Gianluca Vighetti, who did four 8a's at age 8, has done L'extremacura plus 8c+ in Gravere, which was put up by his father Valter in 2000. Last month, they were in Margalef and Rodellar for one week where the 12-year-old did six 8a and 8a+ onsights. Out of his 21 latest recorded ascents, 14 are onsights 7c and harder. The only other youngster, in the 8a news the last 20 years, with such focus on onsights, is Adam Ondra. (c) Fabio Fin
Could you please say something about your focus on onsights?
I like onsight climbing because it’s like discovering new routes and especially when I’m travelling in new places I like to try to onsight routes. The focus is just not to think, breathe and stay quiet. I had yoga for one year. Flexibility is very helpful for climbing, which is my real strength and to stay relaxed when you climb.
Where have you learnt to speak so good English?
Watching climbing videos on YouTube. My favourite climbing Channel is Stefano Ghisolfi, his English is very good.
Eva Hammelmüller has done the classical Underground 8c+/9a in Arco after just four sessions and eleven tries in total. The 21-year-old, who previously has done a dozen routes 8c and 8c+, is #3 in the 8a ranking game. (c) Tobias Lanzanasto
"As steep and powerful climbing does not really suit my style, I was unsure whether the route wouldn’t be way too hard for me. On my first try, I couldn’t do all the moves, but the sequences felt great and I was amazed by the complexity of the route, including upside down climbing and crazy hooks. However, I made good progress, and when I stuck the last dyno in the first crux for the first time, I climbed to the top!"
Analise Van Hoang, who did her second 8A+ two weeks ago in just 45 minutes, has done her first 8B, Chinese connection in Mortar Rock. "Psyched to have sent my first V13 and get the 2nd female ascent! Still fells quite far from my limit considering it only took 3 sessions. Stoked to see what I can do in the future!"
Jorge diaz-rullo has flashed Zipayorik ez!! 8c (+) in Margalef. The 21-year-old is #1 in the 8a ranking game, including two 8c onsights, which he has been for almost two years now.
What kind of beta did you get?
A friend told me while I was climbing, although there was a block that I improvised, changing the method based on another friend because I was not very clear about it.
More info in his Insta, where he says. "I don't usually climb to flash, I always try onsight although I have always thought that it is a style that I am good at. After this route I will want to try some harder 😁💥".
Arabella Jariel, who did her first 7C+ at age 14, has done her second 8A (+) Godzilla in Godzilla Boulder. Video on her Insta. (c) Austin Hoyt
"WOOOH ONE SESH! Been in a slump lately, but felt so psyched to put this thing down quickly. Didn't look possible watching my friends try it, but I figured it was worth a go today. This thing has pretty few ascents, so it's hard to tell what the grade is. For now, I'm thinking maybe a slash grade V11/12? I will let time tell. Anyways, very happy to get a local FFA in the books. This is definitely the best one on the boulder."
Could you please say something more how you could take it down in just one session?
I had very low expectations when I first decided to try Godzilla. It is one of the most intimidating climbs on the boulder that goes up a very obvious arete. The crux is a very awkward, high tension deadpoint around the corner to a sidepull that was barely within reach for me. I stuck the crux in isolation early on in the session, and was extremely surprised. At that point, I figured it was worth some goes from the bottom, and I managed to carry the psyche all the way to the top of the climb. Never thought it would go down in one session, so I’m excited to see how I can continue to push my limits on even harder climbs!
Daniel Woods, who has the best bouldering tick list in the world, with close to 40 8C and harder shares his story doing the FA of Return of the Sleepwalker 9A. The 31-year-old sent it after 70+ days projecting, out of which the last 16 days he was alone camping in the canyon. (c) Jon Glassberg / Louder Than 11
"The first 8 of the 16 days I was climbing on it 2 on 1 off. In the final 8, I was 1 on 1 off. Haha, rest days were boring. I’d either chill at camp and stretch a bit or go walk around to kill time before the next session. Was hard to motivate to do anything else. I was consumed by the line and distracted by it. I listened to a ton of music actually. I have a lot of DJ sets saved to my SoundCloud, so would just zone out and listen."
Amazingly, his friend Jon Glassberg did spontaneously show up at the scene as Woods was going for the 10 meters slabby top out."We rushed over when we heard him screaming and assisted him with chalk on the 30ft slabby top out that looks scary and slick. You definitely don't want to blow it after climbing V17 (9A) on the v2 exit slab! Daniel was in shock I think. I would imagine after 70+ days of effort on the worlds hardest boulder, sending feels pretty strange, like an out of body experience. We all celebrated at the base when he came down, chatted about the hardest climbs in the world and went climbing. There was something special in the air. I had climbed the Nest (8C) the day before and Daniel sent with no one around just his personal battle with what is likely the hardest 30 ft of stone on earth right now."
Daniel, could you please share your "Into the Wild" 9a experience. What was your daily routine being by yourself in the canyon?
I was going to bed at night at around 10 and would wake up at 3 30 every morning... try to fall back asleep but then would just be wide awake haha. Some days I would get to the Boulder, start sessioning, then just pass out on my pad or fall asleep sitting up for a bit haha. But anyway I wake up in the morning and make oats with PhysiVantage whey protein powder, peanut butter, blueberries, and bananas, make a matcha latte and then review some footy. Drive to the store and pick up supplies for the day then drive the 20 min slow ass dirt road to the parking. Do the 20 min hike in and start warming up. A session for about 5 hours sometimes more than bail. The beauty about this climb is that it is very skin-friendly... never split. Your muscles get fucked before anything else. It also sits in the shade all day.
At the end of the day I’d get sushi or a salmon, veggie, rice bowl for dinner then drive back to camp. After would watch footy and listen to music then try to sleep. Honestly, my days outside of projecting were super uneventful. I could have tried to do something else but nothing inspired me. I felt like I was possessed. I wasn’t drinking any alcohol, no weed, no tobacco, no coffee in the morning (just matcha). I got myself super clean which I hadn’t done in 10 years haha. This climb really woke me up to the importance of self-care. I wanted to turn myself into a machine. I take supplements such as turmeric, fish oil, vitamin D, B12 with methyl, lions mane mushrooms, reishi mushrooms, and collagen. This combined with a ton of water and no “harmful” substances allowed me to recover super fast and develop clarity in myself that I had not felt in years. Now I’m addicted to this feeling and honestly don’t want to go back to my previous lifestyle. I even tried drinking a small sake bottle after the send and got two shots in and couldn’t finish it haha. I like felt my body start to swell up from it. I got fuckin in TUNE with my body during this process.
Here his comments to 8a after his send one month ago talking about the insanity.
Meini Li from China has done China Climb 8b+ (c) at White Mountain, Yangshou, in China. The 10-year-old has previously won some 40 national titles, including in all disciplines the last two years. In total, she needed 37 attempts spread over five intense weekends over two months. Climbing has the full story including interviews with Meini and her mother Emma. "After Meini started climbing, we basically arranged our schedule around hers. We as parents have no excuses to slow down but to let her push us forward."
Jules Henry started climbing 20 months ago. After six months of climbing, at age seven, he did his first 7B+ boulder. Due to the pandemic, most of his training and climbing since then has occurred on their home wall. In March, this 124-cm-tall kid did his first 8a and last month, he did his first 8a+, Sacrilège in Saussois. This means that Jules is the youngest ever to have done an 8a+. On his latestInsta - Jules9a, he says he tried an 8b and did all the moves.
His father says he climbs five days a week out of which three outdoors. It is Jules who picks the routes and currently he is working on another 8a. During the lockdown, they were mainly climbing at their home wall where his father creates challenges for him.
What is your climbing background in the family?
I have two kids but we are only two who climb, Jules and me. When he was a child, he was not so interested in climbing but we have always done activities in the mountains. I climbed for years but I stopped to focus on long trails runs. After that, I restarted to climb and he was old enough to climb too. I climbed 20 years but no so focused on high grades (never trained, just climb). I sent a few 8a's but with a lot of projecting including dedicated little sessions of training and campus boarding.
How do you pick Jules' routes?
I always talk a lot with climbers to know which hard routes could be possible for him with his little size (1m24). Even so, Jules often tries many different routes to find one project and in the end, he has to find his own methods.
How much does he climb and who is he climbing together with?
Most of the time, he climbs twice indoors on our climbing wall and we try to climb outside 3 times in a week. We climb with other people, but it's always adults, climbers of the area or friends. He is not yet in a club. We always climb with the same people. He is not afraid to cheer them loud, which explain maybe his motivation to climb hard. Due to the fact he is not in a club and the global lockdown, he doesn't climb with other kids.
How can you explain his extreme progression?
The fact that he won his first competition counts a lot I think in his actual motivation and in the fact that he always wants to be the best. For example, when we climb in an adult group, he doesn't want extra holds for his size, even crimps. But for sure, the moves are sometimes too long for him. An important thing is we got the global lockdown in France. During this period, the only thing we could do, stuck at home, was playing on the climbing wall. In the beginning, it was playing, but it turned quick in a kind of training sessions, with dedicated movements for his size and his progression.
Michele Reusa, who has previously done three 8c', has done the FA of Up forever 8c+ in Falesia del ghëddo after just three sessions. "It is made up of two parts, a fairly easy first part of 8a to the fifth quickdraw and then there are long moves on small holds as you continue and you feel more and more pumped until the last crux which makes the grade. I hope someone comes to try it to find out their opinion. I think I just needed so few sessions because I feel very fit."
The 14-year-old was #6 in the European Youth Championship last week. Last month, his younger brother Matteo became the second in the family, after his father Iuri, to do an 8c+ by repeating Bucking Bronco. The whole family is developing Falesia del Ghëddo in Piedmont together. Currently, there are some ten routes but they aim for 30 routes almost 20 meters high.
by 8a Founder and Editor-in-Chief Jens Larssen including also Analyses, Reviews, Training, Polls and Opinions etc.
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