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Contact center at Railay  Facebook
 

Sam Lightner Jr, who has developed the climbing at Railay for 15 years, is setting up a contact center for parents and friends who are looking for missing climbers at Phi-Phi.

You can reach Sam at the Railay Beach club and at lightner@telus.net.

More news at www.railay.com



Photo: Samuel Nicols. The photographer was later washed into a bar…

 
 
The tsunami at Railay was mild  Facebook
 

It seems like the tsunami that hit Railay beach and especially Tonsai were very mild compared to other nearby tourist resorts like Ao nang and Phi-Phi. This is most probably due to some islands that acted as a shield against the full force of the tsunami.

One climber had to clip himself in to a quickdraw when the belayer had to leave the beach in panic and several, who didn't see the big wave comming, were caught by the tidal wave. Some persons have been reported as missing but no climbers are among them, as far as we know.

Life is slowly getting back to normal and there has actually been some climbing activity today but most climbers have been helping out to clean and build up the restaurants again. The climbers were very lucky at Tonsai!

 
 
Tsunami hits Railay Beach  Facebook
 

A tsunami created by an eartquake hit Railay Beach in Thailand at 11.00. All restaurants by the beach have been destroyed but no climbers have been reported seriously injured.

Some 100 climbers ran in panic from the beach and some red-points had a dramatic finish, when suddenly a 10 meter wave appeared.

 
 
Interview with POUVREAU  Facebook
 

Gerome Pouvreau won the world championship for seniors in 2001 when he was 18. We have put him in the hot chair at Railay Beach!

 
 
Graham explains downgrading  Facebook
 

From his new home in Ticino, Switzerland David Graham explains why he has retro downgraded many of his hardest sent boulder problems:

8a.nu support the thoughts and think it's brave of David to officially state this opinion. Some times grading is like the fairy tale of the Emperor's new clothes One should also understand that David actually drops in the ranking when he downgrades his own ascents. The 8a scorecard is just a game and it will never be an absolute thruth regarding who's the best - but it can sure be a good motivator!

“As a climbing community, we shouldn't be naive. The media has a big influence on the grades we see for high end stuff. 8a.nu has a big influence on the grades we have for everything. Are we climbing 8C boulders and 9a routes? How did we do that? Do we comprehend as a community a system of grading? As a community, are we confident in our current theories about the complex abstraction of high-end grades?

I think the media did a lot more consolidating of grades than we ever did as a community of climbers. For generations it has happened. Capitalism, money, "fame",...these factors of our world are real, and they have a serious influence.

Grades will never be the most inspiring abstraction donated by climbing. They rank low in overall importance. From an artistic point of view, the possible inspiration one can attain from a grade (it being an after-the-fact interpretation of something special) can never compete with the inspiration donated by the actual experience of climbing.

I changed a lot of my ideas about grades throughout my experiences climbing. I learned a lot about how to compare personal experiences and deduce their relativity. I think its amazing, as a community, how everyone involved, can appreciate the attempt to articulate (with a little number) how challenging something felt, or how one experience compared to another.

I changed some of the grades on my scorecard, because I thought they were incorrect. They weren’t consistent with my present views of how hard certain things seem. Didn’t make much sense to me. They were heavily influenced by what other climbers thought. I have posted what things feel like for me. Its my personal comparative analysis. My abstraction.

So, those new grades are just my grades, not the real grades, not the world grades. I don’t want to offend anyone. I just want to climb REALLY hard. Maybe 8C finally. Real 8C. Climbing is the most amazing thing. Its nice and abstract, and has plenty of room for development.”

 
 
Merry Christmas  Facebook
 

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year - All ascents registred today and on Christmas day receive a bonus of 8 points ;)

 
 
Tomas Mrazek in the hot chair  Facebook
 

Stay tuned for an interview from Railay Beach with, the WC winner and the climber of the year 2004, Tomas Mrazek.

 
 
New editor for Australia  Facebook
 

Nathan Hoette is our new editor for Australia, who will try to keep the aussie webpages updated. Send him messages through our online system.

 
 
USA, Sweden and Spain  Facebook
 

Based on active members USA is the largest community with some 16 % of route and 29 % of the boulder members.
Other big communities come from Sweden, Spain, Italy, France and Canada.

The fastest growing contries are Brazil, the Netherlands and Switzerland which soon will have a country specific set-up.

 
 
New editor for USA  Facebook
 

Anna Gatta is the new editor for the USA webpages. She will cover the competition scene and try to put in other important news and numbers. As an 8a member you can send her personal messages through our online system otherwise you can go through our contact side.

As of now, we have country specific editors for Sweden, Polen, France, USA and Spain and we are looking for more editors.

 
 
The 8abc book project  Facebook
 

We are planning to write the book – The 8abc of climbing - and we are looking for co-authors. First, your articles will be published here at 8a.nu and in a year or so we hope to include them in a printed book.

The 8abc of climbing - will just not be an ordinary training theory book instead more like a climbing manual with handy Tips & Tricks and the 8ABC Facts listed, beside the theories. Here are some of the chapters we find interesting and as we said, we are looking for co-writers (check for *) and co-photografers. What do you think? More things to be included?


INTRODUCTION
The 8abc of climbing
Unique comparison to other sports

KNOW-HOW (Handy Tips & Tricks and 8ABC Facts)
History and development of climbing*
Ethics & Practice as of 2005 for Sport climbing & Bouldering*
Grading Theory & Comparison
World records
The best crags, routes and boulders
Equipment
The competition formats
Rock types*
Safety*: Gri-Gri & Spotting* etc
Hang-dogging & Reversing
100 Tips & Tricks*
Future*

ADRENALIN (Edge & Fear)
Edge moves and performance aniexty
Fear
Mental training

BLOOD-FLOW (Meters & Moves)
The pumped feeling – Forearm physics
Warming-up
Load & Contact time
Lactid Acid
Building the motor by meters

CHAMPIONS
Interview with profiles

PROGRESS (Technic, Tactic & Power)
Gripping positions
Dynoing

OPTIMIZE
Periodization*

APPENDIX
FAQ*
Index 8a - Z*

 
 
5 year anniversary  Facebook
 

In december 1999, 8a.nu was started as a local site for sport climbing in Göteborg - Sweden. Eight months later the scorecard was introduced and just afterwards the global site was opened.

Today, we are more than 7 300 members and we are growing faster than ever with more than 100 new members per week. On an average, we have 15 000 unique visits per week.

In the future we hope to focus more on quality rather than quanitative rankings etc. Our vision is - Increase the interaction in the climbing community. Everyone is invited to help us out by writing articles, send us news and pictures etc. Keep the spirit alive!

 
 
8a members dominate in Kranj  Facebook
 

All the six winners in the European Cup for Juniors in Kranj are 8a.nu members. Amazing! Complete results

Boys
1. VERHOEVEN Jorg NED - 1985 #12 in senior 8a ranking
1. MIDTBO Magnus NOR - 1988
1. LAMA David AUT - 1990 #19 in senior ranking

Girls
1. VIDMAR Maja SLO - 1985
1. SAURWEIN Katharina AUT - 1987
1. RAJFOVA Silva CZE - 1989 #12 in senior ranking

In total there have been four ECJ competitions and Jorg Verhoeven and David Lama have had four straight wins. Both Jorg and David won also the Junior World Championship. Junior (1986) ranking at 8a

Last weekend Jorg finished #3 in the senior world cup in Kranj and in the few days in between this new wonderkid managed to onsight Popaj, 8b in Misja Pec. This guy is surely in the zone! Hopefully, some Dutch friends can help us to arrange an interview.

The same goes for our Austrian friends and David Lama. In a such interview we would also like to know how come Austrian youngsters are so totally dominating at the competition scene in Europe. Further more, Barbara Zangerl (16) has done three 8A's and she is the runner up in the 8a senior boulder ranking!

 
 
100 NEW members in a week  Facebook
 

During the last 7 days more than 100 new members have been registred. The previous record was 65!!! We are very happy and wonder if it is the new training-log that has created this. Thanks anyway! In total, there are now more than 7 200 8a members.

 
 
World Cup 2004 Top-10  Facebook
 

1. MRÁZEK Tomás CZE 560.00 - #3 at 8a.nu world ranking
2. CHABOT Alexandre FRA 516.00
3. CRESPI Flavio ITA 333.00
4. PETRENKO Maxim UKR 322.00
5. USOBIAGA Patxi ESP 317.00 - #1
6. POUVREAU Gérome FRA 291.00
7. MILLET Sylvain FRA 268.00
8. FUSELIER Mickael FRA 249.00
9. VERHOEVEN Jorg NED 248.00 - #16
10. PUIGBLANQUE Ramón Julián ESP 240.00 - #5

1. EITER Angela AUT 535.00
2. SARKANY Muriel BEL 525.00
3. EYER Alexandra SUI 364.00 - #3 at 8a.nu world ranking
4. GROS Natalija SLO 364.00
5. CIAVALDINI Caroline FRA 356.00
6. SCHÖPF Bettina AUT 345.00
7. LAVARDA Jenny ITA 299.00 - #7
8. VIDMAR Maja SLO 287.00
9. CUFAR Martina SLO 286.00 - #9
10. SHALAHINA Olha UKR 245.00
11. FRANKO Lucjia SLO 228.00 - #4
12. BACHER Barbara AUT 223.00 -#13

 
 
Eiter & Mrazek WC winners 2004  Facebook
 

Muriel Sarkany and Tomas Mrazek were in the lead before the last stage of the World Cup 2004, in Kranj. Both had won the title three years in a row, 2001 - 2003, and Chabot was in pole position after the last semi which Sarkany had topped out.

In the final, something happened and Muriel finished fourth and Alexandre fifth at the same time as their opponents, Angela Eiter and Tomas Mrazek won and became the champions 2004.

Angela comes from Austria and she is only 18. Last year, as a junior, she was third in the WC and seventh in the World Champs. Interesting is that she has never won the Junior World Championships.

Tomas Mrazek, who is #3 in the 8a.nu world ranking, comes from Chech Republic and he is 22. In 2003 he won the world championship and in 2002 he was second in the World Cup.

Congratulations to both, it's good with new champions for the sport.

 
 
Training-Log progress  Facebook
 

It has been great to see all the activity in the Training-Log and thanks for all comments and suggestions. We have both added new features and made it more simple to register activities. Log-in and check out the new version.

Regarding statistics and graphs, there will be plenty and it will be developed continously. We would also like to clarify that one should not aim to be totally exhausted (fatigue) after a session. The recovery is longer and you may end up weaker!

 
 
New records again...  Facebook
 

8a.nu has been very slow during the weekend due to, to many visits. We have once again exceeded our capacity and we will have to buy more... Sorry for the inconvenience.

 
 
Eyer & Crespi win WC in Brno  Facebook
 

In the second last World Cup 2004, in Brno, 8a.nu member Alexandra Eyer and Flavio Crespi won. In the men category Mrazek was second and Chabot third. In the women category Olha Shalahina from Ukraine and Maja Vidmar from Slovenia were second and third. Complete result

The World Cup stage 9 and the final event will take plave in Kranj next weekend. In both men and female there is a battle between two climbers.

Mrazek leads among the men but Chabot will win if he wins or comes second. Sarkany leads among the women but Eiter will win if she wins or comes second and sarkany is third or worse.

 
 
Training-Log for 8a.nu members  Facebook
 

We have developed a training-log where you can measure your training-load and understand Why and When Top Form occurs through Diagrams.

Don't hesitate to give us comments and suggestions the training-log is still under progress. Go to the Form!

Demo of Training-Log
The structure is based on our philosophy of training and what we think is most important in climbing - The 8ABC

 
 
Best crag in the world: Rodellar!?  Facebook
 

In our Crag database you find information about 379 crags which could be useful when you are planning your next trip. The highest ranked crag is Rodellar in Spain with superb routes from 6b to 8c, a mixture of shade an sun and short walking distance with nice scenery.

The most popular routes in Rodellar are Pequeño Pablo, 7b and Argo, 8a

Rodellar is thus not that famous and popular, probably due to the rather remote location some 4 hours drive from Barcelona. It's kind of hard to go there without a car.

The Crag (+200 ascents) with the highest route quality is Red River Gorge in USA and Céüse in Europe.

 
 
Chabot & Sarkany win in Valence  Facebook
 

Åke Nilsson reports from Valence:
1. Chabot, 2. Bindhammer C, 3. Mrazek, 4. Fuselier, 5. Auclair
1. Sarkany, 2. Ciavaldini & Cufar, 4. Lavarda, 5. Eiter

Overall Mrazek leads over Chabot and Sarkany over Eiter. In the male category 8 of the top-12 were French.

 
 
Semiresult in Valence WC  Facebook
 

Åke Nilsson reports directely from Valence that five men and four women topped-out the qualification routes.
Men: Mrazek, Chabot, Ovchinikov, Crespi and Dugit.
Women: Eiter, Gros, Franco and Minoret.

 
 
Chabot & Eiter win WC in Aprica  Facebook
 

Alexandre Chabot did get his revange from the last WC when he was #19 by winning in Aprica, in a superfinal against, Tomaz Mrazek. Tomas is a superior leader in the WC 2004 ahead of Alexandre.

Angela Eiter won the women category and overtook the WC lead from Muriel Sarkany. No more results available as the official is not out yet. We got this by mail thanks to Patxi Usobiaga, who was #5 in Aprica. The next comp is hold in Valence in France next weekend.

 
 
Practice & Ethics in rock climbing  Facebook
 

In rock climbing, there are no written rules or judges like in all other sports. Instead, the climbing community creates and circulates the procedures and ethics. Over time, the procedures have been modified and in different subcultures different ethics apply.

We thought it could be a good idea to discuss and define good style as of today and also give some amusing examples of violations that is used, in order to receive sponsors, glory and points. Check out and comment what we think about onsight.

Don't forget that there is no definite line between right and wrong in rock climbing, however, the fundamental idea says - don't push the border of moral systematically, instead, keep the spirit alive.

 
 
New feature for online members  Facebook
 

Our webmaster is really fantastic. You simply give him the list of new possible features and the next time you check 8a, they are already out there.

As you probably have seen, it is now possible to check who is online and ready to communicate.
The new feature is that it's now possible to see which crags the members have visited. Send the online member a message - This could be a good start for planning your next vacation.

 
 
GRIGRI safety  Facebook
 

Most of you have heard about mystical incidents with the GRIGRI. 8a.nu consider the GRIGRI to be the safest belaying device for sport climbing and we believe these accidents to be caused by improper handling and would like to share some thoughts about belaying techniques.

We would also like to state that these thoughts are not from Petzl. Petzl has not approved the techniques described and using them is at your own risk.

 
 
Biggest competition in Europe?  Facebook
 

6-7 of November is the date of the biggest bouldering competition ever in Poland.
"Last year there were more than 170 competitors and about 20 women, this year there will be many more...
It would be nice if some people from abroad came to our city. It's an incredible competition, believe me!
The goal is to make this the biggest in central Europe.
The city is called Lodz, it's directly in the center of Poland.
The problems will be set by Adam Pustelnik."

Check out the official cite Boulder monsters
check out the movie from the last edition(200MB).

 
 
Mrazek & Eiter WC winners in Shanghai  Facebook
 

Tomas Mrazek is superior in the WC 2004 with three victories and two runner-ups. Tomas is #4 in the 8a.nu world ranking, which leads by Patxi Usobiaga who was third in Shanghai after Maxim Petrenko.

The women category was won by Angela Eiter who is second in WC 2004. The leader Muriel Sarkany was second in Shanghai.

 
 
8b FA by Fultz (13)  Facebook
 

Matt Fultz, born 1991, has completed his own project at Nampa, to produce Gothic yellow, 8b. This might be the hardest FA ever by a 13-year-old.

 
 
Cufar strikes!  Facebook
 

Martina Cufar has made the first female ascent of Hotel Supramonte, a 400m 8b multi-pitch on Sardegna.
She writes "I did all 10 pitches (7b+, 7c+, 8b, 8a+, 8b, 7c, 7a+, 7b+, 7b, 7b) without falling. I didn't imagine this even in a dream. Marko (Lukiæ) fell once in the 5th pitch, but then did it in second attempt. All together it took us about 10 hours to do the route. Including my very slow jummaring:-)" (Martina was jummaring for the very first time).
Full story on www.martinacufar.com.

 
 
Online members  Facebook
 

Increase the interaction in the climbing community, that's the main goal of 8a. Today we launch a new system where you automatically can see how many members and who is online and ready to communicate. You can search others climbers that have experience from the crag you plan to visit and ask for recommendations.

You can start to interact, either with a personal message or through the official Guestbook of the member.

Just log-in and you will automatically see if you have received a new personal message.

 
 
8a.nu Updates - Banner  Facebook
 

Now you can put an 8a.nu banner on your site
instructions
By doing so, you will make your visitors stay update with your country ranking as well as the latest high numbers reported in your country!
Check out www.belclimb.net from Belgium

 
 
Log-book members  Facebook
 

There are now two possibilities to be an 8a member. Either you are a scorecard member with points and ranking or you can choose to be a Log-book member - No points and No ranking.

The log-book member is anonymous and their registrated ascents can only be searched and presented in their log-book or through the latest updates in the database.

 
 
Mrázek & Sarkany win WC Marbella  Facebook
 

Tomas Mrázek and Muriel Sarkany won the fourth stage of the WC 2004. Both are in a superior lead with only podium places so far. Muriel has dominated the scene for several years and won the world champion 2003.

Among the women, 8a members Martina Cufar and Barbara Bachar was second and third. Barbara was junior world champion 2000 and Martina, who is #3 in the 8a ranking, was senior world champion 2001.

Here is a video of the men competing - but it's as always kind of boring;)

Tomas, who is #4 in the 8a ranking won the world champion in 2003. Second in the men category was Gerome Pouvreau who won the world championship in 2001. Third was Patxi Usobiaga who is the superior #1 in the 8a world ranking.

 
 
Youth Champs 2004  Facebook
 

Scorecard holders Charlotte Durif , David Lama and Jorg
Verhoeven
have all won the World Youth Championships. Sean McColl of Canada won his category for the third year in a row!!
Congratulations!

Check out the complete results Among the women the french girls were totally superior and among the men no country was dominating.

 
 
Video of Huber freesoloing 8b+  Facebook
 

Check out this video where Alexander Huber freesolos Der Kommunist, 8b+

 
 
Chabot & Eiter win RockMaster/Arco  Facebook
 

Just like 2003, Alexandre Chabot and Angela Eiter won the Rockmaster in Arco. There is a good story how the shorts, of the moral winner, 8a member Tomas Mrazek got tangled up in a quickdraw at www.planetmountain.com

 
 
All time high ranking  Facebook
 

The normal 8a ranking is based on the Top-10 ascents the latest year. The new All Time High Ranking is based on the Top-10 ascents - All Time.

We have also made a special ranking for juniors born 1986 and later and a combined ranking of 10 routes + 10 boulders.

 
 
Levet & Dulac win WC Boulder  Facebook
 

Sandrine Levet has won four out of five Boulder WC events in 2004. In the men category, Daniel Dulac is also superior with four out of five podium places. Check out the complete results at www.digitalrock.de

 
 
8a+ OS by Ondra -93  Facebook
 

The 11-year-old wonderboy Adam Ondra from Czech Republic has done another 8a+ onsight, Solarium in Frankenjura. Adam is #7 in the world ranking at 11 950 points, only counting onsight Adam is #4!

 
 
8b by Durif (14)  Facebook
 

Charlotte Durif gave herself a great present on her 14th birthday by climbing Voieultime femme, 8b, at Cantobre. Charlotte worked the route for an hour and then sent it on her first redpoint attempt.

 
 
Add Topos/Links to Crag Database  Facebook
 

There are now 370 edited Crags in our Database. This will help you to plan your next trip etc. It is now also possible to add Topos and Links to the crag info.

Log-in, select the crag you know where to find a Topo/Link and Paste it. The 8a.nu community will certainly benefit from you help. Thanks in advance!

 
 
Rajfová (f-14) does 8a+  Facebook
 

Silvie Rajfová, who won the world championship last year when she was 13, is a new 8a.nu member who last week did her first 8a+, Bangladéš Sloup in Moravský kra.

It seems like the youngsters is more and more taking over the scene among the women with three girls born 1987 and later in the Top-10.

 
 
200 000 ascents by 6500 members  Facebook
 

Today (8/8), ascent number 200 000 was registerd in our database and we are now more than 6 500 members. ;)

 
 
Bibik and Julien win in Argentière  Facebook
 

Olga Bibik, Russia, and Stéphane Julien, France, won the Boulder World Cup competition in Argentière, France. The well-organised competition could be completed in spite of extremely hot conditions in the qualifications and looming dark thunder clouds at the outset of the finals. The problems in the finals were hard, both winners managed just three out of six blocs. Runners up were Juliette Danion and Sandrine Levet, France, and Christian Core, Italy, and Daniel Dulac, France.

 
 
Chabot & Gros win Serre Chevalier  Facebook
 

Alexandre Chabot from France and Natilija Gros from Slovenia won in Serre Chevalier Scorecard leader Patxi Usobiaga was second.

 
 
Smith does 8B+/9a  Facebook
 

Climbonline reports that Malcolm Smith finally has completed his long standing project at Parasella's Cave. Pilgramage is a very long boulder that counts in as a 8B+ and Malcolm says that 9a should have been the correct route grade.

 
 
Gaskins replies  Facebook
 

I've just looked at what you've written/published, more specifically Markus' comments.
Re. Zerberus: The line I climbed (as Markus knows) was neither the 7C nor Zerberus, rather it was a line in between the 2 and using holds of both. To me this was the central line (which was the line I had been told Zerberus was, whereas Zerberus is really left of centre). Markus appears to be being deliberately misleading people regarding this problem to support his story.

The reach thing on Gossip is rubbish, it really is not that far between the holds, although very good body tension is a prerequiste. The distance is certainly less, and on better holds, than between the holds on my own problem, At the Heart of it All (Woodwell) which also crosses a roof.

I would not say meeting at 2:30 in the afternoon is climbing all day with someone. Whilst my only attempt on the 8A was an attempted flash.
I could continue but I have no interest in a "one side says this, another that argument", merely I wish to add perspective to Markus' comments which have, at best, minimal foundation in what actually happened, whilst most are totally inaccurate.

P.S. Markus has put the wrong year on his dates (2005 rather than 2004). Also the date of my ascent of Riot Act is wrong, as also is his assertion that I climbed Riot Act the day I arrived in the Frankenjura.

 
 
The Gossip gossip  Facebook
 

Maybe it's wrong to make this public and I certainly hope we're not making you think any less of the people involved, but as it is we might as well tell you the whole story...

About John Gaskins' ascents in the Frankenjura.
Markus Bock:
"Why I (and all climbers from Frankenjura who have tried GOSSIP) don't believe him:
1. On monday 05.07.2005 I showed him GOSSIP and the sequence how to climb it. JOHN tried it then for 1 1/2h, but doesn't climb any of the hard moves. I stayed with him all the time. Also I have gave him some powerspot, but also with less weight NO CHANCE.
2. I asked him per shortmassage about his different sequence. He told me it, but it's not different. MICHL KAISER (he climbed a lot of hard boulders here) tried this sequence for a while in the last 2 years, he is 185cm tall and said that he missed 10 cm to reach the next hold. JOHN is about 172 tall!
3. I climbed with him all the day.before we stayed at a place with a 8A trav..He tried the moves in the traverse,and he has had problems to do the crux-moves.
4. He told me at Monday morning that he climbed ZERBERUS 8B+ at the morning in 1h.After I have seen him in Gossip, I stopped at ZERBERUS and asked him how he has done the moves: It turned out after some minutes that he climbed a 7C Boulder there, which is directly right to ZERBERUS.
5. After that,I showed him some other hard stuff and he told me by the way that he has also done RIOT ACT 8B+ in one day (the day he arrived in Frankenjura, Tuesday 29.06.2005) I write you this before any news report from JOHN about his "success" arrived you. And I write in the name of all who have done hard stuff here and tried GOSSIP for long time. We are all the same opinion: ITS NOT POSSIBLE THAT HE HAS DONE IT."

After I got this email from Markus, naturally, I emailed John to get his side of this story. John did NOT contact us or any other website or magazine (at least as far as I know) to spread the newsof his success.

Here's John Gaskins' answer:
"Thanks for contacting me although I also have to say I was a bit surprised to receive this email.
I spent an afternoon with Markus whilst he climbed. After that he showed me where Gossip was (I had been climbing that morning so I didn't climb that afternoon, then I briefly tried Gossip in the evening although by that time I was far from focused especially given that my {non climbing} wife and I had been out climbing for about 9 hours and I knew that she wanted to go). In the subsequent days I worked out a totally different (and for me easier) sequence to that which Markus had used and had had me trying that initial evening. Indeed on the day I climbed the problem I found a further refinement to my sequence that was for me the key to my success especially when allied to that mornings good conditions and the fact that I climb better first thing in the morning (I generally climb a number of grades harder before lunchtime than I do after). We also discussed Riot Act, where we had both used virtually identical sequences. After that I exchanged a couple of texts (SMS), at no point did Markus raise this issue with me.
Regarding Zerberus I'm really puzzled. As Markus knows I was misinformed as to the exact line of the problem and hence didn't actually climb it, although prior to discovering this misinformation over the line I thought I had climbed it.
As regards other things, both in my local area and elsewhere, various people have seen me either doing them or doing all the moves whilst working them. Indeed I have shown people the moves on many of these things by climbing them (the individual moves) after my ascents. In addition there is video footage of me climbing (i.e. linking all the moves together) on most of my hardest "sends".
Certainly at this point in time I have nothing to gain from claiming things I haven't done. I am not, and never have, tried to build a reputation etc indeed I will very soon move on to concentrate on my work career. I did the problems (in the Frankenjura) purely for myself, as with everything that I have done. Indeed when I first started trying most of my hardest problems (i.e. those in my local area), bouldering was not a major activity. I am saddened that people now wish to maliciously claim, without any foundation, that I have not climbed these things when I have worked hard over many years, both in terms of training time and also the physical number of days trying these things prior to completing them."

So, there you have it, believe what/who you want. Gaskins' honesty have never been questioned before and no matter what the truth is, this is a sad story indeed. Climbing is a sport where trust is fundamental. Anyone can claim to have climbed anything. It's impossible to prove someone hasn't climbed something. I'm sure we'll hear more about this in the near future...

 
 
 
2 7C's by Jenerik (10)  Facebook
 

Cicada Jenerik, 10 years young, keeps dispatching hard problems. A few days before Christmas, she climbed Paleozoic and Pumped full of semen, both 7C, at Hueco Tanks, TX.

 
 
New 8B+ by O'Conor  Facebook
 

Today, on Christmas day, a baby was born. The proud father, Si O'Conor, named it When Ye Go Away and graded it 8B+. Si is still #2 in the rankings.

 
 
Another 8B+ by Graham  Facebook
 

Dave Graham really is on fire right now! This weekend he made the 2nd ascent of Toni Lamprecht's The Dagger part 1, 8B+, in Cresciano. The problem features crazy compression-moves and is dead horizontal.
Dave has changed his ideas about grades lately, and says that he hasn't fully understood until now. This new view has resulted in quite a few downgrades of problems he's sent in the past (see Dave's scorecard). He says "...these new grades are just my grades, not the real grades, not the world grades..."

 
 
8c+ by Litz  Facebook
 

James Litz has repeated Sharma's Necessary evil, 8c+, in the VRG, US. James is currently in the top-10 in both rankings and in the combined ranking James is #2 after Dave Graham.

 
 
Graham keeps delivering  Facebook
 

David Graham has climbed two 8B's at Chironico, Switzerland: Soilwork (put up by Markus Bock) and Baby Mammoth, which is a FA.

 
 
40 days in Japan  Facebook
 

Josune Bereziartu and Rikardo Otegui have just arrived home after a 40 day trip to Japan.
Here are the highlights:
Steroid performance, 8a+/8b, Horai: Onsight by both Rikardo and Josune. This makes Josune the second woman, after Katie Brown, to onsight this grade.
Karazishi botan, 8a+, Futagoyama: Onsight by both. Had never been onsighted before.
Logical progression, 8c+/9a, Jo Yama: Redpoint by both. 4th and 5th ascent.
Pocaprogression, 8b+/c, Jo Yama: Redpoint by Josune.
They also redpointed a couple of 8b+'s and onsighted a bunch of routes between 7c/+ and 8a

Josune is #11 in the world ranking with 11840 points.

 
 
8c by Zehani  Facebook
 

Christophe Zehani has repeated Tour du proprio, 8c, at Luberon. He's currently in 13th spot in the rankings.

 
 
8c by Roth  Facebook
 

American Austrian, Cody Roth, has repeated Natural link, 8c, at Misja Pec, Slovenia.

 
 
New 8B+ by Lamprecht  Facebook
 

It seems Toni Lamprecht has found his bouldering form. Last week, he put up 4 hard problems between 8A and 8B+ in the Voralpen. The hardest one is called Vampire or Victim.

 
 
8B by Robinson (17)  Facebook
 

Paul Robinson has repeated Euphoria sit start, at the Trapps (Gunks) his second 8B. The 17-year-old is currently #17 in the rankings.

 
 
Hard things from Graham  Facebook
 

This month, Dave Graham has put up tow new 8B+'s; Collateral at Chironico and The Riverbed in the Magic wood (I think this is an insanely steep line on the bottom of a sort of free hanging block). He's also put up four 8B's and a bunch of 8A+'s. Dave is now #2 in the rankings.

 
 
Cathy Wagner (39) 8a+ again  Facebook
 

Cathy Wagner has done her 16:th 8a+ and harder 2004, Triste lune in Eycharme. Cathy is #5 in the world ranking.

 
 
8B+ by Woods (15)  Facebook
 

Daniel Woods, 15-years-old, has put up a new 8B+, Echale at Clear Creek Canyon. This was the his second 8B+ and he is #9 in the bouldering world rankings.

 
 
8b OS by Mrázek, #2  Facebook
 

TomᚠMrázek has onsighted Jui Dum, 8b at Railay Beach. Tomᚠwho won the World Cup 2004 goes to #2 position in the 8a.nu ranking and strengthen his position as beeing climber of 2004!

 
 
9a in Japan by Josune & Rikar  Facebook
 

Josune Bereziartu and her husband Rikar Otegui has redpointed Logical Progression, 9a at Joyama in Japan.

The route was put up by Dai Koyamada in 2002. The same year Josune did her first 9a, Bain de sang at Saint Loup. Rikar also onsighted Steroid Performance, 8b.

In total she has done 21 routes 8c and harder and in the all time high ranking the superwoman is #12 of all men. Is there any other physical sport where women challenge the men like in climbing? Josune is one of the challengers for being climber of the year 2004! www.eskalada.net

 
 
8b onsight by Otegui  Facebook
 

Rikar Otegui (husband to Josune Bereziartu) has onsighted Steroid Performance, 8b in Japan.

 
 
Sharma hits Hueco  Facebook
 

Chris Sharma has made the third ascent of Fred Nicole's Esperanza, 8B+, in three days. The problem was first repeated by James Litz. He's also done a low start to The flame, 8A+.

 
 
Cicada Jenerik (10) sends her age  Facebook
 

On Dec, 4th, at the Happy Boulders in Bishop, CA, Cicada Jenerik sent Lowrider, 7C/+ (V10) at 10 years old. As far as we know no-one else has ever bouldered their age and no other 10 year old has come close to a V10. Peter Mortimer (Front Range Freaks) filmed the send for his upcoming movie "Return to Sender"

Cicada worked the moves on Friday the 3rd, but didn't feel reved up enough to really go for it. The temperature was really cold. She went back on Saturday the 4th and sent it within a dozen or so attempts.
'Lowrider' is the extension to 'Cholos' which Cicada sent on November 13, 2004
Bouldering her age has been one of her primary goals since she was 7, needless to say she's rather stoked.
Check out her gallery.

 
 
8b flash by Webb  Facebook
 

Chris Webb as flashed Some kind of bliss, 8b, at the Diamond falls in the Blue Mountain, Australia. This was the second 8b flash by Chris, who's still only 19.

 
 
8B+ by Cehovin  Facebook
 

Urh Cehovin has sent his project of 1½ years, naming it Beginning of the end, and grading it 8B+. This means it's the hardest in Slovenia.
"Beginning of the end has 11 moves but two of them are really extreme. There are two small holds you really must know exactly how to grab them. In a year and a
half a did these moves only once until now.
I choose the name because it's possible to start further left in and get another 10 hard moves. If I do this the whole thing will be ended in my head. But the conditions for the whole thing are never perfect. So we will see when the end is coming."

 
 
8b by Cufar (f)  Facebook
 

Martina Cufar has done Karies, 8b at Misja pec. Martina is #3 in the women world ranking.

 
 
8A by Amy Keaf  Facebook
 

Amy Keaf has repeated, Lounge Lizard, at the Druids, her first 8A. Amy is currently #3 in the rankings.

 
 
It ain't over till...  Facebook
 

Enigmatic Scotsman, Si O'Conor has made a 2nd FA of his own It's over at Coire Lagan, Skye. Dave MacLeod had deamed the problem almost unclimbable (8C or harder) after a crucial undercut broke when he tried it.
Si waited for really cold conditions, -6 Celsius, and then fought his way through, using a sequence similar to the original. The new It's over gets an 8B+ rating. For a photo of Si on the crux move, check his scorecard.

 
 
Woods (15) does 8B+  Facebook
 

Daniel Woods is only 15 but he sure challenges everyone. This time he has done Circadian Rhythm, 8B+ in Poudre on his third day of trying what is one of Colorado's hardest boulder problems. His ascent is believed to be the 4th. A video will be out shortly.
Daniel got an "excused absence" from school so he could send the problem before the bad weather came in this weekend.
In the combined ranking Daniel is #4 in the world!

 
 
Pearson (19) repeats the Buttermilker  Facebook
 

Keith Bradbury tells us, James Pearson a young Brit has just repeated The Buttermilker, 8B, at the Buttermilks. Not only is this the first british ascent (to my knowledge) but also the youngest (to the best of my knowledge). It took James Pearson 8/9 sessions on it to send the problem.
He did all the moves within a couple of sessions, and had linked it in 2 halves very quickly but the full link proved tricksome. He fell at the last move several times before finally latching the "jug". A great effort by a great up and coming climber.

 
 
7C by Cicada (10)  Facebook
 

Holy Moses! Cicada Jenerik, born 94, has done Cholos, 7C at the Happies. This boulder is one of the most repeated in our database and many consider it to be hard. Two females have done it previously.

Cicada has also done a 7c+ route earlier this summer.

 
 
8b+ OS by Usobiaga, #1 again  Facebook
 

Patxi Usobiaga is in Misja Pec preparing for the last WC in Kranj which takes place this weekend. Patxi showed he'sin good form by onsighting Millenium, 8b+. The route has previously been onsighted by C. Bindhammer and T. Mrazek.

This was Patxis fifth 8b+ onsight in 2004 and he sets a new all time high scorecard record. He is getting increasingly closer to 13 000, meaning an average of 9a's!

 
 
7C+ by Rands  Facebook
 

Lisa Rands has sent Center direct, 7C+, at the Buttermilks.
Last week, she dispatched Slider and Ghetto Superstar, both 7C, and both at Horse Pens 40. Lisa is currently in the runner up position in the rankings.

 
 
8b onsight by Becan, #4  Facebook
 

Klemen Becan has done his fourth 8b onsight, Karies at Misja Pec. Klemen is #4 in the world rankings and he is getting closer to a podium place.

 
 
New 9a by Rouhling  Facebook
 

Kairn.com reports, Fred Rouhling has put up a new 9a called Mandallaz drive at d’Allonzier la Caille, France. This was the 4th route of 9a or harder that Fred's put up. Plus he's also repeated Fred Nicole's Bain de sang, 9a.
Fred says he thinks it's a serious 9a, which stole one year of his life. It's a hard 8B+ boulder for the start (8 moves) and a 8b+ route (26 moves) to go to the top. It is 20 meters high. It's a beautiful grey route with crimps, slopers and pockets, a perfect technical wall. He enjoyed climbing this route.

 
 
Koyamada does Dreamtime  Facebook
 

Dai Koyamada has, after two days of work, repeated Dreamtime at Cresciano, Switzerland. The grade of the beautiful problem is under debate after some of the holds have been improved by chipping and/or wire brushing, but it's in the neighbourhood of 8B+/C.
From 18 Nov. a crew from Japanese TV will be with him and do
some filming. Dai is an eternity ahead of the pack in the Bouldering world rankings.

 
 
Redpoint ranking: Lo Piccolo  Facebook
 

If we only count redpoints the Top-10 list shows many not so well-known climbers. Cedric Lo Piccolo from France leads and the 22-year-old has done 11 routes 8c and harder.

Among the women Martina Cufar from Slovenia leads.

1 Cedric Lo Piccolo FRA 12150
2 David Graham USA 12000
3 Pierre Bollinger FRA 11950
4 James Litz USA 11900
5 Tino Lois ESP 11800
6 Matej Sova SVN 11700
7 Christophe Zehani FRA 11700
8 Max Rochon Rocheu CAN 11650
9 TomᚠMrázek CZE 11600
10 Vincent Day AUS 11550

1 Martina Cufar (f) SVN 10950
2 Cathy Wagner (f) FRA 10550
3 Charlotte Durif (f-90) FRA 10400
4 Aleksandra Taistra (f) POL 10350
5 Michaela Drlikova (f) CZE 10300

 
 
8B+ by O'Conor  Facebook
 

Si O'Conor tells us, he's completed the right Hand link of Trace Element at Port Nis. The new problem takes the pure horizontal roof independantly with massive body tension and desperate fingertip sidepulls. This is basically a four move sequence connecting to the direct 8B version of Trace Element, pushing the grade up tp 8B+.

 
 
Two 8a+'s OS by Belhaj  Facebook
 

Said Belhaj has been in Rodellar and as always he focus at onsight, having done eight 8a's and harder inclusive La Rubia, 8a+.
Said is #14 at the world ranking and only counting onsight he is #6.

 
 
Charlotte Durif, 14 onsights 8a+  Facebook
 

Charlotte Durif from France won the Junior World Champion in the youngest category 2004 and it's two more years until she is permitted to compete as a senior in the ICC WC.

In the 8a.nu ranking she is a superior number one and if we only count onsight Charlotte is #6 among the men. Does it exist any other sport where a 14-year-old girl can be in the same class as the world's leading senior men?

This time Charlotte has been at Kalymnos and during a week she has onsighted 21 7b+ and harder inclusive the 55 metres long Priapos, 8a+! During the last six months she has onsighted 25 routes 8a and harder.

 
 
8a by Rajfová, f-89  Facebook
 

Silvie Rajfová from Czech Republic has done Corto, 8a in Misja Pec. This was her fifth 8a and harder. Silvie is only 15 and she won the junior world champion last year and what makes it even more interesting is that she is from the same small city, Brno, as Adam Ondra and Thomas Mrazek!

 
 
8b onsight by Becan, #4  Facebook
 

Last week, Klemen Becan from Slovenia onsighted La Reserve, 8b, at St Léger. Klemen is an onsight expert with an 8b+ as his best. Klemen moves to #4 in the world ranking at 12 220.

 
 
Julian's latest raid  Facebook
 

Ramón Julian spent four days at Alquezar and Rodellar. This is his booty:
Desafiando a tsunami, 8c+/9a, 3 tries*
Tsunami, 8c/c+, 2 tries*
Los 40 ladrones, 8c, 2 tries
Géminis, 8c, 3 tries
Pata negra, 8c, 2 tries
Desafiando a Newton, 8a+, OS
El quijote del montañismo, 8a, OS
Edu Marin made his come back, after 10 month of rest following an operation, sending Los 40 ladrones and Welcome to Tijuana both 8c.
Full story on Desnivel
*The number of tries isn't really the whole truth as the first part of the routes is the same.

 
 
Another 8B+ from Gaskins  Facebook
 

Lakes Bloc reports: John Gaskins reports climbing the central roof project on the Giant Stone at Little Font. John has been trying this line on and off for a while now, and felt the complete send was worthy of 8B+. Anyone who has seen this problem will be surprised to hear it's not even harder!

 
 
Zangerl signs up as #1  Facebook
 

Barbara Zangerl, from Strengen, Austria, (no relation to Bernd) has got herself a scorecard. Barbara, who's just 16 years young, has already three 8A's under her belt, which means she's one of the very best female boulderers in the world. In fact, she enters the rankings in first place with 9400 points.

 
 
1st Scottish 8c  Facebook
 

All-rounder, Dave MacLeod has made the first ascent of Devastation, 8c, at Dumbuck, Scotland. If confirmed, this is the first 8c on Scottish soil, well... rock.

 
 
Flying Dutchmen  Facebook
 

Adwin Timmer tells us two Dutch "records" were set these past week.
Wouter Jongeneelen became the first Dutch climber to boulder 8B, with Ammagamma in the Grampians, Australia.

By redpointing Open air, 8a+, near Arco Jorg Verhoeven, the Junior World champion, became the first Dutch climber to climb 100 8th grade routes.

 
 
8c? FA by Beth Rodden  Facebook
 

Beth Rodden has redpointed what could be the hardest first female first ascent in the U.S. and perhaps the world? She redpointed an old aid climb called the Great Roof at Smith Rock State Park in Oregon. Our source says he "heard that she rated it 14b". Tommy Caldwell was also working it and was unable to do it.
In 2001, Marietta Uhden made the first ascent of Sonne im Herzen, 8c, near Kochel, Germany. So far, that's the hardest FA by a woman.

 
 
8c and 8b+ by Vorotnikov (17)  Facebook
 

Vasya Vorotnikov, 17, has repeated China Beach, 8c, and Paralell universe, 8b+, both at Rumney. He's now in 37th spot in the rankings.

 
 
8B in 40 min  Facebook
 

Chris davies had a good trip to Switzerland, Chironico early this September. He managed la Soucoupe, 8B, in 40 minutes, Serre Moi Forte, 8A+, 3rd go, and flashed Les doigts vertes, 8A. Also, on another visit he ticked an unnamed 8A+ at Chironico, and the direct version of La apelle, 8A+, at Cresciano. He says he's very pleased.

 
 
Patxi at Cuenca  Facebook
 

World #1, Patxi Usobiaga, visited Cuenca the other day, onsighting Taladrina, 8b+, and Hondonada de Ostias, 8b. This was the unthreatened world leader's 6th 8b+ onsight.

 
 
Two 7C+'s by Keaf  Facebook
 

Ami Keaf has had a good week at the Happies, sending two 7C+'s, Low rider and Red rum, and the clasic 7C, Cholos.

 
 
Mrázek, #3 onsights 8b+  Facebook
 

TomᚠMrázek winner of the latest World Cup, and superior leader of the ICC world ranking has had a good week at Misja Pec onsighting Samsara UP, 8b and Millenium, 8b+.

Tomᚠis #3 in the world ranking only 10 points behind Dave Graham. In 2001, Tomᚠwon the Junior World Championships and if he continues his dramatic development-curve he might very well be a contender for the crown - All time best climber, in a couple of years.

 
 
8b+ by Cufar, #3  Facebook
 

Martina Cufar has repeated Millenium, 8b+, at Misja Pec, Slovenia. This was the 27-year-old's 3rd route of this grade. Martina is #3 in the women ranking at 11 260.

 
 
The new 9a by Bendler  Facebook
 

Markus Bendler has put up a new 9a, Gwagus Maximus, at Schleierwasserfall.
This is what he has to say: "Do you want some infos about my new route at Schleierwasserfall? It was a 15 years old project of Gerhard Hörhager and is situated in the center of the main sector. Many famous climbers like Alex Huber, Klem Loskot, Stefan Fürst, Toni Lamprecht ... tried to succeed but failed. Time went by ....but now time has come:)
It's quite bouldery, two really hard moves at the bottom followed by an 8b passage, an 8b+ move and at the end easy chillout.... the start is the crux."

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