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Battle Cat 8c (+) by Gabriela Vrablikova  Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureGabriela Vrablikova has done her first 8c (+), Battle Cat in Frankenjura in just six tries. Interesting the 28 year old Czech has only tried one 8c before so we are again talking about a late bloomer.

"I work as a physiotherapist so we had to plan it with my new coach, Petr Klofáč very carefully. We are working more complex in more areas - not just physical training, but mental training, regeneration and food. Training my mind helped a lot as well and of course Battle Cat is beautiful route so I really enjoyed climbing it! Now I am gonna enjoy some hot chocolate.

My next project is to find some sponsors for my dream project - one hard multipitch in Ratikon and I have never been to Spain so I want to go there this year and climb something harder."

 
 
Keen Roof 8B by Frances Bensley  Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureFrances Bensley has done her second 8B, Keen Roof in Peak District, in just three sessions. (c) Jonathan Bean

Interesting is that Frances did her first 8A only 18 months ago so wee are talking a late bloomer as she started climbing almost 20 years ago at age 7.

"I realized that all of the hardest things I had climbed had only taken a few sessions or a session to do. I had a goal of climbing 8b+ and 8A last year and managed that. At that point maybe I started to realize that in my own style I might be able to climb harder, but just need to find the right problems. Additionally I have made a lot more effort this year to try and identify and work on my climbing weaknesses. I am sure this has helped my climbing overall.

I have never had any structure to my training before January - I climbed a couple times a week and I tried hard, either climbing general blocs or a fun board session, but there was never a plan, very little finger boarding (I would occasionally pull onto a finger board maybe a few times a month but with no consistency) and I didn't matter if I only climbed once a week or three times a week.

I recently approached Dave Mason and I now have a weekly training plan to follow - its hard work for me because structure is something I struggle with, but it's also good and I'm feeling quite strong."

 
 
Black Mamba 8c trad roof by the Wide Boyz  Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureClick to Enlarge PicturePete Whittaker and Tom Randall, one of the best crack climbers out there, have made another hard first ascent in the Utah desert, Black Mamba 8c which may be their hardest roof crack yet. Whittaker describes the first ascents: (c) Talo Martin

"The route is like a mining tunnel, you walk to the back and start in a crouched position with a head torch on and can’t believe you now have to climb the same distance you just walked…but completely upside down.

Nevertheless, it’s as much about being tactical as it is about having the strength and endurance to be able to climb it. It required a head torch lit start, 3 hand jam glove changes, a rope tie mid pitch and toilet roll cushioning for tricep protection. It usually ends up that we use these bizarre tactics because we’re so focused on the climbing we forget to bring the more conventional tools to the crag, i.e. elbow pads or proper lanterns.

There are 4 distinct cruxes. 2 are finger jamming, 1 is thin hands and the final redpoint crux comes as a heart breaking last move; rounding the lip of the finishing off width. The key beta here was to make sure that the nose of the roof sat in the indentation below your sternum. Any lower with your torso and you’d unfortunately come up short every time.

The final off width in general is a little fighter. On its own it is a struggle, but with the continuous upside-down climbing beforehand, it’s a real world of dread when you finally get there on the big redpoint. If the route stopped before this, the whole thing would be like a beef sandwich - reasonably meaty. In totality, it’s that final 9 inch section that really makes it a full Sunday roast."

 
 
Mamichula 9b by Seb Bouin  (1) Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureSeb Bouin has done his second 9b and the first repeat of Adam Ondra’s Mamichula in Oliana. Including also nine 9a+, the French is getting closer to the Top-5 best tick list. (c) Jan Novak

I had the best belayer possible for this route, my super Mami (mom). Last trip, on the last days, I felt on the last move before the rest. I am happy to finish the job! I have to say that I used kneepad for this route. It's my hardest route on the paper.
Yet maybe not in the reality . I am psyched to see some climbers in my latest mega lines in France (French Chilam Balam and "la côte d'usure").

 
 
El Dorado 9a by Jesús Muñoz Chuchi  Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureJesús Muñoz Chuchi has done his first 9a, El Dorado in La Pedriza after some 20 days of projecting. His previous best was an 8c FA in 2015 but when it comes to bouldering he did an 8B+ last year. (c) Talo Martin

"El Dorado is a route of few movements and although it can be categorized as a boulder, it also requires having a good rpower endurance to be able to send it.The first six movements, from my point of view, will go around 8B. The next section is very athletic, but somehow simpler, around 7c. Finally we reach the final step that is a long dyno. In isolation, only this final movement is like a 7C. Then there is a section of three meters on a much easier slab that does not add any difficulty.

I have had to adapt my training by increasing the days of resistance training and maximum strength since the route demands both qualities.
" More info on his Insta

 
 
Kruder wins great show for Slovenia again  (21) Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureJernej Kruder qualified last so he started first in the final where he executed them almost perfectly, doing them all in just eight attempts. He was third into the last boulder which he did first go saying, he thought it was too easy. Later nobody come even close. The big sensation was 15 year old Rei Kawamata who qualified to the final as #2. Last year he won the Youth WCh in Moscow and he also did his first 8B+.

1. Jernej Kruder 44* SLO (c) Eddie Fowke
2. Adam Ondra 34 CZE
3. Yushiyuki Ogata 33 JPN
4. Anze Peharc 23 SLO
5. Rei Kawamata 13 JPN
6. Vadim Timonov 13 RUS
Complete results
* 8a presents the results as points by just skipping the Z and t from the normal scoring.

 
 
From too hard in the semi to too easy in the final  (3) Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureIt seems the route setters, based on the few number of tops in the semi, made some late changes, resulting in too easy boulders in the final. All the podium topped all four boulders and Janja Garnbret won by doing them all first go. Noteworthy is that Slovenia, with just 2 million inhabitants, was superior by getting two golds and another two in the finals.

1. Janja Garnbret 44* SLO Eddie Fowke
2. Shauna Coxsey 44 GBR
3. Fanny Gibert 44 FRA
4. Lucka Rakovec 34 SLO
5. Jessica Pilz 34 AUT
6. Futaba Ito 33 JPN
Complete results
* In order to make it more understandable 8a has started to take out the T and z and just present the score with points.

 
 
Moscow finals 17.30 Euro time  (5) Facebook
 

 
 
Ondra superior and 3 zones made female final in Moscow  Facebook
 

In possibly, the hardest ever boulder semifinal, Futabo Ito qualified to the final by just getting three zones. Shauna Coxey and Janja Garnbret were the only ones topping out two boulders. Complete results

Among the male, Adam Ondra started first and topped out all four quite easily. In the end, Rei Kawamata was runner up with 2T4z as was the score for the Top-7 so the number of attempts made the cut. Interesting was that we saw possibly 30 attempts where the climbers touched the top but failed. All in all, 17 made four zones and all 20 made three zones.

 
 
Two 7C+' by Patti Wohner (45)  (4) Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PicturePatti Wohner, who did two 8A's being 41 years old, is back on track after a muscle injury and has done two 7C+, 3D and Slow Dance in Bishop.

"I struggled with "stiff muscles" for about a year and a half, trying to figure out what was going on. I ended up with pretty bad scapular winging in January which prevented me from climbing at all. Finally I started seeing a shoulder specialist, Jessi Delong in Bishop and she fixed me right up. I'm so grateful to her and I'm excited about getting outside again now that my muscles work again!

I was having issues for about a year and a half where my muscles would not loosen up. I climbed as best I could at a lower level during that time. Its been about a month now that I've been feeling better and steadily getting stronger."


Three months ago Patti released her first adventure novel Desert Dirtbag, where we can follow a gym climber who dreams climbing hard Hueco Tanks.

 
 
7 Japanese to the semi and Schubert fails again  Facebook
 

Jernej Kruder and Rei Sugimoto won their respective group in Moscow. In total, Japan got seven into the semi Top-20 and they participated with just eight guys as the Narasaki brothers skipped Moscow. Other than that, Russia and France got three into the semi. Once again Jakob Schubert, Gregor Vezonik and Sean McColl did not make it to the semi as in Meiringen. Interesting is also that Adam Ondra was #10 in his group very close to have missed the semi. Complete results

 
 
Graceland 8B+ by Christof Rauch  Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureChristof Rauch, who has done more than 500 boulders 8A to 8C the last five years although working full time, has done Graceland 8B+ in Allgäu. This was his fourth 8B+ the last four weeks and in 2019 he has done 42 boulders 8A and harder, including two 8C's.

"Finally! Thought I could do it quicker, took me 4 sessions to put it down but had some bad luck last session. Pretty hard shouldermove, my left shoulder (slightly injured since a few years) hurted after every session but I wanted to link those rad moves sooo bad!"

 
 
Five onsights by Garnbret in Moscow  (1) Facebook
 

The Boulder World Cup in Moscow has just started and Janja Garnbret walked away with a clean score onsighing all five boulders. (Normally the word flash is used for doing a boulder first try in competitions but in reality it is an onsight as no beta was given to the athletes.)

Fanny Gibert won the second group and Austria got five semi-finalist, Jain Kim failed to make the semi again as in Meiringen. Complete results

 
 
The Story... 8C by Keenan Takahashi  Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureIsabelle Faus reports on Insta that Keenan Takahashi has done The Story of Two World’s 8C in Cresciano.

 
 
8B+ by Zou who started climbing in 2014 at age 26  (1) Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureZhanan Zou, a.k.a. Bruce, has climbed Ty Landman’s Midnight Express 8B+ in Boulder Canyon, potentially becoming the first Chinese climber to climb the grade. Previously he had done two 8B's. Bruce started climbing at age 26 after moving from China to Boulder, Colorado in 2014. A week before the ascent of Midnight Express he successfully defended his PhD thesis in Mechanical Engineering. He wants to continue to pursue his research, and hopes to develop boulders in China, to open up a new level of climbing for Chinese climbers. Video finishing with screaming louder than Ondra and Sharma together :) (c) Cesar Valencia

 
 
La danse des Balrogs original 8A+ by Marine Thevenet  Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureMarine Thevenet, #7 in the Boulder World Cup in 2014, reports on Insta that she has done Fred Nicole's La danse des Balrogs original 8A+ in Branson, in just three sessions. In total she has now done 27 boulders 8A to 8B and her goal is to do 30 before turning in few months. (c) Clément Lechaptois

"I prefer to spend my week-ends discovering boulders instead of climbing gym or during competitions. But it doesn't mean that I stopped climbing or training!"

 
 
Best Climbing Shoes - 2019?  Facebook
 


 
 
Ground Zero 9a by Giuseppe Nolasco  (1) Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureGiuseppe Nolasco has done his first 9a, Ground Zero in Tetto di Sarre after projecting it for 19 weekends since 2011. The last winter he trained very hard for it. (c) Gianluca Bosonin

"I tried Ground Zero for the first time in 2011, I directly had good vibes and actually after a few weekends I fell off the last hold when I couldn't clip the chain. For years I didn't try it again, just one short session in 2017 and a more attempt in 2018. After a great winter training, finally on 7 April I sent my first 9a, first ascended by Alberto Gnerro."

 
 
Booka Booka Booka 8B by Zander Waller (15) in one session  Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureZander Waller, #7 in both Lead and Bouldering in the last YWCH, has done his first 8B, Booka Booka Booka in Moe's Valley.

Super happy to have sent Booka in one session, I think it may be soft but I'm not sure; I haven't really tried any other v13s. The big move was hard for me but on the send everything lined up perfectly and I managed to stick it. I think I need to start trying more hard boulders soon.

I'm focused on comps after the end of my trip, next stop is tuck fest DWS, then the Come and Send It Fest, and Youth Sport Nationals. After that I will be training for youth world's in Arco.”

 
 
Bain de Sang 9a by Samuel Ometz  (1) Facebook
 

Samuel Ometz has done Bain de Sang 9a in St Loup which Fred Nicole put up in 1993. "Soft Very interesting route! Felt desperate at first, 2 days to figure out the moves and another 2 to send. Hard to grade."

 
Bram Honorez

La persistencia de la m
emoria 8A+, chironico
 
Fabian Gomiz Lopez

Aren de hembras 8a ferr
ari
 
Oriane Bertone (f)

Saint Joseph
 
Lucija Tarkuš

Divja Brina (8b), Koteč
nik
 
Katrin Gründler

roof warrior
 
Jamie Leland

Public Enemy 7c+, Super
stition Mountains
 
Gonçalo "Gongas" Coutinho

"Manuel Fruto do Mel" -
6a - Atlântida
 
Gus Carter

Mullentino V6/7A
 
Bram Honorez

La persistencia de la m
emoria 8A+, chironico
 
Andrew conroy

Please add info of the
climb, your ascent and
the area
 
Markus Adamaszek

El pan canario, Fb 7a b
loc, Albarracín
 
Stefan Billmeier

Bamboozalled, V7 Laos/T
hakhek - a perfect bloc
, wonderful line, solid
V7
 
Frederico Gonçalves

Boulder: Abrigo de Ferr
o V12/8a+
 
Jon Shen

Floflo Grunewald on OAK
A IC (8a) at Limeri.
 
Oriane Bertone (f)

Oriane Bertone : Boven
"Jack of all trades" 8a
(second go)
 
Jon Shen

Flofo Grunewald on Fata
Morgana (8a).
 
Bram Honorez

willenberg dach 8A, chi
ronico
 
Bram Honorez

willenberg dach 8A, chi
ronico
 
Search & Add Ascents
Editorial by 8a Founder and Editor-in-Chief Jens Larssen including also Analyses, Reviews, Training, Polls and Opinions etc.
IFSC/IOC Olympic movement meeting  Facebook
Last week, IFSC had invited important stakeholders from the media, brands, gyms and experts to discuss the Olympic movement together with three representatives from IOC. You would think that this would mean three 60+ male but instead IOC did show up with three female 35-40 years old. Interesting is that in the end 8a was the only media present.

We did get explained how the bidding process for Tokyo and Paris have been taking place. In short, it seems IOC told IFSC that you can come with an application and you have best chances for being approved with one set of medal in Tokyo and possibly two sets in Paris.

From a general perspective, the indoor boom was discussed and the risk for getting climbing into the Olympics as well as if IFSC should take any stand in regards outdoor, ethics and the environment. The big change in competition format and IFSC competitions were also discussed and if it could be possible to qualify to the World Cups by getting points first in local and later regional competitions. There were not enough time to discuss how to make competition climbing more understandable and how to minimize the risk for strange thing to happen. However, 8a was asked to send in our thoughts.
 
Ondra Road to Tokyo #9 - Winning in Meiringen  Facebook
 
Way too hard female semi setting  (13) Facebook
The commentators in Moscow said that they did not think the route setters over cocked the female boulders they in a good way challenged the very best. I totally disagree. The purpose of the qualification and the semi final is not to create a nice challenge for the best climber. It is about getting the Top-20 and the Top-6 in a nice show for the spectators. Further more, these rounds should be fair for the athletes.

Route setting is super hard and it is amazing how often they are spot on. However, there will always be situation when the boulders were too hard. The best way to make them fun to watch and fair for the athletes is to add one more zone.
 
Moscow semi 10.00 - Sunday  Facebook
 
Moscow Speed Finals  Facebook
 
Arco Rock Star 2019 - Photo contest  Facebook
 
Mickael Mawem could get a medal if he qualifies  Facebook
Mickael Mawem is currently totally superior among the non-Speed specialists. In Bouldering he is #16 in the world ranking. As the Combined score is done through calculation, the winner of a discipline in the qualification in Tokyo is guaranteed to make it to the Top-8 final. Well in the final, placing #4 in bouldering and winning Speed, Mickael is most likely getting a medal.

The twist in this story is that it is probably harder for Mickael to actually qualify to the Olympics rather then to get a medal. The reason for this is that beeing the fastest among the non-Speed specialist is not so much worth during the qualifying process. Mickael was #23 in Moscow and possibly ten of these guys will compete in at least two Boulder and Lead events.

This means he would get a multiplication factor of #11 at the same time most of his competitors for Tokyo will get a factor of 15 to 33. Thus, the Speed importance is only critical when all the Speed specialists have been taken out from the result list, which will happen in Tokyo.
 
Mawem brothers 5.699 and 6.344  Facebook
Bassa Mawem won the Speed qualification in Moscow at 5.699 where seven did sub six seconds, which is a new record. However, most interesting in regards Tokyo 2029 was his brother Mickael doing 6.344. Other than that, Keita Dohi did 6.831 and Manuel Cornu 6.900 among the non-Speed specialist. Complete results

Among the female, Iuliia Kaplina was superior with 7.464. The fastest time by the non-Speed specialists were Elena Krasovskaia with 9.051 and Petra Klingler with 9.539. The biggest improvement in comparison to last year was done by Janja Garnbret with 10.050. Noteworthy is that some of the big names continue to struggle with mid 11 seconds like; Shauna Coxsey and Fanny Gibert.
 
Does climbing make kids smarter?  (13) Facebook
Click to Enlarge PictureTwo weeks ago I read an article saying Kids skiing gets smarter. The explanation is physical activity but also learning how to concentrate and improved coordination etc. Personally I would say that possibly it also relates to all the decisions the skiing kids have to do going down the slope.

During the years I have been chatting with dozens of kids 12 - 15 years climbing very hard and almost always I have been shocked about how smart and mature they seem. It could just be that all the problem solving situation they have faced they have developed their brain making them much smarter and mentally stronger, which could be part of the reason why they climb at the same level as the adults?

Yesterday in an IFSC meeting in Lausanne, I met Charlotte Durif and we discussed the subject. In 2005, Charlotte Durif (15) was the best female onsight climber ever and she was at that time even among the best male. We sent her some questions in French and our translator Jones Belhaj, big brother to Said, told us that he had never come across a 15 year old expressing her self in such a mature and advanced way -

"He had to simplify some of her equilibristic words and sentences in order to make them understandable for everyone."

Charlotte, five times Youth World Champion, won the Euro Championship being 15 years old and she is the first female to have onsighted an 8c. In 2011, she became the second women to do a 9a. In 2017, she got her PhD and got attributed the grade of Doctor in Chemistry and Physical Chemistry of Materials! Currently she is based in Salt Lake City working as an consultant to IFSC focusing on the Olympic movement.
 
Narasaki's and Noguchi skip Moscow and no Speed for Ondra in Moscow  Facebook
From the Moscow starting list we can see that the Narasaki brothers and Akiyo Noguchi will not participate. Further more, all top guys but Adam Ondra will do Speed.

Interesting that three of the Top-2 in Meiringen seem to think that "less could be more" in the very long 2019 season ahead of them. The Narasaki brothers and Noguchi are back in track for Chongqing 27/4 doing both disciplines but Ondra has not yet signed up for any Speed World Cup.
 


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