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Friday, 27 November

Combined Boulder qualifications

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Bouldering starts 09.30 and Lead 4 pm, Euro time.

EDITORIAL

Friday, 27 November

Combined Speed Qualifications at 8 am Euro Time

Bouldering starts 09.30 and Lead 4 pm, Euro time.

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Meshkova and Lehmann Euro Lead Champions

Thursday, 26 November

Meshkova and Lehmann Euro Lead Champions

Viktoriia Meshkova got her second gold by winning Lead ahead of Eliska Adamovska, being the faster climber touching the final jug. Both had previously topped all three routes. Amazingly, Viktoriia did 18 IFSC World Cups last year and her best result was #16! Molly Thompson-Smith got the bronze. It should be mentioned that Chloe Caulier, who was second in Boulder, topped both qually routes but did not show up for the semi. Most probably she retired due to saving her skin and muscles from the Combined Olympic quest starting on Friday. (c) Nikita Tsarev

Among the male, Sacha Lehmann got the Euro title seeming quite in control the whole way. Runner-up was Nicolas Collins who put up the biggest fighting show in the final. First, he chose to land with just one hand on the big sideways double dyno. Later he started to fight harder than the others and in the end, he was screaming like Adam Ondra for several moves. Noteworthy is that the Belgian is the only male athlete who has participated in all three finals and he showed his fingers for the camera and it will be interesting to see if he can get the skin back until Friday. Third was Dmitrii Fakirianov.

It must be said that overall it was a good show and on the live-screaming, we could follow the results in a bar hold by hold. Overall, the route setters and the organizers have done a great job in Moscow.

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Keller: Soft and Hard skin adaptation

EDITORIAL

Thursday, 26 November

Keller: Soft and Hard skin adaptation

Martin Keller, one of the first who started with fans in order to optimize friction for outdoor bouldering, gives some advice also in regards skin treatment.

If you suffer from sweaty and soft skin you can try some of the following tips:
- Use liquid-chalk as a base before you apply your regular chalk.
- Try Antihydrahl when you have really sweaty fingers and/or use a product from Rhinoskin as these are not as strong as Antihydrahl.
- Make sure to not apply these products in between the finger-joints otherwise you will get splits!
- When you are using Antihydrahl (or similar products) use sandpaper to sand off old and hard skin. Especially make sure to take care off the sides off the fingertips to avoid splits!
- Before you start to climb cool your fingers down on a piece of cold rock. Make sure to just cool down your fingertips. You don't want your joints to cool down too much!
- Stay outside your gym for a few minutes, use some doorframes (metal) to cool your finger-tips down (not recommended in corona-times though!).
- You can use a fan to cool your fingers down before and while bouldering as well!

For thick and hard elephant skin and when you climb in cold and very dry conditions you can try the following:
- Experiment by slightly moistening your fingers before you start to climb (use a water spray or RhinoSkin-Spit) and then apply your regular chalk and wait for one to two minutes before you start to climb
. - When you climb on very polished rock (like “Bruno-Boulder” in Magic Wood) you can also try to slightly moisture the holds with your brush or use a water-spray (DO NOT DO THIS on sandstone and/or fragile rock as it may breaks!).
- Sand down excessive skin so your skin does not get too thick. But while sanding you also generate harder skin so you have a trade-off here!
. - Solve this trade-off by still sanding excessive skin off and then applying a cream containing "urea" (5%-25%) which will enable you to conserve more moisture deeply in your skin. This will make your skin more elastic and softer!

Here some other reflections by Martin:
- The older the less (young) elastic the skin!
- Soft skin (but not too soft) is better indoors and on comps
- Soft skin is better on a rock type with less friction especially on polished holds.
- Elephant skin is generally better on positive and incut hold and on granite and more aggressive rock.
- Clean your hands from chalk after climbing and then use a hand cream of your choice to give your skin some moisture back to kick-start the recovery process.

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Abaddon 8A+ by Katie Lamb

Thursday, 26 November

Abaddon 8A+ by Katie Lamb

Katie Lamb has done Abaddon 8A+ in Black Velvet and she is #5 in the 8a ranking game.

"Abaddon is my second of the Black Velvet trifecta and a friendly neighbour to my favourite highball, Natasha’s Ball. After doing my usual fifteen lap warmup on Natasha’s Ball (with a sun salutation on the summit each time) I was ready for my project. Abaddon sits right above a Pit of Mordor and I had to be careful not to take the rip of life into the Pit. Luckily two friendly trad climbers passed by and agreed to lie like logs in the Pit, acting like extra pads and being the perfect spotters during the send. With my heart and mind clear, the send felt bang bang!"

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Victoria's totally amazing secrets

EDITORIAL

Thursday, 26 November

Victoria's totally amazing secrets

Viktoria Meshkova won five out of six rounds getting the Lead and Boulder golds in the European Championship in Moscow. This must be one of the biggest sensations in the climbing history as her previous best was #16 out of eleven Lead and Boulder WC's last year. Add to that the quarantine this spring meant just training at her apartment for two months and that she got Covid-19 one month ago. In total, she could just do five sessions in the climbing gym prior to the Euro Championship. (c) Nikita Tsarev

Dmitry Sharafutdinov, the Russian training coach who has won three World Championships and who is famous for mainly done pull-ups as his training regime, says that probably hard physical training 20+ hours a week in her apartment during the two months lockdown is the best explanation.

"The secret of her success is probably the spring lockdown. Everyone was at home. Communication only online. I wrote a training program. At home, Vika performed an enormous amount of physical training. Like me in my best years. 5 times a week, for 4-5 hours. (But the exercises are a secret.) Fingerboard was done regularly. But that was not the main one. Rather, the emphasis was on training large muscles. We used a little bit of everything. But no matter how strange it may sound, I took a lot from figure skating and alpine skiing. Not much with weights, mostly with her own weight.

A month ago, a test for coronavirus gave a positive result and she isolated herself. The disease was mild. She was under the supervision of a doctor of the Russian national command team. As soon as the symptoms went away she began training. Online first, and after negative tests five times at the climbing gym. It's hard for me to say now what played a decisive role. Perhaps rested."

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EDITORIAL

Thursday, 26 November

Luzhetskii is the new Olympic ticket favourite

Based on the male qualification, Sergei Luzhetskii is the new favourite, on paper, getting the ticket to Tokyo. His Combined score is 3 - 2 - 21 meaning he is the first-ever Combined athlete performing on a high level in both Speed and Boulder, beside Tomoa Narasaki. Amazingly, he was on an average #67 in the last seven Boulder WCs. Theoretically, he will be #2 in Speed and if he repeats his runner-up position behind Jernej Kruder in Bouldering, he will most likely make it to Tokyo. The head coach of Russia, Dima Sharafutdinov comments, "He was always strong, but injuries prevented. He's finally healthy! Here is the result!"

Noteworthy is also that Sergei was #17 in the Lead qualification but did not show up in semi, meaning that he has gotten one more rest day than the others. Also, Aleksei Rubtsov did not start in the semi so he should be considered a challenger for getting to Tokyo together with Jernej Kruder and Sascha Lehmann. The currently #1 ranked is Nicolas Collin but as he has done all three finals, he should suffer from bad skin and fatigue, meaning he would have to once again make a fight for his life high up there close to the Tops. It needs to be mentioned that there is a "risk" that the bronze will go to the Speed specialists Danyil Boldyrev although he is dead last in Lead or Boulder, if just the other results go his way. Male Combined results.

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Southern drawl 8C by Nicolas Milburn

Thursday, 26 November

Southern drawl 8C by Nicolas Milburn

Nicolas Milburn, who previously has done two 9a's, has done his second 8C, Southern drawl in Chattanooga. "Definitely my hardest boulder to date! I put about 25 days of work into this thing, but despite all the sessions, it does just feel like another boulder. It's odd to put so much of my soul into a piece of rock in the forest, but I take pleasure from this kind of pursuit. It has been really exciting to mark my progress on this specific boulder. I have been feeling really strong lately, but until now I wasn't really sure where I was at. Now I feel confident I have improved as a climber."

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EDITORIAL

Thursday, 26 November

Meshkova or Caulier to Tokyo

Viktoria Meshkova is, based on the Combined results, the big favourite as she actually also is a good Speed climber. However, as she probably should be a bit tired and have bad skin, after having done all finals, Chloe Caulier should be a strong contender. Caulier pulled out from the semi, after having won the qualification, mainly due to a knee problem but also in order be in better shape on Friday. The best chances for the bronze should the Kalucka sisters, Aleksandra and Natalia. As the two Speed specialists, both will make it to the Top-8, Stasa Gejo will not benefit to the fullest, of being a relatively very good Speed climber, she most probably will need to win in Boulder in order to make it to Tokyo.

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Wednesday, 25 November

Meshkova is most impressive in Moscow

Viktoriia Meshkova, 20, who won in Bouldering, topped out the semifinal route with ease. Last year, the Russian did 18 IFSC World Cups and her best result was #16. As she also with 9.68 in Speed were among the best, she is now the big favourite to get the Olympic tickets. Eliska Adamovska did also top the nice route as also Daeia Mezentseva did but she was timed out. Noteworthy is that Chloe Caulier #2 and Alma Bestvater #5 did pull out from the semi probably due to saving the skin for the Combined. Complete results.

Among the male, Sergei Luzhetskii #2 and Aleksei Rubtsov #8 in Bouldering did not participate. Seven male got within one hold close to the top. The final starts at 4 pm Euro time.

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