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Vantablack 8B by Alex Johnson

Vantablack 8B by Alex Johnson

Alex Johnson, who won two World Cups in 2008 and 2010, has done Vantablack (8B) in Red Rock (NV). "2 sessions, amazing rock. Tenuous moves down low on a rail to a sick big move to a crimp off a heel, desperado grovel topout. Really nice addition to the zone. Rail trav was def crux for me haha. HYPE!"Bree Robles

How was that super quick process?
I feel like it’s already been a super great season, and I haven’t even done much yet… I’ve been getting out a bunch with Allison Vest and we climb and project amazingly well together. She tries super fucking hard and it’s so inspiring and has encouraged me to dig deeper and activate that try-hard grit.

That’s what I had to do with Vanta. My first session on it was solo and I worked it for hours refining beta but it was still too hot during the day. By the time the sun went down and temps got better, I was wrecked. In my next session on it, I had the top dialed, but the bottom moves still felt so hard. The bottom is super tenuous and finicky. I gave several failed redpoint attempts from the bottom. Then one time I was able to make it through the bottom, stuck the big move outright, and clawed my way through the topout. It was a moment of blackout focus and maximum effort.

Is it not about time to go for your first 8B+?
I’d love to try some 8B+’s! Allison and I have got our eyes on a few, and seeing Brooke just take down Trieste is super inspiring, too.

In 2019, Alex did a comeback on the competition circuit trying to make it to the Olympics and started off by being #7 in Meiringen. Interesting is that 2021 is her best year outdoors having done two out of three 8B's.

Red Letter Day 7C+ by Eric Zschiesche (61)

Red Letter Day 7C+ by Eric Zschiesche (61)

Eric Zschiesche has done Red Letter Day (7C+) in Little Cottonwood. Spread over a 2 month period, comprised of 9 different sessions, Zschiesche doggedly kept after it and in practice he actually sent it twice.

The 61-year-old has been actively bouldering since 1977, and his love and passion for the activity is as strong today as at any point in the past. Though the periods of rest between challenging bouldering sessions has increased with time, his overall strength as a boulderer has (thus far) remained largely constant through the decades. Back in 2017, he did his hardest grade-wise, Tiny 8A. This is not considering numerous highballs before and after the invention of bouldering pads. As far as training Zschiesche principally boulderers outdoors, though he doesn't consider it training. : ) He also has a home bouldering cave and a great bouldering gym The Front in Ogden, Utah that he occasions for some plastic homework.

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Brooke Raboutou has done her third 8B+, Trieste in Red Rock (NV). It was put up by Paul Robinson and Daniel Woods has later added a sitstart that others have called 8C. Interesting is that Brooke has only needed max three sessions for all her three 8B+. Her Insta starts with, "Damn, it feels good to stand on top of a boulder that pushed my physical and mental limits a year ago. Coming back, I felt much stronger and was able to let go of expectations and lighten the pressure I put on myself the previous trip. "

Brooke Raboutou does Trieste 8B+

Brooke Raboutou has done her third 8B+, Trieste in Red Rock (NV). It was put up by Paul Robinson and Daniel Woods has later added a sitstart that others have called 8C. Interesting is that Brooke has only needed max three sessions for all her three 8B+. Her Insta starts with, "Damn, it feels good to stand on top of a boulder that pushed my physical and mental limits a year ago. Coming back, I felt much stronger and was able to let go of expectations and lighten the pressure I put on myself the previous trip. "

Jabberwocky Direct 8A by Miriam Borgstrom (17)

Jabberwocky Direct 8A by Miriam Borgstrom (17)

Miriam Borgstrom has done her third 8A, Jabberwocky Direct in Red Rock (NV). The 17-year-old did her first 7C+, out of 19, at age 15. (c) Quentin Borgstrom

"I sent Jabberwocky 7C last season, and soon started working on the direct 8A version. At the time, this would’ve been my first of the grade, so perhaps the psyche was dangerously high. I continuously yarded for the crux pocket and ultimately took my first finger injury. I spent a year away from this line and returned somewhat hesitantly this week. The mixture of nerves from returning to my injury birthplace, and the boost of confidence from sending other 8As recently was a strange pair. I put it down in a few furious goes, and with its head, went galumphing back."

What type of finger injury did you face?
The injury was a near-constant strain in the middle finger on my right hand—it may have been torn tissue. I babied the finger for a month, and then I used Esther Smith’s rice bucket and hang-board exercises to fully heal. The rehab took about two months.

Musa 9a FA by Silvio Reffo

Musa 9a FA by Silvio Reffo

Silvio Reffo, who previously has done 15 routes 9a and harder, has made the FA of Musa (9a) in Covolo. (c) Giovanni Basso

"I bolted the route last year after the first lockdown. I didn't know if the route was possible because there were some moves almost impossible for me. I came back on the route last spring and I felt very fit (thanks to winter strength training) but not enough to send the route. Some days ago finally I did the F.A. of the route!"

What are your next plan?
I have tried Begining in Arco (Ghisolfi’s 9a/+ route), so it will be a good goal.

Adam Ondra comes clean in Beyond focus talking about that he is most of all a lifestyle rock climber at the same time he loves competitions. There he learns about his person and possibly it is also about the ego, showing that you are the best during the day. The preparation is like ways also something he loves. Out of all great Ondra video's, this is one of the best and there are three more episodes describing his inner journey to look forward to.

Ondra's inner journey onto the Olympics 1:4

Adam Ondra comes clean in Beyond focus talking about that he is most of all a lifestyle rock climber at the same time he loves competitions. There he learns about his person and possibly it is also about the ego, showing that you are the best during the day. The preparation is like ways also something he loves. Out of all great Ondra video's, this is one of the best and there are three more episodes describing his inner journey to look forward to.

Samfaina 9a+ by Jorge Diaz-Rullo

Samfaina 9a+ by Jorge Diaz-Rullo

Jorge Diaz-Rullo has made the third ascent of Samfaina 9a (+) in Margalef. Both Sharma and Ramon Julian Puigblanque, who did the second ascent in 2010, called it 9a but Jorge says it feels more like 9a+ in comparison to the other 9a's in the sector. At the same time, he says on Insta. "A route with a little endurance but with two really hard moves, my antistyle 👊" (c) Adri Martinez

The 22-year-old Spaniard has now done 45 routes 9a to 9b, meaning he is #8 on that list. If we only count the last three years, he is probably #3 after Adam Ondra and Alex Megos.

Papichulo 9a+ by Stefan Scherz two months after breaking his foot

Papichulo 9a+ by Stefan Scherz two months after breaking his foot

Stefan Scherz, who previously has done two 9a's, has done Papichulo (9a+) in Oliana. Amazingly the 20-year-old broke his foot in September and did wear a cast until like three before he started projected it and then sent it within a week. (c) Toni Mas Buchaca

How was this fast recovery possible?
I had to wear a cast for like five weeks but it didn’t matter that much because I did lots of one foot climbing to gain fitness for the route which turned out to be a good method of training for me. I did lots of exercises to strengthen my foot again so that it works normally. As my foot got better and better, I started to climb with two feet again. Four weeks of climbing with two feet I sent Papichulo, my very first 9a+, and hopefully not the last ;)

What type of accident did you have?
I had a bike accident, where I fell unfortunately and broke my right metatarsal bone.

What is your next plan and what about comps in 2022?
I'm going back to Innsbruck to train for the upcoming World Cup season.

In 2019, the Austrian won four European Youth Cups/Championships in three disciplines.

 Fifty Words for Pump 8c (+) by Solveig Korherr

Fifty Words for Pump 8c (+) by Solveig Korherr

Solveig Korherr has done Fifty Words for Pump 8c (+) in Red River Gorge (KY). "Hard boulder problem at the beginning into kneebar heaven. Big fight at the end of the day. I can‘t believe I stayed on the wall after feeling so tired already :D A Muerte!"

The picture by Jon Shen is from Zookeeper (8b+) which she did three days later. The 23-year-old german is #1 in the 8a ranking game.