Tuesday, 27 October
Natalia Grossman has done three 8A's on her first weekend trip to Joe Valley; I shaved my head for this (pictured), Barely Legal and Death Cream. In total, the 19-year-old studying Psychology and Business in the University, has done 32 boulders 8A to 8B during the last six months. Last year, Natalia got the silver in both Boulder and Combined in the Youth World Championship.
Is it not time to step up the game to 8B+ with such grade pyramid?
I was only there for the weekend, I’m psyched that I was able to try lots of fun climbs and I can’t wait to return! I am pretty busy with school so I don’t really want a long term project right now.
Monday, 26 October
Nathaniel Coleman, who has qualified to Tokyo and who has previously has done one 9a, has sent his first 9a+, Empath in Tahoe. It was set up just two weeks ago by Carlo Traversi and later both James Webb and Daniel Woods have also done it. On Insta, Nathaniel thanks all three for beta and energy. (c) Ross Fulkerson
Do you know how many sessions the guys repeating it did used and what about the grade? (We asked FA Traversi.) Daniel and Jimmy put in about 10 days of work. Nathaniel a bit less, but we gave him all the beta. Hard to say if it’s soft when you have some of the best American climbers trying it in perfect conditions. Also, 9a+ isn’t the top of the scale anymore. It’s a hard route to grade. I honestly didn’t really know. Daniel told me it was comparable to First Round (9b). Jimmy said it was much harder than Dreamcatcher (9a). So those comparisons helped inform my grade suggestion. But it’s just a suggestion, as always with grades, time will tell. I will say though, everyone who has repeated it is capable of climbing 9a+ in a day if they find the right route. We just don’t have a lot of hard routes to test ourselves on in America.
Sunday, 25 October
Matt Fultz, has beside one 8C+, done his eight 8C in 2020, Death Star in Eldora. The 29-year-old has had an almost continues progress for ten years but nevertheless, during the last two years, the late bloomer has stepped to a new level. Picture from his Insta, where he says, "Brilliant boulder from @dawoods89! Took me several sessions of work, but very happy to do it 2nd go today since my shoulder is usually sore for a week after I try it 😵."
Sunday, 25 October
Jacob Schubert has had a great trip to Arco with the Austrian National team. During five climbing days he did Beginning 9a (+), Omen Nomen 9a and Thunder Ribes 9a (8c+). The best male competition climber during the last ten years, also did six routes 8b+ to 8c+, including the onsight of 5 Uve, More info on his Insta. (c) Heiko Wilhelm
Saturday, 24 October
Stefan Scarperi, who did his first 8C in March, has done the FA of Big Illusion 8c in Val Daone. "Amazing line, long progress 10 days over two years. For sure my hardest boulder so far!"
The Italian has done some 40 IFSC senior boulder comps since 2011. In 2015, he got the bronze in the European Championship and last year he was #16. "This year I will not compete. Now I'm focusing more on rock climbing. Next year, I do not know?"
Saturday, 24 October
Palmer Larsen skips 8c+ and does his first 9a, Algorithm in The Fins. He projected it for some 15 days doing just some 30 tries as each try took some 45 minutes.
"Solving an algorithm is exactly what I felt like I was doing in order to send that route. It’s 40m long with a boulder crux at about half way and then two boulder cruxes right at the top. Each effort would be about 45 min so it took a lot each time I pulled on. I put about 15 days of work into the route and over 30 tries over the course of the past few months and sent it on probably the last day of the season before it gets too cold.
Perfect beta, temps, skin, mental toughness and desire, and just a bit of luck for it to all come together. Cheer to Johnathan for finding and getting the FA of the line. It felt impossible at first to me so I couldn’t imagine what he had to go through."
Saturday, 24 October
Seb Bouin, who has done more than 50 routes 9a and harder, has done the FA of Beyond integral 9b/+. (c) Raphael Fourau
“This 50 meters route is made of two parts: a first 9a+ followed by an 8A+ boulder problem. The moves are amazing and spectacular, jumps, drop knees, hills, tufas, crimps,… all the ingredients for a perfect project. There is a good rest between both parts. About the grade, it’s hard to have a clear mind and to pronounce myself. I spent a lot of time to find the sequences. I think this route is on the same range than “Move” or “La rage d’Adam”. That’s why I propose 9b/+. Waiting for some climbers to try this piece." Source Fanatic Climbing.
Friday, 23 October
Daniel Woods report on Insta that he also done it. "Best in the world shit! Holds, rock, and moves are out of this world. Power resistance climbing at its finest."
James Webb, #2 in the All-Time boulder ranking game, has done his first 9a+, Empath in Tahoe. Last week Carlo Traversi did the FA and it was actually "Jimmy" who found it, looking for boulders, and told Traversi about the incredible looking rock. "This marks the first of the grade for me and I’m super stoked to see the progression👌 Huge shout out to the homies for the motivation and of course to Carlo for having the vision and establishing one of the best pieces of stone I’ll ever climb." More comments on his Insta (c) Keenan Takahashi
"I’ve been sport climbing a good bit since the middle of summer. I spent a few weeks in Rifle which helped with the endurance a lot. I’m not sure how many days I spent on Empath. Maybe 10? 5 days in the summer sussing beta and maybe another 4 in the fall once it got cold. I’m pretty psyched on both routes and boulders at the moment. Gonna try some hard projects in California and maybe make my down towards Vegas for the winter months. There’s a bunch of hard routes around there I would love to check out."
Friday, 23 October
Fanatic Climbing reports that Anatole Bosio, who ten days ago did Aubade direct 9a+, has done Supercrackinette 9a+. He did it in two days after having projected it also last winter. (c) Jean-Eli Hugon
“I went for the send and I did it: 2 days for sending this King Line. It seemed crazy but I knew it was possible, one day for working the route, one day for sending it, but I had to give my best climb to do a perfect go! I was one fire during the beginning and I gave it all in the last move! When I took the hold of the final crux I understood that I did it! Back to reality!”
Friday, 23 October
James Pearson, one of the best trad climbers in UK, has made the first repeat of Jacopo Larcher's Tribe in Cadarese. None of them have suggested any grade but as Larcher, who has done La Rambla 9a+, said that with 50+ sessions, "I have never invested so much time in a route before". Here is Larcher's video including comments from Pearso. The media have speculated Tribe to be at least 9a. This would mean that it is the hardest trad route in the world and Pearson confirms this. "Tribe is by far the hardest series of moves I have ever done on a trad-route." Interesting, it seems by Pearson's comment below, that he did it rather fast in comparison to the three years projecting by Larcher. Noteworthy is also that the 34-year-old did his first 9a in July, Condé de Choc. (c) Tristan Hobson
“I’ve known about Tribe, or at least ‘the big project at Cadarese’ for about 10 years. I’ve walked past it many times on the way to the crag, and wondered if it was possible, to climb or protect. But, despite it only taking about two minutes to set up a static rope, I had never bothered to actually look at the thing. I guess deepdown I thought it probably was impossible, like so many other King trad lines I’ve looked at over the years.
I followed Jacopo‘s journey on the route with interest, first of all interested to see if it’s possible, and later to see whether his conviction would stand the test of time and if he would put everything together. Climbing a first ascent is really hard, much much harder than making a repeat, it took a lot of curiosity for Jacopo to originally check out the line, and a lot of courage for him to stick with the process and finish it off.
I’ve been wanting to check out Tribe ever since Jacopo made the first ascent, but since Arthur was born, we’ve not really had the ability/energy/time to get stuck into a project like that. We arrived in Cadarese and everything was really really wet. For the first couple of days I got maybe an hour to an hour and a half to try the route - at the end of each day once the seepage from above and dried enough, and before it started to seep again. The conditions were pretty bad, but I managed most of the moves, by the skin of my teeth, and started to believe that one day I might be able to climb the route. After working the moves for some days, I climbed the route on my seventh lead attempt. I’d fallen pretty close to the top on numerous attempts before that, but the fickle nature of the final boulder problem often spat me off, despite not really knowing why. With lots of rain forecast over the coming days, I’d pretty much given up hope, which is probably exactly what I needed to take all the pressure off and just concentrate on climbing.
Whilst I can’t say I’ve checked out every single trad route in the world, I have been on quite a few of them, and I’ve spent a lot of time searching for my own megaproject. For me, Tribe is by far the hardest series of moves I have ever done on a trad-route, and it’s a real miracle that the thing is actually possible on gear. It’s rare to find a piece of rock compact enough to make a series of sustained hard movements, but with just enough decent gear placements. Tribe would already be an awesome sport route, and one I’m sure people would be queueing up to try to climb. What makes it really special however, is that no one needed to place bolts to climb it safely. Mother nature gave us everything that we need, right here... an amazing line, a cool series of holds, and gear placements, right where you need them.”
by 8a Founder and Editor-in-Chief Jens Larssen including also Analyses, Reviews, Training, Polls and Opinions etc.
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