Tara Hayes does Isles of Wonder (8B)

Tara Hayes, who did her first 8B last year, has completed Isles Of Wonder (8B) in Ogwen valley. The 27-year-old finished her competition career in 2022 after being part of the GB team for 14 years. Her best results were a silver in the Youth World Championship and in 2019 she was #12 in the European Championship.

Can you tell us more about the ascent?
I was psyched to try Isles of Wonder as soon as I saw a video, it's a straight up line with cool moves in a great location. I first tried it last summer and after a couple of sessions knew it was within my capabilities. I was hitting the last hold (excluding the top out) from the start so I was confident it would go. I then went to Rocklands for a month and unfortunately didn't get back to try it until May this year. After 1 session of re-learning the moves, I felt like I was in good enough shape to get it done. I knew I needed to try it consistently to give myself the best chance so I ended up having about 7 sessions in the last month. I felt closer each time but still lacked the belief to stick the last hold (it looks really far when you're setting up for it!), despite feeling OK in isolation. Thankfully on Friday I was in the right headspace to get it done and managed to execute the moves really well and find some extra try hard. Overall it's by far the most commitment I've put in.

Piotr Oleszczuk flashes two 8B’s

Piotr Oleszczuk had a great start of his trip to Rocklands by flashing two 8A’s and Hipster Whale (8B). Yesterday, he sent one 8A+ and four 8B’s including a flash of Moon shadow (8B).

Can you tell us more about the 8B flashes and your trip?
I came to Rocklands for a month. For the first 5 days, the weather wasn't on our side, and climbing was more about finding dry and climbable rocks. Fortunately, the weather improved a bit, and we could start climbing the classics. Hipster Whale was one of the boulders I had my eye on.

That day, I simply warmed up as usual, checked out what I could from the ground, and then tried from the bottom to test the first few moves, which seemed the hardest. I didn't set up any camera because I didn't expect I'd be able to flash an 8B. It turned out that the initially difficult moves seemed easier than I thought, and shortly after, I found myself on top of the boulder. :)

Three days later, on a rainy day, I went to The Coop sector, where the only dry boulder was Moonshadow. This time, I recorded all my attempts. Regarding this boulder, I had a feeling it might suit me, because crimps, long moves and heel-toe jams are the style I feel best at, so this time in the back of my head I wanted my first go to be as good as possible. I warmed up again on the dry parts of the surrounding rocks, checked what I could from the ground, gave it a try, and did everything just as I planned.

I watched videos. I have a phone full of screen recorded YouTube uncuts with beta for every boulder I want to try in an area, so I only used that 😅. My friend also gave it a few tries before me to tell me how it feels :)

During the attempt, to make it more interesting, it started raining again. So, when I got past the difficult part, it was raining on my face, the holds on the top slab were damp, and an unprotectable tree awaited below. Fortunately, I managed not to fall on the 6B topout and did the whole thing on the first try. This ascent was the beginning of what turned out to be the most successful day in my climbing career so far. By the end of the day, I had completed three other 8Bs (one of them almost flashing again) and one 8A+.

Austria was the best country in the European Lead Youth Cup in Žilina, winning two golds and one silver. Isabella Rinaldi from Great Britain was the only climber who could repeat the victory from last week in Dornbrin and again she also won the qualification.05: Gorard Jurekovic SLO - Martina Bursik…

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Karpathos is a Greek island situated approximately 150 km south of Kalymnos, which has recently emerged as a new European climbing destination. It offers over 4…

Sung Su Lee does The Finnish Line and three more 8C’s

Sung Su Lee has been on a four weeks trip to Rocklands where he managed to send The Finnish Line (8C), Spray of Light (8C), The smile (8C) and Monkey Wedding (8C)

Which boulders were the highlights of your trip?
I think The Finnish Line [pictured] was most impressive to me. One of my dream boulders ever. This boulder was always inside in my heart. The Smile was insane. It’s pretty tall with a jump move and I had only 4 pads and 2 spotters. One of my most scary boulders ever. Special thanks to [Brian] Kim and Zach [Galla].

Can you tell us about your climbing background?
When I was young my dad was already climbing, so I was able to start climbing 16 years ago [at age 9] with him. I was doing competition climbing until two years ago. Six months ago, I got to go to Bishop with my boys and it really got me psyched about outdoor bouldering.

I felt liberated from the pressure I felt competing. I love outdoor bouldering because the boulders will always be there and I could meet so many amazing new friends along the way. I felt like I couldn’t prove myself in competitions, but now that I’ve been outdoor bouldering, I feel like I can really show what I’m capable of. I wasn’t able to become one of the best athletes in competitions in the world, but I can see the possibility in outdoor bouldering.

This past trip to Rocklands was my third ever bouldering trip, but I surprised myself doing so many more boulders than I anticipated.

I’ll be heading to Swiss in September to try Alphane V17. I hope to train hard and send it this upcoming trip!
 There are still not too many South Korean climbers that climb outside but I hope that one day I can be someone that can represent South Korea in outdoor bouldering. I hope that one day I have the opportunity to show the world who Sung Su Lee is and what I’m capable of.

Owen Whaley does Moonshine (9a)

Owen Whaley, with five 9a’s under his belt, has repeated BJ Tilden’s Moonshine (9a) in The Remuda. “Felt great to finish this one off. First tried it in 2020, I’ve came a long way since then. The send felt just how I expected, hit all the holds right and found myself at the top. Props to Bj for the contribution. Tried to look for the bottle of moonshine after the send. No success.”

Michaela Kiersch does three 8A’s in a day

Michaela Kiersch has had a great start of her first trip to Rocklands by sending eleven boulders 7C+ to 8B, including three flashes. Yesterday, she did Pendragon (8A), Out of Balance (8A) and Nutsa (8A).

Can you take us through the productive day?
I warmed up on the top moves of Pendragon [in the picture] which I tried my first day straight off the plane practically. I sent 2nd try from the ground today. Then I went to Out of Balance and sent first try today. And then I tried Nutsa, which I didn’t get to on my first day and was successful 3rd try after figuring out my beta.

How have the first days in Rocklands been?
First ten days have been extremely rainy and sad but the weather is better now! Today was only my second full climbing day here, because of the rain it has been many rest days and only a few short sessions between storms.

We have reached the finish line!

The Vertical-Life Climb to Paris Challenge powered by Mammut has come to an end. The global climbing community has completed the world's longest collective multi-pitch that started in Tokyo and traveled through Badami, Brixen, and Lenzburg before topping out in Paris.

Over 28,000 climbers scaled 14,000,000 meters on this journey that took us four months to complete. Every ascent logged on Vertical-Life during this timeframe went towards the total distance and goal of reaching Paris before the start of the Olympic Games on July 26th. It took 668,988 ascents to get us there just ahead of the world's best competitive climbers arriving to compete for medals on August 5th. We look forward to cheering them on and watching the show that they are bound to deliver in just a few weeks!

Although this epic climb has ended, the fun has not, as it's now time for the final prize raffle! We will not only raffle off select prizes provided by Mammut and Vertical-Life to all participants and to the climbing gym that has contributed the most ascents, but one lucky premium subscriber who participated in the challenge will win an exclusive climbing day with Adam Ondra. The winners will be selected at random and notified by email.

Keep an eye on your inbox; you might be the winner!

Samuel Richard, 16, does Power of now direct (8C)

Samuel Richard, who last April sent The Big Island (8C), has completed power of now direct (8C) in Magic Wood. “2nd repeat after Simon Lorenzi. Too short to try the 8b+ so I tried the direct one. Really cool one.” (c) Chossy Shots

The 16-year-old was #19 in the Innsbruck World Cup three weeks ago after having won the qualification.

Can you tell us more about the ascent?
It took me 3 sessions to send it. I managed to do all the moves in 1 or 2 hours, but I really felt I needed more energy to send.

In the second sesh I was a bit tired, I tried to put send tries but it was not that great. Then I took 2 days off and in the first real try I put on the 3rd sesh I send the boulder. It was really impressive to see how it was changing to take 2 days off in terms of energy.

I’m training for the internationals comp, and it was kinda of my only outdoor holidays. So it’s nice to do some hard boulders in Swiss :)

What is your climbing background and which comps are coming up next?
Actually, I have been climbing for 13 years. My parents are active climbers and with my dad I used to do a lot of routes but I never did outside bouldering until the last two years. With my bouldering background in comps I managed to quickly send hard boulders :)

My next comps is possibly the European championship in Villars but it’s not sure yet. Then the World Cup in Prague.

Naoki Shimatani does G-Master (8C)

Naoki Shimatani reports with an Instagram video that he has sent G-master (8C) in Rocklands. His big project is The Finnish Line (8C) where he has already spent more than 15 sessions on.

Can you tell us more about G-Master?
G-Master took me about 4 hours to send. I was worried if I could reach the intense cross move, but I managed to handle it somehow. The crucial part of the later half, The guest list (8B) involved a distant left-hand deadpoint after the cross move, making it challenging with decreased accuracy. Even the subsequent lip moves were demanding, with full focus required for each move. In terms of grades, it feels 1.5 to 2 grades harder than The Guestlist.

Franzi Sterrer does two 8A’s in Silvretta

Franzi Sterrer, who was #19 in Innsbruck three weeks ago, has done Shining (8A) and Big Belinda (8A) in Silvretta. (c) Sebastian Schiefer

Can you tell us more about the 8A ascents and your future competition plans?
The past few years have been pretty busy competing in both disciplines lead and Boulder. As I decided to focus more on bouldering again after the Olympic Qualifying series I have way more time to climb outside too. I always tried to find a mental escape from competition climbing and training in the gym and I always tried to find it in other sports but nothing felt as natural and fun to me as climbing. So I am pretty happy I found a way to enjoy rock climbing as much as I am doing now and I am excited to push my own limits and set myself some goals outside of competition climbing.

Silvretta was just a perfect place to start gaining some experiences as there are so many great lines. Shining definitely was my favourite so far because it challenged me from start until the last few moves. I felt so welcomed in the community I already learned a lot from everyone I met the past few days and I look forward to spending even more time outside this summer.

Jun Shibanuma completes Dreamcatcher (9a)

Jun Shibanuma has repeated Chris Sharma’s Dreamcatcher (9a) in Squamish, after having projected it for 13 sessions over two years. In April, we reported on the five 8C's he had completed and he mentioned at that time that Dreamcatcher was a future goal. In a few days, he's flying to Brazil for a month-long trip where he plans on trying Origens (8c+). (c) Victoria Kohner-Flanagan

What was the secret to sending Dreamcatcher?
Just don’t give up! [My] Redpoint try went really perfect, I was able to move really smoothly.