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Pirmin Bertle bolting in Swiss  (4) Facebook
 

 
 
La Negra 9a by Iker Ortiz (19)  Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureIker Ortiz has done his first 9a, La Negra in Gandia. "What an illusion! A good physical and mental struggle, third ascent after Pedro and Jonatan."

 
 
Ondra or Schubert Climber of 2018?  (1) Facebook
 

Adam Ondra has been chosen 8a Climber of the year for nine straight years and in fact, there has not been much of a competition from the runner ups. In 2018, Ondra has again done many astonishing ascents like a 9a+ flash, two 8c+ onsights, two 9b FA's and an 8C boulder. In the Comp scene, he was #2 in both Lead and in Combined in the World Championship. These great performances would have been enough in any of the previous nine years but in 2018, there is a great challenge from Jakob Schubert.

Double World Champion and World Cup winner in Lead and three times Top-4 in Bouldering speak for it selves. Then he has done two 9b's and two 9a+, out of one originally called 9b/+. When it comes to bouldering Jakob flashed
Catalan Whitness the Fitness giving it a personal grade of 8B+ and the same down grading suggestion for two more 8C's.

Clearly, Ondra is a superior #1 when it comes to outdoors and the same goes for Schubert on the competition scene. So the big question is who should be considered Climber of 2018? Only measuring redpoints outdoors, Schubert should be #1 but then Ondra has his remarkable onsight record as well as having done ten 9a to 9b FA beside also impressive multi-pitches and trad climbs.

 
 
Grade or Climbing Improvement in 2019?  Facebook
 

The easiest way to measure progress in climbing is to try to repeat the same boulder or even try a new campus board move. Sure it feels great to be stronger on a specific move but, in reality, it does not make you a better climber. In reality, the same thing can often be said even when a new personal grade have been sent.

Any coach or experienced climber would instead "measure" you based on multiple styles and factors. In order to improve as a climber you should focus to widen your skill base of your pyramid. Many of us are pretty optimized when it comes to max power so only limited improvements are found there.

Becoming a better climber means often to focus on our weaknesses that are seldom trained like technique, tactic and flexibility. Focusing on each challenge instead of trying to do the short cut by finding a specific route in order to set a new personal best.

Technical improvements can be done be climbing more dynamical by doing moves with three contacts using just one foot or one hand. Other options could be to focus on knee drops or cross over moves.

Tactical skill are easiest done by route reading before climbing, trying to find resting points etc, and then analyse your climbing together with a friend afterwards.

 
 
Charlotte Durif bolting  Facebook
 


Beauty and the Bolts from Cold House Media on Vimeo.

 
 
Two 8A+’ by Oriane Bertone (13) in Rocklands  Facebook
 

Oriane Bertone is as usual in Rocklands during the Christmas break. Although fighting 30-35 degrees, the 13 year old has quickly done two 8A+', Leopard Cave and Green Mamba. In the 8a ranking game, she is #2 after Isabelle Faus. Nice video showing her amazing feet over the head technique.

 
 
The art of downgrading, aka personal grades  Facebook
 

Some 15 years ago, very few climbers downgraded climbs and even if everyone did know that the grades were too soft in general, for example on Kalymnos and in Ticino, very few reacted. As 8a wanted to present correct news we said the situation was like in the Fairy tale 'The Emperor's new clothes'.

Downgrading, aka screaming that the Emperor is nude, was quite controversial and it had not started before David Graham put up The Story of Two World's as an 8C in combination with an article on 8a where he talked about the grade inflation. Later, 8a started to use the term "personal grade" instead of saying, "downgraded it", which now is actually the way the whole community defines it in order to reduce controversies.

Still, most stay away from giving personal grades and instead sometimes use the words "soft" and "hard" and that is just fine. On the other hand, it seems that some use personal grades to show off or just in order to be disrespectful to the FA-ionists and repeaters, which happens especially in Bouldering.

If you honestly feel that a Boulder is more than two grades wrong and you do not say it in a nice way, you can imagine that you are stepping on some toes. Sure you might be correct but when we are talking about three grades differences, maybe you should try to write it in a polite way in order not to offend some. Maybe you did not do the same Boulder, you found new beta, some holds have gotten bigger or you did not start in the same way etc.

In the 8a system you get the score and the news is based on your personal grade, which hopefully makes the provocative people calm down. We also think that it is good enough to say "soft" if you are not just sure if the line is clearly one grade easier for you personally. What I am critical towards is that in some databases you can downgrade a boulder with three grades but you still get the fame for having done the original grade! I mean that this system creates unnecessary and sometimes unfriendly controversies.

 
 
Der mit dem Fels tanzt 8C by Christof Rauch  Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureChristof Rauch has done his third 8C in 2018, Der mit dem Fels tanzt 8C in Chironico which Martin Keller did put up. In total, Christof who works full time, has done 144 boulders 8A and harder this year which should be most in the world. In the 8a ranking game, based on the Top-10 ascents, he is #5. The pic is from Big Kat 8B+ which he did three days ago. (c) Largegon Damien

"Already tried it when I did „Insanity of Grandeur“, back then it felt way to hard to link it from the bottom, this trip it was different and I managed to do it on my third day of the trip. Great problem with sick moves, especially the feet first part and the compression at the end. Syked!"

 
 
Bouldering in Middle Earth  Facebook
 

 
 
Great review for the Route Setter Magazine  Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureEric Hörst, one of the leading climbing trainers and authors the last 25 years, have made a review of Vertical-Life's new Route Setter Magazine, which can be bought for 5 Euros. Alternatively you might check it up in your gym as Vertical-Life has sent out one magazine to 1 000 different gyms around the globe.

"Just received this copy of the new #RouteSetter magazine published by @vertical.life.climbing. All I can say is “WOW!” @matthiaspolig (and his crew) have created a stunning publication—it’s the most amazing first issue of a magazine I’ve ever seen.

NOTE: This magazine is about much more than routesetting—I believe this will become THE worldwide trade magazine for everything gym oriented...including gym management, holds & wall manufacturing, gym software, training area design, “player” profiles, gym gear, new products, and more! Kudos to the @vertical.life.climbing crew for their vision and execution!"

 
 
Neanderthal 9b by Jakob Schubert  (1) Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureJakob Schubert, double World Champion and World Cup winner in 2018, reports on Insta that he has done the first repeat of Chris Sharma's Neanderthal in Santa Linya from 2009. (c) John Campbell

"On my first day working this 115 moves (!!) monster I thought it will take a while to be able to send. But I quickly made a lot of progress and today (my 6th day on the route) I stuck the crux move and kept it together until the top."

Gareth Parry, winner of Arco Rock Master 2007, witnessed the ascent. "Classic Jakob, a cool, calculated and somewhat precision perfect ascent of another hard route. He looked well within his maximum. Back on the ground he said one of the hardest moments was to stay focused after the dyno and not let the mind play tricks and take over.

 
 
Limestone and sandstone holds get really breakable after rain  Facebook
 

We have been informed that although it has been raining a lot in Fontainebleau lately, many climb as soon the holds have dried. This should not be done as holds can break and it has actually happened many times. If you cannot wait 36 hours after a heavy rain in areas with limestone or sandstone, you should opt for slabs or Boulders with really solid holds.

 
 
Best hard core bouldering temperature is 2 - 10 degrees  (2) Facebook
 

Based on 800+ unique votes, "Best hard core bouldering temperature?", we can see that single digit temperature are preferred. Interesting is that 5 % think below freezing is the best. In comparison to a previous poll in 2015, the results are very similar.

05 % Below Freezing - 7 % 2015
32 % 4 celsius (39F) - 34 %
33 % 8 celsius (46F) - 29 %
17 % 12 celsius (54F) -14 %
12 % I enjoy the sun - 15 %

 
 
Find the best winter climbing destinations  (6) Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureThe picture shows in which months the ascents in Leonidio have been recorded in the 8a data base. In Europe only Geyik Bayiri and El Chorro of the popular crags have a similar concentration in the winter season as Leonidio. Other great winter destinations in Europe are San Vito lo Capo on Sicily, Osp/Misja Pec, Arico on Tenerife, Fenda near Lisbon, Mallorca and crags around Malaga, Valencia and Barcelona.

 
 
Staring at the sea 8b+ by Angie Scarth-Johnson (14)  Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureAngie Scarth-Johnson, who did an 8c+ being 12 years old, has done Staring at the sea 8b+ in Blue Mountains.

 
 
Two 8A (+)' by Oriane Bertone (13)  (5) Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureOriane Bertone has repeated Madame X assis in Les Avirons giving it a personal graden of 8A. The next day, she did the FA of Agamemnon Assis 8A. "I send the sit version after 3 work sessions. I felt it harder than "Madame X", 15 meters from Agamemnon in the same area, which was called 8A+ in the topo. Wery happy for this second hard FA of the month, after Le Spartiate Sit Direct !"

In total, the 13 year old has done 13 Boulders 8A to 8B+ in 2018 and she is #2 in the female ranking game after Isabelle Faus. Video of her last four done boulders.

 
 
Iker Pou (41) 9b interview  (3) Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureLast week Iker Pou did the FA of Artaburu in Margalef. In his words the route is by far the hardest he ever climbed but he never graded it. Now he says it is probably 9b but as such type of finger pockets is his strength, "it just might be harder."©Jordi Canyi

When did you bolt Artaburu?
I bolted the line in November 2012. I just tried it a little but couldn't do many moves... :)

Did you try it a lot or you also trained specifically?
It took me a lot of effort. I have tried the route every year when I could but I took it seriously in 2016. In both 2017 and 2018 I was close to send it but it didn't happen. Then recently I felt fitter and knowing the moves perfectly I did it. I have trained myself as usual but I did little changes. I did many meters outdoors but this year I went a lot of days to the gym Es Cau in Palma de Mallorca spending a couple of hours on the moonboard, after climbing outdoors. And in fact it worked cause I was stronger than ever.

Do you feel stronger being 41?
To be honest I feel really good, fit and maybe stronger than ever. The biggest difference is that I have to rest much more days than when I was younger but when I have a good day I see myself experienced and looseness (old dog!). The clue was train on plastic and lose 2kg.

Have you plans for harder routes?
Currently I don't have plans to try something really hard. I just want to stop sport climbing for a while and do some alpinism that motivates me a lot. Soon I will be psyched again to climb hard. Maybe if I find a cool line I will get focus onto it but now I need adventure and less sport climbs.

 
 
Merry X-mas and a Happy new 2019  Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureHopefully this year has been full of good climbing and successful trips to beautiful crags and we wish you strong motivation into completing new challenges in 2019.

 
 
1 000 new routes in Kalymnos added in the new VL App  Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge Picture"The Kalymnos guidebook by @ariskaly and Roussos has been completely updated since the last edition was published in 2016. The digital version is now available in our app! The update has over 1,000 new routes and 12 crags that are only available in the app. Enjoy a total of 3,800 routes with full-color photo topos." More info

 
 
Dreamtime 8C by David Firnenburg  (3) Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureDavid Firnenburg, who the last month has done his second 9a+ and done three 8c+', has done his first 8C, Dreamtime in Cresciano. Two years ago he was #3 in the Combined World Championship and his big goal is now Tokyo 2020.

"Fast switch from Spanish lead climbing to Swiss bouldering. Didn't expect the send today because I didn't feel the best but I thought why not giving it a try. And it went very well! First official 8C boulder for me. Psyched! THE Masterpiece in Cresciano. Very technical (heel hooks) and fingery climb. Did a static lock-off from crimp in the middle instead of dynamic move. Good conditions. Supporting crew. Thanks Andi, Simone, Remo and Martin! Stop thinking, just climb!"

 
 
21 min 8c+ onsight training with Ondra  Facebook
 

Very interesting comments by Adam Ondra from his onsight of Just Do It 8c+. He talks about taking risks, resting, screaming alerts and climbing efficient etc.

 
 
Reduce your climbing carbon footprint  Facebook
 

Rock climbing is a great nature sport as no constructed arena and limited equipment are needed and that goes especially for DWS and bouldering. At the same time, many of us take the car to the daily cragging and sometimes fly to other countries for climbing.

One way of reducing the travelling carbon footprint is to strengthen, develop and marketing the local climbing, which can be done by the local clubs, gyms and magazines.

While travelling, train or electrical cars are best and always opt for car pooling. You also have the option to climate compensation meaning that you pay a fee for your travelling. Low budget is the key for accommodation meaning avoiding fancy hotels and instead sleeping in the car or in a tent if possible.

In regards equipment, resoling your shoes or buying Mythos Eco Climbing Shoes where 95 % of the material used are recycled are great acts. Edelrid has an Eco rope and a carabiner made partly of steel in order to last much longer. Another way of reducing your carbon footprint is to buy second hand when possible.

Please feel free to add further tips how climbers can reduce their carbon footprint.

 
 
Palestina 8c+ (9a) by Alex Garriga (20)  Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureAlex Garriga, who started climbing in 2014, has done Palestina in Cuenca giving it a personal 8c+ grade. The 20 year old, who previously has done two 9a', did his first 7c in 2015 and his first 8b in 2016. In 2018, he has also done 27 routes 8a and harder onsight.

"I believe that my progress is due to the conditions of where I live and to which I have climbed a lot these years. I climb six days a week. I have more than 1000 routes of all grades in 15 minutes. My goal is just to try to climb all the routes I can."

 
 
Artaburu 9b? by Iker Pou  Facebook
 

 
 
1974 Bolzano gym made by real Dolomiti rock  Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureThe picture is from the "Prac" gym in Bolzano which was opened in 1974 as probably the first in Europe. Interestingly, the gym was built with real rocks from Val Gardena that was delivered by the army in trucks. In the early days, it was only the hard core big wall guys who frequented the gym in the winter. Now it has turned into a somewhat normal gym where part of the real rock walls have been covered by wood and plastic holds. (c) Dennis Moser

 
 
Estado Critico 9a (8c+) by Lucas Marques (37)  (1) Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureLucas Marques has done Estado Critico in Siurana famous for being onsighted by Alex Megos as the first 9a in the world. Later 8c+ have been suggested or indicated by some. In total, the superb route has 35 ascents making it the most popular 9a in the world. (c) 100 limite filmes

"Such a great route! Long, bit bouldery and pumpy to the end. Hard shoulder moves in the end. So fanatic! About the grade it is harder than all the 8c+ I ever try and did, also, who am I to downgrade the first 9a onsight of the world. Lets celebrate and have fun! Thank you everybody who support me along this journey... Brasilll!!!Vamooo!!!

It took some months on 'real tries' last season and around 15 tries this season. I trained with the Brazilian coach Gustavo Fontes for a month that gave me the last power I needed. After all I was prepared and in a perfect day it came by it self. Was a hard mental battle for me..."

 
 
Ondra onsights Just Do It 8c+  (2) Facebook
 

 
 
Garnbret is the female Sport climber of 2018  (1) Facebook
 

Based on 2 100+ unique votes, Female Sport Climber of 2018?

35 % Janja Garnbret
32 % Margo Hayes
11 % Jessica Pilz
07 % Isabelle Faus
03 % Alex Puccio
12 % Other

 
 
So High - autobiography comics by Romain Desgranges  Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureRomain Desgranges did his first Lead World Cup in 2003 and after 15 years contious progress he won overall in 2017 being like ten years older then the rest of the competitors. The same year, the 35 year old won the European Championship.

As a kid he wanted to be a soccer player which his parents did not like so much so they made him try different sports. Being a late bloomer, Romain struggled a lot but with a great team and several exploring mainly bouldering trips around the world, he kept his motivation high and trained mentally. It is really interesting to get inside Romain's head and learn how he kept fighting reading and watching all illustrations.

In 2016, he came in contact with illustrator Flore Beaudulin and it just might be that the whole process om making a comics autobiography worked out as the perfect mental training that made him the best competition climber in the world 2017, being 35 years old. Buy it for Euro 24


"A slip of the foot, the fall, months and years of efforts going up in smoke. In 2015, Romain Desgranges comes within a hair's breadth of winning the Climbing World Cup. He chooses to overcome his disappointment into the Californian desert of Joshua Tree.

Only surrounded by "Big boulders", he confronts his fears by climbing solo these granite blocks, some of which reach heights up to 10 meters and more. Falling is forbidden; the fear of failure getting confused with the fear of dying. By exposing one to the other, Romain slowly finds his own path again. This maiden trip is at the core of the autobiographical work he started, soon joined by Flore Beaudelin, a graphic designer. At first, there was a movie, then this graphic novel, to illustrate a lifetime journey through the passion of climbing. Eight chapters will follow Romain Desgranges from his childhood dreams to the World Cup podium. "So High" is the name given by the climbers to the highest of the boulders."

 
 
Railay at risk due to safety issues  Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureBjörn Alber, aka Dr 8a, reports that the titanium bolts from 2005 on his route Beauty and the Beast have been cut down due to pressure from thai marine park rangers.

"The pressure originates from the viral popularity this route got on youtube. This poses two treats. Firstly; people startled to jump out on the stalactite on toprope (you were supposed to lean out) posing a risk of stalactite breaking, secondly; due to the popularity and so many new “gym rats” without the necessary skills , the accidents on the route increased dramatically.

This year we also see more tourists climbing up to access ladders on the crags- most of them unfit to do so and some of them even drunk. The Thai authorities have no real interest in climbing and more accidents (even involving non climbers) will likely result in a total close down of all Railey climbing. Please help to keep us climbing here by climbing safe!"

 
 
Artaburu 9b? FA by Iker Pou (41)  (2) Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureIker Pou reports on Instagram his FA of Artaburu in Margalef. No grade was mentioned but the 41 year old, who previously has done four 9a+', says it is his hardest route ever. In 2000, Iker did the second repeat of Action Directe 9a. More info coming up. ©Jordi Canyi

"ARTABURU ": WITHOUT DOUBT, THE HARDEST ROUTE I HAVE EVER DONE! I had a dream and finally it has come true: I'm very happy and I still can not believe what could have gotten me up there. I had to be very Artaburu (Cabezón or brute in Euskera) to get it enchained. It has been the greatest physical and mental struggle I have ever faced. I have finally been able to climb the most futuristic route I have ever bolted. Undoubtedly, it is the most difficult thing I have ever managed to do, infinitely harder than everything done so far."

 
 
Best temperature for hard core bouldering?  Facebook
 


 
 
Sending conditions and tricks during winter  Facebook
 

Many of the best climbers think that the best sending conditions are found during 5 degrees. If it is a sunny wall, you can climb also during freezing conditions. Here are some tips how to keep warm. It is all about transporting your 37 degrees blood out to your finger tips.

1. Warm up indoors properly including also max power
2. Tight long arm sleeves, wrist warmers and mitts
3. Cut of the finger tips of your gloves
4. Chemical hand warmers in the chalk bag
5. Sweater with belly pockets (cut them to warm hand on your stomach)
6. Big shoes so you can wear a socket
7. Put your shoes and gloves inside your jacket

 
 
Rollito Sharma extension 8c by Molly Thompson Smith  Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureMolly Thompson Smith has done Rollito Sharma extension 8c in Santa Linya and she is #6 in the ranking game. "It took 3 goes in 2 sessions to do Rollito, then I worked the extension after I did it. Then 2 goes from the ground the next session."

In 2017 Molly was #7 in the Lead World Cup. Last December she ruptured three pulleys in a ring finger. Fully recovered she is going for the Olympics and this winter her focus are Bouldering and Speed, preparing for the selections and hopefully some WCs.

 
 
Ondra is the Climber of 2018  (1) Facebook
 

Based on 2 500+ unique votes, Climber of 2018?

47 % Adam Ondra
13 % Alex Megos
13 % Jakob Schubert
10 % Stefano Ghisolfi
07 % Jernej Kruder
04 % Daniel Woods
06 % Other

 
 
Karoshi 8C by Paul Robinson  (4) Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PicturePaul Robinson has done his 6th 8C FA, Karoshi in Hueco Tanks. "What a perfect way to end the trip! Found this line with Keith in feb 2018. Could not wait to come back this winter and get back on it. Sharp but such a perfect hard crimper line!

The area known as the 5 bimbos on east mountain has been closed for approximately 20 years due to erosion. Hueco tanks has since put in anti erosion measures in the area and has reopened the boulder to climbing in 2017. Now people can enjoy about 15 boulders problems in the area ranging from in the 6th grade to ~8C.


In total, Paul has done 918 boulders 8A and harder out of which 19 8C's. Is there anybody who could challenge Paul becoming the first one breaking 1 000? (c) Keith Allen - Westmountainmedia

 
 
8C+ FA by Heli Kotter  Facebook
 

 
 
Ondra doing Assassin 9a  Facebook
 

 
 
FAs in Clear Creek by Woods and Robinson  Facebook
 

 
 
Durif & Larson: Video: A world less traveled, Brazil  Facebook
 

 
 
Adam Ondra exploring in Chile  Facebook
 


Adam Ondra y experiencia en Valle de los Cóndores from rocanbolt on Vimeo.

 
 
Login Cabin 8A+ by Isabelle Faus  (5) Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureIsabelle Faus has done her 34th 8A+, Login Cabin in St Vrain and she is now quite superior in the 8a ranking game. (c) Chad Greedy

"Wow !!!! So psyched, when I first tried this boulder I wrote it off as too morpho... but where’s there’s a will there’s a way.... one of my fav ascents recently. Super hard for me, full extention the whole time, fun fun !!"

 
 
James Mchaffie Discovering La Pedriza  Facebook
 

 
 
Euro Youth Cups and Championships in 2019  Facebook
 

Here are the dates for the European Youth Cups in 2019 and further down also the Championships.

27-28/4 Soure POR (B)
10-12/5 Graz AUT (B)
25-26/5 Sofia BUL (B)
22-23/6 Ostermundigen SUI (L)
29-30/6 St Pierre Faucigny FRA (L)
03-04/8 Imst AUT (L)

22-30/8 Arco World Championship (prel)
21-22/9 Brixen ITA (B) Euro Championship
18-20/10 Voronezh RUS (L) Euro Championship
More IFSC info

 
 
Cheerleader 8B+ by Israel Olcina (43)  Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureIsrael Olcina (43) has done the second accent of Beto Rocasolano's Cheerleader 8B+ in Castillo de Bayuela, Spain. It is his second 8B+. Israel is a respected climber having been one of the first Spanish climbers to climb 8A in the late 90's. © Inés Tostado

"How has been the process on Cheerleader?
I had seen it when Beto did it in march. I was amazed with the line and I couldn't get it out my mind back then. I stopped trying it at the end of the season and without the first move due to a index injury and I back to it end of november. The problem climbs an overhang to a roof and the section is a 7-8 moves where the first three are the hardest.

 
 
Daily Training Plans through the VL App  Facebook
 

In the Vertical-Life training App you can choose from 10 different "daily plans". Once you have entered your your gym and level, as well as type of focus on your training, the App will direct you to do specific routes and boulders in the Vertical-Life connected gyms. Here you can invite your gym. It also tells you when to rest and after the session you will report back and say how tired you were and the system will adjust until your next session.

In the future, you will be able to create longer training plans with a focus on a certain ambition during your next trip etc.

 
 
Female Sport Climber of 2018?  (10) Facebook
 


 
 
Sport Male Climber of 2018?  Facebook
 


 
 
Three 8a's by Cathy Wagner (53)  Facebook
 

Cathy Wagner has added another three 8a's to her ticklist out of which one in Virignin and two in Blavet. This means that the 53 year old has done 64 routes 8a to 8b in 2018. In total, Cathy has done 699 routes 8a to 8b which just might be most in the world among the female.

 
 
Kintsugi 8C by Keenan Takahashi  Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureKeenan Takahashi reports on Insta that he has done Nalle Hukkataival's Kintsugi 8C in Red Rocks.

"Possibly the best boulder I’ve ever done... exhilarated, adrenalized, and psyched beyond belief!!!" (c) Killa Kev

This was Mr "Ario's" second 8C in 2018 when he also has done 5 8B+ and 16 8B's out of which two flashes.

 
 
 
Jon Cardwell has done Biographie 9a+: Interview!  (4) Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureJon Cardwell, who did his first 9a in 2008, has done his long-term project, Biographie 9a+ in Céüse. It was bolted in 1989 by Jean-Christophe Lafaille and Chris Sharma made the FA in 2001. Biographie has seen 13 ascents to date, which makes it the most repeated 9a+ in the world. (c) Carlo Traversi

Check out Jon's comments for his nicest journey that took ten years and included 75 tries.

- Climbing means so many different things to me. It's an outlet for self expression, a vehicle to travel the worth with and experience incredible places. It's also a wise teacher that holds you accountable for every action from your footprint at fragile crags to your preparation for meaningful climbs. More than anything, it's just fun!"

 
 
8a+ #111 by Cathy Wagner (50)  Facebook
 

Cathy Wagner has done her 16th 8a+ of the last year, Mr Power in Verdon. In total, the 50-year-old has done 125 routes of this difficulty, including 11 routes graded 8b. When it comes to 8a's, the French lady has done 421 of them and she is still progressing doing more every year!

 
 
First 8c+ by Julia Chanourdie (19)  (1) Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureJulia Chanourdie, #11 in the last year's Lead World Cup, reports on Facebook, "Last saturday I toped my first 8c+ "L'Avaro" in Tetto di Sarre in Italy. It's a first female ascent. Video coming soon!"

Tetto di Sarre is probably one of the most chipped crags in the world and in fact it is located in a quarry.

 
 
Adam Ondra does 9a #120, Under vibes  (1) Facebook
 

Adam Ondra has done Under vibes in Arco. During the same weekend, the 23-year-old onsighted also five 8a+ to 8b+ routes. In total, he has done 120 routes 9a and harder and onsighted 333 routes 8a+ and harder. The runner-up in these statistics, Ramon Julian Puigblanque has done 49 routes 9a and harder and onsighted 159 routes 8a+ and harder.

 
 
8B FA by Isabelle Faus  Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureIsabelle Faus has done Carefully by Hand 8A+ and the FA of The Dark Daughter 8B in RMNP, which might be the hardest female FA in the world!

- Trav into child of God, started matched sitting down right in the lowest part of the seam,, first stand up move is hard.. I'm sure tall people will blow off the first move but I couldn't reach the crimp while sitting.. It's much harder than carefully by hand in my opinion,, fun trav.

 
 
Goldrake 9a+ by Reffo Silvio  Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureReffo Silvio has done his second 9a+, Goldrake in Cornalba, after eight days of projecting. (c) Enrico Veronese

- I started to try the route togheter with Stefano Ghisolfi, since the first attempts I had a good feeling. The route begins immediately with very intense climbing, after a partial rest there's a very hard and technical boulder where I fell many times. Finally yesterday I managed to climb the route and solve this jewel of Cornalba's crag.

 
 
8C after driving 7 000 km by Tamás Zupán  (17) Facebook
 

Tamás Zupán has set a new record of dedication by doing his second 8C, Zunami in Saalachtal, driving 7 000 kilometers to reach his goal.

- I was there with my friend in the middle of March and I climbed some boulders in the lower sector and I tried Gizmo 8B, which is a variant of Zunami. I live 600 km far from Saalachtal and I could travel there only on Wednesdays because of my work. I woke up at 4:30 a.m., started my journey from home at 5 a.m. and I came in Saalachtal at 11 a.m. I climbed until 2 p.m. and I arrived at 8 p.m. I climbed ’Gizmo’ on the second trip and finally I could manage ’Zunami’ on my 6th trip.

The first move is incredible complex because in the same time you should move separately your all limbs when make the crossing movement, after it is really crimpy, overhanging and that’s why I really liked it.

 
 
9a/+ FA by Piotr Schab (19)  Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PicturePiotr Schab has done the FA of Stal Mielec 9a/+ in Dolina Kluczwody. The Polish teenager is #7 in the 8a ranking game. Video of the ascent.

- It used to be an 8c+ but after big changes in the Cave (removing artificial holds - 2012) it became a real challenge and was named the hardest route in whole Polish Jura.

 
 
Practice of the Wild gets 8B+ by Gabri Moroni  (16) Facebook
 

Gabri Moroni reports on Instagram that he has done Chris Sharma's Practice of the Wild 8C in Magic Wood, to which he gives a personal 8B+ grade, commenting.

"Took me 2 days. 1 quick session a week ago and another full day of work today. And I basically did it twice for a little dab on the try before the send. I know I am in my best form ever but I didn't feel this thing to be 8C..."

It should be mentioned that six out of seven repeaters have all marked it soft and many have it as a personal best. Furthermore, Gabri was the first who gave a personal grade to Mind Control, upon which most agree now.

 
 
Loic Zehani (14) does Bronx 8c+  (1) Facebook
 

Loic Zehani, who did one 9a FA about six months ago, has done his second 8c+, Bronx in Orgon. The 14-year-old needed 20 tries to do the classical chipped route, which was the first 8c+ in France.

 
 
8A+ by Tina Johnsen Hafsaas after 15 months of Mononucleosis  Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureTina Johnsen Hafsaas, who started training in February after 15 months of fighting with Mononucleosis, (a virus that causes extreme fatigue), has lately made great progress in Bouldering and also done her first 8A+, Steinbucken in Dirdal.

- It was incredibly cool to send this boulder. I’m still exploring what bouldering is, and I think this was my kind of boulder - steep and powerful on small holds. I haven’t bouldered much outside and I recently did my first 8A. After my send of Lynx 8A I was psyched to figure out what my maximum level really is, it felt so easy when I sent it that I couldn’t believe this was my limit.

After 15 months with mononucleosis it’s hard to describe how good it feels to explore my limits and do what I love. After nine hours in the car my body was not interested in climbing, but I still managed to figure out and do all the moves the first day. When I returned the next day everything felt easier and I sent it without much trouble. I expected to fall at least once at the top due to my lack of maximum endurance, but I didn’t. Once I passed the last hard move I sent it, and it feels amazing to have a body that’s working again and that my training is paying off. Still psyched to explore my limits and in three week I’ll be in Rocklands!

 
 
9a by Alexander Rohr  (1) Facebook
 

Alexander Rohr, who did a personal best of 8b+ 18 months ago, has done his second 9a, Ultime Souffrance in St Loup.

- What a day!!! Really not expected send..... I messed it up four times in the very last move of the hard part. Good mindset and bäääm!!! This one is much harder than Non a la bombe.... The 8a/8a+ boulder in the start shreds your forearms and bodytension. With it, the easier mid-part feels already harder. Linking the last boulderproblem felt quite impossible while the first tries. But now i was lucky although the conditions were not this good....2nd ascent... Super happy!!

 
 
Two 8b's by Chuck Odette (60)  Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureChuck Odette, who started climbing some 40 years ago, has done two 8b's in Hurricane; Inner Worlds and Big Man On Campus (in the picture). The great and inspiring story is that Chuck, who has put up 50+ routes 8a and harder, did his first 8b+ being 44 years old and now he is 60.

 
 
Sixth 8A for Oriane Bertone (11)  Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureOriane Bertone has done a left variant of Ganesh Assis 8A in Ravine Saint on Reunion Island. Actually, it was a reclimb as she first did it a month ago but then some guys said she dabbed the crash pad. Video of the ascent.

 
 
8a+ onsight by Martina Cufar (39) and she goes for her second 8c  Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureMartina Cufar become the World Lead Champion in 2001 and since than, Slovenia has been one of the leading nations in climbing. In 2006, she onsighted her first 8b and last week, the 39-year-old onsighted her first ever 8a+, Allo ctave, ici Bemol in Verdon. She got the tip from Bruno Clement - Graou, who has established a new sector there, Baume aux Couillones.

- Graou told me one evening that he equipped one line in the bottom of which should be written " For Martina", because there are many small crimpers and it's technical. smile emoticon So I went in one day and did it on sight. He was right , it was for me.

Otherwise I try to keep my shape with climbing when I can but for sure it's less than before I had my two boys, Tommy and Paco. It's quite a job to entertain them! In the last time I climb often in Bionnassay (half an hour drive and half an hour walk up). It's the place I like, but the problem is that I did all the routes until 8b...So I got myself on the 8c now, a route with a crux with a long move, boys do a jump, that I was not able to do for years (Well I went to check once a year) ,but in december I found the solution. Well I do the move once or twice in three attempts, so I don't really know if I am close ot not. but I enjoy climbign on it. I hope I have some luck and do it this year,:-)

I try to climb 3 - 4 times a week, 1,5h or 3 in the rock. I do kundalini yoga every morning when everybody sleeps, from 6 30 to 7 30 - 8.

 
 
8c again by Angie Scarth-Johnson (11)  Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureAngie Scarth-Johnson has reclimbed Welcome to Tijuana 8c in Rodellar, which she already did last year. However, some locals did say that she had used some eliminated holds one meter to the left of the original line, disclaiming the ascent. Kind of a strange thing for a 10-year-old setting a new world standard, getting the info that it was prohibited to use some small shallow pockets where no other can get their fingers into. Anyhow, now Angie has done the straight up elimination 8c.

Angie is from Australia and she is on a three-month-long road trip to Europe being home-schooled by her non-climbing parents. In March she did an 8c in Margalef.

 
 
Estado Critico 9a by Sasha Gerzha  (3) Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureSasha Gerzha has done his second 9a, Estado Critico in Siurana. The picture is from La Rambla 9a+, which will be his next project.

- I had a couple of tries in January but just for check the moves and went back to St Petersburg for training. Then I came again in March and was close to send after one week or 10 days but get a cut finger and it took around one another week to recover. I didn't climb for this period and than I start again with no power after the rest! And the weather started to be hot! So it was all the time something wrong

 
 
9a by Mikel Linazisoro (15)  Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureLast year we at the Spanish 8a.nu site had a long chat with Mikel Linacisoro in this vídeo interview just before he became the European Youth Champion. There he expressed that he wanted to send his first 9a before his 15th birthday. However, being focused on the comps at that moment he had to wait to have that goal completed until last Sunday when he was finally able to clip the chains of Begi Puntuan, 9a in Etxauri.

He started trying it at the beginning of last December, projected it for two weekends before Christmas and he almost sent it during those holidays. Then, he just needed two more weekend trips to the crag to bag it. This way he's set a Spanish record again, being the youngest (he's 15 now) to send an 8c and an 8c+ back in those days and a 9a now.

When we interviewed him for the first time three years ago he had redpointed an 8b+ and onsighted an 8a+. That same year and just before turning 13 he fired-off his first 8c with 'White Zombie' in Baltzola and one year after he reached the 8c+ grade with 'Koldoren Mundua' in Araotz.

**Now you can read the interview we had with the Basque yesterday, where he tells us more about his new step up.

 
 
9a by Giorgio Bendazzoli (16)  Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureGiorgio Bendazzoli, who won one Euro Youth Lead Cup last year and was the European Champion in 2014, has done his first 9a, L'attimo in Covolo.

- L'attimo is the connection of the hard part of two 8c' which I did last years. I started trying it last year but it was a bit over my level...the hotter conditions after winter came in march but the climate was cloudy and humid, not so good for the crimps! This month I also got a contraction in my back that didn't let me to do my best. Now that both physical and weather conditions are perfect it came out the occasion to do this very beautiful line.

 
 
9a by Alexander Feichter again  Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureAlexander Feichter has done the FA of The Walking Dead 9a in Pursteinwand, which is mainly a slab Climb with many Bouldery passages. In practice it is a 35-metre-long link-up of an 8c with an 8A+/B boulder crux and Feichter's third 9a.

"The line is a mental killer, because there are so many Boulder parts on the slab where you can really fall on every move. Therefore you have to be very calm during the Ascent. After the ascent I was stunned happy that this project became reality. Slab climbing is a crazy thing. What I liked was the natural Gneis-Granit stone in this line.

Normally I train exclusively force on my pull up board. Additionally, I'm practicing sometimes some indoor training in climbing halls but three-quarters of the training I'm doing at home with my own utilities."

 
 
9a FA by Nicolas Pelorson (18) again  Facebook
 

Nicolas Pelorson has done his third 9a FA, Ametsa in L'Abattoir, which is a new crag located just outside Grenoble developed mainly by Florent Plaze and J Aromatario. Topo.

Last year, the 18-year-old Frenchman got the silver in the Youth World Championship and in 2013, he won one Euro Boulder Cup.

 
 
8b onsight by Laura Rogora (14) and one more today  Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureLaura Rogora, who just did her first 9a, has onsighted Batuka 8b in Margalef and she put up all the draws by herself. Batuka has been recorded 57 times in the data base, all with 8b and only two guys have onsighted it before.

- The route is divided in two sections with a very good rest in the middle. The first four bolt are hard and I thought to fall every move. The second part is easier but there is another hard move. Today was the first day of the trip. In this week I would like to visit new crags: Santa Linya, Rodellar...

Today the 14-year-old onsighted Codigo Norte, an 8b in Santa Linya. "I'm staying here just for one week so I think I will climb only onsight."

 
 
8c+ FFA by Anak Verhoeven  (5) Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureAnak Verhoeven, #4 in the Lead World Cup 2015, has done the FFA of Bronx 8c+ in Orgon from 1994 and she did it on her third try. In the video, there is also her 8c+ FA of Ma belle ma muse in Romeyers included, which took her just four sessions. (c) Sébastien Richard

- When the 2015 season was over I first took some weeks of rest. Then I progressively started training again, but I have done no specific training for the routes I have climbed in France. My trainings have been quite similar as the years before with mainly both resistance and power training. I probably did a little more finger training and I also checked out Redcord training in order to prevent injuries. What was different though, is that in the beginning of the trip I consciously decided not to let a certain route dominate me. I was aware of the way in which a project can take control over a climber during the time he is attempting and I didn't want to let that happen. Because of that, the project felt more like a challenge instead of a constant pressure.

My plan for the next months is to continue training indoors for next season and my goal is to win international adult competitions.

More info on her website - Anak Verhoeven Climbing for Jesus

 
 
Papichulo 9a+ by Piotr Schab (19)  Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PicturePiotr Schab has repeated Chris Sharma's Papichulo 9a+ in Oliana, which has been given three stars in our database by all eight guys who have done it. "A perfect route - gonna miss it for sure ! Amazing challenge, life is beautiful!!"

The Pole did his first 9a, Era Vella, when he was 15 years old and has had a steady progress since. Papichulo, with a dozen of ascents, is probably one of the most repeated 9a+'s in the world. (c) Wojtek Kozakiewicz.

 
 
Honnold & Camargo repeat an 8c MP in China  Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureFelipe Camargo and Alex Honnold have done the first repeat of Dani Andrada's amazing eight pitches in Getu Valley; 8a+, 8b, 7c+, 7a, 8b+, 8c, 7c+, 8a+. (c) Jimmy Chin

- We worked on it for five days, cleaning the route cause it was really dirty and figuring out the moves and just working on the pitches. Later we did it on our first respectively serious push from the ground. Best thing I've ever climbed in my life! A real gem from Dani Andrada! Incredible effort and vision bolting this thing!

 
 
El Intento 9a by Desgranges (1 hour) and Supper  Facebook
 

The French team has been on a training camp in Cuenca and they seem to be in a great shape as both Gauthier Supper, #2 in WC 2015, and Romain Desgranges, #6, did El Intento 9a. In fact, Desgranges did the 30-metre-long route in just three attempts, which took him an hour.

So does that mean that you could do a 9a+ in some tries and a 9b after some projecting?
Probably!

 
 
La Reina Mora 9a (8c) by Stéphane Hanssens  (1) Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureAfter one month of projecting Stéphane Hanssens has done Ramon Julian Puigblanue's La Reina Mora, which seems to have been upgraded from 8c to 9a. The Belgian focused on comps as a youngster, then he did some expeditions and now he is back with a focus on sport climbing and World Cup comps. His best results in 2015 were #13 in the Euro Bouldering Championship and #9 in the Imst Lead WC. (c) Guillaume Lion

"This is by far, the path which asked me the most efforts. Really happy and what amazing line. Thank you to all the people who helped me in this project."

 
 
First 8c by Gudmund Grønhaug (43)  (1) Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureGudmund Grønhaug has done the FA of Blodspor 8c in Ekne, which he bolted eleven years ago. Ekne is located two hours south of Flatanger and there are some 130 routes at the spot (topo), half of which were bolted or had FAs by the Norweigian.

Five years ago, Adam Ondra tried the vertical route and said it might be an 8c and since then the 43-year-old has gone all in. Adam had been invited to Flatanger by Gudmund, who was one of the pioneers of the giant cave.

"Due to rheumatic chronic pain in the knees, hips shoulders, and worst of all, the low back, I need to train something everyday. 3 years ago a mix of events gave me inspiration to train harder and more structured. My book (climbing injuries) was almost finished, we were due to leave the area and move south and I had a lot of pain. I found the inspiration for everyday structured training in this project and the prospect of being able to get out of bed and make breakfast for me and the kids without having to sit down and have a break at least once due to pain.

The last two winters I found a method of combining training to reduce pain with performance enhancing training without spending to much time training.
“Luckilly” my pain gives me no time to rest and stop training so I train something almost every day. Obviously this pays of! I now have less pain, fever extreme pain periodes and a new (possible) personal high point concerning climbing grades."

 
 
9a FA by Kevin Aglaé in St Leger  Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureKevin Aglaé reports on Facebook that he has done the FA of L'Enfumette 9a in St Leger. (c) Jan Novak

 
 
8c+ and 8c by Drew Ruana (16)  Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureDrew Ruana, who started climbing when he was four and who has done many headlines throughout the years, including a 9a FA, has had an amazing day in Red River Gorge. "Super fun day 2 here at the red! I flashed Kaleidoscope (8a+), managed to send Southern Smoke (8c+) after two days of effort, and I surprised myself by sending Thanatopsis (8c) in three tries in a single day of effort!"
(c) Kyle O'Meara

What is the plan and ambition 2016 and what about training and comps?
There are a couple local routes I want to do in the 9a range, and I want to do Le cadre in Ceuse this summer. Maybe some local bouldering in the 8B range.

I train 3-4 days a week. Lots of boulder training and also lots of route/endurance training. My training fluctuates a lot. I just have a coach who also coaches a lot of other people. No Youth World Championship. I am just doing the American Youth circuit.

 
 
Iban Larrion sends 8B+/C and a 9a+  (4) Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureAbout a month and a half ago Iban Larrion added a new boulder-route in a smaller grotto aside the Baltzola cave, Mikelon, for which he suggested 8B+/C (remember that in 2012 and at the same spot he also made the FA of 'Airian', suggesting 8C for it).

At that time we talked with him in this interview, where we also asked him about his long standing project with a rope in the same area, Iñi Ameriketan 9a+, which he was finally able to send about 2,5 weeks ago after trying it for 6 years. Pic© Estibaliz Díaz.

Iban is the fourth to clip the chains of what was born as a 100% natural route (so far just a crimp broke and was glued back on the same spot) bolted by Iñigo Basterra in 1995 which first ascent was claimed by Rikar Otegi in 2002 saying it was a 9a. One year later it was bagged by Patxi Usobiaga agreeing with such difficulty proposal. Second repetition didn't happen till 2014 with an Adam Ondra well used to revise a good number of routes downward but registering this one with a 9a+ in his scorecard with the following comment: "Harder than 'Il Domani', even though easier beta than Patxi and Rikar used has been found. 2 days, sent in humidity."

Iban confirmed us that Ondra used his method and coincide with him on his grading, even if "an intermediate in the crux section broke off, but this didn't mean that plus." We, in the Spanish 8a.nu site, have asked him some few more questions that you can read in this new interview.

 
 
An 8b+ and an 8c by Nika Potapova (13)  Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureNika Potapova has done her second 8b+, Marioneta and the day after also her first 8c, Strelovod in Osp/Misja Pec. Last year, she set a female world record on the Zlagboard, hanging for 2.40 min. This is some 40 seconds more than the second best female and in fact she is #2 overall behind Ramonet's 2.45. Nika normally does seven training sessions a week including two rest days.

- I "put an eye" on Strelovod in my previous trip in November last year. There is a big hold on the second half of the route where you could relax but it was not so easy for me to reach it, small holds long reaches. I had to use my foot regular on the heel because of my height. It took 4 days, 14 tries for the realization. I am very happy and have new plans: a trip to Arco and competitions in Imst. I want that May become soon!

 
 
First 8c and 8c+ for Michaela Kiersch  Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureMichaela Kiersch has had an amazing weekend in Red River Gorge, where she started up with the ascent of her first 8c, Thanatopsis and later did Pure Imagination 8c+, which originally was a 9a. (c) Kevin McNally

"I am really excited. I had tried Pure Imagination a few times before this season, but never really dedicated myself to it for the send. Really happy to get it with my second weekend of work. I'm honestly a bit surprised that I had this much success so fast in the season, so now I can have a bit of fun and climb a whole bunch of new routes to look for a project! Maybe Lucifer, maybe 50 words for pump... Maybe the Golden Ticket!!! Then I am competing in the vail World Cup in June"

How have you been training lately?
Mainly climbing outside on the weekends and gym sessions in the week. I have been doing a bit of campusing and one arm dead hangs.

 
 
Goldrake 9a+ by Stefano Ghisolfi  Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureStefano Ghisolfi, who did a 9b FA last year as well as being #9 in the Led World Cup has done Goldrake 9a+ in Cornalba. "Had some problem with the top slab, but did it in 4 days! Really nice route, sharp for the skin." © Enrico Veronese

So what is your plan, ambition for 2016 and how do you prepare for this?
I think I'm going to try some projects in Italy and then compete in lead world cups. My ambition is always the podium. But I'd like to be more regularly. My trainer Roberto Bagnoli trains me with a strict program, power, power endurance and endurance in the last months. But my passion for rock is too strong that I need to climb outside once a week at least.

 
 
First 9a for Hernan Garcia  (2) Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureHernan Garcia, who started climbing in 2004 when he was 22 years old, has done his first 9a, Fuck the system in Santa Linya. (c) Henning Wang

"I started to try the route one year ago after I had sent Digital System but not seriously. It was in January 2016 that it got seriously and thanks to the advises from Diego Marsella that I could link all the moves. It was a nice experience when I saw a few strong climbers like Domen Skofic send the route very fast and I got extra motivation. Finally yesterday I was able to send it on my second go despite the hot conditions, Now the motivation is high to try some new project in the Santa Linya cave."

 
 
Second 9a+ by Mateusz Haładaj  Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureMateusz Haładaj continues to progress and goes to #8 in the 8a ranking game with his second 9a+ done during the last year, First Ley in Margalef.

"HELL YES! The best sequence I’ve tried on rock. Was dreaming about this awkward tufas since I saw Chris on it several years ago. First Ley goes left just before the last crux of FRFM 9b, now psyched to try the original finish in winter!"

 
 
First 9a by Fedir Samoilov (18)  Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureFedir Samoilov who last year won one Euro Youth Cup in Lead and who in 2016, has done his first two 8c+', steps up one more grade by doing Martin Krpan 9a in Osp/Misja Pec.

"It was the third day of climbing and I did not have a lot of power. I barely were able to get through it and it was good warm weather. Many thanks to my trainer Artur Pechii. I still have a 9a project in Santa Linya and we are planning also to go to Arco in the near future. Picture from Ucrclimbing who says this is the first Ukrainian 9a.

 
 
8c+ by Barbara Zangerl  Facebook
 

Barbara Zangerl, one of the best multi-discipline female rock climbers, reports on Facebook that she has done her first 8c+, Harry's dirty brother in Voralberg after some 30 tries over two years.

"Today it was a good one. It took me some time to get this route done. After a biiiiiiiiig fight i clipped the chain of my hardest route, i have ever done. It is not a 1st April joke.) Jacopo (Larcher) did the first ascent of "Harry's dirty brother" exactly one year ago. The route is bolted by the one and only Jürgen Höfle."

 
 
Estado Critico 9a by Bouyoud and Pintar  Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureMathieu Bouyoud has done Estado Critico 9a in Siurana and a few days later it was also done by Gašper Pintar who has written an interesting blog with nice reflections.

"Myself a few years ago, coming from a background of youth competitions and obsessive training, I was hung up about my performance and had a number of uncertainties and doubts. I would never believe I would one day climb something like this because I was too weak or it simply seemed so abstract. Slowly over the years I made away with the misconceptions about my climbing by stopping pushing for it and going with the natural flow of things, climbing a lot, becoming stronger and finding climbing more fun as more and more things became possible."

 
 
Anak Verhoeven (19) makes the FA of Ma belle ma muse 9a  (1) Facebook
 

Anak Verhoeven, who was #4 in the Lead World Cup last year, has done her second 9a, the FA of Me belle ma muse in Romeyer.



Just later, it was repeated by Jean-Elie Crestin-Billet and here is his video. Jean-Elie actually called it an 8c+/9a.

 
 
Mind Control 8c (+) by Monique Forestier (43)  Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureThe proud husband Simon Carter comes with great news on Facebook.

"I'm happy! She's happy! Everybody's happy! Because Monique Forestier really pulled it out of the bag and did something I wasn't expecting today... She just sent her numero uno project with a really inspired send of Mind Control for her first 8c+, or Australian 34, in primo conditions at Oliana today!"

 
 
Vanitas 8C by Ryuichi Murai and Ichimiya Daisuke  Facebook
 

Ryuichi Murai has done his second 8C in the last two weeks, Vanitas in Hourai."I felt this problem was right for myself because I could deal with many of parts with heel hook that I am good at. 6 moves until join the stand version was so difficult. When I got over the fear of mantle, I was so psyched!! Props to Dai did FA in 2014!" Video

The 167 cm tall Japanese was #19 in the only Boulder World Cup he has taken part in. "I started climbing at the age of ten. I was mainly focused on competition until enter the university, but later I began to climb the natural rock. Because I still have never been bouldering overseas, I want to try the hard problems there. I climb in the gym three times a week. Basically, I try the problems that is made by gym staff. I don't particularly training, but I do sometimes ''ABC chin-up''. ''ABC chin-up'' is a training that I was taught when I went to the training camp in Austria before."

Also Ichimiya Daisuke has done the 8C, which was the second one for the 162-cm-tall.

 
 
Kajsa Rosén (18) - A new star in the making  (3) Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureKajsa Rosén, who did her first 8c and flashed an 8b+ last week, has done Mind Control 8c (+) and onsighted T-1 Full Equipe in Oliana. There is only a handful of female who have onsighted at this level before. "What to do next? Still suprising myself here in Oliana."

Last year, the 18-year-old was #9 and #10 in the last two Lead World Cups she did.

Loic Timmermans, who is still ahead of Kajsa with one 9a, reachead out to 8a with a nice reflection.

"Kasja is crushing all the routes she's trying like nothing. I was even more impressed when she told me she did Mind control without getting pumped. I think she has a good attitude to. Not taking things too seriously, just climbing and see what happens.

 
 
Two 8c (+) OS and a 9a+/b by Adam Ondra  (2) Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureAdam Ondra has had a great weekend. First he did the FA of Vicious Circle 9a+/b in Osp/Misja Pec, which he bolted last year. (c) Luka Fonda

"Left start into Sanski par. Bouldery and short 8c+ into the most of the Sanski par 9a (without first six moves). I would say two 8c+'s with a bad rest in between. Super powerful and resistant climbing.

The next stop was Medveja, a new secret zone in Croatia. It was one of the best days of climbing ever as I onsighted two 8c's ('The Core' is considered 8c+ by those few, who repeated the route) and the first ascent of 'More', 9a. World record maybe? Haha.

Most of the routes are slightly overhanging, crimpy on super solid rock with a minimum of Sika and in general fitting my style pretty well.

The last day I tried a project in Pandora, a different zone in Istria, which is definitely pretty hard in the region of 9b or more. Something like 20m of bouldering in the roof. Definitely a lot of rock around there worth returning for."

 
 
8B (+) flash by James Webb again  (2) Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureJames Webb has traveled to Finland to take part in Sisu Masters with an amazing line up including Daniel Woods and Dave Graham but also to try Nalle Hukkataival's Boulders. First they had to crush some ice on the top of the Globalist in Sipoo and then James just flashed it and gave it a personal grade of 8B. The best flash boulderer in the world has now flashed 13 8B Boulders, four out of which were originally graded 8B+. (c) Nico Backström

"Absolutely incredible boulder from Nalle that I've wanted to climb on for so long. Perfect rock, amazing movement. One of the best!"

Next up could be Hukkataival's famous Sisu or Lappnor Project that the Fin has been trying for six respectively four years speculating that it could become the next level.

 
 
8b+ flash and a 8c by Kajsa Rosén (18)  (3) Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureSimon Carter, a professional climbing photographer for 25 years, reports on Facebook:

"I've seen a lot of really impressive climbing over all the time I've spent at Oliana over the years... and add to that today's jaw-dropping sends by 18 year-old Swedish climber Kajsa Rosen. First up she hiked Fisheye (8c) first shot (after only working it twice yesterday), for her first of the grade, and THEN casually flashed Los Humildes pa Casa (8b+) soon after (pictured). Kajsa Rosen; a name to watch out for for sure!"

Simon is spot-on as the young Swede has had an extreme development over the last few years. In the past year, she was #9 and #10 in the last two Lead World Cups she did.

So how much beta did you get and do you still plan to get yourself a station wagon and hit the road?
I saw a french guy climbing it and he told me about a knee bar. I heard some screaming from below but it was very windy. My plan is to do some comps and some rock climbing and have fun. I graduate this year so hopefully I will have some more time for climbing.

 
 
8c+ by Brooke Raboutou (14)  Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureBrooke Raboutou reports on Facebook that she has done Southern Smoke 8c+ in Red River Gorge. Previously the 14-year-old did several headlines on 8a including one about an 8b+ that she did four years ago.

Brooke's parents are Didier, one of the leading climbers both on the rock and the competition scene some 20 years ago, and Robyn Erbesfield - the world's best competition climber between 1989 -1995 and a very successful trainer.

 
 
Second 8c by Angie Scarth-Johnson (11)  Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureAngie Scarth-Johnson, who is on a three-month long road trip in Europe being schooled, has done her second 8c, L'Espiadimonis in Margalef. Previuosly in March, the 11-year-old has done two 8b+'s. Interesting is that Angie is the only one climbing in her family and she is her own trainer. (c) João Giacchin

"Hard pocket climbing to a ok rest then explosive climbing through red point cruxs, then hold on to the chains. So over the moon to have sent such awesome climb."

 
 
8C by Ashima Shiraishi (14)  (21) Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureReel Rock Film Tour comes with the amazing news that Ashima Shiraishi has made the first repeat of Dai Koyamada's spectacular Horizon 8C, in Hiei, Japan. The 14-year-old worked on the 30 move long roof problem in December and now she has done it on her third day, which means she is the first female and the youngest climber ever to have reached 8C. Here you can find Dai's comment on his FA including a picture where you see that it is almost a horizontal roof.

- "No doubt the Super Project was the hardest problem I’'ve ever done and that probably means it’s a V16 (8C+). However, I’'m not quite sure because I don’t have enough references to compare with. I would be able to fully understand what V15 (8C) is like exactly if I did more than fifty or so of them, but my accomplishments don’t even come close to that."

Based on Ashima's Route and Boulder ticklist, she has been the world's best female rock climber since she was 12 years old. Among the male, she is currently in the Top-20 including also having done two 9a's last autumn. How many 14-year-old girls are able to compete with the best male in any sport? (c) Brett Lowell

 
 
8c+ flash by Jakob Schubert  Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureHeiko Wilhelm reports on Instagram that Jakob Schubert has flashed 3 Satellites 8c+ in Andalusia. He got the beta from Mario Lechner. Together with Adam Ondra Jakob has been the best overall climber in the world the last five years, including Bouldering and competitions.

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