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Almost everyone thinks they have great technique  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureFor the third time, we have run the Poll, "What skill do you lack the most?". As for the 2013, 2015 and 2018 poll, only some 8 % pick Technique. In practice, the results have been more or less the same, beside the 2015 poll, where Finger strength got 31 %, instead of 26 % in both 2013 and 2018. Further more, Flexibility have increased in importance during the three polls and is now ranked #3.

As Flexibility is kind of easy to improve and is something you can train back home, this increase is kind of strange. Possibly it relates to the frequently published pics of celebs like Adam Ondra in extreme positions. One of his trainers Klaus Isele has previously on 8a said;

"What I still monitor is that some climbers believe that it is enough to stretch for 40 seconds in order to get “longer” = forget it. You need to hold a stretching position for two minutes (I often recommend three times the same position with that holding time). That works! To really gain length you have to repeat it every day. Your results will be visible after approximately 14 days."

Box Therapy 8C+ FA by Daniel Woods  (2) Facebook

Bone Tomahawk 9a (+) by Ben Spannuth and Matty Hong  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureClick to Enlarge PictureMatty Hong and Ben Spannuth have done the third and fourth ascent of Joe Kinder's Bone Tomahawk in Fynn Cave both suggesting a personal grade of 9a. First Matty did it, (c) Jon Cardwell and a couple later Matty was shooting pictures of Ben doing it.

Fortunadrago 8B by Giorgia Tesio (18)  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureGiorgia Tesio, who just won the Italian Bouldering Championship, reports on Insta that she has done her first 8B, Fortunadrago in Varazze.

The 18 year old did her first 8a six years ago and it was actually a flash. Later she has been an active competition climbers having won three Euro Championships.

"I don’t exactly know how it was possible to top it in a day and an half of tries: when I tried it for the first time it seemed quite impossible for me, until I found out a new beta which fit perfectly for me: using the heel hooks in both of the two hard sections makes it less about strength and allows me to stick the hard move every time.

So the second day I knew I could do it, and I was so excited and anxious that I almost missed the opportunity to get my first 8b done, but fortunately I had my friends there to support me!

It seems that every in the last two years I ends my projects faster than before, such as it happened for Hyena, this means that I have to try something harder! So in 2019 I’ll look for new projects on rock, maybe near home so I can try them even during comp season; but next year is very important for me because it is my last year in young competitions! So I’ll try my best for making this year memorable, challenging my self in World Cup as well." (c) Fabio Fin

Interview to Pol Roca about La Teoría del Todo 8C (8B+) and an 8C FA  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureSpanish Pol Roca has done La Teoría del Todo in Albarracín suggesting a personal grade of 8B+. The boulder was put up by Beto Rocasolano as an 8C+ and Rubén Díaz repeated it suggesting it as 8C. Last week Pol also put up Boulder Blaster 8C FA in La Comarca. (c) Francis Guillén

It is your first 8C, how many sessions on it? Can you compare with others?
Yes, it is my first 8C. I found it two years ago but I didn't try it in 7 months due to an injury. It took me around 30-40 days. I can compare it with others 8B+ FA that I've done and Boulder Blaster is harder... but I think it's really hard to compare with others because the style is really hard to find.

Do you think it could be one of the hardest problems in Spain?
I don't think so cause it hasn't many moves but it is pure strength and without doubt is the hardest move I've ever tried.

Which is your next goal?
I have some problems to try and I can't say one specifically but there's one in La Comarca, not very aesthetic line but easy to see. Is the link up of an 8 moves 8B and an 8 moves 8B+. That will be the next hard line in La Comarca .

Bone Tomahawk 9a (+) by Ben Spannuth and Matty Hong  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureMatty Hong and Ben Spannuth have done the third and fourth ascent of Joe Kinder's Bone Tomahawk in Fynn Cave both suggesting a personal grade of 9a. First Matty did it, (c) Jon Cardwell and a couple later Matty was shooting pictures of Ben doing it.

This is how Kinder describes his route, "Crux in the beginning, very resistant with bizarre to-hooks and roof tricks. Then very continuous, muscly, and athletic. It’s not so finger intensive as it is full body intensive. It’s like being in the boxing ring and fighting to the end of utter fatigue.

Then there is an extension. I’ve done all moves and believe it’s an additional 9 bolts of 8c+. It will be significantly difficult. No rests after the glory jug on Bone T. Seems loco to me but has me very excited to see what my old ass can do on it. I’m heading down there tomorrow to try a bit. So excited."

Three 8c+ by Stefano Carnati  (1) Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureStefano Carnati, who did Biographie 9a+ this autumn, has had eight very productive days doing three 8c+. First the FA of Vortex in Gajum which he has tried for few days during the last four years, see picture. More info on his Insta.

Then he traveled to Spain and did A Muerte in Siurana and La Ley Innata in Margalef. "Nemesis is over!! 3AM alarm clock made its work! Spent several days last year and it drove me crazy. Today sent straight after a warm-up go."

Stefano Ghisolfi 9b+ and Olympic interview  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureIn between day #8 and day #30, Stefano Ghisolfi did not see any physical progress on Perfecto Mundo 9b+ in Margalef as he kept falling on the same move.

"I just felt a slow progress on sensations and feelings on the route. I improved on the first part to make it perfect. I did visualization when I was home and try to reproduce the feelings. I trained my legs too because in the rest before the hard section I had to push with my left leg to stay in the position. The process has been very complicated and frustrating, during this year I had a lot of emotions, motivation and sometimes I thought to give up, but I never did. "

Stefano won the Italian Speed Championship in 2010 with 7.96 so he has actually not started any Speed training yet. He has deliberately postponed it in order to reduce the months with almost only focusing on indoor training prior to Tokyo 2020.

"My plan was to stay in Spain for a month until end of December, bit I did the route at the second day of the trip, so now I have one more month to train. Now I can focus on Olympics 100%. I will continue with some rock project but closer to home, while I can train boulder and speed. Living in Arco will help my outdoor climbing. But maybe not big projects before the Olympics. During 2019, I will do all Lead WCs and maybe 3 or 4 bouldering and Speed WCs."

Three 8A+ by Michaela Kiersch  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureMichaela Kiersch has had a great trip to Hueco Tanks where she quickly did three 8A+; Rumble in the jungle, Tequila Sunrise and Phantom Limb (c) Brandon Fox - The Foxes Photography In the Combined ranking game, Michaela is #1 among the female and #13 among the male.

"I went into this trip with no objectives other than to have fun and enjoy my climbing. The weather has been perfect and I’ve been with amazing friends. Couldn’t have been a better trip! Usually I do have plans, but this trip was more for my mental health and enjoyment than for sending super hard projects. My plan for the winter is to train, get stronger, and enjoy the holidays with my family. 2019 is still open ended for me, I really need to start thinking of some good new year resolutions."

Hypothèse assis 8C+ FA by Charles Albert barefoot  (9) Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureCharles Albert, the famous Font barefoot boulderer, has made the FA of yet another 8C+, Hypothèse assis. It adds two moves to the 7C+ stand start. "It’s just another hard boulder, it’s not very beautiful and it’s chipped. I did it because it was dry. It took me three quick sessions and a long one. I don’t think it’s easier or harder with shoes the next project is another hard boulder.”

Charles climbs barefoot and he has established and repeated several 8C's and done the Fa of La Revolutionnaire 8C+. The pic by Neil Hart is from an 8B+ in Font.

9a+/b FA by Seb Bouin  Facebook

Perfecto Mundo 9b+ by Stefano Ghisolfi  (2) Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureStefano Ghisolfi, #2 in the Lead World Cup the last two years, reports on his Insta that he has repeated Alex Megos Perfecto Mundo 9b+ in Margalef which originally Chris Sharma bolted. (c) Javi Pec

"I spent 32 days here at the crag, falling many times at the same move, but this time I grabbed for the first time that pinch and it felt unreal..."

Terre de sienne 8B by Isabelle Faus  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureIsabelle Faus has done Fred Nicole's Terre de Sienne 8B in Hueco Tanks. "hard dead point.. was trying the bump method for the first couple days... then started trying to go straight up to it and did it that sesh, didn't split any tips!!"

Originally it was given 8C, but then Dave Graham came and called it 8B/+. Some continued to grade it 8B+ but now it seems the consensus is 8B. Isabelle, who often gives personal downgrades, has recorded 16 8B's and two 8B+, making her tick list one of the most impressive by a female. In the 8A ranking game, Isabelle is #1.

Southern Smoke 8c+ by Margo Hayes  (6) Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureMargo Hayes reports on her Insta that she one month ago did Southern Smoke 8c+ in Red River Gorge. During the same trip the 20 year old did Golden Ticket 8c+ and probably some more great routes. (c) Jan Novak

I had a wonderful time visiting The Red for the first time in a while! I met up with friends from France and was able to spend some time climbing with my dad. He’s always my favorite partner. I wanted to try a some classics and some routes that looked intriguing to me. I climbed the Golden Ticket and Southern Smoke in 5 tries each.”

Including the two 9a+ classics from last year as well as a 9a and other 8c+', Margo must be a contender for having the most impressive ticklist in the world. The only two girls that challenges her are Angy Eiter and Anak Verhoeven.

9a FA by Thomas Dauser in Ulassai  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureThomas Dauser has done his third 9a through the FA of Il gusto della liberta in Ulassai. (c) Klaas Willems

"So happy!! It was a long way to the top of this dream line. In total, split over two stays, I spent around 10 days working on it, checking out the moves, making link-ups, and finally sending it in perfect evening conditions. I did my first 8c now already 5 years ago and then my first 9a one year ago. My main focus is on climbing outdoors, a lot in Frankenjura. But the last few years I did more specific training as well.

Fabelita 8c by Molly Thompson Smith  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureMolly Thompson Smith, #7 in the Lead WC 2017 and #11 in the World Championship, has been on a climbing trip in Spain together with Jan Hojer. In Siurana she did Kale Borraka 8b+ and in Santa Linya she did Fabelita 8c. Jan's best was Open Your Mind 8c+ in Santa Linya.

So how come so few comps this year and what is the 2019 and Olympic plan?
I ruptured 3 pulleys in my ring finger at the end of Dec last year and had to have surgery in the New Year. Took me a while to get back to climbing, and especially at a decent level so wasn't able to do any comps until World Champs. Next year I plan to do all the lead WCs and some bouldering ones.

I'll try for the Olympics, hopefully I can enter all the events I need to next year but we don't know what the selection criteria is yet and I've got a lot of catching up to do anyways!

El Bon Combat 9a+ (9b/+) by Jakob Schubert  (18) Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureJakob Schubert reports on Insta that he has done the second ascent of Chris Sharma's El Bon Combat in Cova de l'ocell giving it a personal grade of hard 9a+.

"I know it's easy to not think about it and just take the grade of the first ascensionist which in this case is 9b/+ but I feel the responsibility to have more thoughts about it. For me it felt easier from the first day I tried it and I would guess it is a hard 9a+. Curious what others will think."

Jakob has been one of the leading competition climbers in the World the last ten years and this year he was the Lead as well as the Combined World Champion, beside winning the Lead World Cup. The 27 year old Austrian has previuosly done three 9b's, seven 9a+' and two 8C boulders.

El Bon Combat is located just 40 min oustide Barcelona and it was bolted by Martí Iglesias Galobart. It is 25 meters and the really spectacular route is made up by a mixture of sand stone and conglomerate. The difficulty is based on several 8A Boulder problems connected with poor rests. (c) Javi Pec

Honnold's 1 000 m solo from the filming crew perspective  Facebook

Amazing video of Ondra high up on The Salathe Wall  (12) Facebook

Adam Ondra during the end of his onsight attempt of The Salathe Wall in Yosemite, where he fell on an 8a+ trad pitch.

Pure Imagination 8c+ by Matilda Söderlund  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureMatilda Söderlund reports on Insta that she has done Pure Imaginaation 8c+ in Red River Gorge. Andy Wickstrom

In 2012, Matilda was #6 in the World Championship and later she focused on getting a Master degree in Business Administration. This year she is back with four routes 8c and harder.

So, so happy that I managed to keep it together and send it on the very last day! I was very close about a week earlier and then it got super cold (too cold for me to be able to climb on the crimps of Pure Imagination haha). Then we got one day with perfect conditions and I was able to send it I learnt a lot and enjoyed the process of projecting and all of the mental challenges & mind games that it includes.

Pure Imagination is an amazing line (bolted by Kenny Baker), a lot of nice crimps and fun sequences. Can’t wait to come back to the Red for more climbing!”

Gus Carter

Melted Softscream, Mita
ke, Japan
Heiko Queitsch

Please add info of the
climb, your ascent and
the area
Bram Honorez

La persistencia de la m
emoria 8A+, chironico
Oriane Bertone (f)

Oriane Bertone Wow Prow
"Death camp into stomp
omp blues" 8a+ flash

Babycat 7b au Goupil à
Gus Carter

Planet of the Apes V7/7
Katrin Gründler

Please add info of the
climb, your ascent and
the area
Calvin Wagner

Green Lantern (Low) 7b+
, HP 40
Oriane Bertone (f)

Oriane Bertone : Boven
"Jack of all trades" 8a
(second go)
Stefan Billmeier

Bamboozalled, V7 Laos/T
hakhek - a perfect bloc
, wonderful line, solid
Bram Honorez

souvenir 8A/+ Chironic

Kleopatra 8a, Alabalık/
Bram Honorez

willenberg dach 8A, chi
Markus Adamaszek

TEC-B6-L6, Fb 6a bloc,
Markus Adamaszek

Varanito, Fb 7a bloc, A

Junimond 7c+
Nicholas Allan

Please add info of the
climb, your ascent and
the area
Lucija Tarkuš

Divja Brina (8b), Koteč
Search & Add Ascents
Editorial by 8a Founder and Editor-in-Chief Jens Larssen including also Analyses, Reviews, Training, Polls and Opinions etc.
Male climber of 2018?  Facebook
Kids comps should be focus on challenges instead of competitiveness  Facebook
Kids sports are becoming less competitive in Sweden. You are not supposed to say who won a tournament in football or say who won the league before they are around 11 years. Instead it is all about including and let everyone "compete" in as many matches etc as possible. Further more, parents and even coaches are not supposed to interfere shouting out tactical instructions. It is believed that a focus on playing rather than being competitive is better for the kids even in team sports.

Climbing being an individual sports, clearly the winning and failure focus could create even more negative pressure. Further more, coaches and parents instructing the kids in a too detailed way replace the fun playing challenge focus, with only aiming for winning. Possibly we should set up competition formats without finals or with finals for everyone. As it stands, often the gyms just copy the IFSC format and just let the Top-6, or so, 10 year old's challenge themselves in the final with great exposure.

Sure many young kids like and can deal with the pressure in a competition but what is not fair is that if you are not among the best, you are not allowed to challenge yourself on all climbs.
The Big Island 8C by Nico Pelorson  Facebook
Gyms should grade also 6-8 m routes  (3) Facebook
One big downside with climbing the 12 - 18 m long gym routes, slightly progressively harder, is that most of us get so pumped that we need to rest at least 15 min. In other words, you seldom climb more than 100 m during your normal session.

If you instead would divide your training on 6 - 8 m routes you would only need to rest a couple min in between and you could end up with double as much training. Further more, such training could be defined as power-endurance training which normally is the strength we are all looking for outdoors.

Surely, it is just up to you and me to stop midways up the route but it is not so easy to be the first to implement such training in the gym. In general, it is the hardest routes in the gym that gets the less traffic but possibly the 7c might just be 7a up to 7 meters etc.

From the kids and the beginners perspective, it is just very natural that before you start climbing the 12 m routes, you progress meter by meter.
Ondra Vlog #8 onsight attempt on To bolt or not to be 8b+  Facebook
Living Legend Neil Gresham  Facebook
Adam Ondra America roadtrip Vlog #7  Facebook
Female Best Bouldering Ticklist  (1) Facebook
Here is a draft of which female have the most impressive bouldering tick list. Please comment to add names or change the ranking.

1. Alex Puccio USA
2. Ashima Shiraishi USA
3. Isabelle Faus USA
4. Anna Stöhr AUT
5. Karoline Sinnhuber AUT

6. Oriane Bertone FRA
7. Megan Mascarenas USA
8. Shauna Coxsey GBR
9. Alizee Dufraisse FRA
0. Nina Williams USA
Mile Heyden GER
Female most impressive sport climbing tick list  (9) Facebook
Here is a draft of which female have the most impressive sport climbing tick list. Please comment to add names or change the ranking.

1. Margo Hayes USA
2. Angy Eiter AUT
3. Anak Verhoeven BEL
4. Josune Bereziartu ESP
5. Julia Chanourdie FRA

6. Ashima Shiraishi USA
7. Allizée Dufraisse FRA
8. Charlotte Durif FRA
9. Janja Garnbret SLO
0. Michaela Kiersch USA, Laura Rogora ITA, Mar Alvararez, Janja Garnbret, Muriel Sarkany, Barbara Zangerl, Plorence Pinet, Katherine Choong
Practical breathing tips  (2) Facebook
There are several ways on how breathing can improve your climbing and here are some examples. You should try it out or even take some Yoga breathing lessons in order to best use your breathing while climbing.

1. Breath before you set of = Increase focus and concentration
2. Less nervous by thinking of how you breath
3. Get more alert/stronger by hyper ventilation (fast breathing)
4. Improved resting by slow, long and deep breathing
5. A focus on breathing will make you more relaxed while climbing

Just close your eyes and focus on breathing and notice what happens in your body and soul and you are half way there.

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