NEWS

Josito Paradise Extension 8c/+ by Tobias Haug (48)

Saturday, 8 May

Josito Paradise Extension 8c/+ by Tobias Haug (48)

Tobias Haug, who is running the Josito guesthouse in Geyik Bayiri has done his hardest route ever by Josito Paradise Extension 8c/+ in Öküzini. The 48-year-old has previously done nine 8c's out of which the first in 2006. (c) David Kaszlikowski

"45m of very steep and fantastic climbing. The extension has three hard, very complex and physical boulder problems. It felt totally out of reach in the beginning. Seven long weeks of finding beta, trying and doubting often that I can ever succeed. I never climbed 8c+, that's why I can not really give that grade, but the route felt harder than all 8c I've climbed before."

How can you explain peaking at age 48 :) Any special training?
I think it is still possible to improve a lot in climbing, even after 32 years of living this passion. I'm thankful that I can be here at the camp in the position to exchange and learn a lot of good climbers that come to share nice times with us at the rocks. For sure to have a motivated climbing partner, like my wife Duygu, is also pushing a lot. Normally I don't like too much long projecting, but this time I really enjoyed the whole process, also mentally.

We climb most days. I do by side some campus moves on our training wall. For the project I concentrated on short bouldery routes for 3 weeks, which was a good preparation for the hard boulder problems in this long project.

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Euro Roof Low Low 8B by Natalia Grossman

Friday, 7 May

Euro Roof Low Low 8B by Natalia Grossman

Natalia Grossman has done Euro Roof Low Low 8B in Little Cottonwood. "First go, second session!!! This climb truly has some amazing movement. I guess it is time to go deeper in the cave." (c) Quinn Mason

What can be found deeper in the cave?
If you go all the way to the bottom of the cave you’ll find the start of Grand Illusion, one of the most amazing lines I’ve seen! I believe there is also a higher start that is an 8B+, but I’m not positive.

Grand Illusion is the 8C+ or 9a+/9b that Nathaniel Coleman put up last year. It is 25 intensive moves almost roof climbing on granite without any rest which takes around two minutes to climb.

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Coup de Grace 9a by Samuel Ometz

Friday, 7 May

Coup de Grace 9a by Samuel Ometz

Samuel Ometz has repeated Dave Graham's Coup de Grace 9a in Ticino. "Legendary route from Dave! That last boulder in the roof has to be one of the coolest section I've ever done on a rope. Used a kneepad which lets you recover better before the roof and for sure makes the route easier. 3 days this year + few goes in the last 2 years." (c) Fedir Samoilov

In total, the 25-year-old has done nine 9a's out of which five the last 12 months. In previous years, he has been focusing more on bouldering having done 66 boulders 8B to 8C.

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Katie Lambhas done her seventh 8B the last year, Chinese connection in Mortar Rock. "Legends only. Test piece and a king line in its own special, crumbly way. The most beautiful spring day in the Bae with Berkeley legends bill and ethan g. Mortar rock - where heroes are made." Video on her Insta. (c) Ethan Goldblatt

Last week, the 23-year-old, who is #5 in the ranking game, also did her 14th 8A+, Dominator in Camp 4. "Channelled inner try hard for the last move sat. Full moon power at the bloc, amongst legends. 8 eager seshes this spring culminating in last day valley magic. Personal level up and ffalala. So special."

So what have you been up to this spring?
I have mostly been finishing school and trying Dominator. I had to focus on full-body training, including legs and neck. I was inspired by my study of F1 race car drivers, who will risk it all for glory. I study environmental engineering and the power grid.

Friday, 7 May

Chinese connection 8B and an 8A+ by Katie Lamb

Katie Lambhas done her seventh 8B the last year, Chinese connection in Mortar Rock. "Legends only. Test piece and a king line in its own special, crumbly way. The most beautiful spring day in the Bae with Berkeley legends bill and ethan g. Mortar rock - where heroes are made." Video on her Insta. (c) Ethan Goldblatt

Last week, the 23-year-old, who is #5 in the ranking game, also did her 14th 8A+, Dominator in Camp 4. "Channelled inner try hard for the last move sat. Full moon power at the bloc, amongst legends. 8 eager seshes this spring culminating in last day valley magic. Personal level up and ffalala. So special."

So what have you been up to this spring?
I have mostly been finishing school and trying Dominator. I had to focus on full-body training, including legs and neck. I was inspired by my study of F1 race car drivers, who will risk it all for glory. I study environmental engineering and the power grid.

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EDITORIAL

Thursday, 6 May

Team up with pushy and better climbers

"A muerte" is the key in climbing according to do Dani Andrada and is the total opposite to "comfort zone" climbing. Almost all regular climbers would immediately progress two grades if they could switch on to "fight to the death" mode. For the modern climbers, having grown up with nice and safe moves indoors, it just might be very hard to adapt to the often painful and scary outdoor scene.

Instead of focusing on physical and structured training, it might be much quicker to instead team up with pushy and better climbers that will show you what is possible halfway to "a muerte". On the other side, it might be worse to have a partner putting up the bar several grades of what you would be capable of, i.e. trying a new personal best in high jump that will just create a refusal.

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EDITORIAL

Thursday, 6 May

Double golds for Jenft and Schalk

Paul Jenft and Mejdi Schalck, both from France, secured their second gold today in the Euro Youth Championship in Perm. Overall, France dominated, especially in Boulder. The biggest surprise in the competition was that Olympian Albert Gines Lopez was #4 in Lead and #8 in Bouldering. However, the Spaniard won the qualifications in both Lead and Bouldering as well as the Lead Semi.

Boulder 02: Paul Jeft FRA - Naile Meignan FRA
Boulder 04: Mejdi Schalk FRA - Zélia Avezou FRA
Lead 06: Timo Uznik AUT - Barbora Bernardova CZE
Complete results

Noteworthy is that nine out of the twelve golds in Lead and Boulder were won by 8a members. Paul Jenft (17), Mejdi Schalck (16) and Niki Rusev (15) did all do 9a's in 2020. Timo Užnik (15) did his first 8B boulder just two weeks ago. Marketa Janosova (17) did her first 8c in 2019, Naile Meignan (17) did her first 8c in 2016 and Lucija Tarkuš (17) did her first 8c+ last year.

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Haglund deformity due to tight shoes

EDITORIAL

Thursday, 6 May

Haglund deformity due to tight shoes

Björn "Dr 8a" Alber talks about the problem with tight shoes and explains Haglund deformity which his son, who is a World Cup boulderer, has faced for some years.

"In the plus 30 years, I have climbed and coached climbers, climbing shoes have had a tremendous development. Common for all is that they get snugger and proportionally smaller compared to the foot's actual volume and size. The drawback is damaged feet! In the early days, it was limited to deformity of the toes eg Hallux Valgus- sharp inward angling of the big toe- sometimes leading to corrective surgery.

Haglund's deformity, which was first described in 1927, is a new (for climbers) and more sinister deformity. It involves the abnormal growth and following soft tissue changes around the Calcaneal insertion of the Achilles tendon (see picture) the top end of the Calcaneal bone grows a bone spur which in turn – by the pressure of the shoe- irritate the soft tissue above (the Achilles tendon thickens, an inflammatory response will develop in the tendon as well as in the ”bursa” between the tendon and the bone). The result is an extremely painful condition that will make it almost impossible for the athlete to wear his “competition” shoes, and perform heel-hooks etc.

The rigidity and size of the shoe is the main problem but some external factors will contribute:
It is more common in females than in males – softer tissue due to estrogen
High arc of the foot predisposes
Tight Achilles tendon predisposes
Protruding (extending back from the heel) Calcaneus bone- with sharp angles predisposes

While this condition was first predominantly seen in middle-aged females (high heels) it will be more troublesome when developing in young athletes because between 11-19 years of age the great growth spurt will make for a greater deformity. For the climber – especially a young one- the best plan is to limit the use of extreme, aggressive shoes! (This is just as important for Soccer and Hockey players that get to stiff shoes at an early age).

The cure of this condition is;
Stop using aggressive tight shoes- a period of no climbing might be necessary
Get help from a physiotherapist with stretching of the Achilles tendon
Use anti-inflammatory drugs, gel and/or pills
Get local steroid injection (should be done by specialists)
When starting to climb harder again use larger shoe and have an orthopaedic technician make an inlay to take the stress of these structure- see picture.
If this fails surgery should be performed!

In this picture, you see the heel of a top Swedish athlete where the above strategies have failed. The surgery (Surgical excision by lateral approach) should take away a sufficient part of the superfluous bone, which in turn will involve up to 6 months before returning to hard climbing! Since the deformity is most often bilateral a 12-month period of no climbing can be expected. Needless to say, the best strategy is to avoid getting this condition at all question the use of extreme shoes in young athletes! Be observant and take preventive measures in time!"

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Thursday, 6 May

Two 8A+' by Analise Van Hoang (12)

Analise Van Hoang did her first 8A+ in March, Bayview Crimp in Mt Tam after three sessions. Her second, A Maze of Death in Bardini Boulders, occurred last week. "Yay! Such a beautiful line and scenery! Took about 45min. Feels soft because it totally fits my style, crimpy. Psyched to get this done 1st sess! Another climb ticked on the list!" Video

Her first 7C+, out of eleven, she did two years ago, at age ten. Here is a presentation from 2018 by Touchstoneclimbing, where she talks about competing. She also have a Youtube channel with most of her hardest ascents.

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Dani Andrada (46) "a muerte" with 25 FAs up to 8c+/9a again

Thursday, 6 May

Dani Andrada (46) "a muerte" with 25 FAs up to 8c+/9a again

Dani Andrada reports on Insta that he has done yet another 25 FA's in Alquezar from 7b to 8c+/9a, Apego del Monje. In total, he spent 53 days in Alquezar. (c) Carlos "Citro" Lograño

The 46-year-old has previously done 75 routes 8c+/9a and harder which makes him #3 on that list after Adam Ondra and Alex Megos. In total, he has now done more than 4 500 routes 8a and harder and bolted more than 900 routes. However, when it comes to bolting and doing hard FAs, "La máquina" is totally superior in the world. In practice, the number one reason why the areas 1-3 hours west of Barcelona has become the hardcore epicentrum in the world is thanks to Andrada.

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Euro Trash 8A+ by Thea Wulff (18)

Wednesday, 5 May

Euro Trash 8A+ by Thea Wulff (18)

Thea Wulff, who did her first two 7C+' at age 13, has done her first 8A+, Euro Trash in Little Cottonwood. (c) Quinn Mason

Could you please say something about your climbing background and how you took it down?
I’ve been climbing for 9 years, but I mainly focus on indoor competition climbing (I’ll be competing at the Salt Lake City World Cups in a couple of weeks). I’ve been trying to get outside more often, but it’s hard to find the time with training. I just moved to Salt Lake City and Little Cottonwood Canyon is only 15 minutes away, so I wanted to check out Euro Roof. On my first session last weekend, I did the 7C+ start, and tried the 8A+ moves but was too tired to give a real effort. Natalia Grossman was working the 8B, so we decided to head back out yesterday, and both of us sent in under an hour! Until this climb, I hadn’t seriously tried any other 8A+ boulders, but now I’m more psyched than ever to get on some more hard outdoor blocs!

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