Martina Demmel, who started climbing in 2017, is about to set another new standard for fast progress by sending Joe-Cita 9a in Oliana. The 50-meter test piece, with some 130 moves, was put up by Adam Ondra and it is a link-up of Joe Blau 8c+ and La Morenita 8c+. (c) Julia Cassou
"Still struggling to find the right words to describe what this means to me especially when you haven't even started to dream about it because it felt soo far away! What a crazy too perfect to be true dream;) 5 more tries after the straight lines to clip the chains of this combi beast with the help of low expectations, prime conditions and most important the very best crew around! Muchas gracias y'all for sharing this special moment:) more Infos on my Insta!”.
Amazingly, the 19-year-old began climbing only four years ago and during the last three years, she has almost only climbed outdoors with a focus on onsight and fast sends. Her indoor climbing during the last six months has basically been limited to some competition-style bouldering sessions with the German national team. Otherwise, almost no indoor training, hang boarding or other physical training. Her only physical exercise except for climbing is quick stretching.
During the last three weeks, the 157-cm-tall has done 20 routes 7c+ to 9a, out of which ten onsight. Based on the Top-50 hardest onsights during the last year, she is #1 in the world including all male.
So how are you challenged by being 157 cm tall?
Mostly by having to be a little bit extra creative by finding my own betas or not losing the patience if it's not working directly with the obvious beta😉 but that's the cool thing in climbing that some other sections might feel easier for me when there are lots of footholds to choose from and therefor looking at whole routes it doesn't make a big difference how tall you're because it gets balanced by itself🙈🙃 still there are morpho moves sometimes but most of the time it's still possible the find a solution even if it's way harder but being to do the move, in the end, is even more satisfying no matter what grade you get for it😊
How come you avoid physical training etc.?
Physical training, just like repeating the same exercises, seems to be pretty boring. Maybe the physical progress by just climbing is slower but it is way more fun. Regarding hang- and campus boarding and stuff like this I am pretty happy that my fingers are rather stronger so I do not need it. Stretching is the only thing I do but just a few minutes and like five seconds in each position. Just climbing, also helps to not expect too much because you don't think you have trained so much so, "now you have to be strong". Instead, you can climb more relaxed and free at the wall, I would say. Maybe in the future, I want to push my limits more and also start doing physical training.
Nick Bradley, who previously has done four 8B+', has sent his first 8C, Paint it black in RMNP. "Best boulder I’ve done in Colorado so far. Such a cool line." (c) Michael Montella
Could you please say something about your climbing background and the process taking it down?
8C is a grade that I’ve dreamed of climbing since I was a little kid. I never actually thought it would happen though because I only really sport climbed when I was younger since that was the only discipline that I did well in youth competitions. It was only after I aged out of youth (about 6 years ago) that I started focusing exclusively on bouldering. I had a few years of very slow progress, but eventually I started feeling stronger and was able to do my first 8B+ in 2019.
This past winter season I had decided to put my full effort into the hardest climb I’ve ever tried, The Game (8C), and I surprised myself by making big links over the course of 3 months. Unfortunately I just couldn’t quite put it together before conditions were too warm, but the silver lining was that trying something that hard for so long got me really fit. I had tried Paint it Black a few days in 2020 and had done all the moves but wasn’t really close. This year, I felt significantly stronger on it and was able to do all of the moves very consistently. The day I sent, I barely needed to warm up, and I had this feeling that I’d just do it, so I set up video on my phone, and did it first try of the day.
Alex Megos reports on Insta that he has done the FA of Hello Kitty 9a+ in Frankenjura which is a link-up between Pantera and Black Label. Next weekend, Megos will compete in Meiringen so now he is doing some comp simulations. There is also a new video out of his FA of Et pour quelques dégaines de plus 9a+ à St Léger, he did last month.
Karoline Sinnhuber has done her tenth 8A+ just during the last 12 months, Steinschlaggefahr in Zillertal. "This boulder was put up by Chris Rauch a year ago as an 8A. Then a foothold broke (due to not so solid rock) and Flo Schmalzl reclimbed it as an 8A+. Nice crimpy roof with a little jump to the lip, where it's hard to catch the swing. The name arose due to the big rockfall a few weeks ago in the Zillertal." (c) Fabian Leu
What is next?
Well, I‘ll concentrate again on the Nihilist Sit 8B+ and also some other side projects. When it gets too hot I worry that I have to switch to sport climbing again 😩
Alex Garriga has done his second 9a+ in Cuenca during the last week, Following the Leader. "Pure violent intensity. Randomly climbed with one of the bolters (José Rodríguez) with the Grigri.
The route consists of around 23 moves of power endurance. Most of the holds are two fingers and crimps. Then something around 8b to the top. I was very close in October but due to an injury and Covid, I couldn't finish the work. These days I returned doing it earlier than expected."
During the last 12 months, the 23-year-old has done 19 routes 8c to 9a+ FAs and he is #6 in the 8a ranking game. Alex says that there are many old forgotten routes in Cuenca which he has cleaned and sometimes added a bolt to before doing the FA. Still many open projects exist. The reason for him to do so many of them is both Covid travel restrictions but also because he simply like doing all routes he can. "I'm going to start bolting some routes now."
William Bosi has posted a video of his FA of Furia de Jabali in Siurana. Here is his scorecard comments. "My First FA! super fun route bolted by Beto Rocasolano which climbs the line of bolts to the right of jungle speed before joining jungle speed for the top. although its not quite as steep as La Capella the holds are far smaller and i think its definitly as hard!"
Shinichiro Nomura has had an extreme week doing Rokudo 8C and Meikyoshisui 8B+ in Toyamagawa as well as another three 8B+'s: Oxalis and Geisha in Okutama and Tokoyo in Ena. In total, the 159-cm-tall has now done nine 8C's. He has previously said that one goal for him is to make moves that are said to be impossible being short, in order to give hopes for those who don’t have long reach. Asking him for personal grades of the boulders he did, he thinks 7C+ for Oxalis and 8C for Tokoyo although both are 8B+. Interestingly, Nomura has 1.5 hours to the nearest bouldering area but four hours to any good one with hard boulders remaining.
Geisha (8B+/V14), 2nd ascent
It took two hours to make it. This route is originally Ryuichi Murai’s project and I sent it just after Ryuichi did the FA. In this line, we need both crimp and pinch skills, so it’s great different challenges.
Oxalis(8B+/V14) 3rd ascent
This is the route that Dai Koyamada just recently made the FA of. The requirement to send matches my climbing style, so I just needed about 15min. The crux is a tremendously hard gaston move. Depending on being good at gaston moves or not, the feeling of the difficulty would change a lot. It is located by the riverside, so it’s always slippery thus really stressful.
It is one of the great roof boulders in Japan. The first half of the boulder to solve is about a V13 roof, followed by a V10 mantle which becomes the crux as well. Anyway, the huge scales and the composition of the route is really awesome, so I’m happy to send it.
Rokudo 8C/ V15, 2nd Ascent This line shares the start of the lower part of Meikyoshisui. A few hours after having done Meikyoshisui, I sent Rokudo as well. Dai Koyamada accomplished this boulder for the first time in 2016 and at the same time, it was said to be the hardest boulder in Japan. As for its reputation, it looks really difficult so I thought I couldn't have done it. However, I could do it, hence I am so excited.
It took four days. For me having a short reach, I really feel like it’s impossible. I have been considering and training how to use my reach effectively, and these activities result in the success of improving my technical and physical terms, which leads to the top of Tokoyo. The ascent would be the happiest things ever in my climbing life. It is not more to say so.
Martina Demmel continues her strike in Oliana by doing Mind Control 8c and Crimptonite 8b+ on her second attempt. The 19-year-old is #1 in the female ranking game. (c) Jan Novak
Mind Control: "This king line tops everything regarding next level rock quality and the beautyness of the moves! A blue limestone stripe featured with little bubbles and tufas only which are still pretty sharp after so much traffic... A name who suits perfectly like no other;) Only about controlling the mind all the way with the most risky section near the top: the famous dynamic cross move where you constantly have to switch between fully commitment and holding the tension! Merci à Jan, Michi & Blondi:)"
It should be mentioned that Mind Control is the most repeated 8c in the 8a database with 67 ascents and all but one, who have star rated it, have given five stars. Chris Sharma did the FA in 2010 and initially, it was considered 8c+. Then Gabri Moroni made his classical comment in 2012. "Everybody knows it's only 8c...but nobody will ever downgrade it :-P" Even so, it took several years before most considered it 8c and lately some have even started to call it "soft". Adam Ondra has the only onsight and he was also the first one to question the grade.
Crimptonite: "Only 5 star climbs in Oliana but this one still should get more attention, 30m resistency tricky moves on a slightly overhanging crimp carpet! Got heartbreakingly close on the onsight by missing one crimp super close to the top... even more frustrating when you've got told afterwards that you were cruising through all the hard part! But that's part of the game and for sure something to learn from:) including some bees attacking me into my hair..."
Staša Gejo has done N.N. (V2) 8A (+) in Frankenjura. "I checked it out when I was very tired from training and without any skin. But did it 3rd try of the second session." Video on her Insta (c) Matthias Woidneck
It seems you are in good shape outdoors just a week before Meiringen? I am getting quite comfortable doing hard boulders, I might do another one soon, if the weather allows. I feel good for Meiringen, every element slowly comes into place. I am excited to compete in such a strong field again!
William Bosi does the FA of King Capella 9b+ in Siurana. "Wow, what a route, climbing the first half of Davids "i have a dream" before going left and joining "A 2 Bandas" some of the best climbing i have done including a crazy jump to a crimp. felt a full level above la Capella so makes sense to be a grade harder. time will tell"
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