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Silence 9c video  (8) Facebook

Livello Zero has published an interview with the film maker Bernardo Gimenez. "We choose to keep the movie in a documentary format, without the over-polished look which a lot of climbing films generally try to achieve.

The best Crags and Boulder Areas in the 8a data base  (1) Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureBased on the star rating of almost 5 million ascents, here are the popular Crags/Areas with the highest quality rating. Just scroll and "mouse over" the list and you can also easily find the best or worst for every country. Interesting to see is that the Boulder and Route list are dominated by USA and Europe respectively. Phalz is mentioned in both list! (c) Markus Köhler

1.8 Yosemite 8 841 ascents, Brione - 2 921
1.7 Poudre Canyon - 3 498
1.6 RMNP - 12 636
1.5 Joe's Valley - 22 935, Phalz - 5 574, Conceição - 3 967
1.4 HP 40, Targassonne, Annot, Moe's Valley, Sintra

1.6 Phalz - 7 997, Montanejos - 5 686
1.5 Finale - 20 635, Terradetts - 8 155, American Fork - 6 751, Verdon
1.4 Céüse - 34 732, New River Gorge, St Légere, Rifle, Maple Canyon, Zillertal, Ten Sleep, Basler Jura

"The Height of Injustice"  (5) Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureChris Ring has done some analysis based on the 8a.nu database to see if height and age have any impact on the reached peak climbing grade in routes and bouldering for U.S. climbers. R & I has found Ring's analysis interesting and published a long article.

Looking at the diagram we can see that for 80 percent of U.S. route climbers, their peak performance varied within the 5.12b/c range, for boulderers it was V8 level. Taking into account the overall curve, in bouldering, the very shortest and tallest climbers generally reach a lower grade. Among the route climbers, a short body height might be an advantage, as shorter climbers reached higher grades on average.

However, the differences can be considered rather small – all average peak grades range among the 5.12 and V7/8 level. Ring concludes that to him, "our subjective climbing grading scale is pretty good. […] It would be unfortunate if a super long reach was a prerequisite for climbing most 5.12s. And it turns out that it isn’t."

As a side note, from the very best on rock it is interesting to see that when it comes to grades, a 155 cm female and a 185 cm male (Eiter and Ondra) have achieved the highest grade. In bouldering and in competitions, it is the same, it is impossible to say what is best as many of the top climbers are just around 160 cm or above 180 cm.

8c+ by Thomas Blaabjerg who walks with crutches  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureThomas Blaabjerg had a bad auto belay accident in 2013 and the doctors told him he will not be able to climb again. Walking with crutches, last summer he did 8B+, video below, and now he has done Joe Blau 8c+ in Oliana. (c) Melanie Nacnac

"Even though I love Bouldering, and it is probably what i am best at, I guess, that I have always been a bit more inspired by lead climbing - especially the long ones! For a long time I had to put lead climbing on hold because of the circumstances (my feet) but after completing Never ending story, I decided to see if it was still possible to chase some of my dreams."

8C in an hour by Nomura Shinichiro  (8) Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureNomura Shinichiro has, in an hour, done his third 8C Orochi in Kanoto. It was put up in 2006 by Dai Koyamada and has had six ascents. During the same day the 21 year old also did Ginga 8B+, on his third go. (c) Keiichiro Korenaga

Amazingly, the 159 cm tall started climbing on rock last December and directly did two 8C's. Previously, he has focused on competitions and has a silver in the Youth Worlds. In the last five IFSC Lead WCs 2017, his worst position was #29.

"What I normally do at my home gym, Project which Dai Koyamada owns, is checking my body condition of basic elements like to see whether my body moves in right way or not and to check holdings. And I have a fixed route to observe my body condition by climbing it. Adding to above, I climb harder route to find out what I am not good at and I should do to get over it. I always try to be aware of finding and getting over a weak point.

My climbing on rocks has just began so I would like to gain my experience more in 2018. I am going to try more and more 8B+ over problems. I also would like to compete as a member of Japan National Climbing Team for Lead World Championship."

In own matter: redesigning 8a.nu  (13) 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?  (3) 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  (1) 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."

Tomasz Cygnarowicz

8a+ Mi può fare accende
re - San Vito lo Capo
Robert De lafondue

Annot 7B
Roberto Fernández García

Cabrafigal 7a+, Villanu
eva de Santo Adriano
Araz Rasaee

Ghol 7a+, Darband
Martí Balsells

L'anormal - Agulles de
l'embut (La Tortuga)
Giuliano Vieira

Armagedon 7c+, Gruta da
terceira Légua
Nicholas Allan

Cassy 6a+, Rocklands
Dubard Loïc

Haut de gamme - 7C/V9,
Ravine des Avirons
Heiko Queitsch

Summertime in the Frank
enjura August 2017 ol
dschool Problem "Käptn
Balubär" fb 7c/7c+
Miguel Benages (kele)

El resurgir de la fuerz
a 8a serratella
Fabian Poels

Hybride (8a) - Rocher d
e la Nausée (Anseremme,
Gus Carter

Planet of the Apes V7/7
Michael Weidig

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

Junimond 7c+
Igor Katalinski

Funky Shit (7c+/8a), Pa
klenica, Croatia.
Martin Bigatti

Whore's Gold 7a+, Wild
J larch

Der Haifisch der hat Zä
hne 7b+, Ötztal/Austria
Georgios Rouss

Apostolis Karras tries
to FA 'Alexandrou Anava
sis, Pyli crag, sector
Search & Add Ascents
Gonçalo "Gongas" Coutinho - My first equipment and FA! Atlântida rullez! Must go!!!! Climbing in Portugal is like this =D
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Selected Top List ->
Editorial by 8a Founder and Editor-in-Chief Jens Larssen including also Analyses, Reviews, Training, Polls and Opinions etc.
Yuji Hirayama (49) getting closer on La Rambla 9a+  Facebook
Click to Enlarge PictureYuji Hirayama reports on Instagram that he is getting closer on his big project La Rambla 9a+ in Siurana. The 49 year ols has been one of the best climbers in many disciplines since he did Les Specialistes 8b+ in Verdon in 1986. Climbing seems to be the only physical sport where an athlete can stay on top for 30 straight years!
Jorg Verhoeven's 9b Project  Facebook
Click to Enlarge PictureJorg Verhoeven, one of the leading multi-discipline climbers the last 15 years who won the Lead overall WC in 2008, has launched his Project-9b website. The good news is that it has a training set up so you can follow exactly how he trains and get motivated to do something similar. He has also listed and given specific info of the routes he has tried, including the chosen one - Fight or Flight in Oliana. (c) Tobias Lanzanasto

"What's nice about the route is:
It's short, which means you can do quite some tries in a day
You only stop to clip 3(!) times during the hard part
The holds are relatively friendly
It is freaking amazing to climb on

What about loosing weight just before next trip and how does the time plan look like?
I'm not a fan of losing weight, even on short notice. I think power will reduce, and risk of injury will increase.

March 1 - 15. I will try to send this trip, and if not come back in April, and eventually next year. That way you might understand the pressure is reduced quite a lot. Open time frame...
Ondra technical training and flexibility is most productive  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.

No Speed focus in Innsbruck Combined WCH  (3) 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:

Gregory Streatfield
Greg Streatfield on Aard Ay (8B), Topside Photo - Dom Riordan

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