LATEST NEWS

 ANGIE SCARTH-JOHNSON

By Ignacio Sandoval Burón & Elda Rodríguez Sela


First contact I had with Angie and her family was last year when I chatted with her mum, Claudia, when Carlos Logroño 'Citro' rung me and put me in contact with them. He knew that we wanted to speak to each other to clear up any issues regarding whether she sent her first 8c, 'Welcome to Tijuana' in Rodellar (Spain).

I expected it to be uneasy since some few days before we published in the Spanish site a piece of news saying that in reality she hadn't climbed the original line but a variation at the bottom skipping a first crux, which made the climb just an 8b+... Much to my surprise, the conversation went well, she explained to me why she did it wrongly (read the interview below for her explanations) and I, kind of feeling guilty for spoiling such a young girl´s thrill after such an awesome performance, expounded that we received several messages from locals about her mistake and just felt the necessity to do what any good journalist should do: to present the facts.

Later on, during a climbing trip in which I shared the car with a family of friends, I had to explain the situation and dilemma of whether to publish these sort of news where kids are involved to Elda, a girl more or less the same age as Angie, who in turn helped me with some questions for this interview.


Pic© The North Face Australia

- When did you start and how did you discover climbing?

I started climbing when I was 7. I climbed everything around the house and loved climbing trees but I had an accident and fell out of a tree. That’s when my mum took me to a climbing gym.


- Did it take you long since you started climbing until you got to climb outdoors? How was that first day in real rock? Did you feel scared by heights or run-outs or anything else?

I was too young to lead at a climbing gym so some of the local climbers who saw potential in me took me outdoors and taught me. This was about 6 months after I started climbing. Not long after I sent on lead my first 6c at 7 years old. This is when I really did realize that all I wanted to do was climb I was hooked. 

I wasn’t really scared of heights but I was and still am scared of run out routes.

Pic© Simon CarterThe North Face Australia

- How much do you train nowadays in a normal week?

I train about 3 days a week on my bouldering wall at home and then I go outdoors on the weekends.


- Do you count with the help of a trainer?

I don’t have a trainer, I tried for a couple of months having an online trainer but it didn’t work out, so I just went back to training myself. 

I write my own programs and have done this since I was 8. I find that this really works for me. 

The hardest thing for me is keep myself motivated. I do this by setting goals, climbing with my adult friends and traveling overseas.


- How are you doing with school with all that time you spend training, climbing outdoors and specially with your trips abroad?

At the moment, while I’m traveling, I do online schooling called Distance Education.  In Australia if you travel a lot for your career or your parents travel you have the option to do this type of schooling. They believe that learning History and different cultures enhances learning.


- Have you always been specially good at P.E.?

I have always been really good at all sports, even though I am very short (139 cm). I play basketball and I am very good at running and shot put.


- What is the subject with which you struggle the most and what's your favourite?

I hate Maths the most, I am really bad at it. P.E. and History are my favorite subjects at school.


- We've heard that some of your family comes from Spain. Is that true? If so, can you tell us that story?

My grandparents come from Cádiz, they migrated to Uruguay, where my mum was born and then they migrated to Australia. Even though I was born in Australia, I am a Spanish citizen as well. This makes coming to Spain for a long time easier. 



- Do you have any siblings? If so, do they climb? And, what about your parents?

I have 2 older sisters, Deseire (23) and Gabrielle (17). Gabrielle likes to climb indoors and works at a climbing gym in Australia. 

My parents don’t really climb. My Dad tries sometimes and has done a multi-pitch with me but he enjoys belaying the most. Even though they don’t really climb, they have learnt everything about the sport to help me.


- Last year you got confused with whether you climbed 'Welcome to Tijuana' 8c or 'Tijuanita' 8b+ basically because of the poor information in the topo you got.

I was not confused about climbing ‘Welcome to Tijuana’. There was no information at all about another route to the left. I am aware that many others have climbed the route the same way that I did and claimed it as an 8c, maybe because they just believe that they had found an easier way though not knowing any better. You just need to look at YouTube and you will see people climbing it this way. 

I started on ‘Welcome…’, went slightly left after the second draw less than a meter nowhere near the left tufa and went back in to clip the third draw. I chose to call it as an 8b+ because I didn’t want any criticism in the future from people thinking I did not do the correct line. I also thought it was better to be honest about how I did the route. This doesn’t mean that I think I did it incorrectly, I just found an easier way of doing it, just like many other climbers had.


- How did you feel when you send the route and how when you found out that you really did the softer version?

I was really upset as you can imagine after people said I didn’t do it but my parents told me it didn’t matter and that I was special and all my achievements were great no matter what.


Angie together with Carlos Logroño 'Citro'. Pic© Carlos Logroño.

- After that you tried to send the original harder line and recently did it... ¡Awesome! Could you explain us how the whole process went?

When I first arrived in Spain , I really didn’t think that I wanted to redo this route. I felt that it wouldn’t give me any psyche, so what would be the point?

But about a month ago, on our first trip to Rodellar, I decided to go and have a look at it again and saw that Carlos Logroño 'Citro' had moved the bolts as he said he would, so that no one else would be confused again. This made me want to give it a go and try to send it on the original line but felt that I wanted to do other routes before trying it again. 

I’ve now come back to Rodellar and was psyched to do it. I just wanted to prove to myself that I could do both ways of this route. I saw it as a mental challenge for myself. The bottom crux / boulder problem on both 'Tijuanita' and 'Welcome to Tijuana' was not the difficult part for me. The crux for me was at the top, just before the chains. This was very reachy for someone of my height and I had to use really small crimps, the same as what it was last year. 

When I sent the route I felt satisfied that I can now say that I truly sent it both ways and am really happy that I didn’t let it beat me mentally. 


- Now you've just sent your first 8c route with 'L'espiadimonis' in Margalef. Congratulations! Can you just explain us what the whole process was?

The route 'L'espiadimonis' was recommend to me by Iker Pou and Dani Andrada, so I thought I would give it a go.

All together it took me 4 days to send. But it was really cold in Margalef and because I had to use one finger monos I had to use the colder days to rest or climb other things. I didn't want to injure my finger so I would stop climbing if I felt to cold. No moves in the route were reachy for me but I did have to use extra intimidate holds to what most adults would use. I was so happy when I sent it.

Pic© Simon CarterThe North Face Australia

- Still with some time left to climb in Spain, what's your next goal?

I am going back to Australia on the 10th of June. I will be in Spain till May and then go to the South of France. I have already achieved everything I set out to do, so I just want to climb routes that I really like and that get me psyched. If I find a climb that I like and challenges me I will attempt it. I am always wanting to improve my onsighting because this is my weakness. Mainly because of my height, it is not always easy to see intermediates in a climb on the onsight.


- It seems you always climb your hardest routes here in Spain. Is it that you train during the rest of the year to perform in your trips to Spain, you like the climbs here better, you don't climb that much at home...?

Spain is my favorite place in the world so far to climb in because I love climbing pockets and crimps. There is so much climbing here it’s awesome you don’t have to settle for climbing something you’re not psyched on because there is so much options and different styles. I look forward to coming here every year. It’s what keeps me motivated. 

Climbing in Australia is very different. It is harder for very short people because the moves are very reachy and there are very limited intermediates and little option for footers. Australia has such amazing climbing areas and there is so much I want to do there when I get a little taller.


- What's the climbing style that fits you best?

I am mainly a sports climber, but I like short powerful climbing. This is my strength.


- Do you participate in competitions? If so, how are you doing in them?

I have been the Austrailan National Lead champion for Youth D category since I was 7 and Australian National champion Youth D for three years up to 2014. Last year, in 2015, my grandmother and grandfather passed away and I was unable to attend Nationals for bouldering. 

Pic© The North Face Australia

- Who are your climbing heroes?

I have so many climbing heroes or climbers that I admire, but I think that Ashima is a climber that has pushed the limits, especially for female climbers.


- Do you practice any other sports?

I play a lot of different sports at school; basketball, running and soccer.


- Do you practice any other climbing discipline (bouldering, trad, multi-pitch, ice...)? If so, how much you like and do them?

I really like bouldering but I don’t really get much opportunity to do it. Where I live in the Blue Mountains in Australia there is a lot of multi-pitches so I do like doing these and am very lucky to do these often. I have just started to learn how to trad climb but I find it really scary.


- What's your dream climbing trip?

Every year I have the dream climbing trip, because every year I get stronger, a little taller and everything is possible again.


- Can you tell us what are your best performances in flash, onsight and red point both in bouldering and sports climbing so far?

My best performance for onsighting is 7c. Flash is the same as my on-sighting because I usually go climbing with my parents and they can’t really help me with beta. I am so short that most people’s beta doesn’t really help me anyway. Redpoint 8c and bouldering V9 / 7C. Maybe next year I will start to concentrate a little more on bouldering.





INTERVIEWS

Sunday, 1 May

Angie Scarth-Johnson

 ANGIE SCARTH-JOHNSONBy Ignacio Sandoval Burón & Elda Rodríguez SelaFirst contact I had with Angie and her family was last year when I chatted with her mum, Claudia, when Carlos Logroño 'Citro' rung me and put me in contact with them. He knew that we wanted to speak to each other to cl…


REVIEW

Sunday, 28 February

Outdoor Research's DEVIATOR HOODY

Outdoor Research's Deviator HoodyBy Esteban Diez Fernández & Ignacio Sandoval Burón Throughout this past year we’ve been using several Outdoor Research items of clothing as we have previously informed you about in several  reviews (* see links at the end of this article). Without a dou…


TRAVEL & CRAGS

Tuesday, 23 February

Lisabon - A future destination

SintraCascais5 REASONS TO MAKE PORTUGAL YOUR NEXT CLIMBING TRIPThe people of Portugal, though resolutely proud of their beautiful country, humorously refer to their nation as "O nosso cantinho de Espanha" which literally means, our small corner by the sea. Throughout history Port…


INTERVIEWS

Monday, 11 January

Alexander Megos

 ALEXANDER MEGOSBy Ignacio Sandoval BurónAlex Megos ended the 2015 writing the following in the social media: "My first highlight of 2015 was 'Lucid Dreaming' my first ever 8C (V15). With 'Supernova' 9a+/b I did my HARDEST first ascent ever. TODAY! On my LAST GO of the year, I did my …


Boreal KINTARO II

By Ignacio Sandoval Burón & Esteban Diez Fernández

text-autospace:none"> Developed from the first version of the Kintaro, which we had previously written about a few years ago, this latest version has a few novelties we’d like to point out after having tried them for a period of six months.    text-autospace:none">



text-autospace:none">LAST

In general terms we can say that this is a climbing shoe with quite an accentuated foot arch, this enables us to wear them really tight on this part of our anatomy. It's a quite asymmetric shoe, besides we also find that the big toe part is slightly downturned which helps improve the performance on big overhangs and small holds.

As was the case with the old ones and all of the climbing shoes from this brand from Spain that have gone through our hands in the last years, we’ve observed a loose-fitting forefoot last which leaves ample space for the toes. Reference the heel, we have the feeling that the space has been slightly reduced. 

It comes with a midsole which, like everything else in this shoe, is of a medium hardness.

text-autospace:none">

Lastly, they continue to have the V2 Rand™, a 2-part rand in the form of a “Y” that tenses the heel by pulling from two points.

text-autospace:none">
text-autospace:none">
Dani Andrada showing the grip of the female version rubber. Pic: climbing.deYuji Hirayama did basically the same with the old version of the Lynx model which also comes with the same rubber.


text-autospace:none">SOLE

They continue to assemble the Zenith™ rubber, which in the last years has been the company’s personal bet, fortunately leaving to one side the numerous problems they had with the old Fusion.

You probably still remember when this new rubber appeared, the videos and photos that flooded the internet where you could see the soles of both climbing shoes literally stick together as if it was a magic trick (look at the image of Dani Andrada or watch Yuji Hirayama’s video above)…

text-autospace:none">

The thickness has been reduced. Before, when you wore them for the first time you found that they had a gross of 5 mm, which barely permitted the sufficient sensibility to notice where we were putting our feet. Now, with the 4-4.5 mm thickness this issue has been improved, although when they best feel is when we’ve worn them out a little.

text-autospace:none">



text-autospace:none">HEEL

The heel has been raised a few centimetres both in the inner part (to accommodate those with high heel spurs) as well as the external rubber, which now goes up a bit further as opposed to the previous ones which went up half-way up the heel.

text-autospace:none">

Besides, in the past, this rubber spur was smooth and now it’s ribbed, offering a better performance on heel hooks.

text-autospace:none">
Esteban Diez climbing with the new Boreal 'Kintaro' in Pedrosa (León). Pic© Ignacio Sandoval Burón.

text-autospace:none">CLOSING SYSTEM text-autospace:none">

Here we’ve found a big difference regarding the first version, the typical cushioned Lycra sock tongue has been replaced with a more innovative foam neoprene fabric. Additionally, they have reduced its length and width, achieving a more aesthetic look (it doesn’t stick out as much as it used to) and also so skipping the part where you had to carefully place the left-over tongue to avoid the uncomfortable crease over the foot.  

text-autospace:none">
text-autospace:none">



text-autospace:none">FEMALE VERSION text-autospace:none">

We’ve also had the chance to test the women’s version with very girly colours (purple and pink). We feel it’s important to stress that they have been designed for narrower feet with a low and slim heel.

text-autospace:none">
text-autospace:none">
Ignacio Sandoval testing the same climbing shoes on the rock of Piedrasecha (León).
Pic© Esteban Diez Fernandez.

text-autospace:none">CONCLUSION

text-autospace:none">

All in all, it’s a good climbing shoe that performs medium to well in all terrains. We therefore classify them as versatile, highlighting the excellent adherence of their Zenith™ rubber and the great comfort of a spacious last that provides major comfort than other climbing shoes for those with wide feet or those who have to wear them for long periods of time (multi-pitch climbers or those who train for long hours at the climbing gym).

text-autospace:none">
text-autospace:none">
A different shot with Esteban Diez. Pic© Ignacio Sandoval Burón.


text-autospace:none">
text-autospace:none">

REVIEW

Monday, 2 November

NEW Boreal Kintaro

Boreal KINTARO IIBy Ignacio Sandoval Burón & Esteban Diez Fernández text-autospace:none"> Developed from the first version of the Kintaro, which we had previously written about a few years ago, this latest version has a few novelties we’d like to point out after having tried them for a period…


TRAVEL & CRAGS

Friday, 23 October

Il Capitano - by Alex Huber

IL CAPITANO 8b+ trad by Alexander Huber (47) Il Selvaggio Blu - the wild 50 kilometer stretch between Cala Gonone and Santa Maria Navarrese - is one of the best coastlines Italy has to offer and is quite simply unique. Here in eastern Sardinia the island often soars vertically out of the sea. Larg…


OR's ASTROMAN shirt

 




The Astroman shirt from the Seattle brand Outdoor Research is a concept created by the famous north american climber, Hans Florine who is used to suffering long sunny days in the numerous pitches of Yosemite walls. 


If you’re looking for a more casual look you’ll appreciate this cool item of clothing, whether its for climbing or everyday wear. They’ve used the ever classic but modern checked design in three different colours to meet a wide range of tastes such as blue, green and orange. They are available in long and short sleeves. 


As already mentioned, the idea behind this garment is to use it when you go climbing. In fact we’ve used it and we can assure that it permits total freedom of movement without having to get it a size bigger than your regular size. It's made out of 85% nylon and 15% 'Spandex' which gives it that extra stretchiness. Its composition enables maximum breathability and produces a sense of coolness when you wear it. Besides, its longevity has been proven wash after wash without losing any of its quick dry, no need to iron properties (its amazing to see there are no creases insight when you take it out of the washing machine or backpack).

Its weight is also worth noting, a mere 154 grams in size L. 


It has a few other technical details which makes it even more attractive. Those who do multi-pitch routes and are constantly exposed to many hours of sun will appreciate this shirt's UPF 50+ sun protection plus the Sun Snap Collar™ which folds up and snaps in place to protect your neck from the sun's rays and/or your throat from the unexpected brisk wind. 


Lastly, we've been quite surprised with the effect that its snap down buttons has had, which very rightly so enables you to dispose of it super quick and with the simple gesture of pulling it open with both hands which has very funnily so led to many racy comments and whistles ;-) 

Esteban Diez Fernández climbing with the Astroman shirt on 'Pati Glamour', 7c in Valdegovía (Basque Country - Spain).
Pic© Ignacio Sandoval Burón.


REVIEW

Monday, 10 August

Outdoor Research's ASTROMAN shirt

OR's ASTROMAN shirt   The Astroman shirt from the Seattle brand Outdoor Research is a concept created by the famous north american climber, Hans Florine who is used to suffering long sunny days in the numerous pitches of Yosemite walls. If you’re looking for a more casual look you’ll app…


BARBARA ZANGERL after sending 3 of her hardest routes

By Ignacio Sandoval Burón


The last month for Barbara Zangerl has basically been about hard sport climbing, being able to send 3 of her hardest routes to date. First to conquer was 'Schwarzer Schwan', 8c in Ötztal; then, at the beginning of June, she ticked her hardest sport climb ever with 'Helel Ben Schachar', 8c/+ in Vorarlberg; and, last week, her last trophy was 'Nobody is perfect', 8c in Bürs.

We've catched up with her to know about these routes and her upcoming plans.

Barbara climbing in Zillertal. Pic© Jacopo Larcher.


- Could you tell us a bit about these routes you’ve sent during the last month which happen to be 3 of your hardest?

One of this routes is my hardest one so far, ‘Helel Ben Schachar’. It is a route in Vorarlberg. The other two routes felt much easier.

‘Helel Ben Schachar’ is a 30 metres power endurance pumpy route with a hard boulder crux at the end. At the beginning, it felt impossible to me and took me two sessions just to solve the boulder at the end. There are no really good rests and the hard boulder at the end felt hard for me. Really long moves on slopy holds with bad footholds. I couldn't do the route like the others did since I wasn’t able to reach the crux hold from the low foothold… but I found a good solution for me... It took me 3 days last year and 4-5 more days this year.

The route in Ötztal which I did one month ago, ‘Schwarzer Schwan’, is a short one, more bouldery... you climb on a small cool looking crack at the beginning and then, after a rest, it continues with 5 hard moves. The hardest one is an undercling move to a good sloper... I tried this one one day two years ago and 3 days this year. It’s 15m long and on perfect solid rock... a really good-looking route with amazing moves and it felt not so hard for the grade.

And, the last one I did two days ago is in Bürs. It’s a pure endurance route... super steep on conglomerate... 40m long and super pumpy. I tried this one 3 days last year and 3 days this year.


- Do you plan to try any multi-pitch/trad route during this summer?

I am motivated to go back to the Dolomites for ‘Bellavista’. Maybe in August. Last year, Jacopo and myself spent a lot of time there and it was raining cats and dogs for weeks… So, hopefully this summer we will have more luck with the weather...

Jacopo will go on a Siberia expedition, so I will wait for him until August. He is motivated for ‘Panaroma’. But, in general, it would be cool to climb more alpine classics like ‘The Fish’ or some easier routes on the Wendenstöcke.

In Autumn we plan to go to Yosemite to improve our crack climbing skills.

 

Barbara started her sending spree around one month ago with the route in the picture, 'Schwarzer Schwan', 8c in Ötztal.  Pic© Martina Harnisch

- Have you been specially focused on sport climbing this year?

I always do more sport climbing in spring.... no special focus on sport climbing this year... I am psyched to climb something longer but, for sure, I have to combine everything. I just like climbing...

I can't do multipitches (sport or alpine) all the time, but in summer it is always too warm in the lower crags, so I like to go to the mountains to try something longer. That offers me a bigger adventure and mentally it is also more challenging. That makes it really exciting for me and I like the silent places high up in the mountains, being in the nature far away from all the crowd... So I definitely need it for a change after some time doing the same...


- Considering that you've just sent 3 of your hardest routes, is it that you trained harder or more structured for this year?

I trained a lot in winter. The same that I also did last year, but this year I was more motivated for sport climbing and I got super motivated to finish ‘Helel...’. Last year I went to Spain and after it I focused on ‘Prinzip Hoffnung’. So, for me it is more like “I go with the flow” and I get inspired from something and then I can get really focused on a special route or multipitch.


A little video profile of her early trip to Spain this year.

INTERVIEWS

Sunday, 21 June

Barbara Zangerl after sending 3 of her hardest routes

BARBARA ZANGERL after sending 3 of her hardest routesBy Ignacio Sandoval BurónThe last month for Barbara Zangerl has basically been about hard sport climbing, being able to send 3 of her hardest routes to date. First to conquer was 'Schwarzer Schwan', 8c in Ötztal; then, at the beginning&n…


INTERVIEWS

Tuesday, 26 May

Joe Kinder roadtripping Norway

style="font-family: helvetica, arial, 'lucida grande', sans-serif;">Joe Kinder roadtripping with photographer Henning Wang in Norway ending in Flatanger My first experience was last Flatanger in September 2014 and I quickly fell in love. The climbing is to die for and the ambiance and quality …


INTERVIEWS

Thursday, 14 May

Preparation for your next climbing trip

Best preperation for your next climbing trip,  by Bonita Norris - RocUp.UKKalymnos (c) N SmalliosSierra Blair-Coyle (c) Jackie SternaMagnus Midtbö (c) Henning WangAlexander Megor (c) Ken Etzl, Red BullBen West (c) Si RawlingsonFrom the glossy pages of magazines, to sun-drenched YouTube vid…