Lucy Mitchell repeats Free Fight Intégral (8c)

Lucy Mitchell has completed the 50m long Free fight intégral (8c) in Lourmarin. ”I have tried it on and off in the past 2 years but the ‘big’ move in the middle has always been a bit of a stopper for me. This Easter I came back a little stronger and it went from a ‘maybe get it before my skin gave up’ move to an ‘I’d get it every other go’ move. It took a little longer than I thought to finish off as I struggled with the increase in temperature in the region. But, luckily I found a weather window of cool temps and managed not make the most of it! On to the next :)”

What could "the next" be?
Going home on Monday. Next Christmas I hope to get stuck into trying some harder things if all is well

What about the next eight months until Christmas?
Just working at home, unfortunately. I manage a bouldering wall. And set and coach freelance on the side. Some of my staff are doing the competition season and want time off this summer to train and compete. So I am happy to give them that opportunity with no strings attached. Perhaps I could get a week in Ceuse in July … that would be amazing. I am head setter for the youth series of competitions in Ireland from September - November. So I am too busy to go then.

What about your local outdoor scene?
My nearest rock is 2 hours from my house. And then a minimum hour walk up a mountain to get to it. It’s is all trad. There is one small side area bolted with 6 routes 6c - 8b+, but I have done them all. Ireland is nice to look at. Less nice to climb in. Britain is closest, which is £300 ferry and 5-hour drive. Easier to fly to France!

Michaela Kiersch pulls off 8b+ OS and 9a+ RP

Michaela Kiersch has onsighted Crimptonite (8b+) in Oliana and redpointed Victima Perfecta (9a+) in Margalef. "So happy to send it after some true heartbreaking attempts falling at the last move — maybe 6 times. A good lesson in perseverance and being patient and in the moment." (c) Jan Novak

Can you tell us more about your first 8b+ onsight?
I gave 2 tries on a new project in Oliana and decided to go for it at the end of the day. Turns out climbing on pockets at 50-60 degrees every day didn’t hurt my crimp strength. I just climbed slowly and took my time to find the right holds and sequences.

Michaela Kirsch repeated Chris Sharma’s classic five-star climb, Era Vella (9a) at Margalef, last November, after trying it for roughly seven sessions.

Tomoa Narasaki wins in Keqiao China

Tomoa Narasaki won his seventh Boulder World Cup. The runner-up was Sorato Anraku, the overall WC winner in both Lead and Boulder in 2023. Narasaki won by flash…

Babsi Zangerl does Pungitopo (8c+)

Babsi Zangerl reports on Instagram that she has done Pungitopo (8c+) in Arco. (c) Jacopo Larcher

Can you tell us more about your latest redpoint?
Originally I wanted to get back on Solitary Souls (8c+) but it was always soaking wet so I checked out Pungitopo. I guess that one fits my style pretty well. I had some struggles on a very reachy move in the middle. It took me 6 days to climb it.

Jacopo [Larcher] also did the first ascent of “Strange” a route on the left of Pungitopo. Alfredo Webber bolted that route and did it from the second bolt. He was unsure if it was easier or the same grade as Pungitopo.

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Domen Škofic ticks Catxasa (9a+)

Domen Škofic, overall Lead World Cup winner in 2016, has climbed Catxasa (9a+) in Santa Linya. "Such a brutal climb, I’m proud I’ve done it! I tried the route two years ago and almost did it without kneepads. This time I decided that I do it with kneepads since everyone is doing it that way and the grade should stand for what is the easiest way to climb it. My opinion on the grade is that it definitely makes it a bit easier with kneepads but it makes no sense for this route to be only 9a since you’re doing a hard 8c+ into another solid 8c+. The upper 8c+(Fabela) has been done with kneepads for the last 10 years and the grade still stands. I’ve done most of the routes in the cave and my opinion is to either downgrade everything or leave it as it is."

Tanguy Merard gets back to rock and does three 9a’s

Tanguy Merard, who did five 9a+’s last year, has completed Le Cadafist (9a/+) in Saint Léger, Anidalle tracteur (9a) in L'Abattoir and Amicalement blues (9a) in Saint-Pancrasse. (c) Milan Keller

Le Cadafist was for me my return to high level outdoors after 6 months without rock and without motivation. It's a route that required a lot of mental investment from me. I almost only fell in the second part (Rêve de poutre 8c) which gave me a lot of trouble. I fell 3 times on the last move to go to the final jug then I changed method and I sent.”

What made you lose motivation?
I think it's because I climbed outside a lot until I get bored of it and suddenly I didn't want to go outside at all. I've only been climbing for a little more than 10 years so I wanted to do something else, so I did partying, routsetting and fun climbing. 4/5 sessions per week but only spraywall climbing.

Ben Hanna onsights Humildes pa Casa (8b+)

Ben Hanna, who last week did JoeDan por Fabelita 8c+/9a, has onsighted Humildes pa Casa (8b+) in Oliana. (c)

Onsighting 5.14 [8b+] had always been a dream of mine. Last week I told @iandzilenski I wanted to onsight Humildes pa Casa before the trip was over, for no other reason then it was the first 5.14a I saw on the Oliana topo. Yesterday we drove to Oliana with this as a goal, but as soon as I started warming up I felt terrible and almost bailed. But we were there, and Dizzy wasn’t about to let me leave without trying. I decided to just give it the good old half ass college try.

I almost fell 3 times on the intro 5.12 and was pretty blasted by the time I got to where the route really starts, but to be perfectly honest, once I started into the tufa I forgot all about how pumped I was and what I was trying to do. I was completely lost in how epic this route is! Probably the most beautiful and enjoyable line I have ever climbed. I had a ear-to-ear, shit-eating-grin across my face the entire route.

The next thing I knew I was pulling the last meter of tufa. It wasn’t until these last couple moves to the anchor that I realized sending was possible, and the fight was on. At this point I was able to get a no hands knee-bar at the last draw which did absolutely nothing I was so pumped. I managed to pull onto the head wall but because of all the rain the last few weeks non of the holds had chalk on them and so I was fully shooting in the dark. With a little bit of luck and power screaming I’m sure all of Spain could hear I was able to pull it off.”

Eva Hammelmüller does La théorie des cordes (8c)

Eva Hammelmüller has completed La théorie des cordes (8c) in Saint Léger. ”Didn’t think it possible to do the first crux with wet holds, but tinfoil works wonders ;) Really good line with hard moves in the first part and delicate slab climbing in the second part.” (c) Felix Mast

Can you tell us more about your tinfoil trick?
I have never used tinfoil before to climb a wet route, but the tufa in the lower crux of ‘La théorie des cordes’, was so drenched that we couldn’t dry it with tissues… Grabbing the hold worked surprisingly well because even though the friction is bad, your hand stays dry; however, heel-hooking on tinfoil is something you really have to get used to😅 Anyway, the weather on this short trip was definitely not on our side - the biggest challenge was finding dry routes.