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Ondra technical training and flexibility is most productive  (1) Facebook

Click to Enlarge PicturePhysical training recipes you find all over and this seems to be the prioritized way of training for almost every dedicated climber. It is easy to follow a physical program and it is easy to measure progress. In practice, this means that most of us have trained hard to optimize our physical strength. At the same time, you might be close to get injured if you just continue that physical focus.

In other words, it might most productive to add a couple of hours with technical training instead of a continuation with sub-optimization physical training.

Looking at the best climber in the world, Adam Ondra, we can see that what most differate him to other climbers are actually his fast climbing as well as knee-dropping and flexibility.

As simple as it sounds, the fastest way to progress for the dedicated climber is probably just to try to copy the master. During every other training session, spend an hour climbing very fast and also practice on your knee-dropping technic as well as doing some flexibility training.

Within a month, you have probably made a solid base to take the next step in your progress.

How do you climb/train 2018?  Facebook

The results will be compared with an identical poll from 2015.

In own matter: redesigning 8a.nu  (11) Facebook

As many of our regular users already know, the 8a.nu platform has been run by Vertical-Life since recently. It is our common aim to improve the service, design and usability of the page. We provide the world’s most extensive database of crags, routes and information on ascents. It is our intention to make sure all this information is easily accessible to climbers around the world.

We appreciate the collaboration of a broad network of climbers, who love to use 8a.nu for tracking and sharing their personal achievements and for celebrating those of friends and of the community.

Our editorial focus is on news reports and analysis of outdoor climbing and competitions.

The thorough redesign of the website will require a few months, because we need to ensure that contents and functionalities are maintained. We hope you are as excited as we are! Stay tuned :-)

About Vertical-Life: specializing in software and media for climbing, operating on an international level. With the Vertical-Life app, the Smart Climbing Gym system and the Smart Scorecard for comps we offer digital products for climbers and professionals in the climbing industry.

Top climbers with most recorded ascents  Facebook

Here are the active 8a top climbers with most recorded ascents that through their star rating of their routes and boulders help the community to find the best crags and climbs. It might not be a coincidence that some of the best also have the widest grade pyramid, also relatively easier climbs are interesting to remember.

2 529 Moritz Perwitzschky
2 268 Jose Agustí
1 964 Adam Ondra
1 854 Christof Rauch
1 837 Rafa Fanega
1 671 James Webb
1 644 Paul Robinson

1 484 Daniel Fuertes
1 452 Mathieu Bouyoud
1 243 Jernej Kruder
1 146 Ramón Julian Puigblanque
1 089 Jan Hojer
935 Alex Honnold

Adam Ondra does the FA of Eagle 4 9b  (2) Facebook

Best Climbing Shoes - 2018?  (1) Facebook

Based on almost 3 000 unique votes, here are the result for - Best Climbing Shoes? La Sportiva continues their domination and Scarpa gets an improved result.

44 % La Sportiva
20 % Scarpa
14 % Five Ten
06 % Tenaya
05 % Boreal
04 % Ocun
07 % Other (Most mentioned: Evolve, Wild Climb and Mad Rock)

8b by Chuck Odette (62) going for 8b+  (3) Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureChuck Odette, who did two 8b+' last year, being 61 years old has done Killer Bees 8b in Hurricave. In the Age bonus ranking, the 62 year old is #2 after Adam Ondra. (c) Heidi Baxter

"The older I get, the harder they feel…but I’m not giving up yet!

It seems like every time I send a route, there’s a small contingent of people who want to downgrade it because I’m so old it must not be that hard. There’s an indisputable, previously downgraded to 14a (8b+) route which suits my strengths that I’ve been saving for an old age ascent, hopefully in 2018. If I can stay healthy, I’ll do it!"

Silence 9c premiere 23/2 at 9 pm - Ondra & Moffat Show  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureWhat does it take to climb the world’s first 9c? How do you train for such achievement? That and much more will be revealed in the 17-minute film directed by Bernardo Giménez which documents Adam Ondra’s journey to the successful climb. It shows what preceded the afternoon of September 3, 2017 when he “sent”, as climbers say, this project in the spectacular Hanshelleren Cave in Norway.

"Silence is located in one of the beautiful Norwegian fjords. I really like how the extreme sport achievement goes hand in hand with the peaceful and gorgeous surroundings in the film giving it a very special feel. Bernardo did a great job depicting this contrast,“ says Adam Ondra, the main protagonist, about the movie.

The film will premiere in Riva del Garda, Italy, as well as online as the whole event will be live streamed. “We wanted everyone to have a chance to enjoy the evening with us and watch the movie which is why it will be also available on YouTube for free afterwards,” explains Pavel Blažek, Adam Ondra’s manager."

(c) Photo credit Pavel Blažek More info and live stream link. We will present the embedded code so the premiere can be seen directly on the 8a website.

Midtbö comes clean about his Vlogging  Facebook

Magnus Midtbö, #4 in Arco WVH and 8c+ onsight, started Vlogging ten months ago and has now made 110 episodes. It is about his daily life and also showing some extreme training regimes. In the video below he comes clean and talk about social media and how to get attention for the sponsors. He has almost 35 000 subscribers on his Youtube channel and 121 000 followers on his Instagram.

8b (+) trad ascent by Tom Randall  (2) Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureTom Randall has done La Fuerza de la Gravedad in Vadiello giving it a personal grade of 8b. Last year Carlos Logroño made the FA with the gear pre-placed. (C) Talo Martín

In December Tom tried the route for three days with Swedish WC athlete Hannes Puman (19) with no success. Hannes only climbed cracks once days before with Randall as well on a bouldery 7A+ roof-crack in La Pedriza. He also never put a cam before so both considered that could be better with the cams pre-placed. Surprisingly Hannes did it after just check the route for the first two days without any expectations and sending it the last day on his first try leading.

Last week, Tom sent it after warm up on the route and sending on his first go placing the gear on lead. Video coming soon. Randall has previously done 15 trad routes between 8b+ and 8c+, Century Crack, and should be considered one of the best crack climbers in the world. He also have a 9a+ trad project, the Crucifix, in USA and plans to go there one month in October.

Tom has chatted to Adam about Century Crack and the Crucifix because the fact that Silence has a crack in the middle, seemed very interesting. Surprisingly, Adam said that Century Crack was one of the few hard trad routes that he’d be interested in repeating. Likewise Tom has said that he’s keen to look at the crack beta on Silence as it looks very similar to a lot moves him and Pete Whittaker have done.

Ondra comments his 9a+ flash  (7) Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureAdam Ondra comments his and the world’s first 9a+ flash. The picture by Bernardo Gimenez is from Adam's Instagram.

Flashing Super Crackinette is definitely a big mental breakthrough for me. 9a+ flash has been a goal of mine for many years now, but the problem is to find a good route. And once you have it, it is a problem to find someone who gives you the perfect beta. And then, the pressure could be way bigger than competing in the finals of World Championships. I had only tried seriously two routes of 9a+ grade in the past - Biographie in 2012 and Seleccion Anal in 2014. Biographie was quite far, Seleccion Anal was very close, but it is definitely not a reference for 9a+ and i honestly think it is more of 9a hard.

Then, I pretty much ran out of convenient routes. Then, I was once in St Leger and saw this project. It was a project with 9a question mark. It looked so perfect. A few moths later, Alex Megos finally made the first ascent and gave it 9a+. I knew immediately this could be the goal. Perfect line and reference grade by Alex himself.

This trip, I came to St Leger specifically for this trip. And it was a lot of pressure. I had so much doubts if I am strong enough, if I should not postpone that by another year. But then Bernardo was supposed to come for the filming, Quentin Chastagnier was supposed to come to show me all the moves (thanks for that!). At one point, there was no step back. I had to give it a try.

And I felt just so strong and confident, but as the end was getting closer, I could feel a bit nervous. The final last hard move was heartbreaking, but in the end, I had a tiny margin and did not let go. The way towards the anchor was free and towards one of my proudest achievements of my carrier.

9b FA by Adam Ondra  (16) Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureAdam Ondra reports on Instagram that he has done the FA of Eagle 4 9b in St. Leger, France. © Bernardo Giménez

"Today, it was dry, I felt strong, made through the hard part and fell 5m from the anchor from totally easy terrain. Luckily, I could do it even second time in the late afternoon."

Few days ago Adam did Super Crackinette, the first 9a+ flashed ever. In the last 12 months Ondra has done 23 routes from 9a to 9c. In total, there exist 30 established routes 9b or harder. Adam has done 22 of them. The runner up is Chris Sharma with seven 9b's or harder.

8C and WC plans for Matt Fultz  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureMatt Fultz has after 13 8B+' done his first 8C by the FA of The Expanse in Joe's Valley. Last week he won both the qually and semi in the USA bouldering nationals and was #4 in the final. More info at his Instagram (c) Kieran Hadley

"It took me about 6 sessions in total. I’ve never competed in a World Cup, but I’m planning on doing Vail and the world championships in Austria this year!"

What is interesting is that the the 26 year old has had an almost continuous progress for eight straight years. In the 8a ranking game, the 183 cm and 78 kg, is #7.

Dreamtime 8C by James Webb  (2) Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureJames Webb reports on his Instagram that he had to leave Fontainbleau due to rain and instead went to Cresciano where he did Dreamtime 8C on his first day. (c) Kevin Takashi Smith

"4 years ago I spent countless days trying this thing and was never able to put it to rest. It was a massive mental and physical battle for me and it killed me to not be able to complete it."

Dreamtime was put up by Fred Nicole in 2001 as an 8C but was considered 8B+ for many years until it broke. In total James has previously done 14 boulder 8C and one 8C+ and he is #2 in the 8a ranking game. Counting only flashes, he has been #1 for several years including having flashed 14 boulders 8B.

World class today and for most years  (1) Facebook

Here are a list of old-school guys that are still world class. Fred Nicole is of course number #1 and has been on the cutting edge for more than 30 years. Does it exist any other physical sport where an athlete has been world class for over 30 years?

What is unique with runner-up Yuji Hirayama is that he has been world class in so many disciplines from winning six World Cups to having set the Speed Record on El Capitan.

1. Fred Nicole -70: 8b+ in 1987
2. Yuji Hirayama -69: #4 in a WC 1991
3. Dani Andrada -75: 8c in 1993
4. Muriel Sarkany -74: #5 in a WC 1993
5. Dani Andrada -75: #1 Speed WCH in 1997
5. Dai Koyamada -76: #4 in a WC in 1998

Other climbers with a long successful career who are still going strong are Ben Moon, Martina Cufar, Beat Kammerlander, Alexander Huber and Maurizio Zanollo. Is there somebody that we have missed?

9a+ flash by Adam Ondra  (6) Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureFanatic Climbing reports that Adam Ondra has flashed Alex Megos Supercrackinette 9a+ in St Léger and Ondra confirms the grade on his Instagram. This means that Ondra has once again raised the standard in climbing. In 2012, Adam flashed Southern Smoke direct 9a+ in Red River Gorge, giving it a personal 9a grade.

"According to witnesses, the Czech phenom was very easy on this route of resistance, guided by the bolter of the route himself, Quentin Chastagnier. Ondra has given him a belay and checking the moves while Quentin was putting the draws." (c) Bernardo Giminez

The complete 8C to 9A list and the progress  (1) Facebook

Click to Enlarge Picture99boulders.com has presented a comprehensive list: 8C 123, 8C/+ 6, 8C+ 10 and Burden of Dreams 9A. Also all ascents have been added so Alex Beale have been working hard. The most repeated 8C and 8C+' are:

16 Practice of the Wild - FA Chris Sharma
15 The Big Island - FA Vincent Ponchon
13 Monkey Wedding - FA Fred Nicole
13 The Story of Two Worlds - FA Dave Graham
11 From Dirt Grows the Flowers - Dave Graham
11 The Wheel of Life - Dai Koyamada
08 Catalán Witness the Fitness - Chris Sharma
(Most probably not 8C any longer but as the diagram include these ascents, we have not taken it out from the list)

04 Creature of the Black Lagoon 8C+ FA Daniel Woods

The picture shows the extreme development the last years with over 100 ascents the last two years. In total, 116 climbers have done at least one 8C including the only female, Ashima Shiraishi. Charles Albert have done six, all of them barefoot.

It should be mentioned that grades are subjective and Alex says, "I’ve tried my best to be as comprehensive as possible with this list. However, I’m still human. If I’ve made any mistakes or left off any problems or people you think should be added, let me know in the comments. I get most of the info from 8a.nu and HardClimbs.info."

The Nest 8C by Takahashi and Pringle  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureKeenan Takahashiand Ethan Pringle has done The Nest 8C in Red Rocks after having worked it for a long time. Daniel Woods put it up in 2013 and it has previously seen five ascents.

Keenen's Insta, including picture: This one was quite a journey; I don't know if there's any other move I've tried more than the one pictured. So much microbeta, self-doubt intertwined with self-belief, existential crises in full effect, and finally the strangest and most wild sensation of place in the world. Many huge mental and physical battles but the war is finally over!

From Ethan's Insta we see that he got inspired by Keenen's beta and fired it of on project day #50.

Japan Cup podium presents new faces to the WC  (2) Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureRyuichi Murai, #3 in the 8a ranking game, comments the Japan Bouldering Cup where he sensationally got the silver which made him qualify to the national team going for the World Cups. "I spent only one month to training for BJC2018. I mainly trained my weak movements. For example, coordination and triple dyno. Additionally I also did pull-up with Beastmaker2000."

1st Kokoro Fuji - Akiyo Noguchi
2nd Ryuichi Murai - Ai Mori (14)
3rd Tomoa Narasaki - Futaba Ito (15)

Interesting is that it was basically only this competition with 160 participants where new athletes could qualify for the national team and the World Cup 2018. "An athlete who have high world ranking last year, and an athlete who won in Bouldering World Cup last year, could already be qualified."

Futaba Ito won the Youth World Championship where she was accompanied by two 14 year olds. Ai Mori was #7 in that World Championship but she is to young to do WCs this year. Some coaches said last year in Innsbruck that these Japanese girls are the future. Bear in mind that these young girls did actually beat Miho Nonaka #4 in the WC last year as well as Aya Onoe and Mei Kotake, #10 and #11 in the WC 2017.

Remember also the fast positive trend for Japan and that they had five guys in Top-8 last year. With so many new faces winning over some of the best boulderers, we just might see the Japanese domination increase in the future.

Catalan Witness the Fitness 8B+ (C) by Dave MacLeod (39)  (5) Facebook

Dave Macleod, one of the greatest trad climbers in the world, reports that he has done the eight ascent of Chris Sharma's Catalan Witness the Fitness, giving it a personal grade of 8B+. Including Jakob Schubert's recent flash suggesting low-end 8B+ as well as most guys have said it to be soft 8C and in fact, Sharma not giving it a grade, it might be that the great roof boulder should just be called 8B+ and delete it from the 8C official list? Two years ago, being 37 years old, Dave did Practice of the Wild 8C.

Climb in Kymi

George Rousalis lowerin
g from 'Sycophant exten
sion', Katavolo crag, K
Eric Hörst

Cameron Horst sending T
hanatopsis (8c).
Eric Hörst

Jonathan Horst sending
He Biggum (13d), Ten Sl
Leo Skinner

fat cat roof 7c/v9
Mike Gabl

Klettergarten Ötz

Kleopatra 8a, Alabalık/
Ema Seliškar

Vaya con dios 8a, Šegin
ov potok
Rick Carpenter

Daiichi SDS 7b+, Captai
n Cook Rec Area
Duygu Haug

En un come back douteux
8a+, Ailefroide
Mike Kimmel

Attempting "Good Day Ba
d Day" 8A. Moab.
Roberto Priace

Racó de l'heura
Jose Manuel Cano

Fugazzi 8a, Sant Lloren
ç del Munt
Matteo calledda

Tony Orrù - Cristal Wav
es 7a, Ulassai
Roberto Fernández García

Cabrafigal 7a+, Villanu
eva de Santo Adriano
Heiko Queitsch

Today I was able to cli
mb -Rehabouldern- fb 7c
the right exit of -Vol
lkontakt- fb 7c a 1st.
ascent I did last week!
! The power comes more
and more back!! Photo:
Chris Rupp
Furkan Akkaya

Olympos Games 8b, Geyik
Umberto Tilomelli

Indigo 7b, Lumignano
Chuck Odette

Maggie on Bat Roof full
Search & Add Ascents
Leo Skinner - rich skinner - sansa 7c
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Editorial by 8a Founder and Editor-in-Chief Jens Larssen including also Analyses, Reviews, Training, Polls and Opinions etc.
No Speed focus in Innsbruck Combined WCH  Facebook
In a Combined competitions, the guys who perform well in all disciplines are normally the ones who qualify to the final or who win. This is actually not the case in the Combined World Champion qualification in Innsbruck as the results in the three disciplines are not summed together but multiplied.

Let us say there are 100 athletes in all three disciplines, the following calculations show that if you are not Top-3 in at least one discipline it almost does not matter if you actually perform well in all three disciplines. In brackets the summed results which is used in most Combined competitions.

1 * 5 * 100 = 500 points (106)
3 * 3 * 57 = 513 points (63)
10 * 10 * 10 = 1000 points (30)

If the qualification results were summed, the guy who performed well in all three disciplines would have been the superior winner. However with the multiplication formula, he/she will not have any chance to make it to the Top-6 final. As the Top-30 or so best positions in Speed are occupied by the specialists, it has relatively low impact if you are the best of the non-specialist or dead last. What matters is scoring Top-3 in at least one discipline.

It should be mentioned that in the final, good results in all three disciplines are relatively more valuable. Further more, with the Speed specialist out of the game, the importance of a good speed performance is equally important as doing well in Lead and Bouldering two disciplines.

1 * 1 * 6 = 6 (8)
2 * 2 * 2 = 8 (6)
3 * 3 * 1 = 9 (7)
Other sports/hobbies beside climbing  (1) Facebook
Trendy big crags and the NOT trendy  (1) Facebook
In the Ticklist, the percentage of the ascent added the last year is measured. Using the %, here are the big trendy crags/boulder areas as well as the Not trendy.

54 % Leonidio, Lofoten
21 % Chulilla
20 % San Vito Lo Capo, Mallorca, Black Mountain,
19 % Brione
16 % Rocklands
15 % Cuenca, Albenga

3 % Railay Beach, HP 40
4 % Terradetts, Orpierre, Freyr, Hueco Tanks, Cresciano
5 % Rumney, Chateauvert, Tres Ponts, Peak District, Zillertal, Targassonne
Highballs and Dynos in the Reunion Jungle  Facebook
Top-5 Male + Female comp climbers in the history  Facebook
Here is the 8a Top-5 male + female competition climbers in the history. It is based on the number of points achieved, number of WC wins, number of World Championships as well as podiums. The ranking can not be calculated as there has been different of number of World Cups and World Championships. Further more the first Lead World Cup was 1989 and the first Boulder in 1999. The list does also reflect who has been dominating over the years.

1. Jain Kim - Ramon Julian Puigblanque
2. Angela Eiter - Kilian Fischhuber
3. Muriel Sarkany - Jakob Schubert
4. Mina Markovic - Adam Ondra
5. Akiyo Noguchi - Francois Legrand

Others that can be mentioned having made a strong mark on the historical competition scene are; Sandrine Levet, Anna Stöhr, Robyn Erbesfield, Liv Sansoz, Maja Vidmar, Dimitri Sharafutdinov, Sean McColl, Jorg Verhoeven, Jerome Meyer, Tomas Mrazek, and Alex Chabot.
Hirayama (48) goes for La Rambla 9a+  (1) Facebook
Yuji Hirayama reports on Facebook that he is leaving for a three weeks trip to Spain where he wants to finish something he worked hard on 2005. " I do not know if the timing of life is limited and I can fill in the past time, but now I want to clip the anchor!!!"

What he must be talking about is La Rambla 9a+ in Siurana. What an extreme feat it would be if he could take it down being 48 years old. During the last years he has done both 8c+ and 8B+. Yuji should be considered the most accomplished multi discipline climber in the world the last 25 years:
Calculation grades and grade inflation  Facebook
It is nice to see how well the grading system works around the globe and that we have a slow but steady grade inflation is just natural. One of the reason for this is the calculation grading that some topo authors as well as websites use.

Let us say twelve guys do and report a 9a and then three guys come along suggest 8c+. The calculated grade would still be 9a although it just might be that most of the first repeaters did actually not suggest 9a. Instead they just used the topo grade, as they do not care, or possibly wanted to make the first ascentionists and the sponsors pleased.

Other possible reasons for the 8c+ suggestions, might be that a new sequence was found or a hold broke making it easier.

In practice, trying to calculate grade, a higher weight should be given to the last suggestions otherwise the multiplication sum just might continue the grade inflation.
UK Boulder crag destroyed  Facebook
Click to Enlarge PictureThe BMC comes with the sad news that Whitehouses bouldering crag has been destroyed with a hammer and a "no climbing" sign has been installed. The landowner has previously compliant about bad behavior from climbers.

The article has given some advises in regards - How to avoid this happening again?

The picture is the 8a Access poster and what should be underlined is it is not just about presenting guidelines but that we have to talk to the guys not following the rules.
The Circuit Climbing T-shirts  Facebook
Click to Enlarge PictureEddie Fowke, who runs The Circuit Climbing has recently gone on Facebook to sell a limited edition run of tee shirts to raise money for the 2018 season. We spoke to Eddie to find out more about the background and future plans.

“I've shot 69 World Cups over the last 5 years (starting 2013), and more than 100 international competitions in all. I made the tee shirts as a homage to 1970’s style rock band tour shirts. They are something I will do more of, this first limited run was to fund my weekend at the US Nationals, but there will be a further run available internationally to help support The Circuit in 2018 and beyond”.
34 gyms connected to Vertical-Lifes App  Facebook
More and more climbing gyms offer digital services to their customers. This is not only comfortable for climbers – for example when getting informed about new routes via smartphone – but it also allows a comparison between the gyms and gives them visibility.

There are now 34 gyms world wide that have signed up using Vertical-Life's App in order to organize their route setting and give possibility to mark routes and create challenges. Most active in January was Oslo Klatrecenter with 2 520 "Zlagged" climbs.

For every month there is a Challenge like in February where everyone who Zlags 300 meters or 66 boulders take part in a Raffle with many nice prices.

Evgeniy Ekimov

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