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Coup de Grace 9a by Samuel Ometz

Coup de Grace 9a by Samuel Ometz

Samuel Ometz has repeated Dave Graham's Coup de Grace 9a in Ticino. "Legendary route from Dave! That last boulder in the roof has to be one of the coolest section I've ever done on a rope. Used a kneepad which lets you recover better before the roof and for sure makes the route easier. 3 days this year + few goes in the last 2 years." (c) Fedir Samoilov

In total, the 25-year-old has done nine 9a's out of which five the last 12 months. In previous years, he has been focusing more on bouldering having done 66 boulders 8B to 8C.

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Chinese connection 8B and an 8A+ by Katie Lamb

Chinese connection 8B and an 8A+ by Katie Lamb

Katie Lamb
has done her seventh 8B the last year, Chinese connection in Mortar Rock. "Legends only. Test piece and a king line in its own special, crumbly way. The most beautiful spring day in the Bae with Berkeley legends bill and ethan g. Mortar rock - where heroes are made." Video on her Insta. (c) Ethan Goldblatt

Last week, the 23-year-old, who is #5 in the ranking game, also did her 14th 8A+, Dominator in Camp 4. "Channelled inner try hard for the last move sat. Full moon power at the bloc, amongst legends. 8 eager seshes this spring culminating in last day valley magic. Personal level up and ffalala. So special."

So what have you been up to this spring?
I have mostly been finishing school and trying Dominator. I had to focus on full-body training, including legs and neck. I was inspired by my study of F1 race car drivers, who will risk it all for glory. I study environmental engineering and the power grid.

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Two 8A+' by Analise Van Hoang (12)

Analise Van Hoang did her first 8A+ in March, Bayview Crimp in Mt Tam after three sessions. Her second, A Maze of Death in Bardini Boulders, occurred last week. "Yay! Such a beautiful line and scenery! Took about 45min. Feels soft because it totally fits my style, crimpy. Psyched to get this done 1st sess! Another climb ticked on the list!" Video

Her first 7C+, out of eleven, she did two years ago, at age ten. Here is a presentation from 2018 by Touchstoneclimbing, where she talks about competing. She also have a Youtube channel with most of her hardest ascents.

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Dani Andrada (46) "a muerte" with 25 FAs up to 8c+/9a again

Dani Andrada (46) "a muerte" with 25 FAs up to 8c+/9a again

Dani Andrada reports on Insta that he has done yet another 25 FA's in Alquezar from 7b to 8c+/9a, Apego del Monje. In total, he spent 53 days in Alquezar. (c) Carlos "Citro" Lograño

The 46-year-old has previously done 75 routes 8c+/9a and harder which makes him #3 on that list after Adam Ondra and Alex Megos. In total, he has now done more than 4 500 routes 8a and harder and bolted more than 900 routes. However, when it comes to bolting and doing hard FAs, "La máquina" is totally superior in the world. In practice, the number one reason why the areas 1-3 hours west of Barcelona has become the hardcore epicentrum in the world is thanks to Andrada.

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Euro Trash 8A+ by Thea Wulff (18)

Euro Trash 8A+ by Thea Wulff (18)

Thea Wulff, who did her first two 7C+' at age 13, has done her first 8A+, Euro Trash in Little Cottonwood. (c) Quinn Mason

Could you please say something about your climbing background and how you took it down?
I’ve been climbing for 9 years, but I mainly focus on indoor competition climbing (I’ll be competing at the Salt Lake City World Cups in a couple of weeks). I’ve been trying to get outside more often, but it’s hard to find the time with training. I just moved to Salt Lake City and Little Cottonwood Canyon is only 15 minutes away, so I wanted to check out Euro Roof. On my first session last weekend, I did the 7C+ start, and tried the 8A+ moves but was too tired to give a real effort. Natalia Grossman was working the 8B, so we decided to head back out yesterday, and both of us sent in under an hour! Until this climb, I hadn’t seriously tried any other 8A+ boulders, but now I’m more psyched than ever to get on some more hard outdoor blocs!

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Ace of Spades 9a+ by Jonathan Siegrist

Ace of Spades 9a+ by Jonathan Siegrist

Jonathan Siegrist has repeated James Litz' Ace of Spades 9a+ in Poptire. Actually, Litz did not grade so the proposal came from Daniel Woods who did the first repeat and Jonathan agrees. (c) Matt Pincus

"I first came to this crag in 2017 and I had a really good trip, I climbed everything in the cave more or less but I just did not have the bouldering power to really imagine being able to try this route. My climbing has changed a lot in the last several years as I have gotten much more powerful (at least for my low standard!). So it was nice to come back and do this route in a couple of days.

As for James Litz, he is an incredible dark horse and has been a fixture for hard bouldering first ascents in the US for many years. These are his hardest routes, and in many ways his opus, or at least it would seem. I am not sure how much he climbs any more but he is one of those names that command respect from those who know who he is."


8a interview with James from 2018, talking about his possible 9b FA.

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Three 8A+' and a 8A flash by Jana Vincourkova

Three 8A+' and a 8A flash by Jana Vincourkova

Jana Vincourková has had an amazing April after getting out from lockdown, doing three 8A+' and a flash of Red Hot Tortilas 8A. In the 8a ranking game, the 23-year-old Czech is #7. Here are her two latest videos showing her impressive ascents; video #8 and video #9.

"Finally after being locked in the town for three months, we finally could travel in April. In total, I spent eight days on the rocks already, yaay. We began around Brno where I managed to send 8A+ and 8A. Then we travelled for our first bouldering trip to Sněžník. We spent six days there. On the first climbing day, I was able to send 8A+ boulder “Nesplněný sen” which was a really good start of the trip for me. The next day I started another 8A+ boulder but wasn't able to send it that day, but I flashed an 8A that Lucie Hrozová had flashed a couple of weeks before. Two rest days later the conditions were so good and I managed to climb that boulder which I said was 8A+ named Ko-Fan.

So those five 8ish boulders I did during two weeks. All I can say is that the hard work during winter is paying off so far. Mainly hang-boarding on small crimps with weight and I also did some pull-ups on small crimps with weight and some maximal weight pull-ups on jugs. There I did a big improvement which helps me now a lot. We also twice a week did a Moonboard session.

Next I am going to try some harder boulders and see how it goes and hopefully I will send some 8B boulder again this year or even harder. The season has just started so we will see. :)"

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Le Pilier du Désert assis 8C FA by Michiel Nieuwenhuijsen

Le Pilier du Désert assis 8C FA by Michiel Nieuwenhuijsen

Michiel Nieuwenhuijsen reports on Insta that he has done the FA of Le Pilier du Désert assis 8C in Fontainebleau after just four sessions, beside two sessions doing the 8A+ stand some years ago. The 34-year-old and 187 cm tall did six 8B+' last year and also his second 8C, The Story of two world's. (c) Bart Van Raaij

Interestingly, Manu Cornu who did the second ascent thought it was 8C+ but the third ascentionist, Nico Pelorson says he leans more towards 8B+ as it just took him three sessions. It should be noted that Nico has previously downgraded two 9A's.

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Euro Trash 8A+ by Natalia Grossman (19)

Euro Trash 8A+ by Natalia Grossman (19)

Natalia Grossman, who was #3 in Meiringen, has done her 13th 8A+ the last year, Euro Trash in Little Cottonwood. In the 8a ranking game, including also four 8B's, the 19-year-old is #7. "Felt amazing to spend some time outside! Surprised myself with a 3rd go send and felt really close on euro roof sit!"(c) Sean Faulkner

How was your feeling in Meiringen understanding that you have taken yet another step?
After taking such a long time away from competitions I didn’t know what to expect. I had been training hard during the previous months before Meiringen and I felt strong, however, I definitely surprised myself with my results! It feels really good to have been able to perform well in all three rounds of the competition and I’m very excited for the rest of the season.

What goes through your mind during the finale and how do you handle the mental pressure?
During the final, I had no expectations and I simply enjoyed the moment. It wasn’t until the last climb when I realized that if I got the zone I would secure my spot on the podium. Knowing this information made me lose my focus a little bit, but I was able to recenter myself and find a top on the final boulder!

Mental pressure can be tough at time but learning to release any expectations I may be carrying has been very helpful. I’ve also found that if I remember to enjoy the moment, the mental pressure seems to float away and I am able to have fun and stay positive which allows me to try hard and perform to the best of my abilities.

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Adam Ondra makes the FA of Yorkshire 8B/+ but fails doing The Edge problem. A few weeks later Martin Stranik did the FA (video) of possibly, "the hardest 8B+ in the Galaxy", according to Adam.

Ondra projecting in his home town

Adam Ondra makes the FA of Yorkshire 8B/+ but fails doing The Edge problem. A few weeks later Martin Stranik did the FA (video) of possibly, "the hardest 8B+ in the Galaxy", according to Adam.

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