect my mindset. Fortunately, I've put myself together and climbed the route on the second day after the conditions improved. I was so happy so I even cried a bit. Funny thing is, that after my ascent it actually started to snow!"

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"This boulder just suited me very well, and with every session, I felt stronger and stronger on the underclings. 10 sessions this season and around 5 or 6 last season. I think I fell going to the sloper from the bottom almost 30 times before I stuck it on point.""

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Two 8A+' by Natalia Grossman (19)

Two 8A+' by Natalia Grossman (19)

Natalia Grossman has done Burnt 8A+ and Wet Dream 8A+ during a one week trip to Red Rock. More pics on her Insta. In the 8a Top-50 ascents ranking game, the 19-year-old is #3.

For the last five years, Natalia has been training and hanging out together with Brooke Raboutou. Mellow just published their summer video "For the first eight months of the year like four times a week but then once school started we didn’t train together because we were living in different states. Brooke has been the best climbing partner I could ever ask for. She always believes in me and motivates me to be the best climber I can be!"

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The Big Island 8C by Nicolas Collin

The Big Island 8C by Nicolas Collin

Nicolas Collin, who was #2 in Lead in Moscow last months, has done The Big Island 8C in Fontainebleau. In total, it took him nine sessions but that was also because of bad weather and conditions during his Christmas holiday. (c) Nicolas Vancayzeele

"The weather was not so good so it was hard to climb on the boulder but we took those sessions with bad weather as a training. Every session I was doing better on the boulder so there were any real downs in the process😅 I knew that it was my last day in Fontainebleau today so I had a little pressure to send it😀"

Amazingly, his previous boulder best was 8A so the Belgian must have set some new kind of record jumping four grades.

"I didn't climb so much outdoor before as I was much more in the competition and studies. Now I take little more time to climb outdoor but it's still not so much The only boulder I climb during this trip was the Big Island. It was a big project."

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D1 8c and two 8b+ OS by Adam Ondra

Adam Ondra has onsighted two 8b+ in Grotte de l'ours; Bleu and Les Massey Ferguson. "World's first 8b+ onsight by Elie Chevieux in 1995! I do not think it had been onsighted again." Two days later he opened 2021 by onsighted D1 in Blavet. "Clipping the draws. Felt pretty soft to me, but I don't my level at the moment."

Ondra is the superior best redpoint climber in the year but what is not so well known is that he is much more dominant in onsight. In total, the 27-year-old has onsighted 88 routes 8c and harder including three 9a's. The runner up in this list is Alex Megos with some ten 8c and harder onsights. It should be noted that Adam actually was the first to onsight a 9a but this did not make it to the history books as he downgraded is it as he also has done with several other hard insights.

Noteworthy is also that as a matter of a fact, the general onsight level of the best climbers has gone down the last years, especially for the male. Jorge Diaz-Rullo is #2 in the 8a annual onsight ranking game and he has onsighted his first two 8c's in 2020.

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Witchcraft 8C FA by Nicolai Užnik

Witchcraft 8C FA by Nicolai Užnik

Nicolai Užnik, who won a Bouldering Euro Youth Cup in 2019, has done the FA of Witchcraft 8C in Villach and he has a video on Insta.

"Actually this boulder has been a project for many years but after nobody could find a way to climb it, it was kind of forgotten. At the beginning of this year, a friend of mine told me about this line and asked me if I wanted to try it, so I started working on it. After a few sessions, I got quite close for the first time but then a key hold broke off which made the second and third move even harder. Since then I struggled to even do those two single moves and a few days ago when I finally sent it, it was actually also the first time I even stuck the single moves after the hold broke off. I wasn‘t sure if it was possible for me to climb it, so I really surprised myself when I did. I never worked so long on a boulder before, which makes this whole process even more special for me."

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Sleepwalker 8C+ by Nathan Williams

Sleepwalker 8C+ by Nathan Williams

Nathan Williams, who have just done two 8B+' has done Sleepwalker in Red Rocks. Jimmy Webb FA video. Later also Daniel Woods, Nalle Hukkataival and Drew Ruana have repeated it making it the second most repeated 8C+ in the world, after Creature of the black lagoon with seven ascents. (c) Alton Richardsson

"This boulder just suited me very well, and with every session, I felt stronger and stronger on the underclings. 10 sessions this season and around 5 or 6 last season. I think I fell going to the sloper from the bottom almost 30 times before I stuck it on point."

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