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8A+ flash by Moritz Perwitzschky (18) with the widest pyramid  Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureClick to Enlarge PictureMoritz Perwitzschky has been on a nice trip to Ticino where he flashed Ganymede Takeover 8A+ and another two 8A's beside doing four more 8A+'. What is special with the 18 year old who is #3 in the Combined 8a ranking game, is his extremely wide grade pyramid. Already last year we picked this up based on this question.

Is it not time to raise the bar and go for something really hard?
I think not. I just want to climb as much as possible and the result doesn't even matter. The fitness and the sends will come sooner or later, if you don't get injured. And as I don't do any systematical training, I don't really know, what I'm capable of so let's see.

This year, we can see that he has raised the bar based on this question.
What about the 2018 plan and ambition?
2018 plan climbing and bouldering outside as much AS possible, summer Rocklands, 9a Route, 8C Boulder is the goal for this year.

 
 
8C by Martin Stranik  Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureMartin Stranik reports on Instagram that he has done Der mit dem Fels Tanzt 8C in Chironico n just two days. (c) Kateřina Stráník

Martin won the silver in the Boulder World Championship in 2007 and has been competing actively since. In 2015 and 2016, he was runner up in two World Cups. In total the Czech has previously done 27 boulders 8B+ and three 8C's and he is #3 in the 8a ranking game.

 
 
The best Crags and Boulder Areas in the 8a data base  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

Boulder
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

Routes
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."

 
 
Climbing Ethics  Facebook
 

Here you have the 8a Climbing Ethics presented in a traffic light Green, Yellow and Red colors, meaning that there are no absolute right or wrong. In the Epic TV; Onsight, Flash, Redpoint and Headpoining is presented and discussed including giving some tips by Adam Ondra.

 
 
Dreamtime 8B+ (C) by Jakob Schubert  (16) Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureJakob Schubert, one of the leading competition climbers who just flashed a confirmed an 8C calling it 8B+, reports on Facebook that he has done a ”quick” ascent of Dreamtime giving it a personal 8B+ grade. The legendary boulder was put up as the worlds first 8C by Fred Nicole in 2000.

"Although it might not climb as perfectly as in the past (hold broke) it‘s still an amazing boulder and such a nice line! Very happy to send such an historical and legendary boulder."

The picture from Heiko Wilhelm is from Jakob's flash of Rah Plats Plats 8A also in Cresciano.

 
 
One more 8a+ by Cathy Wagner (52)  Facebook
 

Cathy Wagner has done her fourth 8a+ in 2018, Smashing pumpkins direct in El Chorro. "One of the king lines! Evening send as it was too warm. The higher you climb the better it gets!A perfect route anyway."

Out of the twelve 8a+' she has done the last year, four she did second go. In total she has recorded 634 routes 8a to 8b which just might be the most any female have done? And as a matter of a fact, including two 8b's and 43 8a's the last twelve month, she is at her peak being 52 years old.

 
 
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."

 
 
8c+ and 9a by Christof Rauch  Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureChristof Rauch, #1 in the 8a boulder ranking game, has tied in and done Bucking Bronco 8c+ and Sid Lives 9a in Arco. "Ohhhh my god! Sooo happy! Checked the moves two times yesterday, one more time today and then did it on my 5 try from the start after an epic fail the try before. Awesome bouldery route with some of the coolest pinches around. Syked!

I've not really prepared for routes but I like pretty long boulders and the routes I've climbed are quite short. @2018, I have no special goals at the moment, I just want to climb some cool boulders and maybe some old projects."


The last year, Christof has done 125 boulders 8A and harder and he is probably the one having done most hard boulders in the world during the last four years, almost 500. Amazingly, he is working full time as an engine building technician in a water plant and got his first sponsors last year but just products.

 
 
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.

 
 
Gelmanov searching for the climbing paradises in Mexico  Facebook
 

 
 
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.

 
Dubard Loïc

Bataille cok - 7C/V9, R
avine des Avirons
 
Orsi E.

Orshe crushing Küklopsz
 
Sam Davis

The Reflecting Pool 8b,
Red Rocks
 
Bram Honorez

el varano, 7C+ Albarra
cin
 
Gus Carter

Gus Carter // Celestial
Mechanics 7a+, Stone F
ort
 
Mike Gabl

Mont Dauphin Fort Clim
ber: Werner Nothdurfter
 
Mike Kimmel

Un Rime Estupide 7c+, R
ocklands
 
Matteo Gennaro

Klamme Hender 7c, Kårst
ø
 
Martin Feistl

Crux of Agrimony 7c, Ro
ttachberg
 
Gabriel Bello

Boulder "Limão - V9"
 
Bram Honorez

willenberg dach 8A, chi
ronico
 
Vladimir arnaoudov

Vladimir Arnaoudov, Gue
re d'usure, Claret
 
Marcin Walasek

Hipertrofia treningowa
8b, Dolina Kluczwody
 
Deivid Hasselfor

8chenter, 8a+ Cuenka.
 
Paolini Yohann

Alpina rocket 8a, La Ma
ladière
 
Igor Katalinski

Funky Shit (7c+/8a), Pa
klenica, Croatia.
 
Kat Gentry

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

Never Believe 7c, Rifle
 
Search & Add Ascents
Kat Gentry - Please add info of the climb, your ascent and the area
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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!
 
Most 8a users from USA and Spain  Facebook
Click to Enlarge PictureHere is a diagram showing which countries 8a members come from. USA sticks out with 18 644 (18.9 %) users followed by Spain with 7 418 (11.2 %) members and Germany, Italy, Sweden, Polen, UK and Canada. In general, both the number of users and visitors are rather evenly spread out around the climbing countries on the globe.
 
Norway Federation Crag Check - Safety First  Facebook
Click to Enlarge PictureThe Norway Climbing Federation has published a Crag Check which in order to increase safety outdoors. It can be printed out and placed on crags. Here is the 8a safety first article.
 
Popular climbs do often get down graded  Facebook
By looking at the 8a data base, we can see that it is often the climbs that are most repeated that sooner or later get down graded or are subject of. The dilemma for the media is that sometimes it is quite obvious that a route, often making headlines, should be reported with a lower more honest grade.

In practice it is often like in the Emperor's new clothes. It just takes one guy shouting out a personal grade for a popular climb. The best example from the 8a data base is Gabri Moroni's comment for Mind Control in Oliana. "Everybody knows it's only 8c...but nobody will ever downgrade it :-P"

In other words, it is actually seldom consensus that confirm or change the grade, because few climbers like to give personal grades. You can also use the success rate including the time and effort used as an indicator for how hard a climb is.
 
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...
 
Arco Rock Star picture contest 21-22/4  Facebook
Click to Enlarge PictureOn the 21st and the 22nd of April, the vertical walls of Garda Trentino will be the scene of the third edition of the Arco Rock Star, the international contest of climbing photography. Two days during which athletes and photographers will go in search of the photo that describes the athletic gesture, but also the landscape and everything that revolves around climbing - from the fatigue to the smiles, from the sunsets to the beers. In short, a story of passion for climbing and for photography.

Two categories, Pro, who are selected by invitation among the leading names in the outdoor photography all around Europe and beyond; and Open, where people can soon register in our website Arco Rock Star or directly at Arco, before the event.

For each team, a photographer and maximum three athletes that will try to achieve the coveted prize. Celebrating the La Sportiva 90th anniversary, Arco Rock Star will run a special contest dedicated to the History of climbing and alpinism “La Sportiva Anniversary”.
 
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
 


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