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The Swarm 8B by Katie Lamb

The Swarm 8B by Katie Lamb

Katie Lamb has done her sixth 8B in 2020, The Swarm in Buttermilks after seven sessions. In the 8a ranking game, the 23-year-old is #5. (c) Eric Bissell

"Every day for one whole year I have dreamed of The Swarm. It was my child, my light, my life. I wanted to prove myself as a crimper, and there is no boulder in the US more sacred to crimping crumpets than this one. Once I committed to learning the ways of the patina and listening to the whispers of the Owen’s Valley and ancient Bristlecone Pines the boulder was attainable. Every day that I felt close to sending, the boulder said “do it again”. I took inspiration from my friend Duke (who has the spirit of Santa’s elf) and eventually I found myself topping out the glory slab and standing atop the boulder of my dreams. Pure! Bliss! A merry Christmas kiss from the mountains!"

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Daemonologie 9a FA by Alex Garriga

Daemonologie 9a FA by Alex Garriga

Alex Garriga has done his second 9a FA in Cuenca during the last week, Daemonologie. "The route shares the hard first half of El carnicero the rostov, a 9a I did in February. Then a bad rest in two 2 finger pockets followed by an endurance challenge with big moves on big holds. (c) Alfonso Martinez

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LATEST VIDEOS

"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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The Story of Two Worlds 8C by Alex Megos

The Story of Two Worlds 8C by Alex Megos

Alex Megos, who has been appointed 8a Climber of the year, has done Dave Graham’s classic The Story of Two Worlds 8C in Cresciano from 2005. The name actually refers to the grading inflation at the time which basically stopped after Graham's statement. "I worked on it for four days I think. Day one and two were to figure out beta and to climb sequences. On day three it rained, so the second half was completely wet. I managed to get through the bottom bit and got close to sending it but fell three moves before the topout. The day after that it was dry again and I did it first try that day after warming up. We left a little after to drive back home again." (c) Alise Zvigule

On Insta he explains that he did not use kneepads and discusses ethics and the importance to also report HOW things are climbed. "There are various videos online from lots of different climbers, all theoretically climbing the same boulder and claiming the same grade- 8C. It seems like the climbing community is not differentiating at all and rarely mentioning HOW things are climbed."

Already in 2002, 8a published Ethics and Practice in Sport Climbing and we have done also presented the "How" in bouldering several times. Chatting with Megos, he also mentions that a proper sit start makes a big difference on The Story. As a matter of a fact, HOW a proper sitstart should be done has been discussed several times on 8a. One dilemma is whether shorter climbers are allowed to use the same starting holds a taller FA reached. As a matter of a fact, Dai Koyamada (165 cm), did the first repeat in 2010 but then did choose to go back in 2012 to do it again as some said he had not started in the same sitting position as Graham (181 cm) had done. Actually, Koyamada did then start laying down and said his variation was 8C+. 8a's take on this is similar to what Megos thinks. You can start anywhere you like, possibly by stacking pads if you are shorter, as long as you express this "HOW" clearly and possibly give your variation a different grade.

We also asked Megos to give further comments in regards the use of kneepads. "I think everyone can climb with kneepads if he wants to. But he should be honest whether or not he thinks it makes it easier. Some people just climb to tick a grade. So even if they find new beta or use a kneepad which makes it easier they still claim to have done a certain grade although it might have been easier. I just hope people can be honest. That's all 😊 Merry Christmas."

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In total Adam Ondra spent 44 days in the Margalef and Oliana out of with 15 days was spent working and trying Perfecto Mundo 9b+.

The Final Countdown Perfecto Mundo 9b+

In total Adam Ondra spent 44 days in the Margalef and Oliana out of with 15 days was spent working and trying Perfecto Mundo 9b+.

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UFO faire XXL 9a by Loic Zehani (19)

Loic Zehani has done his 9a #20, UFO faire XXL in Calanques. "It is a connection between "UFO" 8c (one of the first 8c in France, bolted by Fred Roulhing) and "XXL" 8c +. You have to do all the hard part of "UFO" and then the bouldery crux of "XXL" with a little rest in between. It took me 5 days. I fell 3 times on the last hard movement. It's a very physical route. I think it's a 9a especially since the bouldery section is harder following the breakage of a little part of a hold. You can watch a try on my Instagram where I fall in the last movement."

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Blue Line 8c by Solveig Korherr

Blue Line 8c by Solveig Korherr

Solveig Korherr has done her seventh 8c in 2020, Blue Line in Geyik bayiri. (c) Jon Shen "Two days. First Female Ascent. Ceusienne Berlin style rock after 20 meters of easier tufa approach. Happy that I was able to cram two fingers into some of the tiny pockets. Quite atypical of Geyikbayiri."

So how many climbers are around? What about Covid-19 restrictions and how long will you stay?
Turkey has been great so far! It’s getting very busy now especially with the holidays starting, so there are quite a few climbers around. It’s hard to tell because there a lot of different campgrounds and I’m in a smaller one but probably around 100 climbers. Tourist can do everything, there are no restrictions for us. I will probably stay here till mid of January.

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Aidan Roberts made his breakthrough at the world scene at the end of this summer. During six weeks, he made six FA's 8B+ to Superpower 8C+. Lattice Training got his breakthrough on film and Tom Randell gives us more insight.

"Aidan is extremely intelligent/academic but at the same time climbing super hard and also crazy humble about it all... I'm going to have to shout about it for him 😂. He's studying at top UK university in a maths degree and so has to balance this with climbing performance. A kid with many things on his plate!

This film follows Aidan repeating multiple 8Bs to then establishing first ascents all the way up to 8C and 8C+ with Superpowers and Outliers. Whilst you all know these grades have been climbed before elsewhere, you may not know the context of Aidan and the Lakeland grading - he's not soft and neither are the grades! One of his FAs from Colorado established previously (Railway, 8C) has been tried by some of the world's best boulderers and yet has only had a single repeat by Matt Fultz..."

Worldclass breakthrough in six weeks - Aidan Roberts

Aidan Roberts made his breakthrough at the world scene at the end of this summer. During six weeks, he made six FA's 8B+ to Superpower 8C+. Lattice Training got his breakthrough on film and Tom Randell gives us more insight.

"Aidan is extremely intelligent/academic but at the same time climbing super hard and also crazy humble about it all... I'm going to have to shout about it for him 😂. He's studying at top UK university in a maths degree and so has to balance this with climbing performance. A kid with many things on his plate!

This film follows Aidan repeating multiple 8Bs to then establishing first ascents all the way up to 8C and 8C+ with Superpowers and Outliers. Whilst you all know these grades have been climbed before elsewhere, you may not know the context of Aidan and the Lakeland grading - he's not soft and neither are the grades! One of his FAs from Colorado established previously (Railway, 8C) has been tried by some of the world's best boulderers and yet has only had a single repeat by Matt Fultz..."

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