Wednesday, 20 July

Fabi Christof - The unknown #3 in the world

' life will never become boring.'
Fabi Christof has been the unknown #3 in the 8a combined world ranking for a couple of years. Competitions, media and sponsors don't seem to interest him, he just focusing on delivering 8c's and 8B's. Imagine any world's top-3 that have not at least free equipment! Finally the german agreed to do an interview.

How long time have you been climbing and what does it mean for you?

I started climbing in my home town Würzburg for some ten years ago. It´s a town about 140 kilometers away from Frankenjura. Climbing means for me to have found something and the rest of my life will never become boring. I like to put my whole energy in a route or a boulder and to strain my body in the way that I feel really tired after a good climbing day. I also prefer to spent a lot of time at the crags or boulders. At the moment i live in Nürnberg so I drive 45 minutes to Frankenjura and to go climbing is a good thing to get a rest from daily live as a student for economical science.

What kind of climbing do you prefer?

Usually I really like to do short routes or boulder. Our routes are something between 15 or 30 moves long and you can´t say if you do the next dynamic move of your attempt. They are really powerfull for fingers and body. But I also like to climb on endurance routes. I climbed some 45 meter routes that is hard for me to getting not pumped on hard finishing meters and in the end to fall off. At bouldering for me is the best to move on granit or sandstone. In Frankenjura we don´t have this kind of friction. I love to use this friction and to manage impossible sequences.

So you like bouldering and climbing as well?


1979 - Germany

Length & Weight

170 cm & 63 kg


Punk, hardcore music,
concerts & splatter movies


Prana & Five Ten

World ranking

#3 in combined
(Route + Boulder)

Yes. Sometimes it is a bit more stress to climb a route so after I stick a hard route I try to relax and go bouldering. I do both for most of a year but in winter I spent more time with bouldering. Usually it depents on my motivation.

Do you do special training for the fingery pocket climbs in Frankenjura, i.e. campusboarding like Güllich?

Not really. Sometimes I've made a few campusboard sessions but usually when I climb indoor I prefer bouldering. The routes or boulders in the higher grades in Frankenjura are more crimpy not really so much pockets but everyone who comes to visit this area has got the pictures like Action Direct with the hard mono-moves in the head.

Have you ever tried Action Direct?

Not really, but I checked out the sequenzes as a friend tried the route. I could climbing the moves but to do the whole thing is something completly different. For this route it would be not so bad to do a few campusboard exercises. But I know that Action Direct is in my home area so when I am strong enough I will going to try it hard.

And one last question why are you a relative unknown climber?

I never thougt about things like interviews or articles and I also had no sponsors until this year. Since a short time I get shoes by Five Ten and clothes by Prana and I have recogniced that my climbing is not so bad so i do a bit more things in this direction. In Germany it is also quite hard to get some attention without being a competition climber and I never climbed competitions with a few exceptions. Good luck in the future ;)

DelusionofGrandieur3.jpg CAD3ZT48.jpg KopievonShangrila2.jpg

Delusion of grandeur, 8B in Chironico

Fred Feuerstein, 8b+ in Frankenjura

Burn 4 you, 8c in Frankenjura

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Wednesday, 20 July

Welcome to the 8a community

Welcome to the 8a climbing Community.

Here is a short guide to some of the 8a features in order to give you a quick start

1. Log-in with your ID#, you find it on the presentation side, or with you email address. If you don’t remember your password or if you have other problems logging in, this link might help you.

2. Keep track of your ascents through a scorecard or log-book,log-book membership means no score or ranking. Set your preferences on the "Settings/presentation" page and then use the "add routes" and "add boulders" buttons, here you will also find a grade conversion table (8a=5.13b=29=V11)

3. Points and score system is explained here. The ascents that count for you will be found at the top of your scorecard "Top-10 routes/boulders". 8a means routes and 8A means boulders. We introduced this convention in 2002 and it is now getting a widely used standard.

4. Via "Updates – Search" you can search for your friends, routes/boulders or ascents.

5. You can stay automatically updated of your friends' latest ascents, by clicking on the "Add to My Updates" button on their scorecards/log-books.

6. You can send messages to any member, a good way to e.g. get information of crags, routes and boulders.

7. In the Crag database you may search for the three stars routes/most onsighted or most popular routes for a particular crag!

8. Other features include photo gallery, personal blog and training log

We would also like to mention that there is no thing such important as access and safety for the climbing community. Always try to make other climbers be careful with access and safety! We would also like to explain that we do think that climbing is foremost about adrenalin, scenery and nice people Sometimes you can add grades and points and it gets even more exiting, but don't lose your perspective.

Take care and enjoy!

Climbing regards,

The team

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Sunday, 3 July

Birmingham 2006


The first world cup in boulder of this year took place in this weekend.

45 men and 29 women competed in an event that turned out to be a great success with superb boulder problems. For the first time in the history a new format was tested. The best 20 in the qualifying round went to semi-finals and the best six in the semi climbed in the finals. The climbers were happy about it but had some worries about getting tired in the final, as the semi and the final were on the same day.

The women had the hardest schedule with the qualifying round at Saturday and both the semi-final and the final at Sunday. Olga Bibik from had the most powers in the final and won the event. Runner up was Emelie Abgrall from  and the third place went to Juliette Danion, also she from . Anna Stöhr (17) from ended up #4, Chloe Graftiaux (18) from  #5 and on #6 we had Celine Combaz from


This event was great French "show up" with 3 men and 3 women in the finals. The spirit was high in the isolation between the semi-finals and the finals. The French climbers enjoyed the time in isolation playing boule :)


The winner of the men?s event was Jéróme Meyer from France who seemed to have some difficulties on the very first problem in the semifinal and showed much frustration.

In the last minute he topped it out and after that nothing could stop him and he topped out all the problems that was remaining and finally won the competition fairly. Runner up was Killian Fischhuber from , last year?s world cup winner. On #3 was Cristian Core from , "I don?t care if I end up first or last as long as I give my best and push my limits".

On #4 we had Loic Gaidioz from France, #5 was Stephane Julien from France and on #6 we had Andrew Earl from Great Brittan.

Olga Bibik has the most powers left and won the worldcup Gabriele Moroni #13 on the dubbledyno.
Jéróme Meyer climbs convincing and won the mens event. The routesetters did a superb job.


Anna Stöhr ends up #4 Cristian Core gave all and ends up #3
Anja Hodann #9 Killian Fischhuber topping out the 3rd problem and ends up #2

Killian shows his muscles, trying to scare the french team ;) Stephane Julien wins the semi but end up #5


UIAA Climbing Deligate was Mr. Maco Scolaris who was very satisfied with the event, "no no, no problems, just solutions :)"

The new formate was a great success just like the whole event. I belive that having a semifinal for the best 20 will motivate many of the climbers to compete in the upcoming events.
Some of the women looked really tired in the final, wich is not so hard to understand. I belive that some of the climbers will do some more endurance training before the next event in Bulgary. The public enjoyed the show and the climbers were very happy about the boulderproblems. "The problems were great, perfect level", Daniel Dulac who sensationally missed the semifinal and ended up #25.


Text and Pictures by: Björn Strömberg


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Sunday, 3 July

Final: Mrazek & Eiter

Tomas Mrazek hangs horizontal, smiles and gives thumps up and start waving with his left hand to get us scream more. The world champion from 2003 has done it again. The first four WC events didn't turn out very good and he decided to skip the Zürich event to be better prepared for the championship in Münich. The qualifications started out with him setting a new isolation world record at 16 hours and 50 minutes. He was also last out in both the semi and the final but all this waiting didn't break down the world's best male climber in the world. Runner up is Patxi Usobiaga and the bronze goes to Alexandre Chabot.

Angela Eiter (19) has won the last five WC events and she seems to to be more superior then ever. In the roof she looses her feets but this dosen´t seem to bother her and she continues with a one-arm pull-up campusing through the crux. Runner up among the female is sensationally Emily Harrington followed by Akiyo Noguchi who were tied at #8 in the semifinal.

Angela Eiter, the superior world champion Angela doing the one-arm pull up, campusing the crux
Tomas Mrazek with the Czech flag Patxi Usobiaga a happy runner-up


Katharina Sauwerin from Austria #8 - 18 years old Tomas Mrazek finding the no-hands rest in the semi
Emily Harrington from USA #2 Muriel Sarkany from Belgium #10

Pictures by Björn Strömberg

The lead event turned out to be a great success with perfect routes and some 3 000 cherfull spectators. The only debacle was that the leader from the semifinal, Ramon Julian Puigblanque unfortunately was discqulified from the final as he had missed that the isolation closing time was changed. A protest was delivered by the spanish team but the jury said that this change had been presented at the official message board.

Tomorrow starts the spped event and you better follow it at the official website as we are going Frankenjura for some climbing. The boulder event will start on monday and Tomas will for the first time participate. Angela has to wait two years as she didn't quallify - I was busy doing my final exams, she tells us as she is in the Press centrum getting the prize money of Euro 2 300.


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Saturday, 2 July

Semifinal - 8a members dominate


1. Ramon Julian Puigblanque cruises the semi.

2. Tomas Mrazek finds the no-hands rest.

DSCF0250.JPG 3. Patxi Usobiaga
1. Angela Eiter - only competitor to top out the semifinal. DSCF0335.JPG
5. Jorg Verhoeven - Fastest climber with the camera guy training to pop out of the hole. DSCF0236.JPG
DSCF0194.JPG 7. Maxim Petrenko
3. Sandrine Levet shows the french team the under-cling move. P7020010.JPG
P7020012.JPG 15. Peter Bosma - doing the memorize game.

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Friday, 1 July

Day 1 - Isolation marathon

Day 1 - Isolation marathon


A new record of participators created an isolation marathon. #1 Björn Stromberg had to wake up at 5.12 in order to be prepared for an early start at 08.00. 

Tomas Mrazek, who won the championships two years ago in Chamonix, is scheduled to start climbing the first route at 20.00. Then he has to go to isolation #2 and if everything goes OK, he will be ready at 21.15, after a total of 14 hours in the isolation.

Mrazek don't really complain. He thinks it's great with many competitors but say that they have to reduce isolation time. Most probably he will stay 10 hours on an average over four days, in the iso, as he also will participate in bouldering.



- I think that they could divide the participators into two groups or close the iso five hours later for the last starters. An other alternative would be flash in the qually as in the junior world.

Imagine the waiting hall in a Ryan air airport on strike. People trying their best to "kill time" and at 14.45 the Slovenian team seems to be in the lead. They have been in this situation before.

I talk to some other but most are quite happy at this time of the day. The winner last weekend in Zürich, Cedric Lachat, is just relaxed and say that the iso is much better here. In Zürich it was smaller, hotter and no food.

Patxi Usobiaga pops by and I just hear him say, with a big smile - Flash, flash flash!



Bild 010.jpg
Bild 002.jpg Warming up wall.
Bild 008.jpg Arman Salada from the Phillipines with a sample of his personal climbing brand.

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Friday, 1 July

Boulder finals

A Perfect Show

Last out in the finals is Olha Shalagina from Ukraine. Nobody has done the last boulder. Olha has so far done 11 boulders in 11 tries and off course she does it directely and the crowd salutes her. Olha is the queen of the world championship as she also was #4 in the lead event, quite surprising as she hasn't competed in boulder WC's in a year and in lead she was outside the top-10 in the world ranking prior to the world. An interview is hopefully on the way to explain all this.

The men event turned out be another perfect show with super dynamic and spectacular problems which Salavat Rakhmetov from Russia managed to do all in first try, rather easy it actually seemed. Second was Kilian Fischhuber from Austria followed by Gérome Pouvreau who also did all six problems.  

Pictures by: Björn Strömberg

#1 Olha Shalagina - a superior winner and queen of the championship #3 Vera Kotasova - fighting for the last hold
#2 Ioulina Abramtchouk Olha
Vera #5 Anna Stöhr Austria -only girl outside Eastern Europe, top-8
#1 Salavat RAKHMETOV (RUS)  #4 Serik KAZBEKOV (UKR)
#3 Gérome POUVREAU (FRA)

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Friday, 1 July

Analyses and Pics of World Champ 2005

The World Championships 2005 in Munich was a great success for our growing sport. There were some 500 names from 45 countries on the starting lists. In fact, the success made it hard for both the competitors, the organisators and the spectators with very long days for everyone. Tomas Mrazek spent 17 hours in the isolation on the first day, and in total he was locked up there for close to 30 hours. ICC are planning to modify the format and we would not be surprised if they will try to introduce flash in the lead qualifications next year. 

Lead Boulder
1. Tomas Mrazek (24) Czech R. Angela Eiter (19) Austria Olha Shalagina (22) Ukraine Salavat Rakhmetov (37) Russia
2. Patxi Usobiaga Emily Harrington (19) Ioulia Abramtchouk Kilian Fischhuber
3. Alex Chabot    Akiyo Noguchi (16) Vera Kotasova Gerome Pouvreau

VM2005 007.jpg It is easy to analyse what is needed to be a winner as all top-8 in the six categories, except three French climbers (45 out of 48), either (1) come from Eastern Europe, (2) train in Kletterzentrum in Insbruck or (3) are 19 years or younger.

It is remarkable that about half of the top-8 men and women in lead climbing train regularly in Insbruck, including Mrazek, Usobiaga, Verhoeven, Petrenko and Kazbekov. The strongest Eastern dominance is found in women bouldering where all except Anna Stöhr (19) were from Eastern Europe.

Reini Scherer - trainer from Kletterzentrum in Insbruck
"Everyone is welcome to train". Interview is coming up!

"No secrets, a good community creates motivation".
"Next year, David Lama will be among the top ten".

The average age on the women's lead podium was 18 with third-placed Japanese Akiyo Noguchi as the youngster at 16. Youngest of the best men was 18-year-old Nalle Hukkataival, who finished 5th in bouldering. 

There has been some turbulence in Spain because of the discqualification of Ramón Puigblanque. The Spanish coach has resigned taking full responsibility of the debacle. However, on the Desnivel website the federation has expressed that the former Spanish coach did say that he thought the trainers of Patxi Usobiaga could have done more. Patxi and his trainers have responded, through the website of Patxi, that there was nothing they could do once the isolation had been closed. Ramón travelled with the official Spanish coach and Patxi's trainers had no responsibility to check if he had got the correct time. It should have been the other way around.

It was interesting to see that seven climbers made it to the finals in both lead and bouldering. Maybe not such a big surprise as the boulder competition format also favours onsight and endurance since the climbers have to do six boulders in 54 minutes, including anything up to 15 attempts. However, in the men's final the route setters had made two problems (a mantle and a bridge move) which were virtually impossible for route climbers.The routesetters did a very good job overall, except with the speed route which had to be modified and the qualitication re-started after several women failed to climb it;) 

patxi6.jpg emily9.jpg
Patxi Usobiaga topping out the final and salutes to our photographer - Jörg Zeidelhack Emily Harrington (19) from USA, a sensational silver medalist. - I didn't feel I had any pressure, I just had fun.
Bild 003.jpg P7020010.JPG

Ramón Julian Puigblanque missed the changed isolation closure time and was disqualified. Otherwise with 90 % probability he would have been the World Champion.
"The Championship was stolen from me."

The French in general and Sandrine Levet in particular didn't meet expectations. Eastern Europe dominated the women's boulder scene.

kili3.jpg gerome3.jpg
Kilian Fischhuber (22) from Austria. No trainer, climbs mostly routes outdoors. Interview is coming up. Gerome Pouvreau (22) from France, 3rd in bouldering 2005 and winner in lead 2001.
olha4.jpg salavat6.jpg
Olha Shalagina (22) from Ukraine - winner in bouldering and 4th in lead! She also had a victory in speed in 2004. Interview is coming up! Salavat Rakhmetov (37) from Russia - 12 boulders in 12 attempts. Outstanding! Close to 100 World Cup competitions since his first victory in 1991.

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