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Charles Albert opens 9A in Font barefoot  (1) Facebook

Grimper reports that Charles Albert has made the FA of a 9A in Fontainebleau. "Mowgli" stopped using shoes some five years ago and says the biggest problem is that you have to rest more in order for the toe skin to recover.

Video from last year when he got close. Previously he has done a handful 8C's and one 8C+ in Fontainebleau, out of which several unrepeated.

La Fabelita 8c by Nika Potapova (15)  (1) Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureNika Potapova has done her second 8c, La Fabelita in Santa Linya. The pic by Henning Wang is three years old when she first tried it being 12 years old.

"She worked on the route just for few days and fell several times on the last hard move on her last day. The hanger of the last bolt had fell of so she took some very long falls and hit the wall some times due to a bad belayer. Great will power to try hard."

Some months later she did her her first 8c. When she was 13 years old, Nika hung on the Zlagboard for some 2 min and 40 seconds, which is an un-official female world record.

8B and 8A+ flashes by Vadim Timonov  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureVadim Timonov has flashed his second 8B, PFC in Albarracin where he the day before flashed Zarzaparilla 8A+. One year ago he had a bad snow board accident where he ruptured the acromion joint that left him with two plates in the shoulder. He started training in May and then in September he was #25 in the Boulder WCH. More pics and training videos on his Insta.

Ondra's Hot Pork Sundae 8b from a drone perspective  Facebook

Le monde perdu 8a+ by Cathy Wagner (53)  (6) Facebook

Cathy Wagner has done her 149th 8a+, Le monde perdu in Destel. "An exceptional route defined by a very physical endurance effort (for me anyway) as you climb on the edge of a prow-like overhang. Took me 2 days to get the right beta and was totally wasted afterwards! Today, I managed to send it straight away after warming-up, thanks to the perfect conditions and Seb cheering me. Getting fit again after a bad cold which lasted 3 weeks feels good!

In total the 53 year old has done 703 routes 8a to 8b during the last 25 years. Interestingly, like one third she has done second go. Possibly it is time to raise the bar to 8b+ in 2019?

13 boulders 7C to 8A+ by Max Bertone (11)  Facebook

Max Bertone, little brother to Oriane, starts to catch up to her level. During two weeks, the 11 year old has done 13 boulders 7C to 8A+, ouct of which second go of Proa 7C+ and Light Saber 8A+ in less than ten tries sticks out. As a matter of a fact, the latter was put up by Dave Graham as an 8B but it has been recorded as a soft 8A. Both are captured in this video.

The Wheel of Fortune 8B by Isabelle Faus  (2) Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureIsabelle Faus has done her
17th 8B, The Wheel of Fortune in Clear Creek Canyon and she is #1 in the 8a ranking game. In total, she has now done 107 boulders 8A to 8B+. Next project is Memory is Parallax 8B+.

"Started trying last year. Two of the moves took me like ten sessions to be able to do... super outta my style... one huge move and another really dynamic pop. Coming of an injury I was kinda using this boulder as a way to learn how to do big moves. Last year after a lot of effort I eventually made my way to the last move... and then we flew to Swiss the next day.

This year I got back to my high point quickly and fell there a bunch. Then yesterday I found slightly better beta for this move and did it pretty quick after that. Really satisfying to do moves easily that last year seemed crazy... next is the top section and try and link em."

The Master Key 8B by Oriane Bertone (13)  (11) Facebook

Oriane Bertone has done another three hard boulders in Rocklands; Sassy squash 8A, The arch 8A+and The Master Key in Rocklands. "Fantastic hidden boulder ! One hard move. I found my beta at the third session and solve this problem. Very happy for this ascent!

In total, the 13 year old has now done 39 boulders 8A to 8B+, out of which 19 the last 12 months and she is #2 in the 8a ranking game. One more 8B, and she takes over the crown from Isabelle Faus.

8c+ and 8B's FA by Toni Lamprecht (47)  (4) Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureToni Lamprecht, legendary hard core FA-ionist in all disciplines; 9a routes, 8C boulders, 8c MPs and 8c DWS, has recorded his sends from 2018. On the pic he shows god adaptation to the modern school with his double dyno of Seitensprung 8c in Kochel. Add to that 8c+ and 8B boulders FAs. With his 88 kg on his 187 cm, the 47 year old might be the biggest multi-discipline climber operating world class level. In total he has put some 2 000 boulders, routes, MPs and DWS. 8a interview from 2009 - Insta 2019.

What are you most impressed by the new generation?
The most impressive is the huge number of very very good climbers and a lot of them almost unknown, too. And of course the top five people doing everything from boulder to multipitch and they seem very "grounded" and open minded. Wish the political world would have leaders like that..

How do you train nowadays and what is your 2019 ambition?
Normally 2-3 times in the week. I rest if I go skiing or in the summer while surfing. No training the last years only climbing outdoors or trying projects, because my "old" body needs a lot of rest after every climbing day.
In 2019 I'd like to try a really hard boulder project nearhome (15m roof), work on the FSK-Project, a possible solid 9th-grade-route and travel a lot for skiing.

A Muerte 9a by Jan Hojer  (5) Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureJan Hojer, #3 in the Combined WCH in Innsbruck, has done his second 9a route, A Muerte in Siurana. His first was Action Directe in 2010. The 186 cm tall and 78 kg powerhouse has also done the 9b DWS, Es Pontas last year.

"My only goal for the 2019 season is to qualify for the Olympics. If I qualify at the world championship I will spend a lot of time on rock afterwards! Right now I just want to enjoy some rock before the season starts and climb a bunch of nice routes here in Spain."

How many World Cups do you plan to do this year?
As many as I need to qualify for Toulouse. (The qualification event for the ones not getting their ticket in the WCH). If I have great results in Meiringen and Moscow I will not go to China.

How much Speed focus in your training?
I try to train speed once a week but haven’t done any leg training. I think with better coordination and technique I can still improve a lot. I hope to get to 6.7 until the world championship.

8B and two 8A+' by Ashima Shiraishi (17)  (2) Facebook

Ashima Shiraishi, #5 in the Lead WCH in Innsbruck, reports on her Insta that she has done two 8A+' and Tilted World 8B. (c) Ben Burk

The 17 year old is a contender for having the best boulder and route ticklist out of all female. She did her first 9a being 14 years old and two years ago she did an 8C boulder, Horizon.

Two 7C+' by Keegan Sullivan (9) in Hueco Tanks  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureKeegan Sullivan, who did his first 7C when he was 7 years old having climbed in just over a year, has done two 7C+'s in Hueco Tanks; Dead Serious and Stubby of the Bush Veldt. During the week he also sent three 7C's and onsighted two 7A+' and three 7A's.

His father Brandon comments, "Being in Hueco exemplifies what we love about climbing. In traditional sports, few athletes have the opportunity to engage with the professional experience. Yet in climbing, we can visit the same venues, read the same beta, and pull on the same holds as the legends that precede us. Keegan loved the opportunity to send problems that have been ticked by many of his idols."

Family blog with more pics
and info about also his two younger bouldering brothers Killian (7) and Lochlann (5).

Amazing 8a offwidth trad fight by Adam Ondra  (2) Facebook

A Muerte 9a (8c+) by Vojtěch Trojan (19)  (1) Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureVojtěch Trojan, who won the Czech bouldering Championship last month, has done his first 9a (8c+), A Muerte in Siurana. (c) Martin Pelikán

"It took me 5 days. I think that this route suits me well. It's short, bouldery and powerful, almost without rest, pretty similar to competition climbing style nowadays. definitely one of the best routes I've ever climbed.

In 2019, I'm gonna try my best in WC circuit for sure, but still want to focus at outdoor climbing more than ever."

Three years ago, Vojtěch fell from 8 meters in the gym and which also created some fatigue syndroms and it was not until last year he could train maximum again. His personal best was 8c before A Muerte which he did two weeks ago in Margalef.

Eight 8A's by Karoline Sinnhuber  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureKaroline Sinnhuber, #8 in the last Boulder WC 2018, has had a very productive trip doing eight 8A's out of which La persistencia de la memoria (8A+ in the topo) and Pamplemousse 8A sticks out. "Might be the most beautiful boulder in Ticino." (c) Michael Eisenmann - Entwash.

"I was in Ticino from 26th December till 5th January. Due to perfect weather we had only 3 rest days. I spent a lot of time in the gym the last couple of weeks to get in shape for the trip, which worked out quite well. I havn't really done much boulders in Ticino yet, so I decided to literally "run through" the 8As and go for harder stuff next time. I might return in February for a week or so, if the weather is fine.

2019... I'm super psyched at the moment for outdoor climbing! Definitely have to go to Maltatal again to finish "Air" 8B. Rocklands in summer are also tempting to finish "Ray of Light" and "L'Arche", both 8B. Or maybe Hueco through December. So many wishes and possibilities, so little money to spend! Bummer. Regarding competitions: we will see how it goes. There are now only 5 starting spots (instead of 6) for the world cups and we are around 10 girls who want to compete. And the young guns are pretty strong :)"
Full blogspot report with more superb pictures.

Two 8B's by Clay Gordon (17)  (5) Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureClay Gordon reports on Insta that he has sent in different days but in one session, two 8B's in Bishop, Spectre and Buttermilker. He also did The Mystery 8A+ and Evilution Direct 8A. Pic from Spectre, © Michael Pang

Clay was 4th at the Youth World Championships in 2016 and four times he has been the national champion in USA.

Estato Critico 9a (8c+) by Marcello Bombardi  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureMarcello Bombardi, winner of the Chamonix Lead WC in 2017, has done Estato Critico 9a (8c+) and L'odi Social 8c+ in Siurana. (c) Elisa Negro

"They took me two days each, five attempts for Estado Critico and seven for L'odi social. In 2019 I will focus on the competition and especially on the combined, trying to get a pass for Tokyo 2020. It would be a dream to qualify for the Olympics."

Goofy 8c by Alex Totkova (13)  (1) Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureAlex Totkova, who is #9 in the 8a ranking game, has done her first 8c, Goofy in Leonidio. "Cool route is Goofy. It starts with less difficult movements. You can squeeze your knees twice. Passage is the transfer from one route to the other. Then go on 8a+."

Alex compared her previous achievement, a route called "4x4" at the home crag Vratsa 8b+, as "The cruxes at Groofy were riskier. Now I would try something harder"."

Oriane Bertone takes her spider style to new levels  (43) Facebook

Oriane Bertone continues her rampage in Rocklands by doing Law and order 8A+, Pendragon 8A and onsighting Tail of a Caracal giving it a personal 8A grade. To make it even more impressive, the daily max temperature have reached 35 degrees the last days. "Cool traverse, called 8A+ on the topo. I felt it 8A soft (à single hard move at the beginning). May be 7C+ in comparison with Atomic Playboy in Font, that I climbed in october. Very happy to send onsight this crimpy traverse."

In total, the 13 year old has done 36 boulders 8A to 8B+ out of which half the last year. The video shows her amazing spider women technique with the feet sometimes like 1 meter above her head! Truly amazing!

Esclatamasters 9a by Laura Rogora (17)  (1) Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureLaura Rogora, who did her first 9a when she was 14 years old, has done her fifth, Esclatamasters in Perles. It was put up by Ramon Julian Puigblanque in 2007 and we have seen some 8c+ suggestions but then a hold broke in 2015 and the 9a grade has been confirmed again. (c) Marco Lacono

The 17 year old has been a successfull competition climber for several years and in 2017, she was #6 in the European Championship and also #6 in a World Cup. Last year, she won all three European Lead Youth Cups she entered as well as the Youth Worlds in Bouldering.

Heiko Queitsch

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Andreas Hanisch

Kirk Windstein Stand 7c
+, Cresciano

Junimond 7c+
Incze Ábel

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Bram Honorez

el varano, 7C+ Albarra
Jamie Leland

Public Enemy 7c+, Super
stition Mountains
Miska Izakovicova

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Nicholas Allan

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Maria Amzaroiu (f)

oys are back in town
Gonçalo "Gongas" Coutinho

"Manuel Fruto do Mel" -
6a - Atlântida
Leo Skinner

rich skinner - sansa 7c
Kathrin Ziegler

Goldener Mittelweg
Bram Honorez

La persistencia de la m
emoria 8A+, chironico
Ricardo Costa

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Oriane Bertone (f)

Oriane Bertone : Boven
"Jack of all trades" 8a
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Gus Carter

Planet of the Apes V7/7
Katrin Gründler

roof warrior
Sebastian Maya

El Techo del Puma, Ciud
ad Universitaria, Méxic
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Editorial by 8a Founder and Editor-in-Chief Jens Larssen including also Analyses, Reviews, Training, Polls and Opinions etc.
Lack of relationship between performance, chronic injuries and BMI  (1) Facebook
Gudmund Grønhaug, project leader at Østfold hospital trust and Flatanger pioneer, has recently published a study showing no associations of performance, chronic injuries and BMI. The study, which includes a web-based questionnaire with 667 climber, is one of the largest epidemiological studies on climbers so far and the only to assess chronic injuries alone.

Although the conclusion seems counter intuitive, the study gives a good explanation on the lack of relationship between performance, chronic injuries and BMI.

For a short-term goal, losing weight might seem to be a good idea to increase the strength to weight ratio. Still, loosing weight means to put a significant stress on the body by under-eating. In this period of undernourishment, the possibility for injuries and sickness or disease raises at the same time as the ability to train as hard as possible drops. In periods of malnutrition restitution is prolonged as well. And that’s for the short-term goals!

In the longer term it seems to be a far better idea to have a few kilos extra, live a happy life and train injury free rather than being skinny! The reason is simple; the body adapts to whatever stress we put to it and losing weight also means training with a lower resistance at each repetition.
The full paper is to be found here.
Robinson in beautiful Swiss up to 8B+  Facebook
40+ Sport Climber of 2018 - Draft  Facebook
1. Chuck Odette (63)
2. Cathy Wagner (53)
3. Toni Lamprecht (47)
4. Franz Fackler (48)
5. Dai Koyamada (42)
6. Iker Pou (41)
7. Maggie Odette (48)
8. Fabrizio Peri (47)
9. Israel Olcina (43)
10. Matteo Gambaro, Nicola Vonarburg, Johnny Dawes (54), Dino Lagni (50), Gareth Parry (45), Bernhard Schwaiger (43), Jędrzej Wilczyński (44), Duygu Haug (42), Katrin Grûndler (40)
IFSC need to clarify the bouldering "onsight" rule  (15) Facebook
Almost everyone knows that you are not allowed to look at the next boulder during comps although it is called flash. However, sometimes it is almost impossible to not have a glance of your next boulder once checking your personal boulder.

The big problem is that in the rules, there is no paragraph, saying that you are not allowed to look at other climbers trying your upcoming boulders. Most probably, a climber checking the other boulders, will be told to not do so by the judges but nevertheless, the important beta might just have been found.

What will happen if a climber neglects what the judge say and go around checking the other boulders during the Olympic qualifications? Based on the rules, it seems very hard for the judge to disqualify that person as he/she is not breaking any rules, beside fair play.

IFSC need to add a paragraph saying that bouldering is an onsight competition, as in Lead, where you are not allowed to see the other climbers trying your upcoming boulders.
Teenager Sport Climber of 2018 - Draft  (5) Facebook
1. Janja Garnbret (19)
2. Oriane Bertone (13)
3. Laura Rogora (17)
4. Jakub Konecny (19)
5. Rei Kawamata (15)
6. Moritz Welt (17)
7. Kai Harada (19)
8. Futaba Ito (16)
9. Meichi Narasaki (19)
10. Chaehyeon Seo (14), Sandra Lettner (17), Margo Hayes (19), Loic Zehani (17), Keita Dohi (17), Giorgia Tesio (18), Angie Scarth-Johnson (14), Alex Totkova (13), Ema Seliškar (14), Illya Bakhmet-Smolenskyi (13), Filip Schenk (18), Philipp Gaßner (18), Zander Waller (15), Natsuki Tanii (15), Elena Krasovskaia (18), , Brooke Raboutou (17), Sam Avezou (17), Ai Mori (15), Shuta Tanaka (17), Alberto Lopez (16), Katie Malinowski (18), Cameron Hörst (16), Conner Herson (15), Jan Vopat (15), Jakob Kronberger (17), Kintana Iltis (15), Lukas Mayerhofer (18), Clay Gordon (17), Lucka Rakovec (17), Hannah Slaney (19), Vita Lukan (18), Nika Potapova (15) Yannick Flohé (19)
"IFSC" onsight and flash use are contradictory  (18) Facebook
IFSC Lead semis and finals are run in onsight format. This means that the athletes are allowed to look at the routes for five minutes, even with binoculars. Further more they are allowed to cooperate and discuss and sometimes they draw sketches in the iso. In practice, also including the often straight forward route setting, most athletes share the same sequences often making the semis quite boring, like they were flashing or even redpointing big parts of the route.

In IFSC bouldering semis, the athletes get much less possibility to check the boulders and they are now allowed to cooperate. The key is often finding the right beta but nevertheless this format is considered flash.

In Lead comps, the definition of flash is totally the opposite. The athletes are provided with a beta video and they can sit and look at each other climbing. Further more, they can talk even to the guys having tried the climb.

It must be quite confusing especially for the non-climbers why IFSC commentators say bouldering semis are run in flash format as it clearly is a more pure onsight, in comparsion to the Lead onsight format.

It should be mentioned that in the IFSC rules, they never define whether bouldering is run in flash or onsight format. In other words, it is the commentators and climbers who confusingly call it flash.
Onsight bouldering is perfect for kids  Facebook
Click to Enlarge PictureThe biggest challenge you can do in climbing is to try to onsight it, i.e. having no beta of how to execute the moves. This means also quite moderate climbs can turn into great test-pieces. Also Adam Ondra started off with a focus on onsight and this is what I always have told the eager parents to prodigy kids.

Just let them climb as many routes and boulders as possible onsight. This will reduce the grade hysteria and instead focus on solving puzzles. I mean, why should you as a parent try to guide them where to put the foot or in which order they should take the hand holds, when you do not have a clue anyhow.

Her are some further comments of Brandon Sullivan, after reading the avove draft article. He is a father of three sons 5, 7 and Keegan 9, who just came back from a Hueco Trip.

"By the end of the trip, Keegan had onsighted dozens of routes, including many classics. His proudest onsights were Big Iron on His Hip V7 and Hector in a Blender V7. He nearly flashed Better Eat Your Wheaties V9. He was confused on some of the moves and talked them out prior to his first attempt. After he worked his way through the crux, he hit a “rest” crimp and asked for the next move. I didn’t think he could span to the next decent hold so I suggested an intermediate. He went for the smaller hold and fell. Turns out, he could reach the better hold and sent next go. Maybe if dad didn’t spray he would have achieved the flash!

As a parent of budding youth climbers, I fully endorse focusing on onsights. It opens the entire guidebook to challenges regardless of grade, and adds a lot of fun to a day outdoors. It’s also a great method for practicing for indoor competitions, and takes the pressure off of constantly projecting at the top of one’s limits."
Karoshi 8C FA Paul Robinson  Facebook
Paul Robinson, who has done 924 boulders 8A and harder, out of which a couple hundreds FA, has published a great video of his FA of Karoshi 8C in Hueco Tanks.

"Karoshi was a line that I found with my good buddy Keith. We were going over to see the newly reopened new map of hell. When we got there, we were blown away by this line that went straight out of the center. It looked possible and I went to working trying to figure out the moves. I spent multiple days that trip on the line but with the warm temps, I left Hueco for the season. I came back to Hueco in December of 2018 with one objective, to climb this boulder! I trained hard before the trip and felt stronger on the project than on it the season before! I was psyched and after a few more days of working it, I was able to make the first ascent of this crimpy and powerful test piece! I cannot wait for others to try this one!"

9a FA by Dalton Bunker in American Fork  Facebook
Dalton Bunker, who has done five 8c+' in 2018, has done his first 9a through the FA of In Hell I'll Be in Good Company".
Onsight & Flash definition in Bouldering  (2) Facebook
Click to Enlarge PictureIn 2005, 8a presented a suggestion for Practice and Ethics in Sport climbing which can be said to be the first guidelines in climbing and it has worked out quite well with the traffic light system.

"In sport climbing, compared to most other sports, there are few written rules or use of referees. Instead, the climbing community creates and circulates their own Practice & Ethics. Beginners are sometimes struggling to understand what is "normal" behavior and what's allowed and what's not. Over time, the general procedure has been modified and in different subcultures different ethics apply."

Two year later we presented some bouldering ethics but it did not include guidelines for flashes and onsights. Here is the 8a suggestions and please feel free to comment.

Flash: It is OK to watch a video and touch any holds you can reach from the starting position. If it is a roof near the ground it would NOT be OK to feel every hold and work the sequences just by dragging a foot on the ground. You are not allowed to rappel down the boulder and look at all holds. Once you leave the ground you can NOT reverse and save the onsight as sometimes is done in route redpoints.

Onsight: You are only allowed to touch the holds you can reach from the starting positions. If it is a roof or traverse, you are allowed to look at all holds. You are allowed to get beta where the line goes and where it tops out. You can discuss the beta with any person who has no knowledge about the climb. Your friends are not allowed to say anything but cheering you on.

It should be noted that onsight bouldering is quite rare and we seldom report it. At the same time, 8a thinks this is the best style for kids. Having a coach or parent telling them where to put the feet and hands are not so educational and fun for the kids.

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