Mile Heyden jumps from 8A to 8B+  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureMile Heyden has done an amazing jump from 8A to do Feuerwalze 8B+ in Schwäbische Alb.

So how many session, any specific indoor training and what is next with the 8B+ confidence?
"I think about 20 to 25 sessions :) First I just wanted to do the second part which is 8A but this I did in only one session what was really cool :) I recreated the boulder in our gym and did a specific undercut training (like the beastmaker 7sec program). I also did lots of boulders with many moves for the endurance.

Now with 8B+ confident I think I will dare to try some more harder boulders :) There are some really cool lines in for example Silvretta I always wanted to do like Charity Bouldern (8a+). And I think I will try all the open projects, also a 6A jump I never was able to do! Maybe it`s able now:) But first I have to go rope climbing with my boyfriend because he spotted me all the time (really don`t like rope climbing :))"

Studio Bloc Masters with 10 000 Euro in prize money  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureStudio Bloc Masters will take place this weekend with live streaming on Sunday. Semi starts 11.30 and the final 16.00. In total 500 athletes from 34 countries will participate including more than 50 % of the best ranked in the 2016 World Cup. The prize money is Euro 10 000 and all profit will be donated to Climbers Against Cancer.

Only 6 in the Olympic Speed Final  Facebook

IFSC has informed 8a that there will only be six in the Speed finals in the Combined format. What they previously said, which 8a questioned, was wrong.

"For the Speed Final the concept of “Lucky loser” (7° and 8° ranked Athletes in the 1/8th finals) applies, as a quota of 6 does not allow the duel system."

IFSC says now that the six finalist will compete in three Duels and that the winners as well as the best time of the losers will qualify to the semifinal.

Three 8B's in Font in day by Nicolas Pelorson  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureNicolas Pelorson, Euro Youth Champion last year who just was #2 in French nationals, has done three 8B's in a day in Fontainebleau: Gecko Assis 8B+, Khéops and Satan i Helvete in the picture, without his left shoe. In fact he also did Verdict 8A on the his amazing record breaking day. In the 8a combined ranking game, the 19 year old is #6.

"I have previously had one session on "Satan i Helvete", two on "Khéops" and two on "Gecko". Conditions were perfect, not much sun and a little fresh wind. I did "Satan" with only one shoe because there is a kind of 2 finger pocket hold for the left foot which is impossible to use with a climbing shoe. Barefoot, I can put my big toe into this hold and it's easier."

Fish Eye 8c by Ella Adamovska (15)  (1) Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureElla Adamovska reports on Instagram that she has done her first 8c, Fish Eye in Oliana. Last week, the Czech did her first 8b+ and in total she has done six routes 8a and harder in Oliana. In 2015, she was #7 in the Youth World Championship.

Speed and the importance of breathing  (1) Facebook

Steve Townshend, the fastest 8c+ climber in the world, has always used speed to do hard routes and here he explains the importance of breathing. Adam Ondra, known for his Speed, agrees with Steve and have also given some comments in the end.

"Generally fast is better as long as you don't sacrifice efficiency. On some hard moves or sequences I have discovered I need to force myself to slow down. I also have practiced a lot of yoga, where you time your breathing with your movement, and I've learned to apply this same concept to climbing and that really helps. I used to fall off at the crux sometimes but other times I wouldn't and I couldn't figure out why?

Until I applied this "breath with movement" idea and discovered that if I was breathing in during the crux I would fall. I needed to take air in just before the hardest moves and then either hold it in during the crux or exhale during the crux. This is why Adam Ondra and Chris Sharma scream (and tennis players and Bruce Lee) during the hard moves: it enhances your power.

A hard part about this "rest" or with climbing slowly in general, is letting other thoughts enter your mind. You want to stay in the "zone" and not start to over analyze things. Sometimes if my mind starts to wander I just focus on my breath to keep those thought out.

Deep breathes seems to be a key to climbing at your max. Just listen to Adam and you'll see he's figured that out too. I'm making a conscious effort to get better at breathing deeper and louder and times with the moves better when I climb at my max and at "full speed"."

We asked Adam Ondra if he could comment Steve's interesting article and climbing style.
I definitely try to breath as much as possible, because why do you get pumped (ie. get lactic acid)? Because of lack of oxygen. The more you breath, less lactic acid. What I usually do when I get to the jug or any rest - breath a lot at the beginning of the resting period, then slower to let my heart rate go down and just before going for it breath deeply a few more times again to motivate myself and "wake" myself up.

Steve's climbing style is very impressive, but I would guess he could try to find a few half-a-second- or 1 second-shakeouts while climbing the first section of the route up to the rest. He has a very good pace with a generally relaxed body, but there is not even one second when he would shake either of the hands completely. He just keeps going. And that is tiring. Or the route is too long to be climbed in this style. Of course for somebody as fit as Ramonet it is not efficient to climb as fast.

For Steve or me it could be the most efficient to climb that fast. But if we decide to train like horses, we could be fitter, our ability to shake out while climbing would better and it would be more efficient to climb slower and find more short rests. Other climbers have this fitness naturally, or due to long-life training, ability to rest almost everywhere (weight-dependent and genetic too). For these climbers, it is probably useless to start climbing faster."

Margo Hayes La Rambla 9a+ training interview  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureClick to Enlarge PictureMargo Hayes, with a background in gymnastics, started climbing at ten and directly joined Robyn Erbesfield-Raboutou's Team ABC in Boulder. At 14, Margo did her first 8A boulder and was #8 in the Youth World Championship.

Her progress has been continuous, beside a compression fracture in her spine two years ago which made her stop climbing for three months. In 2016, she did 14 routes 8b+ and harder including her first 9a and got three golds at the Youth World Championship, as well as Climbing's Golden Sport Climbing Piton. Now she is on a one year off before attending University, and focusing on climbing, art, and learning French. Follow her on Instagram or at

What made you try La Rambla and when did you start thinking you could actually do it?
I tried La Rambla because of the beauty, history, and challenge! I really liked the route when I first tried it. I knew that I could send it after my first attempt, because I made all of the moves. It was just a matter of putting the puzzle together.

The weeks before you started working on La Rambla you had been focusing on indoor bouldering preparing for the USA Nationals.
By training for bouldering, I increased my power. This helped me get through the powerful moves.

How has it emotionally been getting all the positive feedback from the climbing community living in the social media era?
The positive feedback from the climbing community has been fantastic! People are generous with their support and I appreciate them taking the time to congratulate me. (c) Greg Mionske

What is it you like most with rock and competition climbing?
Climbing outside gives me a sense of freedom and calm. The mountains keep me grounded and keep life in perspective. I have also been a competitor my entire life. I thrive on that energy and excitement, and I can't imagine not competing. I value both experiences.

What is your next plan and ambition?
I want to continue climbing beautiful routes outdoors and compete on the World Cup Circuit. There is still so much that I want to learn in both arenas. Traditionally, I train for competition on plastic, but do try and combine that with some climbing at the cliffs. If an outdoor opportunity arises, I jump on it!

Any complimentary training?
Most of my training is climbing. I do try to run 1-4 miles a few times a week. On top of that, I fit in some strength training and flexibility work where I can. My routine is always changing, but these things stay constant. When I have the opportunity, I jump on the trampoline and swing on the bars! This is my favorite type of cross training.

Also Ghisolfi and Larcher do La Rambla 9a+  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureStefano Ghisolfi, who in the last 12 months has done one 9b and five 9a+' has in just four tries done La Rambla 9a+. (c) Paolo Sarto

On Facebook, #4 in the Lead WC 2016, says that four years ago he stood under it but did not have the courage to even try it. This year he started with a flash attempt.

Two days ago, Jacopo Larcher reported on Facebook after having struggled almost a week with La Rambla, "We have just two more days left and I'm falling always higher on "La Rambla". Let's hope for the classic "last day, best day"!". Today Barbara Zangerl reported on Facebook that Jacopo Larcher's prediction was right, "He did it on the last day!!! Last minute!!!!!! Yeaaaaaahhhhhhhhhh".

First 9a (+) by Dmitrii Fakirianov  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureDmitrii Fakirianov, who was 5 - 2 - 3 in the last three WCs 2016 and who is on his first rock climbing trip, has done Definicion de Resistencia Democrata in Terradets and he confirms previous down grade suggestions. The Russian has also done Blomu 8c+ in Santa Linya and based just on his last two weeks, he is #12 in the 8a ranking game.

What is your plan for the last few days?
I have some ideas about one 9a in Santa Linya but I prefer more to climb onsights. I hope we will come back to Oliana and I would like to test myself on Mind Control.

Three 8c's by Laura Rogora (15)  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureLaura Rogora has during the last week done three 8c's including the FA of Ercole bolted by Cesare Giuliani in Collepardo. Yesterday she did the chipped route Crazy Horse skipping one of the chipped holds. To make the 15 year old's ascent event more impressive, she did it second go. (c) Lorenzo Russo

"I understood all the moves quite quickly. I had to try a few times only one move because I didn't reach one chipped holds so I had to find another method on natural holds.

Two 8c onsight and a 9a by Adam Ondra  (2) Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureAdam Ondra reported yesterday on Instagram with a picture by Javi Pec from a failed onsight attempt of Directa Cornualles 8c in Siurana that he has been sick in beds for some days.

"Since then I have been recovering, but I am not back in the shape where I would like to be (and was). Sad to be almost leaving with all my projects untouched, but they will not run away."

Anyway, Adam had time to redpoint Fabelita R2 9a and onsight two 8c's in Sadernes, Milenium and Magin el Mago. In total, the 24 year old has recorded 81 routes onsight 8c and harder which can be compared with the runner-ups who have done like a handful. He also did a "retro-onsight" of Le Concepte integrale 8c+. "I had tried the first 8b+ part 8 yrs ago."

8B+ in Font by Melissa Le Nevé  (1) Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureMelissa Le Nevé, the retired World Cup climber who was #3 in the Boulder WC last year, reports on Instagram that she has done her first 8B+, Mécanique Élémentaire in Fontainebleau. (c) Fabian Buhl

"Today I was able to send my hardest climb on the paper but mostly my hardest challenge in terms of reachy moves and mental side! After falling a while on the very last move I finally could stand on the top of "Mecanique Elementaire" 8b+."

Megos & Le Neve win CWIF through rock climbing preparation  (18) Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureMelissa Le Neve, who retired from the WC scene last year being #3 overall, prepared for the CWIF 2017 by doing her first 8B+ in Fontainebleau. That worked out pretty nice as she was the only competitor to flash three problems. So why not go to Font again and try the first WC in Switzerland in three weeks?

Alex Megos, who won CWIF also in 2015, has been climbing just easy the last two months due to an inflammation. Three days ago, the German said on Instagram, "I'll be at the CWIF again this weekend but unfortunately won't be able to compete due to a finger injury."

He tried anyhow but after the semi he wrote, "Will see if I'll be able to climb tomorrow in semis. Depends how much my finger will be swollen..." In the semi, he did not make good progress on the first three boulders but managed to do the last slab. In the final it was actually the same story again but this time the slab was the third boulder. Runner-ups were Petra Klingler and Jongwon Chon and thirds were Michaela Tracy and Michael Piccolruaz. (c) Eddie Fowke

Joe Mama 9a+ by Matty Hong  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureMatty Hong, who just did La Rambla 9a+, reports on Instagram that he has done another one, Joe Kinder's Joe Mama in Oliana. He did his first 9a+, Papichulo, one year ago. He also did 25 routes 8b+ and harder in 2016 and received the Sport Climbing Piton from Climbing.

How many sessions did it take and how can you best explain your step up in grades?
It took me 5 days of work. I've been climbing more than ever this past year, I think just being able to spend more time outdoors has really helped my climbing and motivation. Finishing school was a big part of this.

La Rambla 9a+ by Margo Hayes  Facebook

An 8a interview with Margo Hayes is coming up this weekend. Check out her flexibility and her crimping technique in the video below.

9a (+) by Sébastien Bouin in Terradetts  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureSébastien BOUIN, who previously has done over 20 routes 9a, half of them FAs, has done Definicion de la resistencia démocrata for which he gives a personal 9a grade. "Finish the job is important! Even if you are close, you have to stay focus. Sometime is the more important."

The 23 year old French has previously suggested personal down grades for six former 9a to 9b+' included some very famous ones. (c) Jonas Wiklund

Dmitrii Fakirianov signs up with 8c onsight  (1) Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureDmitrii Fakirianov, double Youth World Champion who finished the 2016 Lead WC with 3- 2 - 5, is a new 8a member who just onsighted Fish Eye 8c in Oliana. The Russian is on an onsight training camp in Spain; he has also onsighted four 8a+ and harder, and flashed Fabelita 8c in Santa Linya.

"Before I didn't climb so much on rocks. In Europe I had the opportunity to climb on rocks in 2013 in Arco, Massone and there I did Renis Vibes 8c/+. After that in 2015 in Crimea. I did the first ascent of a very hard route named "Christmas Party". It was harder than Renis Vibes I think. I was the only one who finished it. I wanted to be humble and I graded it as "8c+/?" because I didn't tried and climbed before 9a.

So how was it onsighting an 8c?
"For me it was hard more mentally than physically because I didn't before onsight so high grade categories. I think that route was my style: after hard sections - rest positions, long route. It's always not so easy to break some barriers when you connecting with something new. For me in this situation that barrier was category 8c.

What are you next plan and ambition?
I have some plans to work on my climbing technic and strength. And to compete in some national comps. I will also soon start training Speed in order to go for the Olympics.

Luzan Matyas - A unique climber with unique methods  (3) Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureLuzan Matyas has been obsessed with Action Directe since the beginning of 2014 and hsa only trained for this route. In 2015, he tried it and got injured immediately. In 2016, he destroyed his shoe once working out a new toe-hook sequence. Nowadays, he is training 10 hours per day mainly just doing boulders on the Moonboard followed by a rest day. Video doing Moonboard's up to 8B.

"I just spend 10h in the gym and try to give it my best. What can I say, I love it. Honestly it's just getting through the pain but it's not so dramatic as it sounds now. It's fun, climbing with others and such."

His plan is to soon start working on the AD replica again. In May, the Romanian with 8b as personal best, plans to go back to Frankenjura, living dirtbag life under AD, preparing and waiting for the best conditions.

In regards the new beta, it is in the middle where he just before the crux, does a toe-hook over his head. He hangs there for some 15 seconds clipping, chalking and doing a very deep lock off, skipping the crux right mono, see right circle in the picture. "This is an easier sequence *IF* you have lock off strength and mobility." 8a interview from 2015

9a by Kymy de la Peña  (1) Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureKymy de la Peña has done his first 9a, Seta Total 9a in Cuenca. The route was partially bolted by local Cuco and finished by Luis Alfonso Félix and José Luis Palao 'Primo'. Both did it after the Pablo Barbero's FA and also Ramón Julián. (c) Javipec

Based on his scorecard with 600 ascents, we can see that the 31 year old has had a continuous progress for eight straight years.

How many tries did it take you?
The route took me 4 tries this year. Last season I tried it as well after I sent El Intento (the 8c+/9a on its right) and I was very close, but I couldn't. Maybe 8 tries in total.

Tell us more about your progression..
Since 2009, it has been very progressive. I started climbing in 2008 when I was 23. Yap.., I'm not Alex Megos haahaha.

I think that the progress is the result of the motivation for climbing, and that is the key, enjoying the same as when I did my first 7a. Also my experience as a trainer, based on working with so many people has made me better in the last years.

9a FA by Jakob Kronberger (16) again  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureJakob Kronberger has done his second 9a FA, Baumwesen in Salzburger Land. Three weeks ago the 16 year old did The Power of Goodbye 8B.

"The route was shown to me by Klem Loskot in last November. Klem showed me his beta for the crux and I immediately fell in love with the Baumwesen. He said it would be totally fine with him if i made the first accent, so I went for it. All in all I spent about 10 days in the route.

For the year 2017 my number one priority is to stay healthy. I had quite a few problems with my fingers the last season. I wasn't often able to try really hard routes and when I did, I usually payed the price for it the next day. Aside of that I really want to do a project in Salzburg which I started last season. I don't have many more routes on my wish list this year."

8c rope solo MP FA by Fabian Buhl  (1) Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureFabian Buhl has released the amazing news about his 8c rope solo FA of the 7 pitches Ganesha in Sonnenwand. It took the former 8C boulder some 20 days, totally by himself, to do it ground up adding just four bolts. (c) Stefan Schlumpf

His self-belay system involved an upside down Grigri and a lot of tricks and he took countless fall up to 18 meters. It took him four days just to reach the top. "Freeclimbing and taking big falls until I could fix myself to bolt it. Belays are bolted and then 4 bolts for protection rest is trad."

The FA was done last fall but he choose not to say anything until the amazing video was released. In regards to if he has any new projects: "Yes, but I don't talk so much about projects. But I like to bring my solo climbing to bigger mountains."

9a/+ FA link-up in Oliana by Patxi Usobiaga (37)  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PicturePatxi Usobiaga, the best climber in the world during the late -00's and who then got a neck injury from a traffic accident, has written a new blog. Road to discovery - beyond 9a.

"It is with pure joy and restless motivation that I write this post. I am so overwhelmed right now. Just days after celebrating the 14 year anniversary of my first 9a ascent (Il Domani) I sent a new linkup between Joe Blau (8c+) and Papichulo (9a+) and I think it could be dubbed Patxitxulo 9a/+ (5.14d/5.15a)." (c) Javi Pec

IFSC - Boulder format/calculation to be improved  (5) Facebook

During the IFSC press conference, the President Marco Scolaris said that it is hard to understand the scoring in bouldering but they are working on a solution that will be presented in some months. The athlete representative, Sean McColl said that the scoring with points is a possibility and it was also said that the USA method is interesting.

In reality, the four IFSC representatives almost seemed ashamed in regards the scoring system and that it was ten years old. 8a has several times suggested format as well as scoring system in regards points instead of Tops and Bonuses.

The changes with 6 minutes instead of 8 minutes in Lead finals, as well as 4 minutes instead of 4+ minutes in bouldering finals, were made to fit into TV.

Scolaris: "At the moment, this is the solution we were able to produce under pressure. We know many people were not satisfied, not happy."

"We expect to convince IOC, but not only, that hopefully before 2020 that we deserve some help, because the sport is growing to fast and we do not have the resources to manage the sport. If it goes on in this way and our income does not increase and therefore we are not able to hire additional human resources. We will become victim of our success."

Olympic combined calculated format  (8) Facebook

IFSC has published the Olympic format and it is more or less a copy of the format 8a suggested last year. Already in November, IFSC said that they will take, "note of your proposal and will consider it while preparing the format proposal for the Executive Board."

"Rules perspective:
a. The Combined Event consists of 2 rounds (Qualifications and Finals), both comprising all the disciplines.
b. All Athletes (20 men and 20 women) participate in the first round.
c. The Athlete’s score is given by multiplying the Athlete’s ranking (place) in each discipline. The lower the score the better. (Principles to be confirmed)

A ranking is produced after each round (Qualifications and the Finals).
a. The six best Athletes qualify for the Finals.
Note: For the Speed Final the concept of “Lucky loser” (7° and 8° ranked Athletes in the 1/8th finals) applies, as a quota of 6 does not allow the duel system.

The 8a suggested format differs as we included 8 guys in the final in order to have a fair Speed Climbing Final. How IFSC plan to let only the Top-6 climbers compete in Speed with two "Lucky loser" have not been explained. It should be mentioned that previously IFSC had suggested a totally different format which was heavily criticized by the coaches.

The qualification system will follow the IOC principles which will be set in July. However, it will be based on Athletes and not countries but only two athletes male + female will be allowed.

In regards to which type of Speed route will be used in the Olympics, no news has been forwarded but we have been informed that it was up to discussion and IFSC said that there is not enough time to change it.

Ninja Skills 8B+ by Thilo Jeldrik Schröter  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureThilo Jeldrik Schröter has done Ninja Skills 8B+ in Sobrio. All eight repeaters, in the 8a database, of this Nalle Hukkataival problem have given it three stars. The 21 year old has also flashed two 8A's and Ganymede Takeover 8A+ in Brione and he is #9 in the 8a ranking game. (c) Tina Hafsaas

"I had four sessions on the boulder. For me it's one of the best boulders out there, both climbing wise and esthetically. Happy to get it done!"

Boost your power in one second  (4) Facebook

The easiest way to boost your power is done through hyper-ventilation. Try it out during your next campus board session and you will get amazed. During climbing it works best coming out from a good rest, where you have focused on long and slow yoga breathing. This actually make you loose power so if there is a crux coming up, hyper-ventilate to reload and boost your power.

The second way to increase your power in one second is done through focusing on the hand you are not moving. If you are up for a dynamic move, it seems like your eager and focus on the next hold, make you loose some gripping hand power. Experiment to actually look at the holding hand and feel that you get stronger while trying to reach upwards. You can also ask your friends to remind you to focus on the gripping hand while climbing. It works best on pinches and side pulls. For closed crimps, for experts, you should simply ask your friend to remind you to focus on the thumb closure to boost your power during the next second.

Add news and videos  Facebook

By clicking on "Profile, Blog, Training", you come to a link where you can add news and videos. Please add the embedded code with 370 width. Your suggestion will be checked and later it will be added to the first page.

Margo Hayes La Rambla interview  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureEddie Fowke from The Circuit Climbing was together with Margo Hayes the first days she tried La Rambla and has got an interview. What is interesting is that she will be based in France until October and plans to do most World Cups.

Here you can check Margo Hayes 8a scorecard including 91 ascents previously up to 9a. In bouldering the 19 year old has recorded three 8A's, the first when she was 13 years old. Last year she won three golds in the Youth World Championships.

Steve McClure flashes 8b+  (2) Facebook

Steve McClure is going for five 8b+' in five days and it turns out that the second, In da House in Penjas Juntas he flashed while warming up. The 46 year old has done several 9a FAs in UK and he is also a training author and here is a power-endurance article.

Shortcuts to reach 8a  (3) Facebook

We have ranked 12 strategical and practical short cuts in order to push grades. Most climbers focus on strength, i.e. in comparison it is easier to develop technical, tactical and mental skills, which are the focus here.

Ivan Kuvacic

Croatian Chilam Balam
Javier Elizondo

Cagadubtes, 8a. My fir
st 8a route. Some rest
between lots of crimps
and finger pockets.
Roman Pfitscher

Please add info of the
climb, your ascent and
the area
Ryuichi Murai

Spray of light 8c, Rock
Andreas Hanisch

Hannibal Lecter 7b+, Cr
Erin Ayla

Pic by Ian Cotter-Brown
. Problem in Estes Park
, CO.
Fabio Schreiber

República Rasta 8a, Ped
ra vermelha
Christian Welkhammer

Priesterrat (fb8a+), Bg
l Priesterstein
Maggie Odette

Pipe Dream 8b+, Maple C
Araz Rasaee

Seven Dreams 7c, Darban
Erica Gatland

Its About Time V5
K Wierzchowski

Bastard 7A+
Stefan Bednar

Unendliche Geschichte 1
8a+, Magic wood
Thomas anelli

Tom..Lagalb 23/12/2015
George Carmichael

Enter the Dragon 8A+, T
Klaus Haaken

Stefan in the classic E
xtasy 6C in Glees. More
Stefan Bednar

Coup de lune 7c, Fontai
David Aran

Tierra Media, Albarraci
Eric Zschiesche

The Heretic 7c, City of
Andreas Hanisch

Unendliche Geschichte 2
8a, Magic wood
Mike Kimmel

Moe's Valley!
Kim de Wolff

The right hand of darkn
ess 8a, Magic wood
Fiz Gomez Gratacos

Pablo en "Agujeros de C
aracol", 7b, Cova do Re
i Cintolo
Jonathan Guadalcázar

Vaya vecinos 8c+, Tárbe
Chuck Odette

Charlie on Habitat for
Humanity (V7)
Search & Add Ascents
K Wierzchowski - Bastard 7A+
Click to Enlarge Picture
Selected Top List ->
Editorial by 8a Founder and Editor-in-Chief Jens Larssen including also Analyses, Reviews, Training, Polls and Opinions etc.
This is why - Mina Leslie-Wujastyk  Facebook
Mina Leslie-Wujastyk, who has done several 8A+ boulders as well as 8c, has set her bar on doing Rainshadow 9a.
Bouldering on Grafitti walls  Facebook
Click to Enlarge PictureMammut presents some nice bouldering picures by Thomas Monsorno from a famous grafitti wall in Bolzano. It is Michael Piccolruaz, #3 this weekend on CWIF, who boulders and has written the article - Trying something new.
Safety in focus for the pupils in Brunico  Facebook
Click to Enlarge PictureIn Brunico it is mandatory for the pupils to learn how to climb and they practice 12 times per year from when they are seven years old. In fact, they also get a grade based on their performance, including safety, knowledge etc, which is included in their overall gymnastic grade.

From the time the pupils are 12 years old they are allowed to belay themselves, but they start practicing when they are eight years old. In the beginning they are closely supervised by their teachers and instructors and they always belay in pairs. Later, they begin to belay themselves but only after the teacher has made a knot two meters up on the rope (see the picture).

Once they lower down their friends, they pass the knot and tighten the rope which makes the rope loosen up. Tubes or Eights are not allowed and instead everyone is using semi-auto belay devices.

When they started with the mandatory climbing in school 18 months ago, some of the teachers, parents and pupils were a bit skeptical but it has turned out to a great success.
IFSC new 4 min rule a complete disaster  (6) Facebook
The Circuit Climbing has made a review of CWIF 2017 saying the new 4 minute rule in the final was a complete disaster.

"Everyone, from the climbers, to the spectators to the setters complained about the impact on the show."
"Lucky Loser" sportmanship Olympic dilemma  (13) Facebook
IFSC have decided that only the Top-6 will qualify to be in the finals in the Olympics. "For the Speed Final the concept of “Lucky loser” (7° and 8° ranked Athletes in the 1/8th finals) applies, as a quota of 6 does not allow the duel system."

As the "Lucky Loser" has nothing to win, this system could create a sportsmanship dilemma as many of the athletes are friends. It might just be that the "Lucky Loser" competing against a good friend, who could get a medal, will not give 100 %. Further more, if a "Lucky Loser" makes it to the final or bronze final, such a run is of no interest for the competition. In fact, it would actually be smarter for a Top-6 finalist to go a bit slow in order to save energy.
(We assume that the Combined ranking will only be based on the results of the Top-6.)

Imagine how strange it would be for any of the 12 finalists, a hundred commentators and tens of millions of spectators to follow such a Olympic Speed final, where some athletes will not go 100 %.

The simple solution for this is to include Top-8 to the final. Alternatively, have three lanes of Speed routes, where the two fastest qualify to the semifinals.
Climbing spots in the focus  Facebook
Click to Enlarge Picture"Climbing Gardens of the World" is an exhibition about climbing spots from all over the world. Vertical-Life, together with their partner Leitner ropeways, will present this extraordinary show in the course of the prestigious IGA gardening fair in Berlin (April 13 – October 15).

The exhibition is comprised of a collection of pictures, video material, and real stone, representing a selection of about 200 beautiful and legendary climbing areas. Also, Vertical-Life portrays some of the most exceptional route and boulder developers: Dani Andrada, Fred Nicole, Arnaud Petit, Chris Sharma, and Nasim Eshqi. Video presentation

About 2.3 million visitors are expected to attend the IGA show in Berlin. This means a good opportunity for our sport to get the attention of a broader public, while being a comprehensive exhibition of interest for the climbing community. (c) Helmut Gargitter
The world's fastest 8c+ climber, Steve Townshend, is 36 and 190 cm  Facebook
Steve Townshend, member of 8a since 2000, has done four trips to Railay projecting Greed 8c+. This January he made another high point with his amazing speed climbing perfectionist style and he is 190 cm tall.

Bloc Masters 25-25/3 - 10 000 Euro prize money  Facebook
From March 25th to March 26th we organize an international bouldercup in our bouldering-gym Studio Bloc in Pfungstadt, Germany: Studio Bloc Masters

This bouldercup is opened for hobby- and professional boulderers, so that everybody is able to take part. Fortunately this cup unites bouldering as a spare time activity and that kind of professional athletics.
Names like Alexei Ruptsov (Russia), Chon Jongwon (Korea) or Jan Hojer (Germany) are already registered.

With an entire prize money of 10.000,-€, Blocmasters are in no way inferior to other named cups. So, there will be a spectacular day of semi-finals and finals.
But this event won´t be a commercial bouldercup, all profits will be donated to "Climbers Against Cancer" (CAC).
Impressive climbing scene in Iran  Facebook
Click to Enlarge PictureKhosro Hashemzadeh, who just onsighted Olympos Games 8b (a+) in Geyikbayırı, gave us some insight into the impressive climbing scene in Iran. Khosro has been an elite climber, coach, and route setter for many years in Tehran.

"We have climbing in almost all the cities around the Iran, maybe more than 3000 climbers around the country. Also lots of outdoor climbing around the country specially in the west side of Iran. Karmanshah is the most famous one in Iran with maybe more than 500 sport routes and also a big wall (Bisotun 1200 meter) with around 50 lines on it.

Also we have lots of gyms around Iran and probably all the cities have one at least. For example in Tehran there are 5 or 6 great gyms which are working pretty well.

Competitions are just like all the Ifsc comps around the world and we have almost 5 or 6 national cups around Iran in all the 3 fields of climbing. Also a national team which participate in most of the world and Asian cups.
We usually have to pay for all the world cups ourselves. The federation just sends sometimes a small number of people to championships. Reza Alipour was runner up in last Speed World Champion and Ali Baratzadeh normally makes it to Boulder WC semis."
Tuolumne Meadows #1 in bouldering trend ranking  Facebook
Click to Enlarge PictureClick to Enlarge PictureChad Shepard has helped us out with some info in regards Tuolumne Meadows, #1 in the Bouldering trend ranking. It is located 1.5 hours from Yosemite valley at 2,500 - 3,000 meters and the potential is endless.

"The past two summers, I see groups of 20-30 people at each spot every day over the weekend. It appears to be a 10 fold increase in traffic since the new guidebook came out 2014. There's 1200 problems in the Tuolumne guide. and about 300-400 problems not in there. Most of those are newer areas not in the guide, some just too far away. The guide covers an area of about 30 miles of road, and hiking as many miles away from the road as you like. Most of the bouldering on the guide is within 1 hour hike, but you could go farther and find as many new boulders as you want.

The climbing season is generally from June-September, and there is no access at all from November to May. The Tuolumne Meadows area is very large (it’s a much larger portion of Yosemite National Park than Yosemite Valley. You might drive 30 minutes and hike an hour to get to the next bouldering area.

One of main attractions of Tuolumne Meadows is the scenery. It’s in a designated wilderness area, so the landscape fairly wild. The granite domes and high alpine lakes and meadows make for a great backdrop for a day out bouldering. The different bouldering areas are as diverse as the rock quality.

It’s my hope that climbers will understand how fragile the high alpine environment is (many of the boulders are between 8000’-10,000’) and respect wilderness ethics as the bouldering traffic increases."
The Rab CWIF 2017: Live Webcast on Sunday  Facebook
Click to Enlarge PictureWith the IFSC Bouldering World Cup season starting soon this weekend The Rab CWIF offers a great warmup comp for both competitors and keen spectators.

A fantastic lineup includes competition stars such as Sean McColl, Rustam Gelmanov and Jongwon Chon as well as World Champion Petra Klinger and Melissa Le Neve. Also attending will be David Lama, Juliane Wurm, Jimmy Webb & Alex Megos.
Watch the Webcast Live on Sunday 19th March at 13 with semis and 19 with finals. You can also follow the event at Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
Fish autotuber - AustriAlpin  Facebook
Click to Enlarge PictureFish Autotuber is another smart belay device which allows you to feed out rope very easy at the same time it pinches any rope in between 8 mm to 11 mm. It weighs only 68 grams. It is very intuitive and it also has a lever like Grigri for making lowering down more easy and safe. You can also just put in your thumb and lift the device up to release its friction on the rope. Video

All in all, it is a very user friendly belay device and the price is around 60 Euro with the Rondo crew carabiner included. The Rondo is mandatory to use and we asked why?

"During the development process we found out that it is extremely important that the carabiner's cross section fits to the belay device's shape. Only in this combination we can guarantee that the correct function is given. That´s the reason why we decided to sell the FISH in combination with our RONDO carabiner only. If a different carabiner is used, it could happen that the carabiner blocks and doesn´t provide any friction to the rope."
Speed route in USA Nationals inaccurate  Facebook
Libor Hroza reports on Facebook that he was #2 in the USA Speed Nationals after J Brosler. Interestingly, the starting holds were placed to at least 6 cm too and in the final Libor fell directly in his second race. In the qualification, he made it to the top of the shortened route at 3.65 seconds, which can be compared with the world record 5.60.

Even in the last world championship in Paris, the Speed route did not get certified allowing world records. It will be critical for the Olympic challenge that IFSC can help all organizers replicate the official route.
Multiplication instead of Sum-up Combined  (1) Facebook
IFSC has decided that the results in the three results will be multiplied instead of summed-up. In practice this means that it is better to focus on getting one or two very good results instead of performing evenly. A climber who gets #5 in all three disciplines will most probably not qualify to the Top-6 final. Here are some examples of pretty bad results that even so will beat the even #5 climber, due to the multiplication.

5 * 5 * 5 = 125 (15 summed-up)
1 * 6 * 20 = 120 (27 summed-up)
1 * 11 * 11 = 121 (23 summed-up)
2 * 4 * 15 = 120 (21 summed-up)

In the final, the multiplication does not effect the overall results so much but the guy who is #2 in all three events will be beaten by the guy who is 1 - 1 - 6.

Using multiplication will of course also make it more hard to analyze the results during the competition as a calculator will be needed. It could also be noted that in all other Combined sport, the calculation is based on sum-up.

Another reality of the multiplication scoring is also that it is perfect for Adam Ondra and other top climbers as they do not need to train Speed. Adam can be last in in Speed in both the qualification and the final and win the Olympic gold anyhow. In fact, as most of his competitors will be training Speed and therefore loose some of their Lead and Boulder performance. It just might be his best strategy to skip Speed training to get the gold in Tokyo.
Tendon Master Pro 9.2 best handling vs safety  Facebook
Click to Enlarge PictureTendon Master Pro 9.2 is the best rope we have ever tested when it comes to feeling secure with the old GriGri at the same time you can feed out as fast as you want. As it never gets stuck, it becomes safer in comparison to other thin ropes because you do not need to push down the locking mechanism.

The GriGri is supposed to be used for ropes 10 mm or thicker but we have all experimented with smaller diameter to get better handling. The trade off between safety and handling has actually sometimes created ground falls. Normally, I am a bit afraid to let my wife or other not so experienced climber belay me with 9.2 millimeter rope, as normally such thin ropes do not lock 100 % before it has been used for some days.

We actually had to ask Tendon if they could come up with an answer why it never gets stuck when feeding out at the same time it always lock. "There is a new type of sheath which combines classic tandem and SBS system of braiding. Very smooth and great rope handling is the result."

Technical data
sheath slippage (%) 0,3
CE 1019 ano
rope diameter (mm) 9.2
number of UIAA falls min 9
max. impact force (kN) 9,1
static elongation (%) 9,1
dynamic elongation (%) 31
knotability 1
EN 892 ano
weight (g/m) 58

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