Free at last 9a+ FA by Will Bosi

Free at last 9a+ FA by Will Bosi

William Bosi has done the FA of Free at Last (9a+) in Dumbarton. ”What a line! This has got to be one of the best sport routes ive been. Also if confirmed it will be Scotlands first 9a+ and hardest route. This is the bolted line right of requiem. I reckon the crux section could be around 8B+/C boulder.” (c) Band of Birds

Despite being bolted a long time ago, the route, known as Dumbarton Oaks (aka La Dumby-Dumby Project) had not received serious attention until 2014 when Dave Macleod and Alan Cassidy re-bolted it and put time into unlocking the sequence of moves.

Bosi commented on the ascent: “Dumby is one of my favourite crags and having climbed there a lot, it feels really special to add my own route to the crag which has such a special place in Scottish climbing’s history.”

On the climbing, Bosi commented, “Although there looks like a lot of holds from the floor, almost everything is an undercut or a side pull. This makes the climbing very technical as the feet are tiny! The climbing is also very intense and powerful as you cannot relax. The send go went really well with almost no mistakes and just a lot of try-hard! The day was pretty still so conditions were not great but while I was sat on the ledge above the slab the wind picked up and the conditions aligned! Topping out felt absolutely incredible and this route is definitely a highlight for me.”

Paradise Found 8C by Solomon Kemball

Paradise Found 8C by Solomon Kemball

Solomon Kemball has done the first repeat of James Squire recent Paradise Found (8C) in Hartland. (c) James Whitehouse

Paradise Found is at my local crag with a 20 minute drive so I was able to make frequent visits. I first had a little look at this last summer and immediately wrote it off as impossible until I saw that James had been trying it this year and I thought I would go back and have another look. The first session I had was awful I had no idea what to do and moved on quickly again but after a visit to the crag with James and watching him try it I came back and managed to figure out the crux sequence which revolves around a drop into the double undercut and used some slightly different foot beta which allowed minimal changes between the two moves.

At the time I was also trying another project on that roof which I was going backwards and forwards between depending on which had the better conditions. After figuring out the crux it took me another session to link the release and cut into the crux and then another to work out the top I managed to find some different beta for the top just as I couldn't work out how james was managing it and this allowed me to skip the roll around moves and just get a bat hang into the finishing jug. Although this reduces the amount of moves it requires a lot of tension and is very committing especially with varying beach heights.

The next session I managed to get it in two overlapping halves, the start into the drop down and from the cut to the top. At this point I had just finished all my other projects in the roof including Megladon 8B+ and Jaws sit 8B so i had all my focus on this, however, James had politely asked me not to get on this project which seemed reasonable as I would have had no clue how to do it if I hadn't seen his beta. So, after having a sneaky couple of sessions trying it from the ground, I decided to go do another 8B+ up at Biblins called Spaceship and on the same day James managed to get his ascent, so I spent a few days resting and managed to get the send next session 4 days later. Overall it took me about 7 sessions I believe and I think a run of form and psyche definitely was required for the send.”


by 8a Founder and Editor-in-Chief Jens Larssen including also Analyses, Reviews, Training, Polls and Opinions etc.

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Hogo Fogo 9a FA by Adam Ondra

Adam Ondra has done the FA of Hogo fogo (9a) in Deravá skala. "Probably THE line of this forgotten cave! Awesome tensiony short power endurance climbing in the roof. Upper end 9a? harder start(s?) to be done."

In total, the 29-year-old has now logged 195 routes 9a to 9c and if it was not for all his personal grades, his list would have included well over 200. The runner-up on this list is Alex Megos who is getting close to 100.

On a tous au fond du mental 9a FA by Mathieu Bouyoud

On a tous au fond du mental 9a FA by Mathieu Bouyoud

Mathieu Bouyoud has done the FA of On a tous au fond du mental (9a) in La grotte des eaux mortes. “One more project done in the small cave near my home. I bolted this line four years ago but I never saw the line very dry. This year is different...all is dry with very hot temperature! It s a big roof with 3D climbing. I have tried this line during some ten sessions over many seasons. So good to finally do it”.

In total, the 32-year-old has done 32 routes 9a and harder. During the last 12 months he has done two 9a+ and four 9a’s meaning it is his best year ever.

Garnbret and Homma winners in Villars

Garnbret and Homma winners in Villars

Janja Garnbret was the only athlete to top out the final route and won her 20 Lead WC victory. Including getting the gold in also two World Championships, she has won 55 % of all the 40 WC's and WCHs she has participated in. Runner-up was Brooke Raboutou and then Natalia Grossman completed the podium. Among the male, Tasei Homma got his first-ever WC victory ahead of Jesse Grupper and Colin Duffy. Male results and Female results (c) Lena Drapella/IFSC

Homma: “In Innsbruck I felt very sad because of my result, so this time I felt that I need to try my best. First of all I tried to concentrate, just to be myself. In the semi-final I didn’t feel so good about my performance and after the semi-final I got a lot of messages from my friends in Japan, so that’s why I did my best in the final, because of the cheering of my Japanese friends.”

Garnbret: “I feel amazing, this was one of the best routes on the circuit. I feel that I was climbing with flow and just enjoying myself on the route. I was also climbing super fast, so I enjoyed it very much.

In Innsbruck I felt kind of rusty because I haven’t had any comps except Meiringen this year, but then after semi’s I felt in the flow so I could do the same in Villars, so it feels amazing. I feel that this was easier than Innsbruck. Innsbruck was really the hardest route I’ve ever climbed. This one I feel like at observation it looked harder, but the hardest part was just the last two moves. I really enjoyed it. It had some tricky parts where you had to be careful, but nevertheless I enjoyed it.”

Yurikusa and Raboutou win qually in Villars

Yurikusa and Raboutou win qually in Villars

Ao Yurikosa, who was #2 in Innsbruck, won the Lead qualification ahead of Colin Duffy. Jakob Schubert and Stefano Ghisolfi did not participate, the latter commenting on Insta, "Covid got me (probably in Innsbruck), so I'm in isolation, but at home this time 🤷‍♂️."

Among the females, Brooke Raboutou was the only one to top out both routes and runner-up were Laura Rogora and Chaehyun Seo. In total, 84 males and 78 females participated. Female results and Male results (c) Lena Drapella/IFSC

Speed Integral 9a by Luisa Deubzer

Speed Integral 9a by Luisa Deubzer

Luisa "Lulu" Deubzer has done Speed Integral (9a) in Voralpsee. The 28-year-old was one of the very best Lead competition climbers in the world at age 15. Two years later she did her first 8b and stopped competing. Last year she did her first 8c (interview), and this spring she has done two more as well as the trad climb Prinzip Hoffnung (8b+), in spite of having struggled with some injuries.

What is next climbing wise for you and what do you think would be most important for us climbers to change/improve in order to reduce our footprint?
I guess I can stop sport climbing for a bit now… This summer I’ll hopefully get to enjoy plenty of moderate multi pitch climbing and mountains. As Speed really was this life-time dream of mine, I want to bask in this feeling for a bit and the plan therefore is to not get sucked into the next big project right away… Let’s see how that goes.

To your second question, I’m clearly not in the position to tell others what to do, as I am myself far from perfect. Climbers, just like anyone else, all have different lifestyles. Therefore, I think it makes sense to look at your individual footprint to identify which area you still have the biggest room for improvement and how you could and want to adapt your lifestyle accordingly.

Collectively speaking, I think there is still a lot of room for denormalising plane travel to go climbing. I feel like the narrative around this has already changed quite a bit in the last years, but it is still somehow ingrained in our culture that is is „cool“ to discover far away places on your holiday, to escape winter, to chase good conditions… Not to say you can’t take the plane to go on a trip, I just think it shouldn’t be the socially acceptable default anymore in these times… Every time, someone decides against a trip by plane and talks about the environmental reasons for it, it changes the narrative a bit. To me, the French/Belgian Crew sailing to Yosemite is one of the most inspiring things this year, especially with Sebastien Berthe having such a hard objective. Of course, there are a lot of other climbing culture specific habits that could require change, the traveling one is just the first one that comes to my mind. A couple years ago, I tried to order my thoughts around this topic a bit in the form of words if anyone is interested to read further: Nothing of this is novel, just a collection of discussion points around this.

Fanatic climbing has published a long interview.

"I like getting my ass kicked and expanding my comfort zone, that’s why I really enjoy that climbing in the wider sense is so varied. I have broadened my skills in the other forms of climbing quite a bit over the last years as a member of the current all-female ‘Young Alpinist Group’ of the German Alpine Club (although I still suck at these various forms of Alpinism). Depending on the season, weather and motivation, I have periods where I ice and mixed climb more, do multipitches or a mountain here and there. At the end of the day, however, my strengths do lie in sport climbing." Photo: DAV- Silvan Metz

Bianca 8a+ OS by Andrea Locatelli (11)

Bianca 8a+ OS by Andrea Locatelli (11)

Andrea Locatelli, who has onsighted eight 8a's in 2022, has onsighted Bianca (8a+) in Somplago. The eleven-year-old did his first 8c last year but this year he has focused on onsight, having done eight 8a's. We reached out to his father to get some comments.

"Last year Andrea climbed his first 8c in six attempts and realized that with a few more attempts he could reach even higher levels. However, the choice was to improve the climbing onsight, certainly much more useful to train for the competitions but also to deal more easily with the less difficult sections of a possible hard project. In fact, at the beginning of 2022, Andrea worked on a new project for 5/6 sessions equipped by a friend, probably between 8c/8c+. When I realized that he felt too much pressure we decided together to temporarily abandon it... and dedicate ourselves to climbing onsight or short redpoints in the day, both at home but especially when we are travelling. Then came the first 8a and now 8a+ onsight!

I must admit that Andrea has a good reading of the rock and excellent use of the feet, and also his mobility helps him a lot. Certainly climbing onsight allows him to express himself without pressure and amuses him. And at 11, I think it’s more important than adults that climbing is a game. I think also that climbing to these levels at his age will allow him in the future to be more effective and efficient in the hard redpoint projects!"

Paradise Found 8C FA by James Squire

Paradise Found 8C FA by James Squire

James Squire, who previously has done four 8C's, has done the FA of Paradise Found (8C) in Hartland. It took him 15 sessions and there is a video on Insta.

"I first tried the project in summer 2020 but took a break from climbing and training in 2021. This year I spent around 15 sessions working on the boulder. This is a totally different style from many hard boulders. It does not involve sharp holds or small crimps instead, the difficulty comes from powerful bicep intensive moves, body tension, and complex beta. To train for the boulder, I spent more time lifting weights in the gym to cope with the athleticness of the boulder. Over the last 6 months, I had a weight gain of around ~8kg. Initially, I was a bit worried this might affect my fingers, but after some time to get used to it, my climbing and body, in general, feel stronger and more stable. I believe this is the hardest boulder I have ever climbed and is one of the best super hard boulders in the UK."

What about the ladder in the picture? Where does the boulder start?
It starts where I am in the Insta video (starts on two big undercuts). I started off the ladder as the beach level changes by a few meters week to week. Sometimes you can pull on normally. Tide and seasons affect it. An unusual condition you have to take into account when trying the boulder! You also can’t access it at high tide. So you can only try for a few hours of the day.

Legacy 9a by Paul Robinson

Legacy 9a by Paul Robinson

Paul Robinson has done the third ascent of Legacy (9a) in Rocklands. It was found and tried by Dave Graham as a scary highball. Later Fred Nicole bolted it and tried it for five years. In 2019, Giuliano Cameroni got the permission to try it and made the FA and then Nicole made the first repeat few days later. Lizzy Ellison

Paul Robinson says on Insta that it could also be graded 8B+. "The route is short so it really is hard to say which grade to use but it sure is a stunner!"

So what do you think are the pros and cons with the bolts?
You kind of need to rope climb it because the landing is really bad with a tree and a few of the holds are fragile at the end and could risk breaking and if you fell there you would die.