Gabriele Moroni has done the FA of Trofeo Dell'Adriatico 9a+ in Arco. As reported on Insta, it was bolted by David Lama and he was the one telling Gabri to try it out some ten years ago. The Italian won his first Euro Youth Cup in 2001 and at age 16, he was #3 in the European Championship. After having been one of the best World Cup boulders for ten years he won his first WC in 2018. However, as he did not want to go for the Combined in the Olympics, he could not continue on the circuit. (c) Matteo Pavana
"Trofeo dell’Adriatico is a perfect 25 meters shield on a balcony over the Arco valley. It’s a very intense route with a first part with long and physical moves followed by a fingery boulder on small pinches and a resistance part on a tufa at the end. Around 40 moves without rests."
How was the process taking it down over almost two years?
It was a long process with cleaning finding the moves and eventually giving tries. But I rarely tried it for more than two days every trip. Some weekends and sometimes single day trips during the week. I think it took around 30 sessions.
What about taking up comps again?
I won’t do any comps this year. I have a full-time job as a head setter at Urban Wall Milano. But I will probably work as a coach for the Italian National team at some of the world cups like I did last year.
Ziheng Qui has set a new standard by doing China climb 8b+ in Yangshuo. It was bolted by Logan Barber and FA'ed by Rockabond in 2008 as an 8c. It is 31 meters long and although at least one hold broke and it has become polished it has been downgraded to 8b+. Interestingly, it does not seem to be an advantage to be short or have small fingers fitting in shallow pockets. The 9-year-old does not use any kneebars or knee dropping, instead, she just pushes hard from one open crimp to another including also some pinch moves. As can bee see in the video, she is wearing socks in her shoes that, furthermore, seems too big.
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Austin Purdy, who previously has done 20 8B+ and two 8C's, has done Dreamtime 8C (8B+) in Cresciano. Last year, the 24-year-old did set some kind of record jumping from a 7c+ PB on routes to doing his first 9a.
"Dreamtime is such an iconic line and has inspired me for a very long time and really stuck with me when I first visited Ticino in 2019, but at the time I was focused on trying Story of 2 Worlds on the other side of the boulder. When I returned from my trip I constantly thought about wanting to go back to do Dreamtime, but shortly after the pandemic hit and it wasn't possible until now. Luckily I was able to return this year after finishing grad school and Dreamtime was the first thing I went to. I quickly realized that it felt well within my abilities, but it still didn't go down without a fight!"
Adam Ondra sends Absolutorium (9a) in Beckov. It was bolted by Tomáš Pilka in 1994 starting from an ledge 20meters above the ground. "Just wow, this line is amazing and exceptional in the region around. 30 meters of constantly hard climbing with massive exposition, with almost 50 meters below your feet while you are pumped out of your mind in the last slopers."
Valentina Chemyakina has done V for Vendetta (8A+) in Bafa Lake and there is a video on her Insta. She started climbing at age 15 but was still fighting doing 7a routes five years ago, when she was 20. Now she has done four 8A+.
"I'm from Belarus, currently based in Moscow. I work as a programmer, riding downhill and doing climbing. I love to climb outside and try to travel during these covid times. Now I’m in Turkey for some winter climbing (as well as working), because in Russia now soo cold 😅 It was my second trip to Bafa. Last year I send Golgotha 8A+, and V Vendetta was my specific goal this time (both FFA?). The climbing goal for this year - is 8B in bouldering. Really psyched to train hard and prepare well for a Rocklands trip (I was there first-time last summer but with a finger injury)."
What about all MTB and pink colour pictures all over the place on your Insta?
I haven’t participated in downhill competitions yet but planning to do it this year! In bike parks and mountains I ride black trails. I have had pink colour for almost three years (I think I coloured it because I love anime).
What is your climbing background?
Before I met my coach I was climbing around 6c+ in a gym. I was talented but lacked technique. When we started working on it my level got up to solid 7b (even 7c sometimes) in half a year! Then I broke a bone in my knee so I had to recover almost for a year. After this, I had a plato. We all go through this during the climbing path. I had injury after injury, we didn’t know what to do, a lot of specialists didn’t help. After that, my coach started learning kinesiology and rehabilitation and finally find the right approach for me. It helped break my plato and I started climbing in eighth grade.
Roc Vergés Solé has done Fish eye (8c) in Oliana in five sessions. "The process was very fast and I managed to get to the top part of the route in a few tries where I fell. Finally, after letting the route rest for a few days I managed to overcome that steepness." (c) Toni Mas Buchaca
Could you please say something about your climbing background?
I started climbing when I was 6-years-old because my parents are climbers and they told me to try it and I fell in love with climbing. I started to climb in Siurana and in Cornudella’s climbing gym. Later I started to train in Monobloc at Reus with a group of kids and when I entered the sports climbing technical centre of Catalonia I started to train with the CCT*21 a Private group. I was the Spanish champion in the MY category in 2021.
Geila Macia has done Fabelita (8c) in Santa Linya. The 13-year-old is daughter to famous spanish climbers Berta Martin and Israel Gacia. Berta has won the Spanish Championship several times and eleven times made World Cup semis mainly in Boulder. Her best result was anyhow #9 in Speed. (c) Israel Macia
How was the process taking it down?
I was very tired of the long season of competitions but I wanted to look for a high project for the next season. So I found out that I could do every single move on Fabelita quite easily and I enjoyed the climbing. After some days on my holiday, I realized that I was getting stronger and on the route, I felt more confident. Yesterday I could make all the hardest parts from the beginning and then just climb concentrated from rest to rest till the chain. It was a nice time, lot of sunny and nice days with the family and good friends.
How much and does she train?
Berta: She trains at least 4 days a week sometimes 5. I’m her trainer and she trains with 2 guys of her age aprox. Arround 3h each day. Power, power/endurance and endurance, we increase the number of sessions and selections depending on the competitions. All training usually is focoused on comp style bouldering or when it's time for lead we do more endurance climbing routes in gyms. But if she has a rock project I try to reduce trains or adjust them for it.
What are the plans and ambitions for 2022?
Berta: We expect Geila being selected for international comps as she has won all under 14 in Spain last year. If the Spanish coach take her to Europe Cup, would be the focus on trainings for sure.
Angelina (Angie ) Scarth-Johnson made the first 8a headline at age 9 by doing an 8b in Red River Gorge (KY). Amazingly, her parents did not climb but supported her big interest by doing nine 1 - 3 months trips to Europe and the USA until she was 16. At age eleven, she did her first 8c and we made an interview. "I don’t have a trainer, I tried for a couple of months having an online trainer but it didn’t work out, so I just went back to training myself. I write my own programs and have done this since I was 8. I find that this really works for me."
Last September, the Australian did her first 9a, Victimes del Future in Margalef where she has spent the last year. We asked Angie if she describe how it was being a lifestyle globetrotter since age 9. (c) Jan Novak
"I started climbing when I was 7 years old, not long after I began climbing outside in the local crags after school with my dad. When I started climbing, competitions weren’t really a massive thing and I wasn't really interested in it anyways. I enjoy the challenges that came with climbing rocks and the process of projecting. When I was 9 years old my parents planned our first overseas family trip to the United States. By this point, I was totally in love with climbing and it was mostly all I thought about. My parents suggested we could maybe stop by and visit some outdoor crags in the states to try out the climbing in another country. This was extremely exciting for me, with Australia being pretty far from the rest of the world, climbing in another country was a big deal.
We visited Red River Gorge. A very picturesque climbing area, especially in the autumn. I'd say after this trip I was more hooked on climbing than ever before. I sent my first 8b and a bunch of other amazing lines, my eyes were suddenly open to the possibilities within climbing. After this successful trip, I began to seek out other climbing opportunities around the world. We started to do two trips overseas per year. Eventually, the trips got longer and more frequent. With all the travelling, training and climbing going on I needed an alternative to my schooling. This is when I started a homeschooling program and I began to study at the crag, on the planes and at the gyms. My mum would teach me and we’d often visit a lot of historical sites around the world as history was my favourite subject.
A lot of people often ask if I missed out on having friends because I didn’t go to a normal school. Because of the level I climbed at, I was always surrounded by older climbers growing up, so I ended up having a lot of older friends, funnily enough, almost all of those people are still my friends today. I learned a lot through watching these people climb.
I returned back to school in the first year of high school, my parents wanted to allow me to see if I wanted to finish my schooling years back at school and spend time with kids my own age. I actually hated it, I felt lost amongst a bunch of kids, even though I was a kid. I guess I had matured a lot faster, and I was really just interested in finding myself in climbing. So, Back to the outdoors, I went with my books and my pens and I finished high school at the crag.
My schooling years were very unique, to say the least. But it allowed me to continue with my climbing and fully focus on what I loved to do. Now looking back on it I wouldn’t change a thing. At the moment I’m now spending a lot of time living between Spain and Australia. I finished school and I continue to chase my climbing goals wherever it may take me."
Brooke Raboutou, #5 in the Olympics, reports on Insta that she is back in Ticino having done La Proue (8B) and Kings of Sonlerto 8A+ (B). Talking about grades are personal and subjective. The latter was put up by Dave Graham in 2005 as an 8B+ and at that time he thought Fred Nicole’s well confirmed La Proue 8B was 8A+. (c) Finn Stack
The 20-year-old made her first headlines on 8a in 2010 doing her first 8a route as well as her first 7C+. Last year was Brooke’s best ever. In the Boulder World Cup she twice made the podium and in her only Lead events, she was #2 in a World Cup and #5 in the World Championship. Outdoors, she did one 8B+ and flashed her first 8A+.
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