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First 9a by Thomas Blaabjerg  (2) Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureThomas Blaaberg, who walks with crutches to the crags since a bad accident in 2013, has become the first Dane to do a 9a through Joe-Cita in Oliana. (c) Tor Johnsson

"Been trying this line for a while now, and after falling tree times in a row on the last move in the crux, I decided to take a break from it and try some of the other classics... it worked well for me, so after a 10 day long break I was extremely excited to go back and give it everything I had. It went down on my second try that day!"

So what is next?
Relax and enjoy that’s it’s done! No need to rush at the moment !:-)!!

8c+ #36 by Daniel Fuertes (37)  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureDani Furtes has done his 36th 8c+, El Rastro in Siurana. "Around 10 tries but I have been working La Rambla and 2/3 of the route is same."

Nice to see is that the 37 year old who started to climb in 1995 is actually at his peak and approaching 1 000 routes 8a and harder. In the 8a ranking game, Dani is #4. (c) Dan Krauss

Patxi Usobiaga doing Pachamama 9a+/b  Facebook

Patxi Usobiaga was the best Lead competition climber in the world 2006 - 2009 at the same time he did a dozen routes 9a and 9a+. The Spaniard was also the first in the world to onisght 8c+ in 2007. In 2010, he had a car accident giving a slipped disc problem and he had to leave the scene and started surfing. In 2013, being 33 years old, he slowly started climbing again and he became the trainer of Adam Ondra and got his motivation back, 2013 8a interview.

8C by Jonas Winter  (1) Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureJonas Winter, who previously has done The Big Island 8C and Underground 9a, reports on Instagram that he has done the 30 moves long Quoi de neuf 8C in Orsay roof.

"The boulder got my attention after seeing a photo of Jacky Godoffe shaking out in the no hand rest before the second part of this line wich is 8a+/8b on its own and has an amazing 180° campus move in it which is unique for a outdoor boulder. I could do the the second part two years ago but the complete line stayed in my mind ever since."

Seb Bouin portrait projecting 9b in Flatanger  Facebook

Sebastian Bouin: "My hardest challenge process at the moment. Hopefully the place is incredible, that's keep me motivate to come back this year." Really great video, enjoy!

The Big Island sit, the world's greatest project  (5) Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureThe Big Island in Fontainebleau is the most confirmed 8C in the world with 17 ascents, including Any Gullsten yesterday, and everyone on 8a has given it three stars. It was put up with as a stand start by Vincent Pochon in 2010 after Dave Graham had made a two moves in FA, The Island, two years earlier.

Over the years, many boulderers have checked out the sit start where Jan Hojer and James Webb have done some good linking. As it is so steep and climbs diagonally into the starting position, the sit start in itself, could be considered a boulder possibly around 8C. Adding the equally long, The Big Island 8C on top of this, with absolutely, no rest might be that we are talking about the another 9A?

James Webb: "The sit start is an incredible project. For me personally the bottom is at least 8B+ and maybe even harder than The Big Island itself. The intro (10 moves for my method) is very powerful, yet technical with a tricky kneebar that links you through to the stand. Once you’re there you just have to take a deep breath and with absolutely no rest climb the Big Island. It’s a mega line!

I would say that it is is somewhat a serious project for me. I've tried it now for about three seasons. I just made a trip there in Jan/Feb but the weather only allowed me to have thee sessions on it in total which was quite frustrating. It's a mega line though and I'm excited to return next year for another round of attempts!

I had a good try this season where I entered the stand start and stuck the big right hand move to the sloper. After that you stuff the left heel and go to the crimp and this is where I fell. Seems close! Though the next few moves require a lot of tension and from the bottom you're exhausted. So its definitely not over!"

On the picture, James is doing the move out to the start of The Big Island. The sit starts all the way down straight below his right foot. So have you have in fact linked the whole sit start to like 3-4 moves into the stand?
Yup. Many times actually.

First 8A by Amelia Marcuson (15)  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureAmelia Marcuson, who did her first 7C+ when she was 13 years old, has done her first 8A, Beefy Gecko in Bishop. The 15 year old is also a successful competition climber, #18 last week USA Lead Nationals and last year she got the silver in bouldering in her age group. (c) Jesse Weiner

Era Vella 9a (8c+) by Cedric Lachat  (5) Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureFanatic Climbing reports that Cedric Lachat has done Era Vella 9a (8c+) in Margalef in just six tries after having been off seven months due to injuries.

"I wouldn’t downgrade it, it’s a long endurance battle and it’s hard to find a decent rest because the holds are all small. But I might not be a good reference these days since I haven’t trained much lately."

Era Vella is the most repeated 9a in the world with 36 ascents. Interesting is that it had on average six repeats a year until 2015, once the 9a grade started to be questioned. During the last three years, it has only received one ascent per year.

Cedric is a former very successful competition climbers who made his first podium in the World Cup in 2002 and his last in his very last appearance in 2013. In 2010, he was the European Lead Champion. In 2007, he got the bronze in both the Lead and Boulder World Championship. He has previously done several 9a's and two 9a+'.

Rubtsov and Nonaka won Studio Bloc Masters  (10) Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureExcellent route setting at Studio Bloc Master based only on volumes created nice spectacular show. The scores were presented visually making it easy to follow who was in the lead, although the commentators did not got it straight. In total, 509 male and female participated and both Alexsei Rubtsov and Miho Nonaka won, Euro 3 000, by attempts, having got the same score*. (c) Miho Nonaka

1. Alexsei Rubsov 44 (10A) - Miho Nonaka 33 (8)
2. Jan Hojer 44 (14) - Janja Garnbret 33 (9)
3. Jernej Kruder 34 - Fanny Gibert 24

Interesting was that Domen Skofic, who was #10 in the semifinal, would have been #4 and made it to the final with the old IFSC scoring.

* The official rule, as of 2018, is to present the results based on the # of Tops and Zones. However, in order to simplify, 8a has presented the result as a point score. This was basically also how it was presented at SBM.

Buhrfeind takes the double in USA Nationals  (3) Facebook

Claire Buhrfeind, the most accomplished female Lead and Speed athlete, got her double victory in the USA Nationals. Interesting was that Miachaela Kirsch and Alex Puccio accompanied her in the Lead Podium, beating three famous girls; Margo Hayes, Brooke Raboutou and Delaney Miller in both qually and the semi which set the ranking, as five girls later topped the final route. Among the male, Sean Bailey won ahead of Drew Ruana and Salomon Barth.
Complete results

8B by Isabelle Faus  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureIsabelle Faus has, beside two 8B+', done her eleventh 8B Wonderlust in St Vrain. (c) Chad Greedy

"Damn so psyched. Power endurance, steep and tech, climbs great. Wasn't even thinking when I did this.. just did my choreography and kept moving, felt great to finish it ! ....... this is my first time logging since my last euro trip... I kinda got sick of the whole thing in a way... and just didn't want too log.. but now after it having been so long.. i'm starting to forget things. I'm realizing that I need to keep track because otherwise I would just forget everything.. seeing my ascents and comments I wrote after doing things is really nice.. so im back..

Also during the past 9months ish.. I had my first two serious injures.. first I strained my left ring finger.. and probably would have been back way quicker if I didn't destroy my shoulder a week later.. 6 months before that I had slightly strained my teres major.. and thought it was better.. but after taking a week off of climbing for my finger I went and did a conditioning work out.. and shocked my muscles.. basically I over used my teres major and serratus anterior so much that they just locked up.. and I had to "remodel the muscles." if I tired to hard to quick they would just lock up again and I would have to start over.. so I had a to practice a lot of patience... now its feeling basically all the way better, but I still get some phantom pains, but super happy to be feeling good just before Swiss!"

9a FA by Dani Andrada (42)  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureDani Andrada, one of the pioneers around Lleida making it a world class destination, reports on his Instagram account the FA of Poderosa Afrodita R2 9a in Siurana, Spain. © David Munilla

"Two parts, a hard 8c+ and an 8b/+ above... A route I bolted 3 years ago in El Pati, Siurana. More motivation venga!"

Zangerl and Caprez doing an 8b+ MP 420 m long  Facebook

9a+ (9a) FA by Daniel Jung  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureDaniel Jung, who has done a dozen 9a or harder including La Rambla, reports on Instagram that he has done the FA of Jamais Deux Sans Toit 9a+ (9a) in Mollans. (c) Hannes Kutza

Hueco Rock Rodeo #25  Facebook

Hueco Rock Rodeo 2018 from Cold House Media on Vimeo.

8B+ by Moritz Welt (16)  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureMoritz Welt has done his first 8B+, Hips don´t lie sit 8B+ in Frankenjura and the 16 year old goes to #2 in the junior ranking game.

"Finally my little nemesis is over! After a lot of sessions where i was ill or nearly every hold was wet, I finally did the last remaining boulder at this spot! Definitely my hardest problem until now!"

8C by Daisuke Ichimiya  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureDaisuke Ichimiya, who last autumn did Creature from the black lagoon 8C+ in RMNP, has repeated Dai Koyamda's Gekirin 8C in Ryutosen.

"It has unique holds in a hard traverse and with a dead point crimper crux. I did suffer for the crux move. After practicing the moves, it took me some 12 tries. My next project is a new boulder on the same block. (c) Chikara Ishizuka

Big Island 8C by Giuliano Cameroni  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureGiuliano Cameroni reports on Instagram that he has done Big Island 8C in Fontainebleau. (c) Jess Talley
"I tried it a little in 2017 but I wasn't strong enough to do it. This year the conditions were much better and it took me two days."

9a+ FA by Stefano Ghisolfi in Arco  Facebook

Daniel Woods does First Ley 9a+  (1) Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureDaniel Woods reports on Instagram that he has done First Ley 9a+ in Margalef. Now he just has to finish the line straight adding an 8A boulder to do First Round First Minute 9b. It should be mentioned that the other day, Daniel broke a fixed quick draw which almost resulted in a ground fall.

"Reminder to check your gear and pre placed gear to prevent anything serious from happening. Be safe out there.

(c) Alex Kahn who belayed Daniel during his close-call fall, also witnessed a friend fall and break his leg and arrived to Siurana the day of the rock fall at El Pati. Be smart and stay safe!

Leo Skinner

leo skinner - the groov
e 7c+
Fabian Poels

Hybride (8a) - Rocher d
e la Nausée (Anseremme,
Peter Sebio

Please add info of the
climb, your ascent and
the area
Ersin Bas

Kucak Dansi 7b, Bafa La
Heiko Queitsch

Today I was able to cli
mb -Rehabouldern- fb 7c
the right exit of -Vol
lkontakt- fb 7c a 1st.
ascent I did last week!
! The power comes more
and more back!! Photo:
Chris Rupp
Heiko Queitsch

Willenbergdach fb 8a Ch
ironico/Tessin Switzerl
Fran Roldan

Trying 'Pirates d'aigua
dolça' (8b+)
Ema Seliškar

Corto 8a, Osp/Misja Pec
K Wierzchu

W krainie dreszczowców
6C+, Sobolów
Duygu Haug

Debut les Morts, Galati
ani, Kalymnos
Katrin Gründler

Please add info of the
climb, your ascent and
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David Duez

Nine Lives 7c, Chattano
Christian Winklmair

DER Wasserfall in Steeg
zeigt sich von seiner
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Miguel Espejo

Líneas Cruzadas 7c, La
Matteo calledda

Tony Orrù - Cristal Wav
es 7a, Ulassai
Andreas Hanisch

La vira 8a, Tenerife
Eric Hörst

Eric Horst on the first
ascent of "Born on the
4th of July" (5.12a/b)
, Tyrrell Crag, Ten Sle
ep, WY.
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Gus Carter // Beyond Li
fe V10/7c+, Joe's Valle
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Jamie Leland - Public Enemy 7c+, Superstition Mountains
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Editorial by 8a Founder and Editor-in-Chief Jens Larssen including also Analyses, Reviews, Training, Polls and Opinions etc.
Even more male Japanese domination in 2018?  Facebook
Click to Enlarge PictureThe Boulder World Cup 2018 starts in Switzerland 13/4 followed by one in Russia, China, China, Japan, USA and Germany. A lot of travelling like last year so there are probably not more than 20 male and female who will do the whole circuit.

In 2017, the Japanese male dominated with five guys Top-8 and nine guys Top-16. Bare in mind that they were just allowed to send a maximum of nine guys to each WC last year but based on the result from 2017, they will be able to participate with up to 14 guys. Remember also that in the Youth World Championship last year, the Japanese boys got six out of nine medals.

The bouldering competition scene is booming and for sure there will be more participants in Meiringen compared to the 115 last year, where Japan had three male in Top-4. What about 140 participants and five Japaneses Top-10? For the full season, with the big Japanese travelling budget and Olympic focus, there just might be six or seven guys Top-10 overall. The picture shows the qualification results from Vail where all the nine participating Japanese were Top-10!

What is interesting to note is that their coaches and some athletes have said that they do not follow a strict physical training plan. Instead it is mainly about a team challenge and experimenting jumping around to get the adrenaline. After the last WC event 2017, in Munich, the Japanese male team entered the stage again and tried to repeat the boulders in sneakers with smiling faces, when their opponents already had entered the big party downstairs.
Search to find the best climbs in the world  Facebook
Click to Enlarge PictureThere are close to 5 million star rated ascents in the 8a database. Through the advanced search you can find the highest rated climbs by stars, grade and onsight percentage etc for different crags and countries.

You can also check directly through the crag Tick List and some of the crags that stick out are; Phalz, Montanejos, Schleier Wasserfall, Donautal, Bohuslän, Wild Iris, American Fork, Terradets and Verdon.

Among boulder areas; Val Calanca, Eldorado Canyon, Devil's Lake, Newlin, Brione, Poudre Canyon, Mt Evans and Yosemite.
Climbskin Hand Cream  Facebook
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At Climbskin we are proud of the product we have created because we know the great work there is behind it, but even more, we are proud of the people who have joined us to share our enthusiasm and commitment for a project that combines top quality with values. All of you, especially our ambassadors and friends, are a brutal source of motivation, thank you very much! Climb more! Train more! Enjoy climbing even more: Discover Climbskin.
Who onsighted and redpointed 9a first?  (47) Facebook
Estado Critico was set up in 2004 as a 9a but was later down graded. In 2010, a hold broke and it was back to 9a and in 2013 Alex Megos made his historical onsight. Several climbers have later confirmed that grade but also 8c+ have been forwarded by Gonzalo Larrocha as he found a new sequence. Last week Jon Cardwell and Matty Hong did it in just six respectively three tries saying their personal grade would be 8c+.

One year before Megos onsigted Estado Critico, Adam Ondra onsighted Golden Ticket down grading it to 8c+. Later Adam has onsighted three 9a's which all have been confirmed.

As of now, Megos should be credited for onsighting the first 9a but it just might be that a new sequence have been found of Estado Critico and Ondra should get the historical fame?

When it comes to redpointing, it seems Ben Moon and the UK scene thinks that based on the current gradings, Hubble done in 1990 should be considered the first 9a. Action Direct was given an UIIA grade equivalent to 8c+/9a in 1991 but has later been upgraded although an easier sequence have been found.
St Leger - Buy local produced topos  (29) Facebook
Click to Enlarge PictureIt is normally the local climbers that bolt the new routes, rebolt, clean, work with access issues and produce the topos. Sales from the topos often contribute for bolts etc. During the years, we have seen many foreign companies more or less copying the local ones just in order to make commercial profit.

On the sign found i St Leger, we can see that the locals ask the climbing community to support the local by buying their topo and not the "Vampire Topo". The company doing most such competitive topos just to make profit is a UK company. This happened in southern France, Mallorca etc and now it could be the case in Kalymnos.
8b+ in 1991 possibly 8c+/9a 2018  (3) Facebook
Click to Enlarge PictureMark Edwards did the FA of Nuts Are Not The Only Fruit, un cut video in 1991. "I originally gave this 40m pitch an 8b+ grade, but now think with modern upgrading adjustment it is closer to 8c+/9a." (c) Rowland Edwards

He based the modern grade on the 8c's he has done in Sella which was so much easier. In theory, 8c+/9a would mean it is a contender for being the hardest endurance route at that time. Anybody who wants to confirm this and also do the second ascent of Nuts need to rebolt it as the route was later chopped.

Mark is a Sella pioneer where he also lives and climbs and being 56 years old, he is still doing 8b's and last year he did an E9. Some of his routes from back then have been upgraded with two or three grades. "I am no grade nerd I am going for the quality but you are asking so many grade questions :) .Sadly, whatever grade the route is, is irrelevant, what is lost is a very fine sports route.
WC #1 Jongwon Chon beaten by six Japaneses  Facebook
Click to Enlarge PictureLast year, Japan totally dominated the IFSC boulder World Cup scene with five guys in Top-8. The North Face Cup in Tokyo last weekend indicates that it might be an even stronger Japanese domination in 2018 as the WC winner 2017, Jongwon Chon was just #7 and WC #2 Tomoa Narasaki was not on the podium. Instead it was Kai Harada, #16 in the WC 2017, who won ahead of Fujiwaki Yuji.

In 2017, Harada and Yuji was on average #24 based on 13 World Cups. This indicates of course that there just might be an even more extreme Japanese male domination in 2018.

It should be mentioned that the format is a bit different with more boulders in the qualification and semi, also including two zones. In the final, they have a knock-out system. Yuji Hirayama explains;

"I love knock out format, you can share the moment with everyone much more direct than IF format and this format is fair enough to select the champion. It is not making the ranking. We started knock out format since 1998."

Among the female, Miho Nonaka won ahead of Akiyo Noguchi and Natsuki Tanii. Complete results in Japanese.
Possible impact from new bouldering scoring?  Facebook
IFSC has changed the bouldering scoring increasing the importance for zones as this is the second criteria after number of Tops. Until 2017, attempts to Tops was the second criteria but from 2018, it will be the third criteria.

The impact from an athlete's perspective should be minor but in practice it would probably mean that we will see less resting and more attempts as long as the zone have not been reached. Previously, it was possibly more wise for the athletes, who had not reached the zone in several attempts, to just skip another try and focus on resting.

Even if you today flash three boulders, you need to get the zone on the fourth as your opponent, with three tops in 15 tries and all four zones, will beat you.

As a side note it should also be mentioned that with the new scoring, the results can be presented with points where 44 is maximum meaning you have done all four boulders. The official results will be published 4T4z 7 attempts and if the results are tied also the number of attempts for the zones will be added.
Bouldering commentator difficulty  Facebook
Click to Enlarge PictureIFSC has changed the boulder scoring so the number of zones is the second criteria which might make it easier to analyze the scoreboard. At the same time it could be more complicated for the commentator to present it as well as for the audience to understand it.

"Ondra leads by one top in one attempt followed by Chon, one top in two attempts and Narasaki one top in three attempts", is how commentators normally present the ranking and how it was done in CWIF last Sunday. The problem is that it just might be that Chon and Narasaki has done one more zones and with the new rule, zones being the second criteria, Ondra is #3.

In practice this means that the first sentence needs to be presented like this.
"Chon is in the lead with one top and two zones in two attempts ahead of Narasaki with one top and two zones in three attempts followed by Ondra with one top and one zone in one attempt. "

In other words, until 2017 you only had to present two criterias to get a good separation but from 2018, you almost always will have to present three criterias. Presenting and understanding a ranking with three criterias instead of just two will be more complicated.

One option to make it much easier for both the commentators as well as the audience, could be to just replace the definition Top with 10 points and zone with 1 point. Even the non-climbers would fully understand.
"Chon leads with 12 points and two attempts followed by Narasaki also on 12 points but three attempts and Ondra with 11 points in one attempt."
8b+ by Petter Ulmert (49) in 3- and clouds  Facebook
Click to Enlarge PictureAs the winter has hard time to let go in Europe and everyone is keen to get out we can get inspired by Petter Ulmert who sent an 8b+ outside Göteborg in 3 degrees minus fully cloudy. To make the story even better, Petter is 49 years old and this was his hardest ever and he has done 7-8 similar trips during the winter, meaning six hours in the car.

"It was cold as hell and I fell twice on the last move as I could not feel my fingers. It is hard to warm up specifically for it. On my third attempt it did go down. (c) Hampus Räf

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