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8c+/9a by Iker Pou  Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureIker Pou reports on Instagram that has repeated Xavi González' route Santaropa 8c+/9a in Majorca. ©Pedro Bover

"Taking advantage of spring temperatures and good conditions, I get to get "SANTAROPA" 8c + / 9a in #Mallorca. First repetition, after the strong climber from Mallorca Xavi González."

 
 
Piotr Schab towards the top with 3 rest days a week  Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PicturePiotr Schab did Era Vella 8c+ (9a) when he was 16 years old and his first 9a+, Papichulo when he was 19 years old. In 2018, he did four 9a+' and last week he did one more, La Rambla. (c) Pablo Benedito

"The biggest goal of the year is to climb a 9b. I’d love to go back to Fight or Flight. Now it’s time to train again and the plan is to make a month long Catalan trip again in April. Hopefully I’ll be ready to try hard then and the conditions will make the efforts possible. If not I’ll switch again to my favorite style, onsighting and quick redpoints. There are still a lot of routes in a 9a/+ range that are waiting to be climbed. 8c+ onsight is a second big challenge that I look forward to achieve this year.

So please tell us something about training?
This winter I used to do 7 sessions in 4 days a week (3 gym training's included). 21 hours a week, super intense. Now it’ll be different - less volume, more intensity so I hope to take a step further.

Do you really mean three rest days a week?
Yes - Neither climbing nor gym 3 days a week. While you’re doing Raw power sessions in a gym I think it’s more efficient. I’m quite satisfied with the results - in 14 days in Spain I could climb hard 2 days in a row followed by one rest day and it does not happen that often for me.

Piotr finished off his Catalan trip by quickly doing 20 años después 9a and Sin acido clorhidrico 8c+. "They are both are pretty manufactured but the moves and lines create a nice challenge."

 
 
Adam Ondra: Road to Tokyo #1  Facebook
 

 
 
Nicholas Perreth - Lifestyle climber on one leg  Facebook
 

 
 
Wanting to stop the guy who already stopped chipping?  Facebook
 

Rock & Ice have published an open letter - Chipping and Manufacturing Climbs in Ten Sleep Canyon Needs to Stop. The original letter is mainly pointing out one guy who last week come clean and said he had stopped chipping almost a year ago. This is how he finished a post in a Facebook thread.

"I also in no way am trying to discount what I have done. Regardless of what was done previously in the canyon, I have crossed lines when bolting some of my routes. I own this 100% and have paid for those choices, am now paying for them, and will no doubt pay more in the future for them."

I have been in contact with the guys writing the open letter and asked the question why they run the - Stop the chipping campaign, when it was stopped almost a year ago? As I did not get any answer, is there anybody who knows what this really is about, as also R & I picked it up?

 
 
Jimmy Webb portrait projecting down Dreamcatcher 9a  Facebook
 

 
 
Michaela Kiersch wins in Hueco Rock Rodeo with 5 8A and >  Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureMichaela Kiersch, #1 in the Lead ranking game, won the Hueco Rock Rodeo by doing five boulders 8A and harder during one day. Highlights were two 8A+'; Barefoot on Sacred Ground and Tequila Sunrise. Once they are logged, she will advance to #5 in the Boulder ranking game. Merrickales

1. Michaela Kirsch 6 870 - Keenan Takahashi 7 290
2. Alex Puccio 6 630 - Sam Davis 7 050
3. Paige Claasen 5 910 - Thilo Schröter 6 990
Complete results

 
 
El Dorado 9a FA by Carlos Ruano  Facebook
 

 
 
Barefoot on Sacred Ground 8A+ by Tina Johnsen Hafsaas  Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureTina Johnsen Hafsaas continues to deliver in Hueco Tanks and five days ago she did the classic Barefoot on Sacred Ground 8A+. Yesterday, during the Hueco Rock Rodeo, she did Dark Ages 8A. In the Combined ranking, the Norweigian is #3. Thilo Schröter

The winners of Hueco Rock Rodeo 2019 were Michalea Kirsch and Keenan Takahashi. Report to follow.

 
 
Puccio and Faus doing Halfway Crooks 8A+  Facebook
 

 
 
Leonidio Climbing Festival 2018  Facebook
 

 
 
La Pelle 8A Karo Sinnhuber  Facebook
 


La Pelle 8A karo sinnhuber from Karoline Sinnhuber on Vimeo.

 
 
K2 is much more dangerous than Honnold's Free Solo  Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureNational Geographic has presented some more insights in regards Alex Honnold's Free Solo of the 950 meters Freerider 7c in Yosemite.

It turns out that he had practiced the boulder crux, midways up, >60 times. "One move on the most difficult section required him to cling to a pea-size nub while “karate kicking” one leg to reach a toehold."

The Freeblast slabs he practiced >90 times and the Enduro corner >40 times. This just underlines the strong message in the movie that Alex is not a lunatic but instead he had rehearsed so much so the risk was very low. In practice, the boulder crux was probably 7A+ meaning for him it was just more or less a technical and mental difficulty and the same goes for the Freeblast slab.

Alex has 961 climbs recorded in his scorecard out of which two 8A+' as well as three 8c+'. (His next climbing goal is to do 9a). So his safety margin doing 7c pitches and one 7A+ boulder was probably very big.

In reality, the best estimation how dangerous it was might be to say that if he had done it 100 times, he had fallen to the ground once. This 1 % risk of death could be compared with trying to summit K2 with a much higher probability to die.

So the million of movie viewers should instead think about how much dangerous it is to summit K2. "About one person dies on the mountain for every four who reach the summit."

 
 
Memory is Parallax 8B+ by Isabelle Faus  (1) Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureIsabelle Faus reports on Insta that she has done Memory is Parallax 8B+ in RMNP which is a 3-star line where the crux revolves around two knee drops. Isabelle is the new #1 in the ranking game and she will be #45 among the males ones it has been recorded. In the history of 8a, only Alec Puccio has had a higher female score but with one more 8B+ by Isa, she is the #1 All Time.

"I tried really hard and found the right beta, it took probably ten sessions maybe more. The key was this new foot sequence I found, makes one move a bit harder but sets me up really well for the ending. Finding that beta definitely made it all click together. In a month I go to Swiss and then Africa this summer again. I wanna try hard and have fun!"

 
 
Four 8B+' in a month by Keenan Takahasi  Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureKeenan Takahashi did his first 8A being 23 years old and then he has had a strong progress for four straight years. Just during the last one month he has done four 8B+', out of which two the last week in Hueco Tanks; Blood of a Young Wolfand The Seventh Circle. (c) Brian Hedrick

How can you explain this peak?
I’m feeling pretty fit and motivated this year; I started doing some basic supplemental training to work my biggest weakness (core). Otherwise just lots of volume trying hard boulders, and some added training at the end of climbing days which I’ve never tried/done before.

What is the plan and ambition for 2019?
I’m heading to Switzerland for 6 weeks soon; the last couple of months have kind of just been preparation for that trip. I haven’t really climbed in the Ticino area so I’m really excited to finally get to spend a good chunk of time there and hopefully find some new stuff. The other big trip I have planned for the year is to get back to Rocklands in summer; I have two boulders I want to repeat but mostly want to try and develop hard highballs. It’s always been my biggest driving factor and finally having more power I’m hoping it can open doors to really pushing myself both physically and mentally.

 
 
Devastator 8A+ by Ashima inventing a new move  Facebook
 

 
 
Aggravated Assault 8B+ by Zach Galla (18)  Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureZach Galla, who recently won the US Combined Nationals, has done his first 8B+, Aggravated Assault in Griffin Falls.

"Oh my god yes. Used some weird heel beta. Thought it was gonna make it 8B but it still felt quite a bit harder than the others I’ve done." Full video by (c) Ashima Shiraishi

 
 
Kirk Windstein 8A (+) by Karoline Sinnhuber  Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureKaroline Sinnhuber, who was #8 in the Boulder WC last year, has done La Pelle left 8A and Kirk Windstein 8A (+) in Cresciano. (c) Fabian Leu

”I decided to stop competing a few weeks ago and just do outdoor stuff from now on. There are so many areas I wanna visit and I’m not really psyched for that comp style anymore.”

 
 
Giuliano Cameroni: Deal with the Devil (8B/V13)  Facebook
 

 
 
Vertical-Life Smart Quickdraw ISPO winner  Facebook
 

 
 
Petra Klingler bronze in UIAA Ice World Cup  Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PicturePetra Klingler, Boulder World Champion from 2016 and who last year was #6 in the Combined WCHin Innsbruck, got the bronze last weekend in the UIAA Ice World Cup. Vladek Zumr

In 2015, Petra was #2 overall and since then she has just done few and actually most of the time gotten a medal. Interesting to see world class skill in two totally different climbing disciplines. She is active on Insta and we can see she enjoys all disciplines and training hard with the goal qualifying to Tokyo.

 
 
Zlagboard with interactive training program  Facebook
 

 
 
Sanjski par extension 9a by Nico Ferlitsch (17)  Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureNico Ferlitsch has done his second 9a, Sanjski par extension in Osp/Misja Pec after some 35 tries, video.

"In the last two weekends I had some very close attempts but yesterday it was finally done. The route is very overhanging, partly even a horizontal roof, where you need a lot of bodytension and fingerstrength on small crimps. This is something I really love.

My ambition for 2019 is to climb more hard stuff, but for now it's time to visit my home climbing areas, to do some training and just have some fun. In spring I want to go again to Frankenjura for making some tries on the famous route "Action Directe".

At the moment there are no comps around, maybe (if it takes place this year) I will compete at the event "Free Solo Masters" in Lienz. I'm still a passionate ROCKclimber but we will see what the future will bring."

 
 
Kuzan 8C by Ryohei Kameyama  (1) Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureRyohei Kameyama has done his third 8C, Kuzan in Mie which is a seven moves 8B+ that finishes with a 8B dyno. (c) Muraguchi Liao

"This hard boulder was established two years ago by Toshi Takeuchi. I tried it for three sessions. I'm so happy and satisfied to feel my progress. I would like to try "Off the wagon low start" and "Sleepwalker". These boulders are so cool!"

 
 
Neanderthal 9b and Catxasa 9a+ by Adam Ondra  (5) Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureAdam Ondra reports on Insta that he has done Catxasa 9a+ and Neanderthal 9b in Santa Linya. Ondra started working the Chris Sharma 9b back in 2011 and then he tried it for several days also in 2015, 2017 and 2019 until he sent it. (c) Artofroute

"There are not many routes that I can tell about that I really hated then at certain point. But Neanderthal was definitely one of them. Not because the route is of bad quality, just because how many times I failed again and again. Getting over it and finally succeeding was a huge lesson."

In total, the 25 year old Czech has now done 24 routes 9b and harder. The runner ups are Chris Sharma with eight followed by Jakob Schubert and Stefano Ghisolfi with five 9b's or harder.

 
 
8A and 8A+ by Alex Puccio  Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureAlex Puccio has had a nice day in Clear Creek Canyon where she did Off the books 8A (c) Robin O'Leary and No Halfway Crooks 8A+.

"Really fun climb! SOOO cold out! The only way I was able to climb today was from the hype and motivation from Fausey, Chad, Daniel and Robin! Thanks guys and thanks for showing us this boulder! :)"

 
 
Witness the Fitness 8C by Woods in 2013  Facebook
 

 
 
8 guys in Olympic finals but only three problems  Facebook
 

From the updated 2019 IFSC rules we can see that they have increased the number of finalists in the Combined finals to eight instead of six. Further more, in bouldering there will be only three boulders separating the finalists.

The reason for this is of course that bouldering otherwise would have taken some two hours but with just three boulders around 90 minutes.

This means more pressure on the route setters and the risk for ties and random results will increase. In practice, most probably this means easier problems and the one onsighting the most will win. Further more, due to worse friction and more pressure on the guys in the end of the starting list (the ones who were the best in Speed), the risk for up-side-down results will increase. On the other hand, this some will feel is good for the excitement before Lead.

 
 
Three 8A+ flash by Thilo Schröter in Hueco  (1) Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureThilo Schröter started off his trip to Hueco Tanks with an inflamed finger which luckily healed. During the first three weeks the Norweigian has done a total of 22 boulders 8A and harder out of which seven flash. More pics by Tina Hafsaas. More pics on his Insta.

It’s my first trip to Hueco, so naturally I have a lot of moderate classics to sample, and that’s what I’ve done. Milage is a lot if fun but after a month of rampage it’s time to get on some harder things. Two more weeks in Hueco ahead, and then a week checking out Red Rocks before flying back home. Then I’ll have a month to train and enjoy good conditions in Norway before the BWC‘s start. As of now I’m only planing on competing at the first three that are in Europe, and focus more on rock for the rest of the year with trips to Rocklands, Grampians, Font and the Norwegian west coast. And I plan to do Tokyo as well.”

 
 
Rumble in the Jungle 8A (+) by Tina Hafsaas  Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureTina Hafsaas, #4 in Chamonix Lead WC in 2017, has done two 8A's and Rumble in the Jungle 8A (+) in Hueco Tanks. More pics and info on her Insta, (c) Thilo Schröter.

"I’m having a blast here in Hueco Tanks. The style suits me pretty well with steep and long climbing mainly on crimps. I had a great week by sending Le Chninkel and Sunshine each in one session and finish Rumble in the Jungle pretty fast as well. Now I’m sucked into project mode on a few boulders that feel harder for me. They challenge me in styles and techniques I’m not as good at and I hope I will finish them off before we head to Red Rocks.

I will do the full lead World Cup and the European and World Championship in lead. I will not aim for the Olympics as the format does not feel like the sport I am passionate about."

 
 
La Rambla 9a+ by Piotr Schab  Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PicturePiotr Schab has done his fifth 9a+ the last year, La Rambla in Siurana. The Pole did his first 9a being 16 years old and then he has had seven years of continuous progress and he is #2 in the ranking game after Adam Ondra.

"I’ve started trying La Rambla this week, giving it a warm-up go and one try each day. Yesterday during the warm-up go I changed betas in three different sections so sending the route right afterwards was very unexpected. Felt solid all the way up + the conditions were prime. Eventually I sent La Rambla during my 4th day on it, 8 tries with 4 warm-ups included. Such a shame Dave (Graham) fell on the very last move right after my ascent.

 
 
Boldyrev is going for Tokyo - could get gold  Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureDanyil Boldyrev believes he and some other Speed specialist have a great chance of qualify to Tokyo during the WCH, where the Top-7 get an Olympic ticket. He will go for at least two Lead and Boulder World Cups before the WCH in Tokyo and he thinks and hope at least 15 Speed specialist will participate.

Training wise his focus is Bouldering and he hopes to be Top-40. In Lead, it might be harder for the explosive power house at 193 cm and 85 kg to fight the endurance. "In the competition I will be 78-80 kg.


"I love bouldering so much and train three to four times a week. I am a sprinter and athlete in mind, blood, muscles and I love competitions. I always focus and enjoy, and say God, thank you for new day."

The key for Boldyrev or any other Speed-specialist making it to Tokyo is not so much their personal result in Lead and Boulder but how many Speed specialists that will compete in the WCH. Further more, as only the first Japanese get a ticket to Tokyo in the WCH, in theory also #12 can qualify if all the Japanese are Top-11.

If Boldyrev win Speed and becomes #40 and #80 in the other two disciplines he should mathematically be #10 - 15 if some 15 Speed specialists participate in Combined. If there are 25 Speed specialist he would mathematically be #8 - 12. So it is certainly a long shoot for the Ukrainian or any other Speed specialist to reach Tokyo.

On the other hand there is the Tripartite option, meaning some guys will invite a qualification Lucky looser to participate. Once in Tokyo, there is like a 20 % chance that 1 * 20 * 20 will make it to the Top-8 final. Once in the Top-8 final, mathematically the chances for the bronze is like 10 %.

However, for 193 cm Boldyrev there is always the chance that he on a slab or a vertical problem he might use his reach and become one of the few doing it. Later he can just hope that the route setter has made a mistake and almost no other top the remaining three and Boldyrev gets #10 in Bouldering. In the Combined final there are just three problems 2019 so theoretically the Olympic gold winner in Tokyo can be Danyil Boldyrev.

 
 
Software developers wanted  Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureIN OWN MATTER: Would you like to be part of Vertical-Life? Join our motivated team now! Send your application and CV to careers@vertical-life.info.

Ruby on Rails developer (full stack). You will be part of the Web-Applications team. The role involves developing our various result service applications.

Requirements:
* Experience with Ruby on Rails or similar language and framework
* Good communication and collaboration skills

Valuable skills:
* Backend: RoR, Sidekiq
* Frontend: Vue.js
* TDD
* Databases: Mysql, Redis, ElasticSearch
* DevOps: RoR deployments, Docker, Kubernetes
* Team: Agile, Git/Mercurial

Please contact careers@vertical-life.info.

 
 
Speed might loose importance in 2019  Facebook
 

The Combined World Cup in 2019 is based on the Top-2 "relative" results in the three disciplines. Last year, almost non of the Speed specialist took part meaning that Jakob Schubert "relatively" was #2 in his best comp although he was #26 among the Speed specialists.

If ten of the Speed specialist will do two boulder and two lead events, the Speed performance will dramatically loose it's importance for the non-Speed specialists. Schubert's Combined score in 2018 was 1 in Lead, 6 in Boulder and 8 in Speed = 48 points.

In 2018, he could have been beaten by climber A who had scored 6 in Lead, 7 in Boulder and 1 in Speed = 42 points or climber B with 1 * 1 * 45 = 45 points.

If we add ten Speed climbers, their new ranking would be:
1. B = 55 points instead of 45
2. Schubert = 108 points instead of 48
3. A = 462 points instead of 47

In other words, if ten male Speed climbers show up in Meiringen 5/4, the non-speed specialist could more or less set their Speed training at pause. Actually, even with just five Speed specialist competing in Combined in 2019, Speed climbing will dramatic loose it’s importance in 2019.

 
 
Ondras does 9a and projects 9a+ in Chile  Facebook
 

 
 
Speed advices from the champ 5.61 Boldyrev  Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureDanyil Boldyrev, former Speed world record holder at 5.61 and once WCH, is going for the Olympics and 5.3 seconds. He is also a Speed coach for many countries like Germany, Slovenia, USA, China and Austria etc. Last week he had some sessions with Jan Hojer and Yannik Flohe who he thinks are very talented and could go down to 6.65 this year.

He agrees that you can check your Speed potential by focusing and measuring the time of the first 4-5 moves and standing long jump. The Ukrainian can jump 3.30 cm.

"But I prefer using 20 exercises and after I could decide the potential. For me time is less important but instead the quality of movements on the speed wall and how athletes will do my special exercises. Without good coordination it will be very hard to make athletes, speed athletes.

Speed climbing it's also a hard mental game. You must always analyze and visualize how you want to climb. Never forget about coordination, flexibility and fast training. Fluency and power on the speed wall it's the best way for great speed and time and stability of course."


We will follow up with Boldyrev's personal thoughts and plans for making it to the Olympics.

 
 
Jimmy Webb - Zika (8B+/V14) FA  Facebook
 

 
 
No half way Crooks 8A+ by Isabelle Faus  Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureIsabelle Faus has done her 35th 8A+, No half way Crooks 8A+ in Clear Creek Canyon. Previously she has also done 17 8B's and two 8B+'

"It took me probably five sessions. I felt really close from the beginning, but there was one move that I couldn't do correctly on the try. Once I did it right I did it.

I guess next is Memory is parallax (8B+), feeling good about it, but I also wanna check out Everything gneiss (8B+) and try Dark waters (8B), which are both in the same canyon as no half way crooks :))"

 
 
Faus and Fultz in Clear Creek Canyon  Facebook
 

 
 
Crashpad Dummy 8B+ in a session by Moritz Welt (17)  Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureMoritz Welt has had two great weeks doing three 8B's and Crashpad Dummy 8B+ in Frankenjura. Amazingly he just needed one session for each boulder. During the last year the 17 year old has done 67 boulders and 8A and harder and 73 routes 8a+ and harder and he is #4 in the Combined ranking.

"I think my goal was trying some lines I've never tried before cause I became a little frustrated on my other projects. So expectations were quite low and I was able to be as relaxed as possible while bouldering. All ascents were super rewarding, but most of all "Airbus" because it's so rarely repeated and I love reactivating old and forgotten lines!"

 
 
Crowbar 8B+ by Moritz Perwitzschky (19)  Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureMoritz Perwitzschky, #5 in the Combined ranking, has done Crowbar 8B+ in Frankenjura in winter conditions.

"10 moves of steep roof climbing, five tension moves (7B) lead to the crux move, far span from a quite good hold to a slopy pocket, after that still tension climbing with a toehook for 4 more moves, I fell four times on the last hard move cause of loosing the tension.

For me personally it gets hard to get and stay warm if it's colder than - 5°. If it's below 0° for me warm clothes and gloves are enough and probably boulders with less than 10 moves are a better choice. You also get used to it quite fast actually."

 
 
How they filmed Alex Honnold Free Solo  Facebook
 

 
 
Moritz Welt ten days in Ticino  Facebook
 

 
 
Alex Honnold interview  Facebook
 

 
 
Felipe Camargo doing Gancho Perfecto 9a+  Facebook
 

 
 
Heiko Queitsch sending up to -25 degrees  Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureClick to Enlarge PictureHeiko Queitsch, #1 highest ranked in the 8a Gallery with also eight pics Top-20, enjoys bouldering during the winter. In the first pic by Tobias Plail he does Lego Technik direkt 8A in -14 without hand warmers or any special trick when he is out there. "Little Warming up.. .jumping, running, and easy moves.

In the second pic by Frank Kretschmann he is doing the FA of Claude Monet 8A+. His coldest ascent was done in -25 degrees.

"Basically I enjoy the peaceful atmosphere in the snow-covered forest. The conditions are often better in winter, since the rock is drier then, and the skin harder. Those crisp conditions allow me to climb moves that I can’t even dream of doing in summer or in warmer conditions.

Before I approach my current project, I warm up at my indoor wall at home. It takes truly warm boots, a proper duvet jacket and lots of hot tea to keep the body warm in the freezing cold. Best, however, is a bunch of good friends crazy and motivated enough to go out into the cold, too. A great advantage is that it takes a lot to make me feel cold, at least minus 20°. I have, however, become “softer” than I used to be."

 
 
Shawn Raboutou FA of Off the Wagon sit 8C+  Facebook
 

 
 
La Sportiva Climbing Reboot  Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureLa Sportiva celebrates its 90th anniversary with a reboot of its climbing line: there are 5 classic models involved in the modernization operation with more modern designs and aesthetic solutions in line with the times. Make way then for the new versions of Miura, Futura, Cobra, Katana and Solution!

 
 
Introducing 100 000 kids to climb  Facebook
 

 
 
What to expect of 2019  Facebook
 

The Olympic qualification will be at focus during 2019. Many of the best athletes like Adam Ondra will most likely reduce their climbing on rock and instead replace it with competition training including Speed.

During the last years, Japan has started to dominate and that goes especially on the bouldering scene. The dilemma in 2019 is that it is all about Combination and only the best male and female Japanese in the World Champion in Tokyo are guaranteed a position, as long as they are Top-6. This means that the overall World Cup is not so important for the best Japanese so they might cherry pick which comps to go for. This in fact opens up for specialist, who is not going for Tokyo, to win the overall World Cups, especially among the male. However, in general most likely to trend with more Japanese domination will increase in 2019.

When it comes to route climbing, there will most likely be a stagnation, after the record year 2018, as most of the best focus on Tokyo. In regards bouldering, 2018 was also a record year and 2019 has indeed strengthen this progress trend with Charles Albert doing a 9A FA barefoot and Jimmy Webb, Daniel Woods and Nalle Hukkataival doing 8C+. Charles and Jimmy are working on two other possibly 9A projects in Fontainebleau and Daniel is going for Burden of Dreams 9A this spring. In total, there will probably be around ten guys doing at least one 8C+ or harder in 2019.

At the same time, the female level continues to raise and possibly ten girls, including 13 year old Oriane Bertone, just might do 8B+ or harder.

 
 
 
Bombero de la Roca 7a+ in Sant Llorenç del Munt  Facebook
 

 
 
9a+ and 9a FAs by Adam Ondra  (1) Facebook
 

Adam Ondra reports on Instagram that he has done two impressive FAs in Camaiore; La Terza Eta 9a which he did in four tries and Naturalmente 9a+.

"One of the best routes I can imagine. Slightly overhanging wall, tiny crimps, undercuts, shitty feet, resistant, bullet-proof rock. Tried for two days three weeks ago, now it went down after checking the moves. Rather high-end 9a+ I would say."

The level is going up in 2017 and Ondra is leading the pack. During four days, the 23 year old has done two 9b's, two 9a+' and two 9a's. It will be interesting to follow the progression during 2017.

 
 
Pau Contreras en Wonder boy (8b) FA, Sant Llorenç del Munt  Facebook
 

 
 
Rescat Emocional (7b+), Sant Llorenç del Munt  Facebook
 

 
 
8c+ FA by Loic Zehani (15)  Facebook
 

Loic Zehani, who previously has done three 9a's, has done the FA of Concerto in Orgon, video. In the 8a ranking game, the 15-year-old is #10.

"The route was bolted by Alexandre Serres and Olivier Bert. It is 40 moves without any rest. The first part is kind of a traverse with a lot of little pinches and a lot of feet moving. It is the nicest part and after you go straight."

 
 
8C (B+) by Baptiste Ometz (17)  Facebook
 

Baptiste Ometz, who has done eight 8B+s so far, has done Practice of the Wild giving it a personal grade of 8B+. "Amazing line! 4 days. My style with the jump at the end, simply didn't fell like 8c being already too close on the first day.. psyched for more in magic."

It should be noted that six out of seven climbers who recorded it as 8C, called it soft and also Gabri Moroni, who did the second last ascent, gave it 8B+. It is also noteworthy that earlier this year, the 17-year-old was #11 in the Boulder World Cup in Munich.

 
 
8C in Rocklands by Ryuichi Murai  Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureRyuichi Murai has done his fourth 8C this year by Spray of Lights in Rocklands. "I managed to climb this king line after 4days working. Extreme smearing made me excited!!"

During the last two weeks he has sent eight Boulders graded 8B and harder and he is #2 in the 8a ranking game. Check out his Facebook account with many short Instagram videos.

 
 
8c+ trad by Ethan Pringle  (10) Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureEthan Pringle reports on Facebook that he has done the FA of Black Beards Tears 8c+ at the Promontory protecting the 40 meters by 15 cams and one stopper. For the history books, this is the second 8c+ trad ascent - first was Beth Rodden's Meltown.

- This is definitely one of, if not the coolest and most unique FAs I've ever done in my life! I'd fantasized about how this fabled crack climb might look and feel for weeks before I saw it at the start of the month. When I first laid eyes on it, my jaw hit the floor.

On September 2nd I rapped in and installed an anchor right below the very top of the wall. I knew as soon as I saw the line up close that it was going to have some bad ass climbing on it and it did not disappoint. After 10 days of the usual kind of hard work and of course a fair amount of blood, sweat, a few tears right there at the end, I nabbed the red point.

 
 
8B+ FA in Malatal by Christof Rauch  Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureChristof Rauch, who did 81 Boulders 8A and harder just last year, has done the FA of The Source 8B+ in Malatal. In the 8a ranking game, the Austrian is #4.

"A new Kingline is born! My best first ascent ever! Beside the "Bügeleisen" (new video is out) this is the best line in the valley! Did it on the last go of the day, after falling 5 times on the last hard move. Really surprised myself to stick the last move at this try. Can't be more psyched. Onto the next!"

 
 
First 8c by Daniel Martian (48)  (1) Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureDaniel Martian, who started climbing in 1988 and did his first 8b+ in 2003, has done his first 8c by the FA of Tour de Lion in Lion's head.

"Link-up between Maxi Pista and Lion's Head Express but mega-good!!! Some of the best steep rock and movement at LH. Tentatively rated .14b but it will need to be confirmed. Started to work on it 4 seasons ago but "seriously" committed the last two seasons. Lots and lots of tries until I brought this beautiful stone down to my level."

 
 
Hungry Monkeys in Railay  Facebook
 


Hungry Monkeys from Ironmanfilms on Vimeo.

 
 
8A flash by Megan Mascarenas (18)  Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureMegan Mascarenas has flashed her fifth 8A, Eternia in RMPNP. Interestingly, this high class Boulder was reported as an 8B a couple of times some 15 years ago. "Such a fluid climb! And toe hooks at the end? Yes please!"

The 18-year-old has participated in five Boulder World Cups since 2015 and her worst result is #4. In the 8a ranking game she is #3.

 
 
Bad Girls Club 9a by Margo Hayes (18)  Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureMargo Hayes, who earlier this spring did two 8c+'s, has done the first female ascent of Bad Girls Club 9a in Rifle. "Hey boys, I'm joining the club. Officially a bad girl."

The 18-year-old made her first headline five year ago, doing her first out of three 8A boulders. Last year, she was #6 in a Boulder World Cup and got silver in both Lead and Boulder in the Youth World Championship.

 
 
Wallstreet 8c by Laura Rogora (15)  Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureLaura Rogora, who did her first 9a this spring being 14 years old, has done a fast ascent of the classic Wallstreet 8c in Frankenjura. As a preparation, she competed in the European Bouldering Championship last weekend and was #2.

- I can't believe it!!!! On my second day here Frankenjura, despite the rain, I was able to send my little project: Wallstreet 8c in only 6 tries. Climbing this historical and beautiful line was amazing!

 
 
8C in Rocklands by Toshi Takeuchi  Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureToshi Takeuchi has done his third 8C of the last 12 months, Spray of Light in Rocklands, and he goes to #3 position in the 8a ranking game. "YESSS!! Total 4 days. Mental battle was over because of bad weather. I have still 7 days more. On to the next!!"

 
 
Monkey Wedding 8C by Vadim Timonov  Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureVadim Timonov has done his first 8C, Monkey Wedding in Rocklands. "Today I did the main project of my trip in Rocklands! I'm very satisfied! Today will be a party!"

During the last 12 days, the Russian sent 14 boulders 8A and harder including four flashes up to 8B and he goes to #7 in the 8a ranking game.

In 2014, he did a very strong debut in the Boulder World Cup as he was #6 but later he could not make it to the semi in most events.

 
 
8B flash by Vadim Timonov  Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureVadim Timonov is having some great days in Rocklands, having done one 8B+ and five 8B's including the flash of Quintessential. "Small sharp crimps and coordinational dyno."

 
 
9a revenge for Stefano Ghisolfi  (2) Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureStefano Ghisolfi, who was #2 in Chamonix and #9 in Villars, has done Condé de choc in Entraygues. "Nice revenge after disappointing 9th place in World Cup. 3rd pre clipped for me too."

The start has been graded as 8A+ and Adam Ondra has actually said that clipping the third quickdraw is the crux. If you miss it, you could even hit the ground. In the 8a Practice & Ethics we give a yellow card for "Two or three pre-clipped if it is for safety reason". Until like 15 years ago, climbing with three pre-clipped quickdraws would not count as a valid ascent but nowadays it is getting more common. It is great of Stefano to have gone public and it would be interesting to know the number of pre-clipped quickdraws by Tony Lamiche back in 2006. In the picture of Tony we can see that the third bolt is high above the second.

 
 
Seb Bouin does Thor's Hammer, which goes down to 9a  (13) Facebook
 

Fanatic Climbing reports that Seb Bouin, who has done five routes 9a to 9b last year, has done Thor's Hammer in Flatanger, which was put up by Adam Ondra as a 9a+ and which has seen many repeats lately. Seb started working on the route last year and this year it took him five days to fight bad conditions and wet holds. He was also given a new sequence at one of the cruxes which makes the route 9a according to Adam and Seb.

 
 
Dino Lagni (47) flashes an 8c  Facebook
 

Planet Mountain reports that Bernardino Lagni, the world champion from 1999 who did his first 9a being 43 years old, has flashed Mantieni la calma 8c in Ai Piccoli.

"I happened to meet Omar, who was trying the route, and he explained all the moves. I didn’t set off with the idea of flashing it, but with a little luck and driven on by the cheers of those below me… I clipped the anchor!"

 
 
Domen Skofic from Slovenia wins in Chamonix  (6) Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureDomen Skofic won in great style in Chamonix continuing his nice progress trend. As a junior, he was the best in the world and in the last three World Cups the 22-year-old has been improving every year being 9 - 5 - 4. Domen is also the #2 in the 8a ranking game after Adam Ondra. (c) Eddie Fowke

1. Domen Skofic SLO 51
2. Stefano Ghisolfi ITA 48+
3. Jakob Schubert 48
4. Gauthier Supper FRA 48
5. Roman Desgranges FRA 47
Complete results

 
 
Carole Palmier: a 28 year old rising star  Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureCarole Palmier climbed intensively as a teenager but then studying to become a midwife took over. During the last five years she has been combining her exciting work with her climbing life, without having any sponsor although she has done 8c's and an 8c+. (c) Isabelle Bihr

- I climb twice a week during working periods, and I try to take 2 months of for holidays each year to travel an climb. I would like to take more holidays next year. I don't train, I have a lot of progress to do to improve my climbing lifestyle. I like enjoying life without thinking only "performance". I feel strong when I manage to fight in routes I'm trying. The best way to train for me is to give the best every time I go climbing and it works!

My future plan and ambition is to spend more time climbing! I would like to pass my limits, and see what I can do if I only climb and train my weaks points. My climber's dream is to be in my best level in all climbing styles including; cracks, multi-pitch, Frankenjura style, boulder.

 
 
9a FA by Adam Ondra in Flatanger again  Facebook
 

Adam Ondra has done the FA of The Right of Passage 9a in Flatanger. "Amazing extension of Andre Hoyre. Now finally goes up to the easy terrain and the top is not easy... Flatanger at its best in its left less steep part."

In total, Adam has opened eleven routes graded 9a to 9b+ in Flatanger and by doing so he created the crag with the most hard core routes in the world... and there are still plenty of projects like the 9c the Czech is working on now.

 
 
9a by Stefano Carnati (18)  (1) Facebook
 

Stefano Carnati has done Conde de Choc 9a in Entraygues. "Upper part in common with Deltaplane man direct 8c+ which I tried some times last year and sent today in the morning. Tried the first hard part once last year. Sent at 7.30 pm today! Of course I started with the third bold clipped."

 
 
9a (8c+) by Mar Álvarez (36)  (1) Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureMar Álvarez, who works as a firefighter, has done Manu Lopez's Kif Kif demain 9a (8c+) in Bielsa. The 153 cm tall, who previously has done two 9a´s, did it going straight up, eliminating a good rest to the right like the FA. In total she needed 17 days to take it down.

- An excellent route that I have enjoyed since the first day. Thanks to Guillaume for bolting it, and the BTR team for being a source of inspiration and motivation.

 
 
Two 8A (+)'s in Rocklands by Karo Sinnuber and Hannah Midtbö  Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureKaro Sinnhuber, #5 in a Boulder WC this year, and Hannah Midtbö are having great days in Rocklands, having both done two 8A (+)'s, Nutsa and Tea with Elmaire.

In the photo you can see Karo on Tea with Elmarie, which she actually did in just one session. "Fight of my life. but happy that i did it :-)"

 
 
Two 8B+'s and one 8A+ flash by Tamás Zupán  Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureTamás Zupán, who did his second 8C this spring after driving 7 000 km to it, has had his most productive bouldering days ever. During three days he did two 8B+'s, Phase 2 in Sustenpass, Entlinge in Murgtal and his first 8A+, God save the queen in Steingletscher.

"Today the force is with me :) It has been my best climbing day ever." The picture is from Entlinge.

 
 
Delirium 8C by David Graham  Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureDavid Graham, one of the leading climbers of the last 15 years, has done his 14th 8C, Delirium and comments on Facebook. (c) Diego Montull

- Made the 3rd ascent of Delirium [8c] last night up at Wolvoland after the big thunderstorm ⚡️⚡️⚡️ YESSSSS!!!! Amazing roof to bulge problem established by @jwebxl a couple years ago. 7 days of effort spread over the last three weeks. Super challenging conditions this June! Extreme heat, thunderstorms, or just pure rain made the send seem like a pipe dream, especially after falling off the last move two separate occasions with the same disastrous heel slip punting. Super relieved I could piece this thing together before heading to South Africa

 
 
9a+ FA in Flatanger and two 8b+ (c) onsights  (8) Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureAdam Ondra is back in Flatanger where he has made yet another great FA, 120 degrees 9a+. "Absolutely crazy inverted roof boulderproblem after having done the first part of Elden Inuti."

In fact, Flatanger is the crag in the world with most hard routes and Adam has been one of the pioneers having put up six routes in between 9a+ and 9b+. During the last week, Adam has also onsighted two 8b+' and one 8a+ and that is measured by his personal grades. (c) Erik Massih - It never gets darker than this during the summer nights in Flatanger.

 
 
Papichulo 9a+ by Klemen Becan  (2) Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureKlemen Becan has done his second 9a+, Papichulo in Oliana. The Slovenian was previously a successful competition climber, having won one event, but later he later became one of the best onsight climbers in the world. Last year, he has more focused on bolting and redpoint and once again, he becomes one of the best in the world. This summer he runs training camps with Chris Sharma. (c) Anja Becan

- Tried it in the winter after Joe Mama 9a+ but too many people were trying it all the time. Not so motivating for me since I like to climb, so I abandoned project for a while :-)

Now when conditions were perfect (after March) there were less people here and time to put more time in the route. So last month I came here once a week and made 2-3 trys in it (altogether arround 10 serious tries, 4 sessions).


Today I basically surprised my self since I thought finally I can do some training attempts to get stronger and after I came over the crux I just crused over the rest of it without any big rest. The hardest part for me was still minichulo (first few meters) and I did this part only 2 or 3 times :-). At the end I was basically a bit disappointed since I was expecting a bigger fight in the route, but I guess all the training pays of

 
 
9a FA by Ivaylo Fazata in Bulgaria  Facebook
 

Ivaylo Fazata has done his second 9a FA, El Nino Ext. in Dryanovo. "If the world wants to finish NOW I am OK :) 60 moves power endurance beast on the highest quality rock at the crag. Ivaylo Krastev bolted the route and in 2007 climbed it one bolt before the chain, video RESPECT!!!

Interesting is that Ivaylo has also done two 8c+ FAs and his personal best, repeating other routes is 8c.

 
 
The Crew 8c+ for Margo Hayes (18)  Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureMargo Hayes has done her second 8c+, The Crew in Rifle, and goes to #2 place in the 8a ranking game. "Never let go. That last attempt can be magical." (c) Jon Glassberg

Joe Kinder comments on Facebook, "It makes me proud to see a young climber girl like Margo representing our sport in a real and sincere way, a way that us core climbers believe in. GREAT JOB MARGO!!!!!!"

The 18-year-old, who was #2 in the Youth Lead Championship last year, has competed four times in the Boulder World Cup in the last two years, always made it to the semifinal and once got into the final.

 
 
Two 8B's by Isabelle Faus, who is the new #1  Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureIsabelle Faus has done two 8B's, The Automator in RMNP and Evil Backwards in Mt Evans. During the last year, she has done one 8B+, five 8B's and nine 8A+'s and she is the new #1 in the 8a ranking game.

- I think my progress is a result of just doing my own thing and enjoying climbing, quitting competition climbing has helped me the most I was always to focused in the gym, trying hard but not really accomplishing anything, and even if I did well in a competition it wasn't satisfying because in the end it is just plastic. Climbing on rock means new experiences every day and that keeps it fun and motivating for me.

 
 
Pirmin Bertle does a 9a FA in Patagonia  Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PicturePirmin Bertle has done South America's first 9a, video, Azul es el cielo de los ciegos (Blue is the sky of the blind) in Patagonia. Last year he did first a 8C+ FA and in November a 9b FA. Then he took the boat from Italy to Buenos Aires for some real family adventure. Full story and pictures on his blog, which finishes like this:

"The causal game. My baby is sleeping on the canyons ground, my cheering rather soft, more of relieve than happiness. What kind of a struggle! What logistic strain. To get for more than 30 tries, 12 days, 4km deep into this volcanic crack. 4km back, sometimes at night. And Jules, our 4 years old son, who walks this distance not only once all on his own. He is the true star in this story. My girlfriend and my baby girl. Thank you my family! Love you so much."

 
 
Action Directe 9a by Stefano Carnati (18)  Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureStefano Carnati has done the 19th ascent of Wolfgang Gullich's Action Directe 9a in Frankenjura after over 60 tries.

- I first checked it in august 2013 and on my second go I could do all the moves except the first dyno. I came back a couple of times in 2015 as I wanted to try it more seriously but I was not strong enough. Last year in June I was very close to do it, falling at the last move on the last day of the trip! Then I tried in august with a broken meniscus and temps up to 38 °C and I couldn't do any moves!

Fortunately I had the opportunity to come back these days and eventually send it! It took me over 60 tries!! With this route I've understood how hard it could be to try a route at your limit far from home. Since I started climbing, I've always had the desire to try it one day as I really like pockets but above all for its history! I've been watching videos of the routes countless times!

 
 
8c by Laura Rogora (15)  Facebook
 

Laura Rogora, who did her first 9a being 14 years old, has done Il traverso dei sogni 8c in Collevardo in five tries during one day. Later she onsighted Tomorrowland 8a+ and the 15-year-old is #1 in the female ranking game.

 
 
8c+ by Rafa Fanega (41)  Facebook
 

Rafa Fanega, who started climbing in 1991, has done his fifth 8c+, La Chispa in Villanueva del Rosario. The amazing news is that the 41-year-old has done three of his 8c+'s during the last eight months. In the 8a ranking game for 40+, the 163 cm tall, who has made 55 8b to 8c+ FAs, is #2.

 
 
8c+ by Lena Herrmann in Frankenjura  (1) Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureLena Herrmann, who did her first three 8c's last year, keeps steady progress by doing the FFA of Battle cat 8c+ in Frankenjura. In the 8a ranking game, she is #4.

"Without the Jug in the lower part. So happy with this day :-) An incredible line. About 70 moves in the Frankenjura!!"

 
 
8A+ FA again by Isabelle Faus  Facebook
 

Isabelle Faus has done the FA of Peace Frog Sit in RMNP, which is her third 8A+ FA. "Really psyched, its a classic ! Undercling POWER, the Boulder sits under the glass tower and up canyon a lil."

Add the only female 8B FA, which she did last month and she is kind of superior in the FA category. In the 8a ranking game, Isabelle is #2, after Alex Puccio.

 
 
8B+/C FA by Dai Koyamada (39)  Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureDai Koyamada, who has been one of the leading climbers over the last 20 years, reports on Instagram that he has put up yet another great line. "Miracle happened! Last night I did it! So glad to established this line which I found last June and dream to send. Definitely this is the one of my best FAs ever. Tentatively V14/15. Hope anyone else evaluate it. Name, it's 'NEHANNA'.

 
 
8a onsight by Angie Scarth-Johnson (12)  Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureAngie Scarth-Johnson, who did her first 8c this spring being 11-years-old, has done another four 8a's in Margalef, one out of which she onsighted: Pollastre de Granja. The Australian is in Europe on a four month trip being home scholed. Here is an 8a INTERVIEW from last month.

 
 
The Wheel of Life 9a (8C) by Alex Barrows  (23) Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureAlex Barrows has done The Wheel of Life in Grampians, which is a 70 moves horizontal endurance testpiece that Dai Koyamada put up as an 8C+ in 2004. Alex, who is on a 7.5 months road trip after getting his PHD, chose to give it a route grade of 9a, which seems to be the consensus grade to 8C nowadays.

Interesting, the endurance master who has done Era Vella 9a before, says soft 8B+ would have been his boulder grade. Full story in his well written blog (c) Ella Rusell

 
 
Alex Megos does Hubble 8c+ (9a)  (37) Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureUKC reports that Alex Megos has done Hubble, which Ben Moon set up in 1990 as an 8c+. It has been repeated four times and none of the repeaters have suggested 9a for it. However, as many strong climbers like Ondra, Graham and McColl have tried it without success the media have started to speculate whether it should be upgraded to 9a. In fact, UKC actually says that, "it's regarded as the first 9a in the world."

- 8c+, 9a+ or 8b+. Who cares?! It's the name that counts! And the name is HUBBLE! It's a piece of history! Thanks @ben_moon for putting up that thing and for having a vision! A vision for hear is possible, the next step! Pic @dave_heaton

 
 
8b again by Cathy Wagner (50)  Facebook
 

Cathy Wagner has done Mr Benjoin 8b in Verdon, which shows that she is at her peak being 50 years old. In total she has done 647 routes 8a and harder, 60 out of which in last year. Would it not be nice if the grand lady could inspire us all by doing her first 8b+ this year?

 
 
First 9a by Maxime Clerc  Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureFanatic climbing reports that Maxime Clerc has done his first 9a, Trip Tik Tonik in Gorges du Loup. It should be noted that previously he has done Abyss, which he gave a personal 8c+ grade. (c) Adrien Ragiot

- Trip Tik Tonik is among the most beautiful 9a's on the planet and we must specify on this crag, completely natural.

 
 
8A+ by Megan Mascarenas (18)  Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureMegan Mascarenas, who was #4 in the last Boulder WC, which actually was her worst result during her last four WC events, has done Jack's Broken Heart 8A+ and Sofa Surfer 8A in Magic Wood.

In the 8a ranking game, the 18-year-old is #3. In two weeks she will try to defend her title from last year in the Boulder World Cup in Vail.

 
 
Nathan Williams (17) flashes 8A+  (2) Facebook
 

Nathan Williams, who started climbing in 2012, has flashed his first 8A+, Black Hawk Down in Topside. The 17-year-old did his first 7C+ just 17 months ago so do not be surprised if Nathan shows up in more news from Rocklands shortly.

 
 
Four 8A's for Karo Sinnhuber  (2) Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureKaroline Sinnhuber, who was #5 in the China Boulder World Cup last month, has done four 8A's during the last week, including Nothing Changes (in the picture). Full story and more great pics by Lorenz Ulmer.

 
 
Close to 6 000 crags in the database  Facebook
 

In total, there are close to 4 million ascents in the 8a database and there is a Tick List available for almost 6 000 crags. You can add more crags to the database in a link at the top where you add routes and boulders.

The crag with most ascents is Fontainebleau with 104 000, followed by Kalymnos with 98 000.

 
 
Ondra does Geocache 9a+ in a day  (6) Facebook
 

Adam Ondra has done a quick one day ascent of Alex Megos' Geocache 9a+ in Frankenjura, which actually took Megos six days and 40 tries.

- Almost did in a couple of tries in the short morning session, but punted really hard on the very top. Then I took a rest and sent it in the evening. Regarding to the grade, I agree with Alex that it is strange route most of all (even though it is very cool and fun to climb). And hard too, but how hard is the question. I am considering that the route fits my style, being tall helps a tiny bit and I feel in a good shape, I guess 9a+ could be OK. But conditions were rather humid, even though it was not 30 degrees as the previous day.

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