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
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.
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."
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.”
Friday, 23 October
Nathan Michel, who did his first out of six 8B+ in 2013, has done his first 8C, Longue promesse in Le Pertuis. (c) Self-Timer "With two flash, a self-timer, an intervalomètre that takes a photo every second, a good camera and above a little bit of luck 😉"
"The story of “Promesse” began in 2015 when I was seeking new rocks to climb (as I always am). After an afternoon spent roaming the forest I stumbled upon this piece of rock. I spent a few sessions with my friend Yann Leray trying to find a way on top of this boulder, but at the time I wasn’t strong enough to climb it. I shelved this project, but made the promise (“promesse”) to come back stronger to make the first ascent…
This summer, I decided to seriously get back into training and to tackle a few dream goals, the first of which was obviously “Promesse”. After six sessions together with Sacha Ribeyron and Antoine Girard, we finally figured out a beta that felt possible for the easier high start (8B+). Though, a lower start seemed possible, so I started working on it and quickly managed to link it to the start of “promesse”. The section adds a short 7C boulder and makes the rest of the climb considerably harder. After that, it took me three more session and perfect conditions to finally free the full line. "
Thursday, 22 October
Matteo Gambaro has done his fifth 9a, Narcissus in Albenga, which is a 40 meter long link-up. Based on 8a scorecard points, the 45-year-old is on pair with his best years ever. As a matter of a fact, he has scored higher every year after 40+ compared to when he was in his 30s. (c) Klaus Dell' Orto
"Narcissus is the end of a long process born 4 years ago when I had finished all routes in the Erboristeria sector." Then he bolted a new 25-meter line and connected it in a roof with some more bolts into another new exit.
How is it possible to keep progressing at age 45 and have you changed your training?
I don't know... I'm motivated as always to finish my project and I hope I can travel more and try new routes. Must believe everything could be possible and train, try and retry... and sometimes magic still happens. Covid changed our life and I climb more near home. I train for 3 or 4 half days a week.
Wednesday, 21 October
Simon Lorenzi, who has done two 9a's, including Action Directe in 2017 at age 20, has done his fourth 8C, The Big Island in Fontainebleau. As it just took him two sessions he says it is maybe just 8B+. As a matter of a fact, all his previous 8C's he thought they were 8B+ as they also went down in just one or two sessions! The 168 cm tall says he thinks his progress mainly come from climbing more outdoors and working a lot on his flexibility and mobility.
Other reasons why we have not heard more about him is that he lives in Belgium and actually quite seldom climbs outdoors as he has focused on comps. In 2016, he won the Youth Worlds and the next year he was once #10 in the WC. Later he started to struggle. For 17 straight Boulder and Lead WCs, he was mainly #30 - 50, and it was not until the very last WC last year he was back on track as #14.
"Too much pressure but also not a really smart way of training because only focus on the physical aspect but it's something that we changed now. I try to climb more and more on real routes and boulders to work on the tactical and technical aspect." Next up is the European Championship in Moscow hoping to make it to Tokyo.
"I want to find a hard project to work on this year possibly the Sit of the Big Island. Next year I'd like to go one month to Margalef to work on First round first minute and one month in Switzerland to work on Off the wagon sit-start :)" (c) Oriane Tollebeek More pics and comments on his Insta.
Wednesday, 21 October
Alizee Dufraisse, who in September did three 8c+ variations in the Ali Baba cave in Rodellar, has added an 8A+ sit start to one of them repeating Dani Andrada's P con fin mas hulk extension 9a. (c) Josep Malo
How have you improved during the sessions and how much did you need to rest in between tries?
I made only one try a day in order to recover enough. I think I improved both in strength and endurance. Doing the boulder problem was kind of more “easy” even if it was always at my limit (super strength/resistant oriented, 22 moved on crimps, long moves). Thanks to the battle I put in on each try, I was still able to do a hard route after the boulder.
The French, who won the Arco Bouldering Rock Master in 2009 when she also got a podium in a Lead WC, has previously done two 9a's. Including also four 8B's, she must be considered one of the best ever female sport climbers. In 2008, she was the French Championship in Pole vault at 4.35!
by 8a Founder and Editor-in-Chief Jens Larssen including also Analyses, Reviews, Training, Polls and Opinions etc.
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