Yannick Flohé, #3 at the 2019 World Championships, has done Geocache in Frankenjura which he thought was 9a as he just needed three sessions. Last week, the German did Working class in just four tries giving it a personal 8c+ grade. (c) Cristoph Hanke
What is next and what is your 2021 ambition?
I tried Corona a couple of times and some other 9a's but Meiringen is already in two weeks so I’ll spend more times in the gym 😅 I’ll focus on the Boulder WC season and hopefully spent some time in Céüse again.
Barbara Zangerl reports on Insta that she has done the first repeat of Sprengstoff 9a in Lorünser Wändle. It was bolted some 25 years ago by Beat Kammerlander and Jacopo Larcher, her boyfriend and who also took the picture, did the FA last November. In total, Babsi projected it for a month calling it her probably hardest route ever.
"At the end of the day the coolest thing about such a project is that you wake up every single day highly motivated. I couldn’t wait to get there and just try as hard as I can and find the perfection of every single movement. It is probably my hardest and one of the best single pitches I have climbed."
How have you been able to train during the winter?
We have built our own small climbing wall at home. So we trained at home during winter.
What is your next plan?
In April and May, we will stay around home. We can’t travel because of the Covid situation. It is all a bit insecure at the moment. In June, we want to visit Norway to check out some multipitch climbing there. In summer I want to focus on big wall climbing. We will go to Pakistan to have a look on the Trango towers.
The Austrian has previously done four routes 8c+/9a and harder. Including also her boulder, trad and big wall tick list, she is the superior best female multi-discipline rock climber out there. As a matter of a fact, when it comes to big walls, only a couple of male have a better or equal tick list. In 2019, she was awarded National Geographic adventurer of the year.
Daniel Woods shares his totally amazing “Into the Wild” story of doing the FA of Return of the Sleepwalker 9A in Red Rock, with a perfect “Hollywood ending”. Previously, the 31-year-old had never projected a boulder for more than 15 days but this time he worked it for five months, not counting doing (the stand) Sleepwalker 8C+ in 2019. On Insta he has talked about the obsession and "how comfortable can you become with your own insanity." (c) Bobby Sorich
Could you please describe the process of taking it down and the "insanity"?
In order to get fit enough to do this line I only climbed on it for 3 months straight. Literally had one day where I went and tried something else. I told myself that complete obsession had to occur in order to understand how to perfect the movement on this climb. The upside to this approach is that I got fuckin strong on it. The downside was I really got into my head in a way that I had never done before. Sleep was deprived, I was alone a lot for the last 2-week portion of the sessions. Being alone is both depressing and empowering. I had to create my own positive energy in times where having energy from others would have helped a lot. I struggled to understand my reason for continuing to try it. I had many instances where I was like “dude just move on, climb other shit, go get stronger at home, and come back fresh next year. But this was a cop-out in the end. Something in me wanted to get the job done this season.
The final 16 days of my trip I put myself in complete isolation in the desert and camped. Every night I just watched video footage of myself on the line to stay psyched. I started talking to myself a lot as if someone was there with me haha. The final week the climb was starting to feel more stressful than fun. I’d wake up every morning with butterflies in my stomach, anxious to know if I could get one more move further or not. Waiting for the point where I was gonna see regression and then that was it for my motivation. But each day I told myself to go one move further... every day was just a training day to get fitter. 2 days before I sent I stuck the final move and fell kicking my toe hook up into the final end jug. I knew then that I had sent... but didn’t. I also knew I had one more good day left before conditions were too hot to do it. I put everything in on that final day and sent. Sent alone (got iPhone footy of the send). It was a powerful feeling doing it alone. My friend Jon Glassberg walked up as I was preparing for the final slab and filmed me topping out. Was a fuckin dope experience that I will take with me into the next projects.
So for the insanity piece of my statement, I felt crazy as fuck in my head. I had to accept this feeling of self uncertainty and rise above. My head was my most important muscle in getting the job done. Blocking out negativity and constantly creating self-reassurance.
Victor Baudrand, from Salt Lake City, has done L'Enfumette 8c+ in St Legér. "Feels good to get back to rope climbing. Hadn’t sport climbed in 6 months. Happy to get this thing done in 8 tries! A confidence boost for me!"
So how come you are in France?
I turned 18 in January and my mother helped me move to France by myself to climb because I finished high school early. My parents love rock climbing and are very supportive of my goals. The initial plan of the France trip was to visit the country, train and compete in local France competitions. However, soon after I arrived in France in early January, competitions began to get pushed back to later dates or cancelled. I took this opportunity to simply continue my bouldering training so I could stay strong for Fontainbleau. With rain and bad conditions, I only had a few days in Fontainbleau but it was amazing.
What is your next plan?
My plan is to move to Voiron so I can continue to train with the French team and so that I am close to climbing areas like Ceuse. I would like to test myself on a 9a. Later this summer I also have planned to compete on the IFSC Lead World Cup circuit.
What about the coming new lockdown?
I am able to continue my life in France even with the new Lockdown and COVID restrictions because I have a “high level athlete” pass that allows me to continue to train and travel around France.
Alex Johnson, who did her first 8A, out of 23, in 2008 has done her second 8B, The Swarm in Buttermilks. "I’ve tried The Swarm several times over the last 10 years. My first trip out to project I spent 3 months trying it, and in the years that followed, each time I went, I got more and more discouraged. Taking a few years away from it was the best thing I could have done for my mental game. Part of me wondered if I’d ever go back..... but I’m really glad I did!! We went up 6 days this trip, but I was only able to climb 4 days due to GNARLY WINDS." (c) Bree Robles
Alex has won two World Cups, the latest in 2010 when she was #4 overall. She stopped competing in 2015 but was on it again last year when she tried to make the Olympics and her best result was #7 in Bouldering.
Daniel Woods reports on Insta, (c) Bobby Sorich, that he has done the FA of Return of the Sleepwalker 9A which is a pure 8B sit start into Jimmy Webb's Sleepwalker 8C+ in Red Rocks. Video from 2019 when Daniel did the 8C+.
"It’s all just a game people... and I play the game
The game is how comfortable can you become with your own insanity"
Already in February, he announced that he had done Sleepwalker from the stand 15 times out of which four times during one session. His insanity is best explained in an Insta one week ago where he, among other things, says; "I don’t sleep at night because of it. I don’t think about anything else in life besides internally feeling my flow on this thing. Figuring out how to speed sections up, when to breathe, when to hold my breath, when to ramp up, when to slow down."
The 31-year-old has created headlines during the last 15 years, and with more than 25 8C's and 6 8C+'s he has the most impressive boulder tick list in the world. Add to that 20+ 9a to 9b as well as winning a World Cup in 2010, and he is one of the world's best sport climbers. More to come including a video!
Alex Garriga, who previously has repeated three 9a+ and done seven 9a FAs, has done the FA of Malleus Maleficarum 9a+ in Cuenca. "The hardest thing I ever did by far. Brutal thanks, my friends." (c) Alfonso Martinez
Please describe the route. How many one- and two-finger pockets etc?
5-6 one finger and around 8 two fingers. Starts with 10 m 7c+ then a hard boulder with a low percentage move, followed by a big roof with big moves and then a vertical finish with a lot of endurance. In total 30-35 meters. It is the route that has cost me the most.
What is next?
Trying to do the routes and boulders close to my home until the situation improve. We are not allowed to leave our region in Spain. I would like to try some routes in Cataluña someday.
"Seb Bouin heads to the crag where the evolution of french free climbing took place, and to meet the protagonists who created the pages in its history books."
Jorge Diaz-Rullo reports on Insta that he has repeated Chris Sharma's First Round First Minute 9b in Margalef. (c) Adri Martinez
The 21-year-old did the easier variation First Ley 9a+ at the beginning of March and then he needed nine more sessions to link it to the final two quick draw crux of FRFM. In total, he has now done six 9b's and 13 9a+ and Jorge has been the #1 in the 8a ranking game the last two years.
Loic Zehani has done tha FA of Les colos travlo 9a (+) in Orgon. "It is a very natural route with a great gesture bolted by Olivier Bert. It is a resistance route in an overhang. You have to do the same 1st hard section as "Les colos fachos" then a nice diagonal on the right with beautiful movements. For the difficulty, I would say a small 9a+ or only a big 9a. This is the most beautiful hard route of Orgon."
In total, the 19-year-old has done 29 routes 9a to 9b out of which 17 FAs. Loic did his first 9a at age 13, video, and it is still unrepeated.
by 8a Founder and Editor-in-Chief Jens Larssen including also Analyses, Reviews, Training, Polls and Opinions etc.
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