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The best training is personal  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureOver the years, I have checked and asked possibly around 100 athletes and at least 20 coaches to understand what is the best training practice. In general, there is actually no mainstream idea but instead many different approaches. This means that you should not try to copy the ideas from just one athlete or coach randomly but instead try as many regimes as possible before you will find what suites you best.

However, what has struck me most is that the best male like Adam Ondra, Chris Sharma and Daniel Woods are that they did not followed any training regime being teenagers. They just followed their passion and climbed as much as possible living the moment instead of just focusing on short term progress.

The other thing that have made extreme impression is watching and talking with the Japanese athletes over the years. They can not stop playing around having fun together. After the final in Munich 2017, when everyone had left for the party, they continued trying the final boulders in their sneakers for an hour until their hands were bleeding.

Thirdly, Jernej Kruder won the Boudering World Cup in 2018 did contrary to most of the successful boulderers not focus on indoors. Instead of power training and jumping around on volumes indoors, he spent many hours sport climbing, DWS, bolting and even doing vertical multi-pitches, see picture.

On the other hand, there are several athletes that have been successful following extreme training programs mainly training alone. In other words, the best training is individual and you better start trying them all. It seems it does not matter so much what you do as long as you are so motivated so you put in as many hours possible.

Nagual 8B flash by Thilo Schröter  Facebook

Daniel and Giuliano in Spain  Facebook

Honnold's Free solo ignored truths?  Facebook

Climbing has published an article on Facebook that quickly has created a debate in regards Honnold's free solo - "Uncomfortable Truths, But Ignored Others"

"The film ignores two important things:"
1. The film crew created some motivation for Honnold to go for it.
2. The film crew made it more simple for him to bail out.

I certainly do not think these two important things were ignored in the film. On the contrary, they dealt with it perfectly. However, even if they had been ignored, I do not see a problem with this.

The only thing that I think was ignored was how big risk of death did Honnold face? When we judge how irresponsible Honnold was towards his family and friends, it only comes down to the risk of death. Of course, the risk can not be measured in percentage but I do think Honnold's risk for falling to the ground up on El Cap was much lower than the risk of death, the guys pushing themselves towards the top of K2 face.

If this is true, we should question every person trying to summit K2 instead of saying Honnold and his film crew was irresponsible. 8a has had a policy to not publish free solo ascents except exceptional ones which have reached mainstream. In the early days of 8a, before this policy, we several times did receive emails where climbers asked if they would get a headline on 8a if they did a certain route free solo.

Gibert and Bonder French Boulder Champs  (1) Facebook

1. Fanny Gibert - Jérémy Bonder
2. Naile Meignan (15) - Arthur Ternant
3. Hélène Janicot - Manu Cornu
4. Maëlys Agrapart - Sam Avezou (17)
5. Lucile Saurel - Mathieu Ternant
6. Manon Hily - Mickael Mawem

Fanny, #3 in WC 2018, got her fourth French Bouldering title and Jérémy won his third. From the Tokyo perspective, both Sam and Mickael are among the fastest non-Speed specialists.

Ondra's road to Tokyo #3 - Campus board competition  Facebook

Climb 500 m to enter VL's prize raffle  Facebook

Click to Enlarge Picture"Have you started prepping for your summer climbing trip? Jump into this month's Challenge to get yourself ready. Climb 500 meters and you'll be entered into the prize raffle, where you can take home goodies from sponsors like @lasportivagram, @bergfreundede, @chillaz.international, @borealoutdoor and @frictionlabs.

TIP: Zlags collected from Training Plan workouts are also counted among the meters climbed. Create a single-day training plan at your gym, on the app, for free, and start Zlagging your climbs!

Join the app and take part in the challenge!⠀ More info."

Robinson trains for Hypnotized minds 8C+  Facebook

Spectre 8B flash by Brian Nugent  (6) Facebook

Brian Nugent, who previously has just done one 8B+, has flashed Spectre 8B in Bishop.

"I cannot think to dream of a climb in first try, but sometimes we cannot think of a dream of truth. First flash in historic problem and I can feel an incredible overwhelm of joy, anger with others for not realize their potential, and most of all FEAR in horrible choss top slab. To rephrase what is said to me by amazed friends “Nuggles on Fire!!!!!”

I had a big spray down from friends Bryce and Vincent with specific hand crystal beta and even a mental checklist, but I’m the moment it’s just like a freestyle, “follow the path, go with the flow.”

Joe Mama 9a+ by Sean Bailey  (1) Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureSean Bailey, #2 in a boulder WC last year, reports on Insta that he has done Joe Mama 9a+ in Oliana. (c) Bearcam

Last month, Sean won the USA Bouldering Nationals and now he is on his way back to US again, competing in the Lead nationals this weekend.

Last man 8c (+) by Davide Carena (15)  Facebook

Davide Carena, who started 2019 by doing his first 8c+, has done Last Man 8c (+) in Albenga. The next day, the 15 year old did Sevedemos 8B+ (c).

Chromosome y 9a (8c+) by Samuel Ometz  Facebook

Samuel Ometz, who did Dreamtime in Cresciano giving it a personal 8B+ grade, has done Chromosome y in Chambery giving it a personal 8c+ grade.

"Good bouldery route! Two days, didn't use a knee pad. Hard to grade for me as I was only bouldering the past three months. 1st boulder felt not so bad (more fb8a than 8b) and the rest was just pumpy even though not so hard, fell five times after the boulder crux including twice at the very end, haha."

Adam Ondra did call it as "Soft" when he flashed it and also Alexander Rohr thought the same doing the send repeat. The route was put up by Pirmin Bertle who has had climbs being downgraded before.

Le Neve and Phillips win CWIF  (2) Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureCWIF turned out as always to be a good show and a great start of the comp season 2019. Especially among the male, many of the best participated and Nathan Phillips, #6 in the WCH 2018, had secured his victory even before he had tried boulder #3. Runner up was Sean McColl ahead of Alexey Rubtsov who did score four zones.

Among the female, we saw more tops and Melissa Le Neve, who stopped doing Boulder WC's in 2016 when she was #3 overall, won ahead of Stasa Gejo. Third was Chloe Caulier who could have won if she would have stuck the last boulder as we see on the picture.

BTRM 8a+ by Cathy Wagner (53)  (1) Facebook

Cathy Wagner has done No sombra 8a and BTRM 8a+ in Rodellar. "For me, a hard and logical link-up starting on BTR and ending with the crucial top section of Montserrat, much better than the chipped ending of BTR. One of the best routes for sure!"

In total, the 53 year old has done 712 routes 8a and harder the last 25 years out of which possibly one fourth second go.

CWIF Semi  Facebook

Click to Enlarge Picture

CWIF Finals  Facebook

La Rambla 9a+ by Dave Graham  (15) Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureAlizée Dufraisse reports on Facebook that Dave Graham has finally done La Rambla 9a+ in Siurana. More info to come.

Fuck the system 9a by Nika Potapova (16) and Fedir Samoilov  (5) Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureClick to Enlarge PictureNika Potapova and Fedir Samoilov have done Fuck the system 9a in Santa Linya. Nika did her first 8b+ being 12 years old. Last year Nika was #2 in the Lead Youth WCH and she won the Youth European CH in Bouldering.

Fedir did two 9a's in 2016 being 18 years old and then he had an amazing 2017 being #9 in the Lead World Cup. The following winter he got some elbow and wrist problems missing training but in the last three WCs 2018, his worst result was #11.

" I have a very good coach. His name Artur Pechii and he is like a superman doing all the things that sportsman need including: coaching, planning trips, driving a car, doing massage, etc...

I'm trying to make it to the Olympics. This year will be very hard and the very hectic for sure :) because you have to take a part in almost all WC`s"

Babsi Zangerl NG adventurer of the year  Facebook

National Geographic has appointed Babsi Zangerl as one of their adventures of the year presenting her in a long great interview focusing on her repeat of Magic Mushroom in 2017. She did it together with her partner Jacopo Larcher and it was the first and second repeat of the 950 meter long route including pitches up to 8b+ which was set up by Tommy Caldwell in 2005.

8a has for many years said that Babsi is the best allrounder in the world. In 2008, she did the first female 8B boulder and then in 2009, she got an herniated vertebral disc which had her to stop bouldering. In 2017, she did an 8c trad and in 2018 she also did her first 9a. Strangely, nothing of this is mentioned in the article.

In total, there are five adventurer of the year and the other climbing related is Maureen Beck, disabled climber without left arm below the elbow who has won the Para Climbing Championship twice and in 2018, she got the bronze.

Catillac 8B by Isabelle Faus  (2) Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureIsabelle Faus has done her 18th 8B, out of which eight just the last year, Catllica 8B in Clear Creek Canyon. Two weeks ago, the 26 year old did her third 8B+. Isabelle is the new 8a ranking game leader. (c) Chad Greedy

"Great one! Harder if you don’t swing your feet early, can’t belive how good this one turned out! Chad vision."

80 meters climbing wall in Denmark  Facebook

The highest mountain/hill in Denmark is 171 meters. Now their climbing federation reports that they have started to build a 80 meter wall outside a CHP plant. The wall will be 9 meters wide including five bolt lines separated in four pitches. The most overhanging pitch will be four meters.

Arzark 8C by Guntram Jörg  Facebook

Guntram Jörg has done his second 8C, Arzak in Murgtal which was put up by Fred Nicole. The Austrian was one of the leading boulders until 2015 when he got busy with setting up boulder gyms and finishing his study in economics.

"Well - back to business of hard bouldering! First repeat after two holds broke off. Very physical boulder - the crux is linking all the moves. This line has everything: It´s hard, scary, long and good looking. Proud to climb something like this!

Before I started with my climbing gym business my number one passion was establishing new boulders and repeating hard lines. In the last years my focus has changed and I have a lot of other things going on. I have responsibility for two companies and a lot of great employee. There are many goals to be reached, not just in bouldering outdoors."

Ghisolfi going for 9b+ FA and Tokyo  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureClick to Enlarge PictureStefano Ghisolfi has been #2 in the Lead World Cup the last two years at the same time he has done four 9b's as well as a 9b+, last December. This year his focus is qualifying to the Olympics and he just won the Italian Cup in Bouldering. When it comes to Speed he was the Italian Champion in 2010 at 7.96 which has made him take it kind of slow with the Speed focus until now. In other words, the Italian is both one of the best rock climbers at the same time he is one of the contenders for a medal in Tokyo 2020. (c) Sara Grippo from Queen Line 9b he did three days ago.

How have you been training this winter and what is your next focus?
After Perfecto Mundo (9b+), in January and February my focus has been mostly competition bouldering, I trained a lot on my weakness (slabs, coordination, jumps) and in February I was already improving and I won the first Italian Cup. During the week I choose to go rock climbing for one day per week, and I started trying the Queen line. The focus continues to be bouldering and improving in speed too, I'm running around 8 seconds

The comps I planned to do are the first four of bouldering, and all the lead circuit, and some of the speed ones. The main focus will be Tokyo and Tolouse if I don't qualify in Tokyo. I hope to do under 7.50, I think it could be enough for qualifying, but i could be wrong.

I will continue climbing outdoor once a week, I'm lucky to live in Arco so I can go half day outdoor and even train in the afternoon, Laghel is just 10 minutes from home. Now I will try another project there, the King Line, that has a harder ending to the Queen Line and is at least 9b+, and there are still other 2 possible 9b or harder routes there, my rock projects for this year will be close to home so I can still focus on training without traveling too much, because I will travel a lot for competition already.

What kind of impact will the Olympics have for the federations and the athletes?
Olympics had a strong impact in our federation, the focus now is 100% on the people who want and can qualify for Tokyo and want to train in the combined, and unfortunately the choose not to have specialist (for the single discipline) in the world cup circuit, so many strong climbers in bouldering and speed will be cut out the world cup circuit to let the combined climbers to compete.

There will be a huge split between competition climbers (that will try to qualify for Tokyo) and rock climbers (probably all the specialist who cannot compete in the world cup will focus on rock climbing).

9a FA travers by Chris Sharma  Facebook

"About 30 moves and if I had to put a grade on it I’d say it’s comparable to a 9a route. I know there is a travers rating system but no idea how it works. Anyone know what this could be?"

Travers grading is in between the boulder and lead difficulty. A 9a route is more or less the same in difficulty as to do 8B+/C. In other words, Sharma's FA travers could be travers graded 8C/+. On the other hand, 8a has for many years said that it is just confusing to use travers grading as it is impossible to draw a line when a boulder qualifies to be travers graded. 8a use small letters when the difficulty is based on the route grading system and big letters for boulder graded climbs.

Joe Mama 9a+ by Jon Cardwell  (1) Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureJoe Cardwell, who previously has done three 9a+', reports on Insta that he has done Joe Mama 9a+ in Oliana. (c) William

What is next and what was the trick to arrive to Spain in such super shape?
Next is a couple routes I’ve been trying at other crags. Also just enjoying climbing here in Catalonia with a fun crew. We’ve been visiting numerous areas instead of fixating on one spot which has been really refreshing.

The majority of the training I did before was primarily bouldering and power endurance circuits, slightly different approach to what I’ve done in the past. It also didn’t hurt that I tried the route in Oliana quite a bit last spring in terrible conditions, it was almost constantly wet which made it hard to give it continuous effort. This season it’s warmer but everything is dry which made a huge difference!

Esclatamasters 9a by Matteo Gambaro (44)  (5) Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureMatteo Gambaro, who won the Italian Lead Cup in 2005, has done his fourth 9a, Esclatamasters in Perles. Some years ago it was down graded to 8c+ but since a hold break, it is one again by most considered 9a.

"Me and Elena (Chiappa) are on holidays for two weeks. I tried it for five days and did it in ten attempts in total. Today very warm so I climbed at 18.00. Incredible line."

So how did you prepare for this trip?
I climb hard and I bolt a lot at home in Val Pennavaire (Albenga). I opened the hardest lines and this winter I decided to train again as in my past competition years.

Combined World Champion Olympic Prediction  Facebook

The first big competition in 2019 starts the next weekend, The CWIF. Here is a prediction of who will qualify to the Olympics without any knowledge from the 2019 season. It would make no sense to predict who will win the World Cups as very few of the top climbers will give this the highest priority.

The Combined World Championship takes place outside Tokyo 11 - 22 July and the Top-7 will qualify to the Olympics. The country quota is two but for Japan it is just one as the second one will be selected by their federation. This means that it will probably be good enough to be Top-10 to get an Olympic ticket. In Innsbruck last year, Japan had four male and three female in the Top-8.

Here is a prediction of who will qualify to Tokyo from the 2019 most important competition:
1. Tomoa Narasaki JPN - Janja Garnbret SLO
2. Adam Ondra CZE - Miho Nonaka JPN
3. Jakob Schubert AUT - Jessica Pilz AUT
4. (Kokoro Fujii JPN) - (Mei Kotake JPN)
5. Stefano Ghisolfi ITA - (Akiyo Noguchi JPN)
6. Jan Hojer GER - Ashima Shiraishi USA
7. (Meichi Narasaki JPN) - Sandra Lettner AUT
8. (Keita Dohi JPN) - Petra Klingler SUI
9. Mickel Mawem FRA - (Laura Stöckler AUT)
10. (Kai Harada JPN) - Stasa Gejo SRB
11. Jernej Kruder SLO

Avocado Power 8b+ by Song Yunchan (11)  (2) Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureSong Yunchan, who started climbing 27 months ago and who won the Asia Youth Championship in Bouldering last year, has been on a 1.5 months trip to Railay which he finished by doing Avocado Power 8b+.

"The Korean school will start a new semester in March. So I was able to go to Thailand by using the school winter vacation. For the first 2 weeks, I adapted my body to the local condition there. Then I tried to climb the target Avocado Power(8b+) while adjusting. There were many difficulties especially that it was a bit far between holds due to my short height (146 cm). I still feel happy thinking about it and am proud of myself.

My goal in 2019 is to go back to Thailand and challenge 8c+ and to win in Asia K Climbing Championship - China 2019.

Takahashi - Earn Your Stripes 8A FA  Facebook

Ondra - The Balkans Road Trip  Facebook

Top-6 qualifying to Tokyo from the WC event  Facebook

The Top-20 in the overall World Cup will qualify to a special event where the Top-6, including the country quota, will make it to Tokyo. (It is not clear if the ones who have already qualified to Tokyo will be allowed to participate and the same goes for the guys where the country quota has been full. It must be mentioned that it will not be fair if not everyone can take part as this will be the only competition with the Olympic format, prior to Tokyo.)

1. Mickael Mawem FRA - Sol Sa KOR
2. Sascha Lehmann SUI - Shauna Coxey GBR
3. Aleksei Rubtsov RUS - Clair Buhrfeind USA
4. Sam Avezou FRA - Anna Tsyganova RUS
5. Yannick Flohe GER - Vita Lukan SLO
6. Domen Skofic SLO - Jain Kim KOR

Shauna Coxey morning session  Facebook

Talking Hardclimbs #4: Keenan Takahashi  Facebook

Queen Line 9b by Stefano Ghisolfi  (1) Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureStefano Ghisolfi reports on Insta that he has repeated Adam Ondra's Queen Line in Arco. (c) Sara Grippo

"I was very close to falling in every part of the route, even when the hardest section was over, and I had to give my 100% to complete the climb. The route is slightly harder then the other 9b's I climbed, so it's the second hardest route for me just after Perfecto Mundo."

In 2018, the Italian was runner up in the Lead World Cup. In the 8a ranking game he is #5. In 2019, he goes all in for the Olympics.

Progressive grade development  Facebook

Click to Enlarge Picture99boulders have updated their data in regards the hardest climbs in the world. In total, there are now 81 different climbers who have done 9a+ which can be compared with 128 boulderers who have done 8C. This suggest that the grade difference at the top level is around 2.5 grades.

It should be mentioned that the history shows that in between 10 - 40 % of the new hardest climbs normally gets down graded. In 5-10 years, it is most likely that the 9a+ and 8C lists would probably mention 70 + 100 ascents.

What also is interesting is the graph presenting the route progressive grade development and it is more or less the same grapph for bouldering especially if we look at the 8C+ level.

8B by Thomas Lindinger  Facebook

Walk the Line 8A+ by Karoline Sinnhuber  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureKaroline Sinnhuber has done Walk the Line 8A+ in Cresciano in just three sessions. Unfortunately she got a finger injury later working on Teamwork 8A.

Should get a season ticket for Magnetic resonance imaging's. Not sure about how long I have to rest or do less, depending on what happened inside my finger, haha. I can‘t grab any holds with my right pointer. My capsule got a distorsion, the doc told me. Will take 6 weeks or more till I won‘t feel it anymore." (c) Andi Einwaller

"Walk the line" 8A+ // Karo Sinnhuber from Karoline Sinnhuber on Vimeo.

Green Fingers trav 8B (A+) by Caroline Sinno  (2) Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureCaroline Sinno has done her third 8B transverse in Fontainebleau, Green Fingers which normally should more or less correspond to an 8A+ boulder. It is like eight meters where the cruxes are a down climb and the top out. It took her some 8-10 sessions during the winter, Video. (c) Lucien Martinez

It’s very bouldery and there are two cruxes. First one gave me some problems, I had to be creative. I really enjoyed the process. I thought I would do it before winter but I got shut down by bad weather. As soon as it started to be good weather again it took me two sessions to finish it. Very happy :)”

Caroline has now started to work on L’Insoutenable gauche, which was 8B when it was broken in 2009 and since then, most probably no repeat.

Two 8c+' in Margalef by Philipp Gaßner (18)  Facebook

Philipp Gaßner, who did his first 8c+ when he was 14 years old, has done two 8c+ the last month in Margalef; Zipayorik ez!! and Bumaye. "Needed a bit to find the right beta for me then I sent it quite solid; fell once just before the anchor because of a dumb foot slip; for sure the best route in this length I‘ve done so far."

The first time Philipp made 8a headlines was in 2011 when he 10 years old did his first 8a+. In the Combined ranking game the 18 year old is #6.

Cresciano hard core classics by Cameroni  Facebook

Ondra explains the Olympic format  Facebook

Honnold interview prior to the Oscar Award  Facebook

Free Solo wins Oscar Award for best documentary  (1) Facebook

Free Solo wins Best Oscar Documentary  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureClimbing has taken yet another step to be recognised by the broad mass as Free Solo wins Best Oscars Documentory. On the other hand this means that many of us will have to talk crazy solo climbing once we get questions about our hobby as we are meeting new friends. A way to change the focus of the discussion, if you get tired talking solo, is to say - Honnold had more control and more safety margin than the guys trying to summit K2.

Hopefully, Alex will soon do a 9a meaning we could also say that he is truly one of the best climbers in the world. Adding info about the Honnold Solar Foundation - The Honnold Foundation reduces environmental impact and addresses inequality by supporting solar energy initiatives worldwide, could also spice up the discussion and how your friends will perceive climbers. 8a interview from 2012 and one from 2011 in order for you to know more about Honnold's background.

Alex Honnold scorecard with 967 climbs including comments from his free solo, Free rider, "Solo! 3:56 on route. The end of an epic life dream. Such an experience. Logged it as a boulder problem - thanks 8a!"

As can be seen on his scorecard, Alex is also one of the most active marking chipped routes as well as giving personal grades.

Two 8A+’ by Alex Puccio in Hueco incl one FA  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureAlex Puccio has done two more 8A's in Hueco Tanks, Young blood and the FA of Mammoth rub. In total the 153 cm tall has now done 76 boulder 8A+ to 8B+. (c) Robin O'Leary

"I guess my second FA ever, but really this seems like the first. Really fun line on West Mt. that starts far down and left of a classic v4 called “Could have been Ty’s.” Bomber rock, fun movement and slippery small feet. Also has some power moves in it. :) Matt Fultz and I figured out the moves and then it worked, just slightly different foot beta for the both of us was the key."

Robin Donders doing Nobody ist der Größte 8A  Facebook

Three 8A+' in just five days by Alex Puccio  (2) Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureAlex Puccio has had a great start of her Hueco Tanks trip although saying she was out of shape on Insta one week ago. During the last five days she has done three 8A+' including The Tax Gatherer. (c) Robin O'Leary

"3rd try. Thought the holds were going to feel worse so had a power push through them for the first try and then second try I pulled on and then stepped off because foot was not in the correct spot. Pulled on again for a third go and sent. Definitely should have flashed this one."

Alex have had many injuries during the last years including some surgeries. Since almost a year she has also been plagued with double elbow tendonitis. During December she was almost not able to climb at all and on top of that 153 cm tall had increased from 54 kg to 58 kg.

"I know that we all have our own peaks and valleys, but this one has honestly been one of the hardest for me, arguably harder than my major surgeries. Since last summer of 2018 I have gone through some BIG life changes, knee surgery again and then had a break from training/ climbing and so on."

In 2009, Alex won her first World Cup and in 2018 she did just participate in one, which she won. One month ago, during her last climbing break, she announced on Insta that she will not try to qualify to Tokyo as she did not want to give up outdoors.

Chopping bolts on chipped routes?  Facebook

The Open Letter that was published on Rock & Ice where the headline said the chipping needs to stop did include this very provocative sentence.

"We ask now that these crags of manufactured routes be removed from the walls and from guidebooks, to stop the encouragement and normalization of these practices."

I do think this is totally wrong and I am sure there are many Ten Sleep Canyon climbers that agree with me. To spend hundred of hours rappelling down chopping bolts would just be crazy. If such chopping would be done it might spread around the world and create a massive conflict.

One good solution, which 8a has used for like 15 years is that such routes can be marked as "Chipped" in the topo. Such message is good enough for making sure the chipping will stop. Further more, once the chipped routes go free, it could be reported like that with a new grade.

It should be mentioned that the chipping stopped almost a year ago which just underlines how provocative the open letter was, asking for chopping bolts even if the problem has been solved.

Dune 8B in Font by Nieuwenhuijsen  Facebook

Dune 8B, Fontainebleau from Michiel on Vimeo.

Nagual 8B flash by Thilo Schröter  (2) Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureThilo Jeldrik Schröter has done his second 8B flash, Nagual in Hueco Tanks. "Last day best day. Two rest days leading up to this." Full story at his Insta.

During his five weeks in Hueco Tanks, which started rather slowly due to finger problems, the Norweigian did 28 boulders 8A and harder out of which nine 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?

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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