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Guère d’usure 8c by Théo Blass (11)

Guère d’usure 8c by Théo Blass (11)

Théo Blass, who last became the youngest ever to have reached 8c, has done one more, Guère d'usure in Claret. His father Vladimir comments, "Claret is a beautiful and rather old school crag in the South of France famous for its hard grading and big but relatively safe (if you have a good belayer) runouts. Most route names are well thought through, funny and original and involve a degree of double meaning or play on words. "Guere d'usure" phonetically means "war of attrition" but the grammatical meaning is something like "hardly any wear".
(c) Laurent Dormont

Here are some further thoughts from Vladimir from last year when Théo had done his first 8c.

"Theo started climbing more regularly when he was 8 (he was climbing before, but quite irregularly). His progression was quite interesting: it took him a few months of projecting to send his first 6b+ (on top rope) and then he progressed from 6b+ to 8b in less than a year and a half. His training is a bit chaotic and highly dependent on motivation, time of the year and availability of other more fun activities (such as mountain biking, skiing or building a shack in the garden). At the beginning of the lockdown he trained a lot at our small home bouldering wall but then he lost motivation and did not train for a month.

From the dad's perspective, there are two key takeaways from the experience of belaying, watching, encouraging, counselling, supporting and occasionally arguing with Theo about beta: (1) adult grades are a bit of a nonsense when it comes to kids - two of the hardest moves on the route for Theo are among the easiest for adults - so not worth getting too excited about grades (especially when you are under 1m40); (2) even if fear, frustration and failure are part of the game, climbing kids of the world, enjoy every moment of climbing, projecting, trying hard, sending and try to have fun, and confidence - the future belongs to you."

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Estado Critico 9a by Giorgio Tomatis (17)

Estado Critico 9a by Giorgio Tomatis (17)

Giorgio Tomatis has done his fourth 9a, Estado Critico in Siurana after some 15 days projecting over two trips. In regards, Covid-19 Tomatis says he had to do tests before and after returning back home to Italy. Also during his stay, they made precautions.

"I had started trying this route on Christmas holidays last year with my friend Marcello Bombardi who had already done it a few years ago. This year thankfully the climatic conditions were a little better and I managed to close it after about 15 attempts. I think it's the most beautiful route I've ever done.

I think the helmet is a very important thing because a bad fall could lead to serious damage if you hit your head somewhere something that with the helmet would not involve any risk, I will certainly always continue to use it because safety is first and a good helmet does not compromise the performance. "

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"This boulder just suited me very well, and with every session, I felt stronger and stronger on the underclings. 10 sessions this season and around 5 or 6 last season. I think I fell going to the sloper from the bottom almost 30 times before I stuck it on point.""

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Martina Demmel breakthrough of the year 2020

Martina Demmel breakthrough of the year 2020

Martina Demmel did 202 routes 8a and harder in 2020, out of which 31 onsights. Add to that 254 onsights of the seventh grade. In the 8a Top-50 onsight game she was #1 ahead of all male. In spite of only climbing indoors when it is too cold or too wet, she also did her debut in the Lead WC, where she made it to the semi. Amazingly, the 19-year-old started to climb at age 16! (c) Christian Seitz

"Hard to say where this progress comes from but probably climbing on lots of different routes in every kind of style and giving every route an onsight try at first maybe helped me the most. My route reading skills improved a lot but why it was exactly this year I simply don't know but spending lots of time at my local crags this spring without a time limit really lowered the pressure ;).

Lots of plans in my mind but first of all, I hope that everyone stays safe and healthy and that we hope will be able to travel more again without any restrictions. Climbing wise, I really want to improve even more on my mental side, test myself in some harder stuff, try to convert my weaknesses into my strength and to climb on lots of different routes!😊☀️💃

I haven't had a trainer but now in the national team I'm probably starting to work with one a little bit but in general. I'm more the person who tries to learn by her own and doesn't really likes a structured plan f.e.😉

I'm also planning to take part in a few more comps as this is such a nice motivation boost climbing in front of a hopefully big crowd and to fully be able to perform in one moment💥! Dreaming about getting the chance to take part in a few more world cups which is turning more into reality as I just made it into the national team😊 And to always do only what I love😍"

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