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Off the Wagon Sit 8C+ by Sergii Topishko

Off the Wagon Sit 8C+ by Sergii Topishko

Sergei Topishko, who previously just have done one 8B+, has done Off the Wagon Sit (8C+) in Valle Bavona. (c) Fedir Samoilov

Sergeii has been a very active competition climber during the last twenty years and in 2015, he was #4 in a Boulder WC. However, during the last six WCs since 2019, he has not made semi.

Please describe the process taking down your first 8C+?
Well, it started this April when I first tried to do the stand start. I did it super fast and left the sit start to my last day of that trip. Sadly conditions were not the best on that day to make the cross move, so I was sure that I am gonna do it for sure the next time. And, better late than never it happened on my 2nd sesh today, just after a quick warm up from the first try.

How can you explain the great progress at age 33?
It’s hard to say about the progress this year. This boulder fit me a lot and I am trying to spend more time outdoors during the last few years. Maybe I just became stronger… Age is just a number, when you have no injuries you can climb.

What is next?
I tried La Rustica today after sending Wagon and made the crux move to the pocket for few times, so I think I will put it together this trip. Dreamtime is also nice one, I think I will do it, and Poison the well (I tried this one in spring it was not so bad actually and I think I am ready for it now). I still have a lot of time in Ticino, till 13th Jan

What are your 2022 plans?
I will take part in European Champ for sure and some of the world cups, or maybe better clime some more 8C/+. You never know what’s better. I like comps too, but when you just compete and don’t climb outdoor, it’s not about climbing you know

Taurus 9b FA by Adam Ondra

Adam Ondra has made the FA of Taurus (9b) in Moravský kras and there is a video on his Insta. "HARD. Very bouldery route, first 9 moves are definitely 8C+ boulder problem, then 8b topout where I fell once due to numb fingers. Super glad to finish it off before the season was over."

More comments on his Insta where says that he has probably never spent so long time solving a boulder problem as he did at the start of Taurus. Interesting is that the crag closes 1/1 due to bird nesting. Adam also says that there are several harder lines at the crag which he will check out in 2022. In spite of having focused on the Olympics, in the end, he is yet again #1 in the 8a ranking game.

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Power slave 8A+ by Allison Vest

Power slave 8A+ by Allison Vest

Allison Vest, who the last two months has done three 8B's, has done Power Slave 8A+ in Red Rock (NV). "Two sessions to send this thing. Painful and punchy. Took me a while to figure out which beta was going to work for me. Foot first to the finish!" (c) Sean Faulker

In the 8a female ranking game, Allison is #2. Interesting is that just 15 months ago, she had just done one 8A. The main reason for this great development is that the 26-year-old has stopped focusing on comps and have had more time being outdoors.

Lethal Design 8A+ by Solveig Korherr

Lethal Design 8A+ by Solveig Korherr

Solveig Korherr has done Lethal Design (8A+) in Red Rocks. Video on her Insta. She took it down in just two hours although her previous best was 7C+. The 23-year-old has been on a long road trip in Canada and the USA since October where she has visited numerous crags including trying trad climbing in Indian Creek and climbing up to 8c+ in RRG. (c) Jon Shen

Could you please say something about your trip and your interest trying different disciplines?
I have mainly been sport climbing over the last few years. I completed two of my big dream routes and I felt ready to try something new. We spent two weeks in Indian Creek where I learnt to better crack climb. It was an excellent spot to improve crack specific techniques since the rock forces you to learn to jam and use crack techniques. Right now, I am quite motivated to explore my limits in bouldering. We are in Red Rocks, Las Vegas. This area is great for combining many different disciplines. The variety is great for my motivation because, in the past, I often felt burnt out after long periods of hard sport climbing. This next year in 2022, I am very psyched to integrate more bouldering and trad climbing in the future.

Lena Müller and the ecological crises

Lena Müller and the ecological crises

Lena Marie Müller is currently doing a PhD at the University of Innsbruck about the effects of climate change on mountain ecosystems. In 2020, she became the first German woman to climb an 8b+ trad (E9/E10) by repeating the route “Prinzip Hoffnung”, which she mostly reached from Innsbruck by train. (c) Paul Lewandowski

What can the climbing community do to reduce their carbon footprint?
The carbon footprint for everyone, as well as us climbers, is composed of what we eat, our mobility, how we live (heating our house, electricity), and what we consume. So, to reduce our footprint we can address all those aspects. For example, we can change our diet to regional and organic products and consume little meat and dairy products. Further, we can change our mobility by reducing the time spent in the car/plane but instead use public transport and the bike. In our home, we can switch to sustainable, clean energy. Further, we can change the consumption to sustainable products and simply consume less. Another aspect is how we invest our money, here we can change to a greener bank.

Besides the changes we can implement in our personal lives, I think it is inevitable that we put pressure on politicians by collectively going to the streets and demanding climate action. Because ultimately, climate protection is a question of political will. Every one of us can join the climate movement and stand up for climate protection. On top of that, I think it’s important to spread awareness about our climate crisis. The more people know about the climate crisis, the more personal change will take place, and the more people we are to put pressure on politicians by striking and voting.

Do you know how to measure like one flight to Kalymnos compared to travelling to the crag, what is worse?
Roughly speaking, the same emissions are produced if one person flies to Kalymnos or the same person drives more than a hundred times to a crag which is 30km away. Hence, flying does have a huge impact. To put these emissions from travelling for climbing into perspective, I would like to introduce the concept of the “climate-friendly carbon footprint”. This footprint is in accordance with the Paris Agreement in 2015 with the target to limit global warming to 1.5°C by the end of this century. While we must acknowledge that is difficult to achieve this climate-friendly footprint, either flying to Kalymnos once a year or travelling to climbing by car for a year basically depletes the carbon available from our annual climate-friendly footprint. Hence, we have no emissions left for other carbon generating aspects in our lives (as mentioned above) if we want to live sustainably.

So basically, the thing we should tell the community, in regards to the climbing activity, is to travel less, especially by plane, commute and climb more locally.
Regarding our sport, I agree that emissions are mainly caused by how we travel for climbing, and what/how much we consume for it.

I guess everyone must decide this on her/his own. But it would make a big impact if we as a climbing community would step away from that much travel. That’s why we introduced the “ecopoint” – a term that describes climbing by public transport or bike. By giving this concept a name and reality, we hope to enhance sustainable climbing in the face of the climate crisis. More in her Insta

In the end, we must acknowledge that we live in a world where our actions affect people on the other side of the world or those who will be living at the end of the century. We are living from the CO2 budget of other people (to come). I think we must ask ourselves, how far we want to take our freedom. Being a climber often means we have a lot of freedom. The freedom of time, the freedom of resources, the freedom of doing something we love. So instead of defending this ecological exploitation under the guise of freedom - why not use some of our time and resources to reconsider how we can live more sustainably and be part of demanding political change?

Because the good news is, we still have the chance to stay below 1.5°C of global heating if we act now and we also have the means to achieve a brighter climate reality.

Joe Cita 9a by Anak Verhoeven

Joe Cita 9a by Anak Verhoeven

Anak Verhoeven reports on Insta that she has done Joe Blau 8c+ and Joe Cita 9a in Oliana. "Probably the 9th grade send-attempt I’ve enjoyed the most so far. 😊 
A route with lovely climbing from the very beginning, lots of cool moves and a super spicy slab ending. I’m particularly grateful for this send because my right pinky has been bothering me for the last 2 months." (c) Toni Mas Buchaca

The Belgian is a previous very successful competition climber and when it comes to outdoors, she has done 12 routes 8c+/9a and harder. In other words, although being just 25-years-old, she is one of the best female climbers in history.

How was the process taking it down and what is next?
I first spent some time figuring out the beta for the upper part — a slab with a deadpoint move. The first time I managed to do the deadpoint was in the dark with a headlamp. Once I had that dialled, I made sure I knew exactly how to climb the lower part of the route. The day I did a first attempt, I was pretty tired, but decided to give it a go anyway. I passed the hardest sections as well as the slab crux at the end, but fell at the very top with a foot slip, right before going to a jug. I rested for two days and on my next try (my second redpoint attempt) I topped the route. As for the number of sessions: I can’t really tell, because I had already figured out the beta for the first part when doing Patxitxulo last October. But it’s somewhere around 6 sessions during this trip.

What’s next? Well, I have several options in mind for routes I’d like to try, but I don’t have a new project yet. So I won’t say more for now. :)

Hanabi 8c+ FA by Yuji Hirayama (52)

Hanabi 8c+ FA by Yuji Hirayama (52)

Yuji Hirayama, one of the true climbing legends, reports on Insta that he has done the FA of Hanabi 8c+, which means firework, Mt Futago. (c) Shinta Ozawa

Since 1986, when Yuji did Le Specialist 8b+, the now 52-year-old has been on the cutting edge. In 1991, he won his first World Cup and in 1998, as well as in 2000, he won overall. After his competition career, he made the FA of Flat Mountain 9a/+ in 2003 and the next year he onsighted White Zombie 8c. A few years later he did Cobra Crack 8c trad and the FA of an MP in Borneo including one 9a pitch. In his resume, being one of the best multi-discipline climbers in history, he has also made boulders up to 8B+, DWS up to 8b+, several big walls including also several times have had the Speed record up on El Cap. Since 2010, he runs Climb Park Base Camp which over the years have organized several competitions. He has also been active in the Japanese Federation and helping out IFSC getting climbing into the Olympics.

Kimera 8C by Niccolò Ceria

Kimera 8C by Niccolò Ceria

Niccolò Ceria has published the full story of sending Christian Core's Kimera (8C) 8C in Rifugio barbara. In 2007, Ceria watched a DVD video when Core made the FA and since then it has been on his mind. Previously, only Elias Iagnemma had repeated it although it was put up in 2006.

So did you spend like 40 sessions on it or even more?
I think less. I would say nearly 40 check-days. In most of these times, I returned back to the car for humid/wet holds. On other occasions, I only tried the dry part.

Is this the most you have ever worked a boulder?
Yes. Considering the whole experience it was definitely my longest journey on a boulder, even if I only had a couple of moments in 8 years when it was potentially fully climbable. I spent a lot of sessions just repeating the first half because of the complicate conditions which are anyway part of the story :)

In the last episode of Beyond Focus with Adam Ondra, he shows us how he trained in a sauna, how he dealt with pressure and the media and says that he sacrificed two years of outdoor climbing.

Ondra beyond focus trained in a sauna before the Olympics

In the last episode of Beyond Focus with Adam Ondra, he shows us how he trained in a sauna, how he dealt with pressure and the media and says that he sacrificed two years of outdoor climbing.