NEWS

Elias Iagnemma logs eight 8C/9a's

Friday, 22 January

Elias Iagnemma logs eight 8C/9a's

Elias Iagnemma is a new 8a member who has recorded four 8C's and four 9a's, including the FAs of Extrasystole 8C and the 9a/+'s Ten and Ultimo Tango a Zagarolo. In 2018 he won the Italian Boulder Cup and tried some World Cups. Insta with more pics.

"Until 2018 I trained only and exclusively for competitions. Then in the last two years, my vision has changed a little and so I decided to compensate with a lot of rock climbing. In the winter of 2019, I almost stopped training but I only climbed on rock because when I wasn't climbing outside I was busy building my "BLOCKLAND" climbing gym. Once this dream was realized, I resumed training at my best but no longer exclusively aimed at competitions but also on performance on rock where it has recently given me more satisfaction. I love competitions and rock alike and I can't do without both. I hope this 2021 is a good year to get back to both of them in the best possible way. For the moment I continue to prefer outdoor climbing since with the situation of the pandemic the competitions are at risk until the last day and therefore I would not like to waste all the training performed over the months for a competition that probably will not happen. With this, I hope that we can return to normal as soon as possible and return to compete in the best possible way and in maximum safety.

After winning the Italian cup I took part in some world cups but I was injured in a finger and ankle and I couldn't give my best. Now I have recovered and I hope to return to the competition scene in this new year."

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Commercial auto-belays outdoors in 10 years

EDITORIAL

Friday, 22 January

Commercial auto-belays outdoors in 10 years

Climbing is one of the fastest-growing sports and part of the reason is all the auto-belays indoors. Within ten years, commercial auto-belays are probably also found outdoors on rock but also on municipal playgrounds.

Adventure parks and zip-lines are mushrooming meaning that there is probably a good market for commercial auto-belays outdoors. In the longer run, clubs and private persons might also buy one that easily could be attached to an anchor, on a day to day basis.

Another possibility is that some ordinarie belay devices have gotten an electrified motor pulling in the rope. In theory, such a motor might be possible to attach to the Revo which is shown in the picture.

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Covid-19 future: More outdoor bouldering gyms and parks

EDITORIAL

Thursday, 21 January

Covid-19 future: More outdoor bouldering gyms and parks

Last summer, many local crags and bouldering areas saw a record number of climbers. This local crag boom will probably continue this summer, and should also affect gyms next winter when it is too cold to climb outdoors.

At the same time, some climbers will probably be hesitant to go indoors for a couple of years due to Covid-19. This creates possibilities for gyms to build outdoor bouldering walls next to their facilities. As a matter of a fact, many gyms, especially in the Netherlands, have had such facilities for more than a decade. There are also gyms that already have integrated indoor/outdoor bouldering and climbing walls. (c) Vertikale in Brixen

Furthermore, kids' climbing walls have been part of playgrounds all over the world for many years. In other words, what is written in this article's headline is nothing new but a great possibility for all gyms and municipalities to continue developing outdoor climbing.

In the longer run, there are possibilities to further develop beginners' and kids' bouldering on the blocks outdoors. The children climbing courses are often fully booked, and until new outdoor bouldering walls are ready, courses could take place outdoors this spring in order to activate the kids.

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East Coast Fist Bump 8b+ trad by Brittany Goris

Wednesday, 20 January

East Coast Fist Bump 8b+ trad by Brittany Goris

Brittany Goris has done the FFA of East Coast Fist Bump 8b+ trad in the Waterfall. "This route had been on my mind for years after belaying my friend Reed on the second (?) Ascent. After finding a dozen sequences that didn't work for the crux, I finally found the one that did. In a rare moment of perfect flow, I sent on my first lead attempt after a month or so of rope soloing. Feeling very grateful for the journey and all the people involved. A truly special climb." Full story on BrittanyGoris.com - The Impossible Dream

During the last year, she has previously done ten trad routes 8a and harder including the FFA of Stingray 8b, video. In other words, 180 cm tall she is one of the very best female trad climbers out there and actually not that many males could show a better annual trad ticklist. In the 8a trad ranking game she is #1 ahead of all males. Interestingly, she has focused on trad climbing just the last two years. The 28-year-old started climbing some 20 years ago as a competition climber and has gone through all stages of climbing, including sport, bad injuries, bouldering and burnout before blooming out as a world-class trad climber.

"I started focusing on trad because I wanted to grow as a climber. I felt really stagnant just chasing grades as a sport climber and wanted to find a deeper purpose than that. Trad climbing constantly pushes me outside my comfort zone and offers so many opportunities to challenge myself in new and unique ways. To really be a great trad climber you have to master so many things-- technique, strength, and mental fortitude, and there is endless room for growth in all those areas. The more I got into it the more I became interested in how connected trad climbing is to the history of climbing in general which greatly inspires me. I also started to really see the beauty in cracks in particular. I also have fallen in love with the trad community, it tends to attract really weird people for some reason, just like me."

How has your training changed since you began focusing on trad?
Well I moved into a van and started climbing outside full time at the same time I started mostly trad climbing, so my training became more about the things I can do while travelling. I mostly just climb and do workouts for antagonistic muscles to prevent injury. If I feel like something, in particular, is holding me back I focus on it for a while.

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Almost all of Grampians at risk of closure

EDITORIAL

Wednesday, 20 January

Almost all of Grampians at risk of closure

Grampians in Australia is one of the best climbing and bouldering areas in the world. Vertical Life Mag reports that a new draft management plan has been released for the area, which "vastly decreases the opportunities for roped climbing – particularly hard, quality climbing – and it basically eliminates bouldering." VL writes that feedback on the draft plan can be sent to parkplan@parks.vic.gov.au. More info also at Save Grampians Climbing, which via Neil Monteith comments,

"The Grampians National Park is one of the worlds great rock-climbing and bouldering areas with thousands of classic sandstone routes spread across an extraordinary wilderness landscape. In a new draft management plan Parks Victoria (the land manager) is proposing to completely ban bouldering as an activity and only allow access to 22% of roped climbing areas. What is on the chopping block? Taipan Wall, Muline, Bundaleer and many others. This is the largest climbing ban on earth and decimates the climbing opportunities for locals and visitors alike. We need YOUR HELP by sending a submission to Parks Victoria stating your disagreement to the proposed plan and it’s massive loss to the rock climbing community. You have until the 24th of January 2021 – please act now! "Taipan wall in the picture.

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8c+ and 9a FAs by Joel Kinder (40)

Wednesday, 20 January

8c+ and 9a FAs by Joel Kinder (40)

Joel Kinder has done the FA of Black Mirror 8c+ and The Activator 9a in Hurricave. Just the last year he has now done nine 8c - 9a FAs. (c) David Frietz

Black Mirror: "Bolted this thing right after I sent LOV (9a+) in 2018. I've seriously tried this thing 80 times and never completed. I sort of left it as a side project and never saw it through until this year. Savage, mean and pissed off type of route, but rad like that. A new puppy in our life makes time at the cliff more valuable and I think it's helping. HA! WE GO HARD!!!!!!!!! Maybe 8c? But I kinda doubt it... old man shit so let's see what the kids have to say. Crazy the Hurricave is still giving lines."

The Activator: "Bolted in 2010 and tried for 6 weeks back then. It was WAY over me. Last year I tapped back in, got close, got injured and no send. This year went to fuckin WORK on it and with the ups and downs finally, the moment arrived. What a feeling!!!! One of my babies is completed and I have so many more to nurture and tend to. Life is good again."

The picture is from Peregrination/Visitor Q, 8b+/c in the cave. Gallery and comments on his Insta.

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Tuesday, 19 January

Ondra's top climbing moments

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7B with one hand in Fontainebleau

EDITORIAL

Tuesday, 19 January

7B with one hand in Fontainebleau

Fanatic Climbing reports with one hand that two times Para World Champion, Solenne Piret, born with one hand, has done Onde de Choc 7B in Fontainebleau. (c) Arthur Delicque

"Christophe Cazin showed me that boulder 2.5 years ago when my level was barely 6C in Font. I’ll admit that I didn’t believe in it at first, but Christophe remained adamant it would eventually work, so I’d give it a few goes every 6 months or so… It was a kind of yardstick. But then I spent a whole year on the comp circuit and didn’t have time to get on it, and in September 2020 I started training with Guillaume. I felt like I’d improved, and that I was finally ready to really commit to it.

After that I must have tried 3 or 4 times without much belief, then 2 sessions on the rope last October, and finally 2 ‘redpoint’ sessions… These last two proved tough, because I was suddenly pretty close to sending, and I fell several times from the very top… Yes, for me this boulder problem is far from over once the left-hand lands the last good crimp! It was super frustrating!"

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8C by Jorge Diaz-Rullo and interview

Tuesday, 19 January

8C by Jorge Diaz-Rullo and interview

Jorge Diaz-Rullo has done the first repeat of Beto Rocasolano's Trinity 8C in Cueva de pelayos, Spain. Beto has earlier referred to this 45 moves boulder route as "The Wheel of Life from Madrid." Jorge is #8 and #1 in the bouldering and routes ranking game, respectively. Here are some follow-up questions with Jorge, who is also the #8 8a Climber of 2020. (c) Javi Pec

Which was your most memorable send in 2020?
El bon combat 9b cost me the most and was a big mental struggle I faced for two months because this route is my anti-style in which everything happened. I had some setbacks that were not favourable, a fight that I will never forget!

What are your strongest point in climbing?
My strong point has always been my head. I have trained it a lot and I recognize that part of my success relates to this. The rest of the points, I think I have a lot of strength in my fingers, and technically I am good at finding my methods and doing strange things with insteps, knees and heels. On the other hand, I consider myself quite bad in traction force and speed.

How did a normal week look for you in 2020?
It depends on where I am, if I am in Madrid I usually do a double session training and then rock climbing, sometimes I also work as a route setter. If I am travelling I always climb on rock, whatever the conditions and I usually climb as much as I can, sometimes less due to my skin. If I can climb ten days in a row better, haha!

What is your ambition and plan for 2021?
I like to improvise, and even more, after the pandemic that has screwed up all our plans. For the moment to train and return stronger to Catalonia.

It can also be mentioned that Jorge has made an Insta post where he like Adam Ondra says that knee pads are part of the game and that it is actually great that some lines have become easier making them possible also for less strong climbers. "The beauty of this is that it seems that now climbers are more interested in doing a line for its beauty, leaving aside its difficulty."

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Here is another more advanced option Climbing a Chair.

EDITORIAL

Tuesday, 19 January

Lockdown table and chair exercises


Here is another more advanced option Climbing a Chair.

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