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.
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.
TOP IMAGES OF THE WEEK
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. "
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Alex Megos reports on Insta that he has done the first repeat of Will Bosi's Furia de Jabali (9b) in Siurana. In total, the German has now done some 100 routes 9a and harder including six 9b or 9b+. Last week he did the first repeat of Bosi's King Capella 9b+. No grade comment by Megos of none of the two recent Bosi routes.(c) Jenya Kazbekova
So which one do you personally think is the hardest?
I'd say King Capella is harder. It took me longer despite me being more focused to climb King Capella.
Last week, Alex also gave us some insights in regards to the environmental "catastrophe" and some recent changes he has done in his life.
by 8a Founder and Editor-in-Chief Jens Larssen including also Analyses, Reviews, Training, Polls and Opinions etc.
Sure, it is still three weeks left but here is a preliminary list of the Climber of 2021. Please forward your thoughts. 1. Janja Garnbret SLO 2. Natalia Grossman USA 3. Alex Megos GER 4. Adam Ondra CZE 5. Laura Rogora ITA 6. Jakob Schubert AUT 7. Alberto Gines Lopez ESP 8. Brooke Raboutou USA 9. To…
Pirmin Bertle, one of the best rock climbers in the world, has for many years adapted his families to be more environmentally friendly. Five years ago, his fami…
Tomorrow (Monday, Dec 6th), from 7 am to ~8:30 am CET (0:00 to 1:30 AM MST), 8a will undergo maintenance. We need to take the site down during this time - sorry for the inconvenience. Once it is back up, you'll notice a better way of logging repeat ascents at your local crags.
Climbing is about creating challenges and solving them for their own sake. When climbers go out to climb, they usually do not feel the need to classify their climbs ('the hardest, the boldest, the longest...'), but they are often quantified and labelled by media and sponsors to facilitate their appr…
Over the years, I have received plenty of emails where climbers inform about high profile climbers cheating. The most common way to cheat seems to be using tight belay, i.e. rope drag stopping the pendulum swing while doing dynamic moves in an overhang. Personally, I have also witnessed it but then …
The best conditions are normally said to be around zero degrees and sunny or a couple of degrees warmer with no sun. On the other hand, cold fingers will not make you climb anything. The best tips on how to keep warm taking advantage of the prime conditions are actually to wear Vertic sleeves or som…