Jorge Diaz-Rullo has done the third ascent of Mejorando Imagen in Margalef, which Ramon Julian Puiblanque made the FA of in 2013 as a 9a. Alex Megos did the first repeat in March and suggested an upgrade to 9b. Jorge took it down after eight working days and thinks it is 9a+/b. (c) Paul Alonso Prat
"8 working days. Incredible line equipped by Iker Pou of short resistance with explosive steps on monos and two-finger pockets. Congratulations to Ramón for that FA and to Álex Megos for the second promotion. For me, more 9a+/b, will see what repeaters will say!"
On his Insta he comments, "Of course, it will be my hardest route without kneepads 😂🥳🦵" Previously, the 21-year-old, who has been #1 in the 8a ranking years for two years, has done six 9b's.
Gianluca Vighetti, who did four 8a's at age 8, has done L'extremacura plus 8c+ in Gravere, which was put up by his father Valter in 2000. Last month, they were in Margalef and Rodellar for one week where the 12-year-old did six 8a and 8a+ onsights. Out of his 21 latest recorded ascents, 14 are onsights 7c and harder. The only other youngster, in the 8a news the last 20 years, with such focus on onsights, is Adam Ondra. (c) Fabio Fin
Could you please say something about your focus on onsights?
I like onsight climbing because it’s like discovering new routes and especially when I’m travelling in new places I like to try to onsight routes. The focus is just not to think, breathe and stay quiet. I had yoga for one year. Flexibility is very helpful for climbing, which is my real strength and to stay relaxed when you climb.
Where have you learnt to speak so good English?
Watching climbing videos on YouTube. My favourite climbing Channel is Stefano Ghisolfi, his English is very good.
Eva Hammelmüller has done the classical Underground 8c+/9a in Arco after just four sessions and eleven tries in total. The 21-year-old, who previously has done a dozen routes 8c and 8c+, is #3 in the 8a ranking game. (c) Tobias Lanzanasto
"As steep and powerful climbing does not really suit my style, I was unsure whether the route wouldn’t be way too hard for me. On my first try, I couldn’t do all the moves, but the sequences felt great and I was amazed by the complexity of the route, including upside down climbing and crazy hooks. However, I made good progress, and when I stuck the last dyno in the first crux for the first time, I climbed to the top!"
Analise Van Hoang, who did her second 8A+ two weeks ago in just 45 minutes, has done her first 8B, Chinese connection in Mortar Rock. "Psyched to have sent my first V13 and get the 2nd female ascent! Still fells quite far from my limit considering it only took 3 sessions. Stoked to see what I can do in the future!"
Jorge diaz-rullo has flashed Zipayorik ez!! 8c (+) in Margalef. The 21-year-old is #1 in the 8a ranking game, including two 8c onsights, which he has been for almost two years now.
What kind of beta did you get?
A friend told me while I was climbing, although there was a block that I improvised, changing the method based on another friend because I was not very clear about it.
More info in his Insta, where he says. "I don't usually climb to flash, I always try onsight although I have always thought that it is a style that I am good at. After this route I will want to try some harder 😁💥".
Arabella Jariel, who did her first 7C+ at age 14, has done her second 8A (+) Godzilla in Godzilla Boulder. Video on her Insta. (c) Austin Hoyt
"WOOOH ONE SESH! Been in a slump lately, but felt so psyched to put this thing down quickly. Didn't look possible watching my friends try it, but I figured it was worth a go today. This thing has pretty few ascents, so it's hard to tell what the grade is. For now, I'm thinking maybe a slash grade V11/12? I will let time tell. Anyways, very happy to get a local FFA in the books. This is definitely the best one on the boulder."
Could you please say something more how you could take it down in just one session?
I had very low expectations when I first decided to try Godzilla. It is one of the most intimidating climbs on the boulder that goes up a very obvious arete. The crux is a very awkward, high tension deadpoint around the corner to a sidepull that was barely within reach for me. I stuck the crux in isolation early on in the session, and was extremely surprised. At that point, I figured it was worth some goes from the bottom, and I managed to carry the psyche all the way to the top of the climb. Never thought it would go down in one session, so I’m excited to see how I can continue to push my limits on even harder climbs!
Daniel Woods, who has the best bouldering tick list in the world, with close to 40 8C and harder shares his story doing the FA of Return of the Sleepwalker 9A. The 31-year-old sent it after 70+ days projecting, out of which the last 16 days he was alone camping in the canyon. (c) Jon Glassberg / Louder Than 11
"The first 8 of the 16 days I was climbing on it 2 on 1 off. In the final 8, I was 1 on 1 off. Haha, rest days were boring. I’d either chill at camp and stretch a bit or go walk around to kill time before the next session. Was hard to motivate to do anything else. I was consumed by the line and distracted by it. I listened to a ton of music actually. I have a lot of DJ sets saved to my SoundCloud, so would just zone out and listen."
Amazingly, his friend Jon Glassberg did spontaneously show up at the scene as Woods was going for the 10 meters slabby top out."We rushed over when we heard him screaming and assisted him with chalk on the 30ft slabby top out that looks scary and slick. You definitely don't want to blow it after climbing V17 (9A) on the v2 exit slab! Daniel was in shock I think. I would imagine after 70+ days of effort on the worlds hardest boulder, sending feels pretty strange, like an out of body experience. We all celebrated at the base when he came down, chatted about the hardest climbs in the world and went climbing. There was something special in the air. I had climbed the Nest (8C) the day before and Daniel sent with no one around just his personal battle with what is likely the hardest 30 ft of stone on earth right now."
Daniel, could you please share your "Into the Wild" 9a experience. What was your daily routine being by yourself in the canyon?
I was going to bed at night at around 10 and would wake up at 3 30 every morning... try to fall back asleep but then would just be wide awake haha. Some days I would get to the Boulder, start sessioning, then just pass out on my pad or fall asleep sitting up for a bit haha. But anyway I wake up in the morning and make oats with PhysiVantage whey protein powder, peanut butter, blueberries, and bananas, make a matcha latte and then review some footy. Drive to the store and pick up supplies for the day then drive the 20 min slow ass dirt road to the parking. Do the 20 min hike in and start warming up. A session for about 5 hours sometimes more than bail. The beauty about this climb is that it is very skin-friendly... never split. Your muscles get fucked before anything else. It also sits in the shade all day.
At the end of the day I’d get sushi or a salmon, veggie, rice bowl for dinner then drive back to camp. After would watch footy and listen to music then try to sleep. Honestly, my days outside of projecting were super uneventful. I could have tried to do something else but nothing inspired me. I felt like I was possessed. I wasn’t drinking any alcohol, no weed, no tobacco, no coffee in the morning (just matcha). I got myself super clean which I hadn’t done in 10 years haha. This climb really woke me up to the importance of self-care. I wanted to turn myself into a machine. I take supplements such as turmeric, fish oil, vitamin D, B12 with methyl, lions mane mushrooms, reishi mushrooms, and collagen. This combined with a ton of water and no “harmful” substances allowed me to recover super fast and develop clarity in myself that I had not felt in years. Now I’m addicted to this feeling and honestly don’t want to go back to my previous lifestyle. I even tried drinking a small sake bottle after the send and got two shots in and couldn’t finish it haha. I like felt my body start to swell up from it. I got fuckin in TUNE with my body during this process.
Here his comments to 8a after his send one month ago talking about the insanity.
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