Nigel Armino skips 8c+ and does his first 9a (8c+), Coup d’état in Fleron. "6 sessions (around 25-30 tries including warmup/checking out the moves etc..). For sure my hardest route to date. 20 moves power endurance. Grade wise I would say soft 9a or veeeeeeryyy hard 8c+.... But I can't really tell. It was great to put some time in a route at my limit and to see the progression. I never had that feeling before in a route where I had to do everything perfectly. Click here to go to the video."
Tomoa Narasaki, the possibly best dynamic competition boulderer in the world, explains his four techniques he is using doing double dynos; Only swing once, Pull and then Push, Focus on lower foot, Wait - Jump
Linus Raatz and Stephan Vogt have repeated Peter Würth's Unendliche Geschichte 1+2+3 9a in Magic Woods. It is a seven-bolt extension to the boulder Never Ending Story 8B+ and also 8C has been suggested although clipping into a rope. In the picture by Vogt, he is also belaying meanwhile Raatz is climbing.
Vogt: "The End... too cheesy to be true. On the last attempt of the day when it was already pitch black, I decided to give it one more burn. Standing on the slab with a headlamp was one of the more rewarding feelings I felt in my climbing career. The key was running through part 1 and 2 in 40 seconds to escape the pump. Thank you Linus for being on the other end of the rope! It was super inspiring to see him send the day before. For sure a team ascent. Eight days over six Years.
So after climbing the 8B+ there is an ok rest. From there you clip into the rope. then you have 5 bolts to the lip of the Bruno Bloc. It is a 7B boulder in my opinion. The boulder has really polished holds and insecure body positions, very easy to slip out of. After a powerful move to the lip, there is a cool mantle and a spicy slab to finish it off. Falling on the slab would be really dangerous so after talking with the locals Marvin Rueppel and I placed two more bolts on top of the Bruno bloc right before I send the route that evening. Now no one needs to die while topping out this beautiful route."
Raatz: "The perfect line! I got obsessed with this climb for some time and now this chapter is over, this story is told. It's been a crazy ride. From pt. 1 to 1+2 to 1+2+3. Super happy, I enjoyed every single session on this climb. For me, it was very important to speed up my pace on the 8B+ boulder problem. In total, I improved from 1:15 on my send of the 8B+ boulder to 0:55 to the top jug of the boulder part when I sent the whole route. On that jug I optimized my rest position and rested for just over 2 minutes. On the send attempt, I could feel that I was about to send it, as I arrived with just a little bit more left in my forearms somehow. Earlier that day I fell on the move to the top edge. Topping out that line and standing on top of the famous "Bruno Block" felt amazing, an emotional moment for me. I'm so happy that Stephan and I opened and closed this chapter together, we wouldn't have done it alone I guess."
Amandine Loury, who did her first 8c+ last year, has done her seventh 8c, Saoulé Sonné in Buoux. (c) Jeunet
"I’m super happy to be the first female to send this very physical route on one and two-finger holds typical of Buoux. But contrary to historical routes in Buoux that are rather vertical, this one is an endurance route in a big roof. The first routes in this roof were bolted twenty years ago, but "Le saoulé sonné" is a quite recent route sent by a few boys like Adrien Boulon, Manu Lopez and Mathieu Bouyoud. Yet it’s summertime, temperatures are very hot in the south of France. I'm waiting to finish my work in late June to go climbing in the mountains in better conditions."
What about that "Objectif 👉 9a" posted on your Insta?
I wanted to try a route this winter near my home, in Saint Léger du Ventoux, but finally, I had a different plan. So I will try this later maybe. I love too much climbing on different crags, different routes. I love the diversity of climbing. I don’t like to try a unique route for months and months.
Thomas Salakenos, who had 8b+ as his personal best four months ago, has done the FA of Tatanka 9a in Trou margritte. "The route is located in Anseremme, 2 km's from Freyr. It has been bolted approximately in 1995 by Michel Vanheinde.
I needed six sessions in total on a 3 weeks period. 3 sessions for working out the moves then 3 more to send.
Recently, I shifted my focus on routes, because of the Covid-19 crisis and the travelling restrictions, as there is almost no bouldering in Belgium. I became more and more relaxed about climbing on a rope and quickly managed to send most of Belgium's hardest short routes (all are my first of the grades)."
What are your next plans and goals?
My goals for the summer is to have two little trips to Magic Wood. One short in July to try to finish old projects and work out the moves of the next ones for the second trip in September. Maybe a trip to the USA next year, and of course Rocklands in the next two years!
William Bosi, who did six routes 9a to 9b+ during a one month trip to Spain this spring, has done Northern Lights 9a at Kilnsey, after just two sessions. He was belayed by Ben Moon who bolted it more than 25 years ago. "World class line with so much history!"
Moon actually stopped sport climbing and started bouldering in 1996, after tried it for 30 days without success. Then Steve McClure did the FA in 2000 and it has only been repeated by Adam Ondra in 2010 and Alex Megos in 2016. McClure is known for his hard grade and Moon has said that he thinks that it merits 9a+.
So what have you been doing since returning from Spain?
Since returning from Spain I’ve continued my training in preparation for the competitions later in the year.
How was the process taking it down?
As the route is only about 15 meters it is all about power endurance, so making each move as efficient as possible was key. So I spent the first day just working on each individual move and section. I did give a redpoint go at the end of the day where I fell just before the last draw. I knew it was game on at this point so I decided to rest and come back. Coming back I warmed up and then gave two redpoint goes, the first I fell on the second last move and the second I was able to fight through and clip the anchor! Definitely has to be one of the best routes I’ve climbed.
Keenan Takahashi, Ethan Pringle and Connor Herson have done Empath 9a (+) in Tahoe which Carlo Traversi opened last year. It has also been done by James Webb, Daniel Woods and Nathaniel Coleman, everyone calling it one of the best. Alex Aristei has taken the picture of the young phenomena who did an 8c+ 2nd go at age 14 and one year later the 8b+ big wall The Nose. The best multi-disciplin teenager inthe world has been Top-16 in the last three Youth World Champions.
How was the process taking it down? Did you use crack gloves like Pringle? (c) Tradisplaid
I think I sent empath on my 5th session, but I nearly sent it on my 3rd and 4th sessions as well. I was able to jam my way past the three of the four cruxes on the route, making each of them substantially easier. I did not wear any tape or crack gloves for the send.
What does tour Insta presentation, "Obsessed with climbing", stand for?
I made climbing a very important part of my life because I enjoy it so much. Whether it’s the amazing locations trad climbing takes me, the try hard of sport climbing, the intensity of competition, or any combination of these, every type of climbing has its own appeal.
Dylan Barks has done Arrested Development on his 2nd go in Mount Charleston suggesting a personal grade at 8c+. It has four ascents in the 8a database out of which two have said "low-end 9a" and the other two did it as their first 9a, including Alex Honnold, who actually also said it might be 8c+. (c) Rachael Melville
"I went up my first try bolt to bolt, being able to do all the moves. I quickly realized the route was my style (dynamic and powerful with a fitness element), but definitely didn’t expect to do it second go. I just tied in and started climbing with no expectations and somehow that led me to the chains! As for the grade, it felt more like 8c+ from my experience, but like I said the route did suit me quite well. Next for me is to switch gears a bit and get ready for alpine bouldering this summer in CO. I would love to come back to the Las Vegas area in the early fall, however, and dive back into the sport climbing there! "
The 26-year-old also did Americas Least Wanted 2nd go the same day, and once again suggested a personal downgrade. Most other repeaters have called it 8c/+ in the 8a database so it might be that both those routes should be officially downgraded?
"America’s Least Wanted and is actually on the same wall as Arrested Development. It’s a lot shorter though, being around 14 moves. I went up and checked the moves on my first try, doing the final jump move a few times. Nothing on the route felt too cruxy, so I knew I might have a chance to do it second try. I ended up tying in a few minutes after my first burn and taking it to the chains! I think the route has been given a slash grade of 8c/+ for a while now and I guess it felt more on the 8c side to me, but again, this felt like a style that suits me quite well so I’m not totally sure."
Stefan Scherz, Combined Euro Youth Champion in 2020, has done his second 9a, Puro Dreaming in Arco which Adam Ondra did the FA of in 2018. (c) Julian Parsert
How do you use rock climbing preparing for the upcoming competitions?
Climbing outdoors always helps me a lot to refocus and to gain fitness for the upcoming competitions. I’ve spent a few days in Arco recently, where I was able to send “Pure Dreaming” despite bad conditions! So, confidence and psych are high for WC Innsbruck in just a few weeks!
by 8a Founder and Editor-in-Chief Jens Larssen including also Analyses, Reviews, Training, Polls and Opinions etc.
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