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Andrea Locatelli (11) excels at onsight

Andrea Locatelli (11) excels at onsight

Andrea Locatelli, who did his first 8c last year, has onsighted El General left (8a+) in Valle dei Mulini. In total, the 11-year-old has onsighted nine 8a's and two 8a+ which means only Adam Ondra has had a more impressive onsight ticklist at age 11, i.e nine 8a+. Here is a video from a recent trip to Frankenjura.

When Andrea had onsighted his first 8a, his father David commented. "Since Andrea was very young, we got him used to spending a lot of time outdoors, often on the crag, close to home or around Europe. When he was three years old, he started to play in the small climbing gym we have in our garage, and he improved very fast. At the age of seven, he joined a climbing team and started to compete in regional and national competitions. He likes to climb in the climbing gym, where he trains twice or three times a week, but he also loves to climb outdoors. So far, he has not dedicated many days to a project, and he likes onsight climbing. At the age of nine, he completed his first 8a and right afterward his first 7c onsight. To reach the climbing areas, we often travel with the whole family in our camper, trying to offer him a variety of climbing styles, types of rocks, crags, and boulder areas. Soon, we would like to go to Fontainebleau and then Kalymnos!"

How is it mentally, focusing so much on onsights?
When we go to the cliff to try a pitch, regardless of grade, Andrea goes up as if he had to climb it onsight. The idea is: to see where you arrive, otherwise if you want you can always try again. So it’s not stressful. In recent months I think it’s almost never happened that he devoted more than a day to a route… Now, however, he wants to try something harder and raise the grade but there will also be ascents onsight!

EDITORIAL

by 8a Founder and Editor-in-Chief Jens Larssen including also Analyses, Reviews, Training, Polls and Opinions etc.


Slovenia #1 in ECH in Munich

Slovenia, a country with just over 2 million inhabitants, was overall the best performing nation at the European Championship in Munich. Besides Janja Garnbret’s two gold medals, they had four more finalists out of which Luka Potocar placed second. Runner-up was France with five finalists including …

Mens' Top-8 into the Combined final

Mens' Top-8 into the Combined final

The male Combined finals will start on Thursday at 15.00 with Boulder followed by Lead at 17.00. (c) Petr Chodura 1. Adam Ondra CZE 690 + 1 000 = 1 690 2. Luka…

Womens' Top-8 Combined on Wednesday

Womens' Top-8 Combined on Wednesday

Based on the Combined "World Cup" points, the Top-8 females will compete in the new (Olympic) Combined format on Wednesday. If you have not participated in both…

Uznik wins over Avezou with 0.1 points

Uznik wins over Avezou with 0.1 points

Nicolai Uznik won by doing two boulders in six attempts out of which one flash. This was just one attempt less than Sam Avezou. In the live streaming they give …

Janja superior once again

Janja superior once again

Janja Garnbret climbed with ease passing Jessica Pilz high point. The biggest drama was actually Janja’s big whipper partly upside down, having done a big diago…

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Change P2 9a by Seb Bouin

Change P2 9a by Seb Bouin

Sebastein Bouin reports on Insta that he has done Change P2 9a in Flatanger. He explains that Adam Ondra's Change (9b+) can be divided into two pitches, 9a+ and 9a, with a proper anchor in between. The next plan is to combine them. "End of the trip is coming, and the body starts to be destroyed by this cave. Let see if I have enough time and energy to complete the whole route before the end." (c) John Thornton

Monkey Wedding 8C by Stefan Scarperi

Monkey Wedding 8C by Stefan Scarperi

Stefan Scarperi has, in just four sessions, done Monkey Wedding (8C) in Rocklands. Fred Nicole put it up in 2002 as an 8B+ but later it has been upgraded and confirmed being the first 8C in the world by at least a dozen guys, Scarperi, who got the bronze in the Euro Championship in 2015, has previously done two 8C's. "The crux of this boulder is to get all the holds in the correct position and not to do some mistakes!"

Julia Pfanzelt (52) and Cathy Wagner (56) are in their prime

Julia Pfanzelt (52) and Cathy Wagner (56) are in their prime

Julia Pfanzelt and Cathy Wagner met last week in the Dolomites where they both did Il risanatore plus (8a) in Salares, both suggesting an upgrade to 8a+. Inspiringly, they both are in their prime at ages 52 and 56 respectively. Cathy is well known having made 8a headlines 80 times. She did her first 8a, out of some 850, in 1994, eight years before Julia started to climb at age 32. In the last year, Julia has done eight routes 8a and 8a+ meaning she has had her best year ever. (c) Chris Pfanzelt

Julia, could you say something about your climbing life, and excelling at age 52?
Before I started climbing I did other sports: as a child, I did gymnastics until I became too tall (I am 1,78, which is too tall for gymnastics from a certain level on). I then changed to long-distance running and Tennis, which I also liked a lot. But in 2002 a friend of mine took me to a climbing gym and I knew from the beginning, that this is my sport!

I slowly improved until a level of 6c and then in 2008, I met Chris, who is my husband today. He climbed all his life and became a very good mentor and trainer for me, so I could push my climbing levels really fast and in 2014 I climbed my first 8a. I was already 44 then! Until now I climbed 54 routes 8a and harder. My husband and I love climbing all over the world together and since I improved over the years, we can climb in the same projects now, which is really a gift.

We are both over 50 now and still love to always have new challenges in climbing and quite frequently I can climb 8a and 8a+ like last week in the Dolomites with the routes Il risanatore plus (8a) and Supermegabastun (8a). For that, we are very grateful and hope that we can go on like this for many more years. But the most important is to have always fun with it together… 😉

Last week in the Dolomites we also met Cathy Wagner and Seb. I was very inspired by them and it is very impressive to me, how many hard routes Cathy climbed in her climbing life, which is much longer than mine. And especially to see that they are still so motivated after so many years of climbing was really great to see. I hope it will be the same with my husband and me for many more years.