Mattéo Soulé has done his third 8c+, Le blond, la brute et le manouche in Joncasses, after six sessions. "Awesome. Thirty movements without ever being able to put on chalk. The perfect route of resistence. Really fingery."
Already in 2017, he did his first 8b and later he has also flashed ten 8a+ and onsighted one. Last June, he did his first 8c+, Dieu merci and that one is still unrepeated.
Max Bertone has done two FAs in Bras de la Plaine which have been bolted by Thierry Caillaud, Addiction 8b+ and Mirage Gravitationnel 8c. "Maybe 8c+, but I don't know if adults can reduce the number of moves in the crux section. Two sessions of work to send this perfect endurance test! Thanks to Thierry Caillaud for bolting this incredible route!"
It should be mentioned that prior to Max's FA, it was thought that Mirage was 8c+. Also noteworthy is that he yesterday, on his second go, did the second ascent of A la recherche des prises perdues 8b/+, giving it a personal 8a+ grade.
The 13-year-old is a sibling to Oriane (15), the best girl in the world for a couple of years in competitions as well as on rock.
Shinichiro Nomura did his seventh 8C last month, Vanitas in Hourai, in just two sessions. "It required subtle footwork techniques rather than power, so I had a lot of frustration sometimes."
Since last year, Nomura is a full time professional climber. "My long term goal in climbing is sending difficult routes over 8C/V15 around the world and making FAs. I have three projects now. I’m sure one of them must be over 8C/V15 having really hard moves. Its size is huge and the moves required are also awesome. Another goal is making moves that are said to be impossible being short, in order to give hopes for those who don’t have long reach. My height is 159 cm."
In his latest Insta post, he is seen doing two one-arm pull-ups on a 6 mm edge. "I just concentrate on moving the first joint of fingers. Next is a 4 mm one hand pull up. My long time goal is a 1mm one hand pull-up! I’ve been climbing boulders indoors in order to overcome my weak point (reach), so I guess such training enrich my finger power consequently. I think many years of efforts have brought me the result.
I have climbed for 16 years now. I climb 5 or 6 times a week in a gym and I take about 3 hours in each climbing session. Also, I go outside climbing once in two weeks."
Interestingly, it takes 1.5 hours for him to go to the nearest climbing area by car, and it takes four hours to reach his current projects as well as his latest 8C.
Tina Johnsen Hafsaas, three times a winner in the Euro Youth Cup and #4 in the WC in Chamonix in 2017, has spoken out in Norwegian climbing media, together with Magnus Midtbö, about their eating disorder. We asked Tina if she could share some thoughts on 8a. (c) Arc’teryx and Mattis G. Husby
”Growing up I felt like all the climbers I knew and looked up to were having a difficult relationship with food. I thought it was, as big part of the game, as training endurance. I watched my first world cup at 14, at the same time as I was competing as an up and coming international youth competitor. I was fueled with impressions, and the better I got in youth the better (and thinner) the people I looked up to. I guess as a teenager you shouldn’t really compare your body to adults who have trained for a decade, but when your idols looked like what they did to me it definitely made an impact on what I believed our sport was about. I think not talking about weight, training, food and consequences makes it worse, because young athletes draw conclusions of their own. Adult climbers using weight to peak performance is normal, as it is in every elite sport, but we should talk more about context. Being young you want to be the best now right away, but by having a more long-term mindset you realize that pushing your body too far with malnutrition as a teen you actually lower your potential long-term.”
What can be done to reduce the problem?
I believe for competition climbing the route setters have the power. It has been a major change in style in the last years forcing athletes to be more powerful. The massive change in climbing holds has obviously contributed to the change of style as well. The federations can always do more and better. Thanks to a lot of brave people it’s getting talked about more and we should keep it going, answer questions openly and honestly and hopefully contribute to making the sport easier to grow up in.
For rock, it’s definitely different because there are no federations or rules to follow. You can always find a route that fits your style and lose as much weight as you want just to climb it. But losing weight for most people is not just about that one climb. It’s easy to get trapped in a world of misery and sadness and no climb is worth that. I hope that climbers sharing their stories make other climbers more aware of the consequences of pushing it too far and how easy it is to lose control.
Christof Rauch, who has done more than 800 boulders 8A and harder, out of which eleven 8C's, has done his third 9a, Kraftplatzl in Berglsteiner See. Amazingly, Christof is just 26 and is working full time.
"Epic fight! Had to dig really deep on the last few moves! Perfect power endurance testpiece from David Lama! Took me two days a few years ago and three days this year. As typical for me, I did it on the last try of the day. Thanks to Tobi for the support!"
You also did an 8c+ two weeks ago but no boulders last month? Why this change of focus and what is next?
"We have really good route climbing in Tyrol and most of the boulders I'm psyched for are still wet/covered with snow. I have no big projects at the moment, just a few routes that I checked out recently."
Kyra Condie started to climb at age 11 and almost directly it was discovered that she had severe idiopathic scoliosis. In 2010, she did spinal fusion surgery to correct her more than 70-degree curvature and the doctors did not think she could continue to climb. In 2019, she qualified to Tokyo in Toulouse by being #7 which was quite a sensation as she previously the same year, only once had been Top-13 out of 18 World Cups. Last December she was listed on the Forbes30 under 30 list.
How much does the spinal fusion surgery affect your climbing nowadays?
Basically, it affects my climbing all the time and it is why I climb the way I do. The entire section of my back can not bend or twist at all. I think if you watch me climb. I tend to stay really straight on the wall. I do not twist a ton and I do not climb super gracefully. I usually have to muscle through moves that most people would be able to bend or twist and that makes it looks nicer.
Could you please explain a normal training week?
Let’s see, a normal training week consists of five days of training and two full rest days. Each day I have to do double sessions where one session is a workout and the other session is climbing. Sometimes the workout it weights or cardio, sometimes it’s more climbing-specific like campusing or hangboarding! We also make sure to do speed once a week as well as specifically competition boulders
Who are your training partners and what do they mean to you?
I’ve been training a lot with Allison Vest who’s also my roommate! She moved down from Canada so we could train together. I also have been on the same schedule as Nathaniel Coleman so we’ve been doing a lot together, which I think is awesome for our team camaraderie and for the psych! There’s also a big group of younger girls here who are incredibly psyched and motivate me every day!
How do plan to compete before Tokyo?
The plan is to go to as many world cups that I can go to safely! As well as continue doing mock competition rounds and prepare as best as possible in Salt Lake.
Elias Iagnemma has previoulsy commented to 8a, "I only used the new method with the knee pads but it exactly respects the line and the original grips." Christian Core put it up in 2008 but around 2015 a new crimper appeared. Previously also Adam Ondra, Nalle Hukkataival and Niccolo Ceria have repeated it.
Solveig Korherr, who has been on a climbing trip in Turkey for three months, has done Turkish Moon 8c in Datca. The 22-year-old is #1 in the 8a annual ranking game, and during the last months she has only three males ahead of her.
"It is a very unique line in the Can Baba cave and unlike most of the other routes, it is less kneebar intense and more finger strength dependent. I tried this route at the beginning of our trip here in Datça, but unfortunately, with wet holds and bad conditions, it was almost impossible to move off these small holds. After having done most of the classics, I finally came back to this one!
It was really nice to get my fingers on some crimps! After I found all the beta, it came rather quickly together. It took me four redpoint tries to get to the anchor. "Turkish Moon" suited me a lot more than some of the other powerful climbs in the cave! I’m glad that after climbing with so many kneebars in the last month, I was still able to hold on to some smaller holds :)"
Andi Stull and Richelle Hepler have done their first 8A+, Lethal Design in Red Rock. Both have their ascents on Insta; Richelle and Andi.
Richelle (32): "I love this boulder! So sick! So perfect! Crimpy and multiple variations for all sizes! I can't wait to try "for the children" because this boulder is so rad!"
Andi (23), pictured: "I started climbing at a local gym in May of 2016 and have been psyched ever since. I first looked at Lethal Design two years ago and pulled on to some of the moves, but my physical abilities were nowhere near where they needed to be in order to do it. Since then, this rock climb has been in the back of my mind and one of my biggest goals within climbing. After having two more sessions on it over the weekend, I was able to tick the climb off my bucket list. After sending this rock climb, I feel more motivated than ever to continue to train and push myself to see what I can accomplish."
On her Insta, Andi has also recently talked about the challenges of starting climbing coming out of an eating disorder. "Over the time I have been climbing, I have recognized that being strong and healthy is far more important than being "light” and will lead to greater physical and mental victories."
by 8a Founder and Editor-in-Chief Jens Larssen including also Analyses, Reviews, Training, Polls and Opinions etc.
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