NEWS

Smoke Wagon 9a+ by Cameron Hörst

6 February 2023

Smoke Wagon 9a+ by Cameron Hörst

Cameron Hörst, son to famous climbing auther and trainer Eric Hörst, has done Smoke Wagon (9a) in Mt Potosi. (c) John Kasaian

Can you tell us more about the ascent?
I started trying “Smoke Wagon” (9a) in the winter of 2021 but never came back to it until the end of December 2022. Since December, I have taken a couple one week trips to Vegas (from Salt Lake City) to try the climb between training. I haven’t kept track of the number of sessions but I put a good bit of work into it. I chose to work this route, in particular, because it is a pure resistance route (which has historically been my anti-style). The goal being… that trying this route, in between training, will hopefully help equip me for harder projects in the future!

Can you say something about your plans and ambitions in 2023?
I have some lingering projects here in the states I want to finish off throughout the year and will be travelling to France this summer to climb in Céüse!

Cameron made his first 8a news in 2012 when he did his first three 8b+. Since then, he has had rather slow but very steady progress monitored by his father. In 2014, Eric was one of the first warning for growth plate injuries for kids. Over the years, 8a has published several articles by Eric like, How to climb with kids.

The main reason for the rather slow progress for Cameron, as well as for his younger brother Jonathan, who did 8b+ at age 10, is that they have been doing other sports and have had long breaks every year. As an example, Cameron was a successful quarterback as long as he was going to school.


8c by David Bermudez (13)

EDITORIAL

5 February 2023

8c by David Bermudez (13)

David Bermudez Carbonell, who started climbing two and a half years ago at age eleven, has done El calvario del sicario (8c)
in Cuenca, in just ten tries. We spoke to David's mom, Isabel recently.(c) Javi Pec

It sounds like you guys are a climbing family?
David's father (Abraham Bermudez) has climbed 8c+, and I've climbed up to 8b. We have been fanatic climbers for over 25 years and we still go climbing every weekend and our holidays are always climbing holidays. Within 15 days of the birth of our children, they were already out on the rock and although they didn’t start climbing until about 2.5 years ago, they have always been on the mountain with us.

Did your kids take to climbing naturally?
David and Adriana (16) started to climb at the end of September 2020. Within 2 or 3 weekends they made their first 7b, after we had taught them how to clip quickdraws. Later the pandemic arrived, which forced us to stop for about 6 months. After that, they went back to climbing and got really hooked on it and haven’t stopped climbing until now.

Their progression has been very fast and if they continue climbing in this way, few barriers will be put in front of them. The incredible thing about David is that for his young age, he is a very complete climber, with only 1.45 metres he has climbed very hard and demanding routes. He has climbed 8a/+ on sight climbs and does not disappoint (shy away from). I think David has a natural gift for climbing, as he climbs well on all types of routes regardless of the type of rock (limestone, granite...) He is a self-taught climber, as he has no coach, nor does he do any guided training, his talent is natural and his motivation for climbing is at its maximum at the moment.

As a mother, I want my children to live and enjoy climbing as something authentic, where the grade is nothing more than a consequence. Being humble, respectful and having good attitude are key to life.


Excalibur 9b+ FA by Stefano Ghisolfi

5 February 2023

Excalibur 9b+ FA by Stefano Ghisolfi

Stefano Ghisolfi has done the FA of Excalibur (9b+) in Arco. It was bolted by Christian Dorigatti and Morris Fontanari who invited Stefano to try it two years ago. Over the last year, Stefano has been trying it with Jacob Schubert, Will Bosi and Adam Ondra. (c) Diego Borello

Can you tell us more about the ascent? Did you do any specific training and did you benefit from trying it with others?
It is a short route but there are 18 moves and the rest in the middle is very important, a huge amount of strength is needed but it is not enough, power endurance is crucial for the last crux. I think it took me from 20 to 30 sessions. I didn't do any specific training but I focus my training more on power and power endurance in the past months. Trying the route with other climbers speeded up the process of finding the perfect beta and helped with motivation in the long term.

With more time, do you think you can go beyond the difficulty that something like Excalibur presents?
Yes, sure! Actually, there is a possible low start of Excalibur 😅😉 I don't know if it is possible but seems hard. We start from a rock, it is possible to start further down. There are 3 or 4 moves under probably but we never tried. I'll try it for sure, with some crash pads.

The 29-year-old has previously done three 9b+'. On the competition scene, the Italian has been one of the best performers over the last ten years having won six World Cups and being Top-8, in 39 such events.


EDITORIAL

5 February 2023

All-out training with Aidan Roberts


El Koala Extension 8b+ and an 8b onsight by Jorge Diaz-Rullo

4 February 2023

El Koala Extension 8b+ and an 8b onsight by Jorge Diaz-Rullo

Jorge Diaz-Rullo has dropped into Santa Linya, and onsighted La Mare del Tano 8b and El Koala Extension 8b+. The 23-year-old has onsighted 29 routes 8b to 8c, out of which, ten he's sent in the last year and he is #2 in the onsight ranking game. The Spaniard has logged 130 days on his mega-project, in Margalef, where he has once has fallen on the final crux move.

Are you training specifically for your project?
My specific training is just to try the route. Doing laps on sections, repeating the crux, doing tries with weight... The rest is training that helps me but it is also for improvement for other projects

Do you think it could be a 9c contender?
I really don't know about the grade because I don't have any reference, I never tried one route for so long like Café Colombia. But definitely, I am sure it is the hardest route that I ever tried. l always thought that the grade is just a symbol, the story that I am living to try to send this route is something really (more) amazing.


3 February 2023

Bouin in Tautavel (The French Chilam Balam)

Sebastien Bouin: "Tautavel is a historical place here in France, close to the Spanish border. There is one particular sector, with an impressive route. It looks like the famous Chilam Balam, a prow of tufas climbing followed by an amazing wall. It's an esthetic line for sure. This route was bolted 30 years ago by Manu Da Silva and it has been waiting for a First Ascent since that time."


Pal Publico 8c by Angie Scarth-Johnson (18)

2 February 2023

Pal Publico 8c by Angie Scarth-Johnson (18)

Angie Scarth-Johnson, who last year did two 9a’s, has done Pal publico (8c) in Margalef. ” Great route! The moves felt really far for me so I used a few intermediates that I think made it a little harder.”

The next day, the 18-year-old onsighted Rodillar (8a), also in Margalef. Here is an article with Angie, who has been a globetrotter since the age of 9. "I write my own programs and have done this since I was 8. I find that this really works for me."


Les yeux plus gros que les roubignoles 9a+ by Tanguy Merard (19)

2 February 2023

Les yeux plus gros que les roubignoles 9a+ by Tanguy Merard (19)

Tanguy Merard, who earned a bronze in a Euro Youth Cup last year, has done Les yeux plus gros que les roubignoles (9a+) in Russan.

Can you tell us more about the route and your ascent?
The route, (Les yeux plus gros que l'antre (9b)) was free-climbed by Seb Bouin in 2018. and it starts from the bottom of the cave. When I tried, I went there just out of curiosity because I didn't have the level to do it from the bottom of the cave but I found it too beautiful (to forget) so I went back. I started to try the route starting higher in the cave, in an 8a. It had been a long time since I had been so motivated by a route, so I threw myself into it and I didn't give up because I really liked climbing on the route. I progressed very quickly in the route and ended up doing it. It took me around 10 sessions on the route spread over a month. I hope it will motivate people because it's worth the detour, it's not only the hardest route I've done but above all the most beautiful 🤩.

How much shorter is your line compared to Seb's?
I think Seb's line is 80 meters and my line 35 meters.

What are your competition goals for 2023?
For 2023 I want to be qualified for the Lead World Cup, I have to do (make) the final in the France Championship for this.


2 February 2023

Return of the Dreamtime 8C+ by Yannick Flohé

Yannick Flohé, who last week did his second 8C+, has done the FA of Return of the Dreamtime (8C+) in Cresciano. "Start like Dreamtime but go right after the Dyno and finish on Somnolence (8B).".

This has been an open project for many years and links 8B/+ into 8B.


Lemento sit 8C by Jesús Muñoz Vaquero

1 February 2023

Lemento sit 8C by Jesús Muñoz Vaquero

Jesús Muñoz Vaquero (Chuchi), who previously has done three 8C's, has sent Lemento sit (8C) in La Pedriza.

Can you give us the lowdown on Lemento?
The history of the "Lemento" boulder goes back some twenty years, when the brothers Israel and Abraham Olcina, pioneers of difficult bouldering in the central area of Spain, proposed one of the first 8A+/8B in La Pedriza. Subsequently, Carlos Ruano considered adding the sit-start, something that after much trying, he managed to make a reality in April 2019, thereby proposing the first 8C of the emblematic granite school. Three years passed until the first repetition arrived, in January 2022 by the Italian Lorenzo Puri.

I had already done the standing version (8B or 8A+) a long time ago, even before Carlos Ruano did the sit version. At that time the boulder was like that, we did not raise it in any other way. After they sat it down, I started to think about it, and I've been hitting it a bit, but I didn't really start trying it until last year, in the winter of 2022, when I came close to doing it. Then the heat set in, I went to Switzerland and I already left it until this season, when I resumed it more or less at the end of December or the beginning of January.

It is a boulder that requires a lot of skin, more than usual in La Pedriza, which is already an abrasive granite. Here the coincidence occurs that on two moves there are edges that cut the same finger. Last year I got a split, and as soon as I touched it again, it would open again in the same place. It's a bit frustrating because you can't hit it many times in a row, and that's also why I think the send has taken a longer time.

This year the game started again and yesterday the process came to an end. I am very glad that this was the case. Honestly, it hasn't been easy for me to enjoy it. Making my skin not destroyed in a few tries and finding good conditions has been, on many occasions, desperate. However, today the conditions and the company were perfect. Today everything fell into place and it was very easy to enjoy it.