Yannick Flohé ticks Lazarus (9a+)

Yannick Flohé has repeated Moritz Welt’s Lazarus (9a+) in Frankenjura. ”Third ascent ? after Alex Megos. One of the best lines in Frankenjura and my first 9a+. (c) Rainer Eder

The 24-year-old German is foremost a boulder specialist with four 8C+’ under his belt. In 2019, he won the bronze in the World Championship and in 2021, he became the Combined World Champion. The year after, he won the World Cup in Brixen.

Can you tell us more about the ascent?
Tried it last weekend at 25 degrees and already came close falling in the last hard move. Yesterday I stopped on my way to Munich for a team training camp and climbed it after 4 tries.

What are your competition plans in 2024?
I’ll compete in Salt Lake and the two OQS comps and hopefully qualify for the Olympics. After that I’ll focus more on rock climbing.

Jernej Kruder repeats La Bruja (9a)

Jernej Kruder has done the second ascent of Ignacio Mulero's La bruja (9a) in La Pedriza, which is protected both by bolts and trad gear. The 33-year-old Slovenian has been a very active IFSC competition climber since 2004 and in 2018 he won the overall Boulder World Cup.

Can you tell us more about this hybrid route and your ascent of it?
The route starts with an awkward gaston jump and continues with a very pleasant 6b layback/hands with placing 2 cams (you can use more to feel safer. I wanted to use only 1, but 2 was easier for the belayer). Then you enter a long, power endurance crux with some kneebars (I used only 1 knee pad, Mulero used 2), which ends in a good rest. This section is about 8A/+ boulder problem. Still, my main problem was to recover well enough. After that, you enter a steep crimpy section of approx. 7B+ bouldering. The last crack rail is not too hard, but you're quite tired and before you enter the first hand jams, you can fall easily. Also, you need to protect yourself here. I used 3 small pieces (2x purple- first fell out on my send go, 1x green) and I got rid of a Nr. 4 in the last off-width. I fell several times on the last crack, but luckily never on the top out off-width (although I failed there 2 times only trying it). I was also climbing with crack gloves, just like the first ascensionist, Mulero.

The route has about 70 moves in total, with some no-hand rests. Although it's long, it's also so steep and there's a tree underneath, that you have to be constantly careful, not to get injured. Again, Mulero used a crash pad on the tree, I was rather focused on performance (hit the tree only twice :P ).

What are your competition plans this season?
At the moment I'm not sure if I'll be selected for any of this season's World Cups.

It's now confirmed: As part of the Vertical-Life Climb to Paris Challenge powered by Mammut, the grand prize will be a day of climbing with none other than Adam Ondra! The challenge is already up and running, with climbers from around the globe logging their ascents. To date, more …

Toby Roberts and Janja Garnbret win Lead in China

Toby Roberts, who was first in the semifinal, won the final on countback over Taisei Homma in Wujiang. The bronze was awarded to Sorato Anraku who was second in…

Jakob Bizjak ticks Xaxid hostel (9a)

Jakob Bizjak has done Xaxid hostel (9a) in Mišja Peč. The picture is from Umetnost (9a) which was his second, out of four, 9a’s.

"After passing the lower crux 4 times only to fall in the upper endurance part and after being painfully close in May 2023 in the heat and crapy conditions (fell at the last jug after the roof!!), I am incredibly psyched to pull it together this year. Without a doubt the best and hardest line I have climbed so far. Second Slovenian ascent! :))"

Can you tell us a little more about Xaxid?
The route is a perfect long line, very versatile and complex and demands bouldering power in the start and endurance and keeping a cool head all the way to the top. Also because it was right on my limit, I needed to change my approach and strategy to send - balancing life, time management, and conditions with physical and mental shape while not trying the route too much, but focusing on long term improvement was the key to me. I also was in the best shape of my life last May and failed at the very top (I fell [literally] at the last jug before the anchor), but then [I] wanted to send way too badly and stressed - I needed to relax and go with the flow in my opinion. Really psyched for more climbing!

Julia Chanourdie climbs Joe Blau (8c+)

Julia Chanourdie, who is probably best known for climbing Eagle-4 (9b) in 2020, reports on Instagram that she has done Joe Blau (8c+) in Oliana. (c) Williclimb

The 27-year-old is also a successful competition climber and Olympic participant. Prior to the Tokyo Olympics, she had completed six routes graded 8c+/9a and harder, but since then she has struggled with injuries, as reported on Instagram last autumn.

"Since the Olympics, I've been struggling, with repeated injuries for a year and a half, doubts, fear, malaise, the feeling that I've achieved nothing since, and not that much pleasure... Of course, there are plenty of good moments, and I've also learned a lot, but it's as if since that event I've been riding a sad wave that regularly brings me back to the bottom."

Simon Boes pulls off In Search of Time Lost

Simon Boes has completed In Search of Time Lost (8C) in Magic Wood. ”First of the grade! So blessed to be standing on top of this boulder! Amazing experience and such a good battle. Fell twice on the last move and almost pumped out on the topout but stood just on top before the rain.”

How long have you been climbing, and how do you manage having to travel to climb on rock?
Yeah, so I started properly training for outdoor climbing around 2019 (I was 18 at the time) and had a 10 year background in youth comps. I went on my first good climbing trip to font and climbed my first 7c and 8a, which got me hooked. In the Netherlands, there is no outdoor climbing or bouldering. So I train super hard all year from outdoor trip to outdoor trip, focussing on new projects that I had put my sights on.

Are there some other climbs you're hoping to finish off?
There is a lot of time left on this trip, so I have a lot of time to start new projects. For now, the weather shifted to rain and snow in magic wood, so we will go to Ticino, where I can hopefully finish 'Off the Wagon'.

Lorenzo Bogliacino FA’s Trainspotting (9a+)

Lorenzo Bogliacino, who has previously climbed five 9a’s and Naturalmente (9a+), has made the FA of Trainspotting (9a+) in La Stazione. (c) Isabella Sigaudo

Can you tell us more about this FA?
Last fall, after doing the FA of "Prima Classe," I took a few turns on a pitch bolted by Carlo. The line climbs very directly up the main overhang of La Stazione and, while offering slightly lower quality rock than Prima Classe, provides much more physicality. I quickly realized that I had to approach the route as a project at my limit and after about fifteen sessions I manage to get close to free it while realizing that I still lack something to be able to complete the FA; the season ends with the arrival of winter temperatures and the bill remains outstanding.

All winter long I had this line in mind, convinced that it would take very little to finish what I had started but the reality is that it took another 7-8 sessions, often looking for conditions with winter weather and the approach completely snowed in.

I never thought I would find a virgin crag with such routes at my limit where I could start my bolting experience, yet it happened and I propose the grade of 9a+. Trainspotting is my best performance and deserves a grade that is important to me. Thanks to all the bolters whose work allowed me to repeat so many routes before dedicating myself to FAs, a step I think is essential for any climber beyond the satisfaction of making a first ascent.

How many routes have you bolted?
About ten routes counting those in an other place I recently found. I'm definitely novice but I'm looking for quality and difficulty rather than quantity.

Palmer Larsen completes The Nest (8C)

Palmer Larsen has sent The Nest (8C) in First Creek Canyon. ”My proudest accomplishment to date and a true mental test of belief and determination knowing I could do it but unable to get it done until now. Cried after the send. Stoked!” (c) Jonathan Vickers

Can you tell us more about The Nest and how things played out?
The nest is one of the best boulder problems I’ve ever done. Perfect line, tall, aesthetic, long approach, interesting moves. I did the stand start a few years ago and sampled the bottom moves. I knew I could have a chance on it if I committed myself to it. I started trying it in November and did many separate trips and weekends from SLC. A 7 hr drive for 2 days of effort. I got really close to sending around my 4th session but then the true battle began. This boulder tested me mentally in ways I’ve never faced before. Self doubt, motivation, effort were a constant struggle but after 18 sessions on likely the last day of the season and my last go of the day I was able to climb it to the top.

Giuliano Cameroni FA’s Eye in the Sky (8C)

Giuliano Cameroni reports on Instagram thathe has done the FA of Eye in the Sky (8C) in Valle Bavona after projecting it for around ten sessions. "Super psyched on this one! One of my all time favorites for sure. Last year I started trying this bloc with @kimmarschner and @dave_graham_ after they hiked up the hill and found this higher sector. Since the beginning we realized that it was a great mix of power and technique where both foot precision and body tension were required. This year I focused more on it and after some work it finally came together!"

In total, Cameroni, has since 2014, done 26 boulders 8C or 8C+, out of which ten are FA's. The 26-year-old has also done two 9a FA's.

What does your daily climbing life look like and how do you train?
I go out most of the days, even if I’m resting. My main training (besides trying to send some projects) during winter is about visualizing some next level moves. Sometimes I try them but most of the time I simply try to understand what muscles I’m missing in my body in order to do these hard moves. This way I can practice almost every day because I don’t get much tired from such exercises.

This approach is great because I often feel fresh for what I’m actually trying to climb. I’ve been using this method for a couple of years and I definitely see the improvements, especially in the fingers. For what concerns the bigger muscles, last summer I started training on the moonboard and it felt great. Instead of swinging back and forth between rock and gym I prefer to focus on the gym for a few months in a row and then apply the new strength on the rock during the wintertime. Both vision and technique have improved a lot since I started exploring what’s physically possible for me.

Marwin Winkler ticks Chilam Salsera (9a)

Marwin Winkler, who did two 9a’s in 2019, has completed Chilam Salsera (9a) in Villanueva del Rosario.

Can you tell us more about the ascent?
Chilam Salsera* combines the first pitch of Chilam Balam (8c+) with an easier exit than the original Chilam Balam. I did the first part back in 2020 after a rather lucky punch sticking every hold in the bouldery crux perfectly. In the following years, I didn't even come close to linking the boulder anymore, but was able to do the upper part starting with an 8a in 2021 and did the whole route except the bouldery crux by traversing in from another route (Buchilam Salsera (8c+/9a)) in 2022.

This trip, however, felt different. During the first days, I managed to link the first boulder (the one I struggled so much with) and linked it from the 2nd boulder (which was still wet) to the top. I knew that it could be possible this time, but the fact that it got seeping wet didn't make things easier... After the rain, I did it on the first days when it was climbable again.

How come you did not do any 9a's for almost five years?
I did my PhD [sports sciences], during those years, so had less time for outdoor climbing. Therefore I was more motivated to try several not so hard routes instead of projecting one route during the entire trip.