Jonathan Siegrist completes Me I Eat Dust (9a+)

Jonathan Siegrist, who has 75 routes 9a to 9b under his belt, has completed Me I Eat Dust (9a+) at the Unknown Crag in central Texas. (c) Ryan White

2nd ascent of this obscure, intense and amazing route from Cody Roth. Very cool precision style with no rests. Massive thanks to the crew here and to Cody for the motivation! I made rapid progress in my first few days but I underestimated how hard the final moves would be from the ground... My preparation felt to be perfect - so happy to fight through it last night!

It climbs the crux of a 8c+ called ‘I Me Mine’ and then without rest does a long and amazing V12 [8A+] boulder problem”

How many sessions did you put in?
I tried it once when I was visiting 3 years ago and loved the movement. As for working sessions not sure. Been here for 2 weeks but I had some trouble with conditions - it’s so hard to get it perfect here as the cliff faces the sun and the winters are very short in Texas! For this reason night sessions are best.

Will Bosi repeats Return of the Sleepwalker (9A)

William Bosi has made the second ascent of Daniel Woods’ Return of the Sleepwalker (9A) in Black Velvet Canyon, after projecting it for 12 sessions. This was the third 9A for the former competitive climber who has already completed Burden of Dreams (9A) and Alphane (9A). The 25-year-old stopped competing in 2021 after having had his best year in 2019, twice placing fourth in the World Cup. (c) Teresa Coimbra

Coming out to Las Vegas, I had no idea how this trip was going to go as I do not climb on sandstone often and Sleepwalker did not look my style. Sending Sleepwalker 8C/V15 in only three days completely blew my mind and having a long time left on the trip, I was pretty confident I could have a good stab at getting Return of the Sleepwalker done.

In the last session before the send, everything just clicked. I was feeling confident but as the weather forecast looked bleak with a storm closing in, I was only able to take one rest day before heading back out for another session. I still felt quite tired so I was unsure about even trying it. However, after warming up, the moves were feeling great and I decided to give it a go. The first attempt went perfectly up to the sloper but then I really messed up the next move through to the slot and almost dropped it. Somehow, I recovered and hit the last hard move perfectly. Pulling onto the slab was incredible and I had to take a minute to get my breath back before heading up to the top.

Grade wise I still believe the stand start is only 8C/V15 but I do think the sit start adds enough for it to remain 9A/V17. In comparison to the other climbs I have done at this grade, I think Return of the Sleepwalker comes in around the bottom end of the grade. Burden of Dreams was harder but it is such a different style. [However] I think ‘Return’ probably came in harder than Alphane. Currently, I am very unsure about the distinction between 8C+ and 9A and I think it will take some time and a broader consensus of climbers operating at this level to get the distinction right.

My next project is dependent on conditions but I would love to head back to Arco and try to finish Excalibur (Stefano Ghisolfi’s 9b+/5.15c) or back to Brno to work more on Terranova. I would also love to spend some time finding new lines in Scotland but the weather seems to always be against that!”

Did you find and use any new beta for the send?
I used different beta on the lower section but it’s actually not new and was the original beta Daniel was trying. I do think it’s easier beta though (definitely for me anyway)!

How was day one and your first impression?
Just pure psych on the first day. I couldn’t believe I had made it to the boulder and it really is as good as people say.

“What an opportunity to discover a place like this! PEN-HIR! La Bretagne! Climbing above the ocean with so much atmosphere is not something I'm used to. I love being able to repeat these historic routes, which by the way, are sometimes tricky, with a rock type dependent on the weather conditions. I …

Adam Ondra does Narcissus (9a) second go

Adam Ondra has done Narcissus (9a) in Oltrefinale / Albenga, on his second go. “Amazing line by Matteo Gambaro. Me and Seb [Bouin] we both used kneepads and took kind of different direction/beta on the very top (what we believe is more intuitive) which makes it much easier. and I think it could be soft 9a like this. The way Matteo did it is much harder and could be even 9a+?” (c) Jara Sijka

The 40 meter route is a link up of two 8b+’ with a hard roof section in between, Gambaro was 45 when he did the FA.

Adam has also added two more 8c+'s to his scorecard meaning that he is fast approaching 500 ascents 8c+ and harder.

Vitamania (8c+) - ” Did it in the evening after sending Bon Voyage (2 tries), more filming in BV and on the way down, I checked it for 10min, rested 3mins and did it with headlamp. Probably soft 8c+?”

Stéroïde bul (8c+) - ” So close to flash after Jules showed me the moves.”

Gio Placci does Captain Nemo (8C) and The New Abnormal (8B+)

Gio Placci has done The New Abnormal (8B+) and Captain Nemo (8C) in Valle Bavona. “Such a gem! Shout out to my blood bro Pietro Vidi for the FA. Captain Nemo is the sit start to Finding Nemo (8A+). ”

During the last four months the Italian has done eight boulder problems 8B+ to 8C, in spite having had a finger injury for the first nine months of 2023. In 2022, he did three 9a+’s and was #21 in the Lead WC in Edinburgh.

Can you tell us more about Nemo and New Abnormal?
The breakdown is about 8B+ soft into knee bar rest into the stand that is 8A+. It is for sure one of the best hard boulders I have ever tried. Five small sessions [for Nemo] and three for Abnormal. I used a different beta compared to Jimmy’s beta , that’s why I think 8B+ is a right grade.

What are you looking to do next?
It is time to switch to my real discipline that’s lead! World Cup final and climb hard routes but I still don’t know which ones.

Martina Demmel sends Coma Sant Pere (8c+)

Martina Demmel has done Coma Sant Pere (8c+) in Margalef. ”Still in disbelief! How I missed the feeling of dominating almost all the 45 meters... keeping my focus after passing my previous highpoint was another crux! 6 tries & more on Insta soon:)” (c) Jordi Rullo

The next day she moved to Siurana and completed 2 x 30 (8c). ”Having a 100% humidity on those always soaked holds was far from ideal but since Vera started the send-train again, I had to jump on as well;) had it in my mind for 4 years when I touched the holds the first time! 9 tries in total.

How long are you staying in Spain and when will you start preparing for the World Cup?
I'm gonna stay in Margalef until the end of February because then it's time to go back home for the selection comp for the World cups. This trip was already planned with the national team coaches since last summer and it was supposed to be a little change in between of longer training periods and since I'm only focusing on Lead, there's still some time until the season properly starts! And I'm also doing a few off-the-wall exercises here.

Marie Dorsaz, 39, does Master of Pogs (8A)

Marie Dorsaz has done Master of Pogs 8A in La Balmaz. The 39-year-old started climbing at age 22 and sent her first 8A, out of seven, at 34 and first 8A+ two years later.

Can you tell us more about the ascent?
The boulder was opened as an 8B by Fred Nicole in 1996, but since then, several holds have broken, making the line easier. I tried this line a few years ago but I wasn’t strong enough for this powerful boulder. Two weeks ago, I decided to try it again, thinking that, maybe, I got stronger over the years. And, to my surprise, I got all the moves quickly in the first session, and sent it a few days later. I’m happy to see that at nearly 40 years old (I’ll be 40 in March), I can still make progress.

What does a typical climbing week look like for you?
My partner Theo and I have our own moonboard at home, so our training is mainly done using this tool. And when I’m not working, I climb outside whenever I can, but also in the gym for fun.

What is coming up next?
Of course I’d like to progress further and why not do an 8B boulder. I’ve already tried Tronic summer (8B) in Valais, where I live, and it suits me pretty well, so I’m going to try it again this summer. Maybe it’ll take me a few years to send it and I’ll do my first 8B boulder when I’m 45, who knows? :)

Adam Ondra ticks Bon Voyage (9a) trad

Adam Ondra reports on Instagram that he has done the second ascent of James Pearson’s masterpiece Bon Voyage (9a) trad in Annot, after trying it for three days. (c) Petr Chodura

It is hands down one of the best routes I have ever climbed, and it is a true miracle that there are just enough holds to make it climbable and enough gear to make runout, but safe.”

Pearson did not suggest a grade but Ondra says he thinks it could be a solid 9a if bolted and placing gear makes it a little bit more difficult. In other words, Bon Voyage might be the hardest trad climb in the world. Noteworthy is also that Ondra has made the hardest grade in all disciplines and styles except for his 8C+ boulder; 9c, 9a+ flash, 9a onsight, 8B+ flash, 9a MP and 9a trad.

Martina Demmel does Combifetis (8c)

Martina Demmel has ticked Combifetis (8c) in Margalef. In total, the 22-year-old has now done 53 routes 8c to 9a.

Can you tell us more about the trip and doing Combifetis?
I didn't know what to expect before going into this trip because it feels like I have a completely different relation to climbing now compared to the last longer rock climbing trip [I did]. Starting it off right away with a route which is definitely out of my comfort zone was also a completely new approach & experience not only because I still had a big lack of endurance for sth longer than gym routes and adapting to this pockety style is still a painful process.

I'm here with my best friend Vera who surprised herself with her hardest onsight yet which is why we couldn't stop smiling! I'm often more happy for my friends successes than my own and this helped me focusing on the joy for giving a try myself in Combifetis😁💃! The nervousness was soon forgotten as there's no time to think or chalk during the whole loop around Fustigator. The deep pump even made me skip 2 draws before clipping the chains 4th try.

What about competitions 2024?
My main focus is on preparing for the Lead Worldcups and I'm trying my best to get selected to compete at all of them which is harder this year because we've only got 3 starting places. So there are only a few short windows for rock climbing during the year🙃🌞.

Adam Ondra gets back to onsighting

Adam Ondra reports on Instagram that he was planning to trad climb in Annot but due to rain he went to Gorges du Loup and managed to send Inga 8c+/9a. The next day it was time for Buoux where he onsighted Le brillant saoul (8c) and Finement con (8b+). (c) Petr Chodura

The 30-year-old is approaching 100 onsights of routes graded 8c to 9a. No other climber has onsighted more than a dozen grade 8c and harder. Ondra has also frequently downgraded his onsights. He would have well over 200 routes 8b+ and harder registered as onsights were it not for his downgrading.

Ethan Salvo completes The Singularity (8C)

Ethan Salvo has sent The Singularity (8B+) in Squamish after projecting for some 60 sessions over four years. It was put up by Tim Clifford in 2007 as an 8B+ and the upgrade comes from the later repeaters who started one move lower. (c) Pat Valade

To me, the singularity was my most fulfilling journey as a boulderer, and also the longest. Although the boulder looks quite simple, I had to go really deep to understand what it would take to climb the problem. In my years of effort, the problem pushed me to improve in every way.

By time I was able to execute the crux move, I had grown so much as a granite boulderer. My understanding of body position, hand placement, conditions, weather pattern, skin tactics, and more had greatly improved. It was clear that all the days I put in were finally paying off, and that the end was near.

My 2023 season ended by falling after the crux move 4 times total. I honestly never thought it would be possible to fall after the crux, but the slightest error in my set up for the crux made the 4th move extremely hard to execute in comparison to trying that move in isolation. I went to Bishop after that, climbed some hard classics and learned a lot about myself while doing so.

When I got back to Squamish in Feb, it was pouring rain and I had to wait for the room to dry out again. After patiently waiting what felt like months to have more tries, the problem finally dried out, but i felt like I had to relearn things again. After a poor session, I went home and watched the video of Nalles send on repeat for 45min. Everytime the video played back, I’d focus on the movements of a different body part. I woke up the next morning pretty sore from the day before, but decided I should try anyway. Everything I learned the night before watching nalles vid on loop definitely had an impact on my tries, in a way I felt like I had learned everything there was to understand about the problem. All that was left to do was close the chapter. I pulled on for my last try of the session, which ended up being my last try ever.”