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How superior is Adam Ondra?  Facebook
 

2013 has been the best year ever for Adam Ondra with two 9b+ and three 9b's, all but one of them first ascents. He has also onsighted his first 9a. Chris Sharma has repeated one 9b+ and Megos has onsighted a 9a, but even so we have probably never seen such a superior #1 in the world, although we are more climbers than ever out on the rock.

The number of guys having done 9a, 9a+ and 9b are around 60, 10 and 1 which suggests that there are a great difficulty differences in the upper level. Add to Ondra's extreme current level and superiority the fact that most of his hardest ascents he has bolted and found all the sequences himself and furthermore, he is known for giving very stiff personal grades. What is also a reality is that actually only very few of all his more than 25 FA 9a's and harder have ever been repeated. Finally, Adam won the first WC he tried for three years.

Quantifying and understanding how superior Adam is might be done with using high jump centimeters and I suggest the following comparison.

9a = 227 cm
9a+ = 233 cm
9b = 239 cm
9b+ = 245 cm

 
 
Interview with Angie (9) - the youngest climber to have done 8b  Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureWorld famous photographer Simon Carter has made a long and nice interview with Angie Scarth-Johnson who at just nine is the youngest person ever that have done an 8b. What make the story even more amazing is that her parents do not climb, Angie started when she was seven and she does all her training plans herself.

 
 
9a by Stefano Ghisolfi  (1) Facebook
 

Stefano Ghisolfi has done Grandi Gesti 9a in Sperlonga and he goes to #3 in the ranking game. During the last two years, he has been #10 in the Lead World Cup. " For the first time after 9 years I climbed with socks! Amazing route

 
 
Climber of the year 2013 - Draft  (34) Facebook
 

Here is a draft of the 8a Climber of the year 2013. We foremost value climbers doing different sport climbing disciplines and multiple ascents including FA's. Please give feedback of who you want higher up and who we are missing, especially some french guys. It has never been such a close race since for the Top-10 since we begun in 2000 even if Adam Ondra's #1 position is unchallenged.

1. Adam Ondra (1 also in 2012)
2. Anna Stöhr (17)
3. Alexander Megos (29)
4. James Webb (30)
5. Daniel Woods (3)
6. Jakob Schubert (2)
7. Ramon Julian Puigblanque (7)
8. Ashima Shiraishi (8)
9. Chris Sharma (19)
10. Sasha Digiulian
11. Jain Kim, Jan Hojer, Muriel Sarkany, Dmitry Sharafutdinov, David Graham, Mina Markovic, Akiyo Noguchi, Sean McColl, Alex Puccio, Guillaume Glairon-Mondet, Sachi Amma, Kilian Fischhuber, Paul Robinson, Shauna Coxsey, Nalle Hukkataival, Gabri Moroni, Nina Caprez, Markus Bock, Mathieu Bouyoud, Tommy Caldwell, Nina Williams, Momoka Oda, Lukasz Dudek, Carlo Traversi, Nicky van Bergen, Juliane Wurm, Niccolo Ceria, Felipe Camargo, Samuel Ometz, Angie Payne, Chris Webb Parsons, Dai Koyamada

 
 
24 hours party people 8c by Moroni  Facebook
 

 
 
Highest status climbing brand?  (6) Facebook
 


 
 
Essentials of Climbing: Power with Jimmy Webb  Facebook
 

Essentials of Climbing: Power with Jimmy Webb from EASTERN MOUNTAIN SPORTS on Vimeo.

 
 
Core's guide to Varazze  (1) Facebook
 

 
 
The Climber's Culture - Primo  Facebook
 

The Climber's Culture - Primo from Gregory Packs on Vimeo.

 
 
Video - Exposure Vol.1  Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureExposure Volume 1 is the latest Chuck Fryberger release as well as the begining of a series of different videos to come under the same title. The director of other super nice movies like The Scene, Core or Network returns with a film of his style where he likes to mix different types of climbing disciplines. In the current one you'll find anything from alpinism to bouldering in an attempt to show us what it takes for these athletes to perform the way they do.

Trad climbing with Matt Wilder, Cody Roth and Mason Earle, alpinism with the young Cheyne Lempe -who recently established a new solo speed world record in the Salathe route in El Capitán-, besides of bouldering with Angie Payne -trying 'Freaks of the Industry' (8B)-, Nalle Hukkataival also and, especially, Dave Graham who is shown completely focused on his never-ending task of scouting for incredibly hard boulder problems as well as trying and eventually doing the FA of his last 8C, 'Foundations Edge'.

All this with, as it is normal with Chuck's filmography, some spectacular photography and scenes. No doubt Chuck is becoming one of the most influential directors in the climbing world. You can download this motivating movie in HD here for $19.95.

 
 
8B by Carlos Alvares  Facebook
 

 
 
Australian climbing  Facebook
 

an Australian Climbing film from Phat Phriction on Vimeo.

 
 
Where can you save money #2 - DMM Revolver  Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureBen Iseman who has worked many years in a climbing shop has made some an interesting comment to the - Where can you save money - article.

Quickdraws: "Really light draws wear out faster, and a reduced rope bearing surface also wears out ropes faster."

This means of course that if you plan to work, and probably fall several times on your project, you should pre-place your thickest and roundest carabiner there especially if it is in the beginning of the route.

"I take this idea one step further and place a quickdraw with a DMM revolver if there is a crux bolt where I expect to take a lot of falls. Rope wear is further reduced and the falls are softer. Keep in mind that you will fall a greater distance due to the pulley effect so assess risk accordingly."

The micro drawer impact on rope wear might actually be a possible explenation why climbers so often say that the same rope type often have different life span. Some rope manufacturer have also said that it happends that they can not explain to a complaining customer why he had to cut it after just one session with a brand new rope and quick draws.

 
 
Waem up with elastic bands  (1) Facebook
 

WARM UP WITH ELASTIC BAND from Climbingtraining on Vimeo.

 
 
Boulders de Campanha  Facebook
 

Boulders da Campanha 2 - MG from Crimb on Vimeo.

 
 
8B flash by Ruben Diaz Torres  Facebook
 

 
 
The boulderers enjoy and perform better in colder temperatures  (2) Facebook
 

Based on the third poll regarding, Best temperature for hard core bouldering?, we can see that the trend continous enjoying colder temperatures. In 2010, 29 % voted for 4 degrees celsius (39F) or lower which can be compared with 42 % in 2013. Today, only 14 % ay they enjoy the sun which can be compared with 21 % in 2010. The result for the 2012 poll is pretty much in between suggesting that there is a trend going on, see below percentage for the polls -13, -12 and -10.

Best temperature for hard core bouldering?
Below Freezing 9 - 7 - 7 (2013 - 2012 - 2010)
4 Celsius (39F) 33 - 28 - 22
8 Celsius (46F) 26 - 30 - 26
12 Celsius (54F) 17 - 18 - 21
I enjoy the sun 14 - 17 - 23

Klem Loskot, one of the boulder pioneers some 20 years ago has said, "Beside getting better friction with lower temperatures also the ski stays more dry which makes it resist better and is not destroyed on one single hold. The Austrian just realized it few years ago and says that this is also part of the grade inflation. Some old-school friction depending boulders are just easier with colder temperatures.

 
 
Climbing/Bouldering or both?  Facebook
 


 
 
Very different grade distribution - Routes vs Boulders  Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureAdam Ondra and Chris Sharma have done 9b+ and the total of guys having done two grades lower in 2013, i.e. 9a+, is ten and further more around 60 guys have done 9a or harder. This means that the top guys forms a rather pointy pyramid explaining how much harder one grade is in quantitative terms

When it comes to bouldering, the distribution for the hardest grades are the total opposite as around 40 boulderers have done 8C and the total number of guys having done two grades lower, i.e. 8B are several hundreds. Some ten years ago, when the boulderers started to establish 8C, the pyramid was also pointy but since more and more guys almost every years are just making it wider.

One explenation of this is of course that we have gone from inflation to deflation on the top level but that it is still some inflation going down further down. It seems that the 8C boulder level are very wide and probably some of these boulders are in fact 8C+. Any other theory?

 
 
Where can you save money?  (18) Facebook
 

Ropes: The more expensive ropes are at least equally more durable and it is better to avoid the ultra light ones. Buying a longer rope where you several times can cut some meters will make it last much longer. Another tip could be to change sides of a rope after several falls and let the rope rest. Theoretically, a rope can be worn out in just one session if you and your friends take hard falls in the beginning of a route. Washing a rope is also good in order to increase it's life span.

Shoes: The only really important equipment for your performance is the shoes. The only way to save money is, beside your performance shoe, also have one with a thicker sole especially for your indoor training. Do not forget to resole the shoe before it is to late.

Harness: Most value for your money you will normally get on the cheapest one.

Quick draws: Here is probably where you can save most money when you buy new ones as there is almost no performance difference between the expensive fancy one and the cheap ones. Further more, once the upper carabin is worn out, you could also replace it with a new one instead of buying a new set,.

Do you have any other ideas how to save money on climbing equipment to share? However, do not forget that safety is most important so do not push it here to save money.

 
 
Positive synergy thinking and sharing  Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureThe best and the most famous rock climbers in the world like Ondra, Digiulian, Woods and Webb are just perfect role models when it comes to give credit to others and share our challenges in a non competitive environment. Maybe, their very positive and sharing approach are actually part of their success.

It is very nice and almost overwhelming to read what they through their scorecard comments like to share. It just might be that you could climb harder if you could be part of and create such synergy in your local community? Anyhow, your climbing life would be more enriched if you like the top guys, where part and surrounded by climbers with - Positive synergy thinking and sharing. Thanks!

 
 
Best temperature for hard core bouldering?  (1) Facebook
 


 
 
Swiss Time - Swiss Bouldering Film  Facebook
 

Swiss Time from Eliot Stephens on Vimeo.

 
 
A CLIMBING LIFE OPUS #5 - Romain Desgranges - Albarracin  Facebook
 

 
 
Lost in North America Ep. 9: "Five Star Climbing in the Lone Star State" Hueco Tanks, TX  Facebook
 

 
 
8a the most spread global climbing website  Facebook
 

Based on official statistics from Alexa.com 8a.nu is the only global climbing website. All the other big climbing websites have a very high concentration, 63 - 90 %, of their traffic from just their origin large country.

For 8a.nu, it is the opposite, only some 5 % of the traffic come from Sweden and the traffic is spread out evenly around all the climbing countries in the world with USA, Australia and Germany at the top, counting for 15 % each.

Another interesting figure is that only 5 % of the traffic come from a search engine and which can be compared to 9 - 22 % for the others. This means that 8a has more dedicated visitors compared to all other big climbing websites. On the other hand, this shows that we here have a great potential to reach more climbers if our links could get higher up on searches on Google.com. Anybody who have some advises?

 
 
The Warm Heart of Africa - Malawi  Facebook
 

An article from Haroun Souirji, the producer of the film is comming up!

The Warm Heart Of Africa from Vast Motion Pictures on Vimeo.

 
 
8B+ by Samuel Ometz (18)  Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureSamuel Ometz has done Fred Nicole's classical Radja in Branson from 1986 a second time. Now he did the original straight up undercling move which, as an eliminate, is a the first 8B+ in the world. "I think that the new version is not really a line from itself as you do two more moves just turning around the hard part of the original line."

Last year he did five 8B's being 17 and this year has has done 18 boulders 8B and harder including a flash. "My improvement probably comes from the recent break I did. 3 month ago, I had a bad ankle injury, and as I couldn't climb, I just trained as I could without feet, wich makes you gain stenght much faster ;)

 
 
Swiss bouldering  (1) Facebook
 

Swiss Season from Serious Climbing on Vimeo.

 
 
Copenhagen Cup Finals 2013  Facebook
 

The CB Cup Finals 2013 from randomPLAY / youID on Vimeo.

 
 
Climber Against Cancer - 2014 Calender incl. Anna Stöhr  (7) Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureThe Climbers Against Cancer (CAC) has launched a charity calendar 2014 with female climbers stars like; Anna Stöhr, Akiyo Noguchi, Alex Puccio, Melissa Le Névé and Shauna Coxsey, who was responsible for the art direction. Buy 10 calenders for 220 euros.

Shauna said in an interview with Mirror.co.uk, where you also can check the 12 pictures in a caravan shoot: “As a trustee of Climbers Against Cancer I wanted to do something different, fun and light hearted for the cause and this seemed perfect. A calendar full of climbing photos would draw some attention but people see us climbing all of the time so it wouldn’t be different or unique."

 
 
La Sportiva Sardinia Bloc Scouting - Teaser  Facebook
 

 
 
Go for a wide pyramid and long term progress and enjoyment  Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureAll athletes want to reach new levels and normally it is a very slow process but climbers can take the fast track by dedicating themselves on a new personal best grade project. The dilemma is of course that you have not really become a better climber and your next project has to be even more specific if you are not so lucky that your old project gets down graded and you can look for a new soft one :)

Another possibility to measure progress in climbing is to try as many hard climbs as quick as possible to build a solid foundation for reaching new levels over longer periods, i.e. building wide pyramids. The risk if you build your pyramid to pointed or even straight up, it is actually that, most likely, it will fall down.

It is just to hard for your body and mind to always have a progress approach as the risk for injuries and anxiety increases dramatically. Instead, it seems like in the long run, the best recipe for becoming the best rock, and making climbing your life style, is focusing on building wide pyramids.

 
 
James Webb setting new standards 2013  (14) Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureHere is the list of the 8a members that have at least 50 boulders 8A and harder the last year, including the number of flashes. Nobody have in the history of bouldering never come close to what James has done in 2013 and actually the most amazing figure is his 33 flashes. His previous record was six flashes and that is also close to the previous ever high score by anybody.

It should also be noted that James is one of the guys who most frequent give personal grades and that he won the La Sportiva Legends in a superior style where the tripple world champion was #2. In 2014, James has said he plans to do some World Cups. It is also interesting to see that relatively unknown and 18 year old Samuel Ometz is #4.

8A and harder including (flashes)
129 (38 flashes) James Webb - USA
97 (0) Martin Stranik CZE
73 (1) Paul Robinson - USA
58 (3) Samuel Ometz - CHE
56 (3) Niccolo Ceria - ITA, 55 (1) Carlo Traversi, 54 (6) Daniel Woods - USA, 51 (2) Dave Graham - USA

 
 
Angie Payne interview  (1) Facebook
 

Cruxcrush has published an interesting interview with Angie Payne.

 
 
Hampi - "The largest bouldering area of the world"  Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureGolden Boulders is a new topo for Hampi in India made by Gerald Krug and Christiane Hupe. It actually started with sport climbing in the early 90-ties but quickly the bouldereers took over and during the whole period also trad routes have been opened. In total, the topo of, "The largest bouldering area in the world", includes 1 400 lines. The concentration is grade 6 and there are plenty problems all the way to grade 1 and most of them have been opened by Pil Lockey. More info and buy it here for Euro 30.

What makes Hampi so special for bouldering are the clean, flat rock plateaus with the many single standing boulders of all sizes on top of it.
There are three main styles of climbing. First is overhanging with positive edges. Second is a wide variety of aretes with technical refinement. Third is crack climbing in all sizes.

Fly to either Mumbai (Bombay) or Bangalore and go on with the night train to Hospet. From there bus or rikshaw brings you to Hampi. The best season is the winter and you can rent crash pads for Euro 1 -2 per day. In the 8a Tick List, we can see that most of the 1 800 ascents are around 7A.

 
 
True Grip. Curbar Headpoints - Nathan Lee.  Facebook
 

 
 
Tramuntana Mountains (Mallorca) tax free petition  Facebook
 

After deep water soloing practice was banned in Cala Varques and the practice of sport climbing has started to be charged with a 10 euros fee in the spot of Fraguels, a group of climbers from the isle of Mallorca has mobilize themselves writing a manifesto telling why "we climbers are not willing to have to pay up to 10 euros per person per day for climbing in some areas on the island of Mallorca", so they ask the community to help them out with their struggle by reading and signing their petition.

 
 
Great community progress in 2013  Facebook
 

2013 has been an amazing year for the climbing community. It is not just that we have seen harder ascents then ever, the level has gone up more than any previous year and it includes both male and female, route and boulder and kids and oldies.

More climbers than ever have done 9a and and we have seen three 9b+ ascents (Ondra 2 and Sharma). We have also seen the first 9a onsight (Megos) and the second (Ondra). It is only in the 9a+ grade and the 8c+ onsight level, we have not seen a progress in. The last four years, an average of ten guys have done 9a+ and harder at the same time as the 8c+ onsights are going down. However, with all 9a and 8c onsight climbers, many guys are knocking at the door for the next level.

In bouldering, it is the contrary, more guys than ever have done the top level, 8C and 8B+, and the big question is if not some guys have already opened the 8C+ door. When it comes to flashes, it is James Webb who has set the new standard and many are following him closely.

For the female, we have seen an increased number of 8c ascents but the most striking thing is still age and performances when it comes to female route climbers. Ashima Shiraishi (12) with another two 8c+ and two 8B's is not alone. Two 9-year-olds girls have done 8b and amazing wonder kids like the Hörst' and Raboutou's are popping up everywhere around the globe. Another example of this is Mirko Caballero (12) and nowadays there are actually quite a few youngsters who are almost at Ondra's level becoming teenager.

Muriel Surkany did her first 9a being 39 but there are also several ladies well over 40 pushing all the way to 8b+. We have also heard about guys almost 60 doing 8b+ and even 8c and equally impressive are the guys almost retired in Fontainebleau.

If this progress trend will continue as strong in 2013, in few years we will have hundred guys, including teenagers and possibly some females, doing 8C boulders and it's very first flash. Several girls and boys doing 8c's and when they turn teenager, they will directly jump to 9a and we will see Ondra's all over the place pushing him for a 9A boulder and a 9c redpoint.

We are also of course eager to see an ascent of the Dawn Wall with potentially several 9a pitches. In a longer perspective, the trend tells us that we will have ladies doing 9a's as well as 60 year old oldies. What a fantastic and amazing future we are looking at. Fasten seat belt and play it safe do not forget the awful accident for Tito Traversa (12).

 
 
Junior of the year 2013 - Draft  (12) Facebook
 

Here is a draft of the 8a Climber of the year 2013. We foremost value climbers doing different disciplines and multiple ascents including FA's. Please give feedback of who you want higher up and who we are missing. We have chosen not to mention Tito Claudio Traversa who was #6 last year and climbed even harder 2013 until he had his tragic accident - RIP.

1. Ashima Shiraishi -01 USA
2. Mirko Caballero -01 USA
3. Mikel Linacisoro -00 ESP
4. Piotr Schab -96 POL
5. Domen Skofic -94 SLO
6. Momoka Oda,-94 JPN
7. Anak Verhoeven -96 BEL
8. Magdalena Röck -94 AUT
9. Brooke Raboutou -01 USA
0. Cameron Hörst -00 USA, Jonathan Hörst -02 USA, Drew Ruana -00, Samuel Ometz -95 AUT, Stefano Carnati -98, Margo Hayes -98, David Firnenberg -94, Katharina Posch -94, Jenaya Kazbekova -96, Michael O'Rourke -94, Alex Ventajas -99, Karoline Sinnhuber -95, Michaela Kiersch -94, Alex Hernandex -98, Giorgia Tesio -00, Janja Garnbret -99, Dmitry Fakiryanov -94, Naoki Shimatani -96, Tim Unuk -96, Hannes Puman -97, Samuel Hammer -97, Hugo Meignan -95, Stasa Gejo -97, Giuliano Cameroni -97, Kai Lightner -99

 
 
Ekaitz Maiz does Harri Gosea 8a in Etxauri  Facebook
 

 
 
9a and 8c+' by Domen Skofic (19)  (4) Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureDomen Skofic has done Sanjski par 9a, Clovek ne jezi se 8c+ and Histerija 8c+ in Osp/Misja Pec. "Real beauty of Mišja :) Getting ready for 3 week trip to Spain!! Finally some time for pure rock climbing :)"

In six out of seven Lead WC's, the Slovenian was Top-11 and he has been one of the best youth competitors in the world. Domen did his first 9a when he was 15 years old. On the pic by Jurij Ravnik, he is taking a big whipper falling on the last move on the try before his send.

 
 
Projecting the potential hardest crack in the world  Facebook
 

Chuck Fryberger has been making climbing films for over a decade, and helped bring many great climbers to the spotlight. He is also the guy behind the filming of Daniel Woods and Yuji Hiriyama on Mt. Kinabalu in the new Reel Rock 8. If you like the video and want to cast a vote, click here helping him winning 20 000 dollars.

 
 
Outcrop Films present Stone Kingdoms Part One  Facebook
 

 
 
Reel Rock 8 - It does not get any better!  Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureBigupproductions is the most known climbing video producer in the world and out of the Top-10 films ever, at least five of them are produced by Josh Lowell and Big Up's together with Sender Films and almost all of them include great Chris Sharma action and vision. To say that Reel Rock 8 is the very best ever is to take big words but I will take the chance.

In fact, it is so nice so you could put almost every part on that so called Top-10 list and my absolute favorite is the 18 min story of how Adam Ondra and Chris Sharma opened La Dura Dura 9b+. We have often heard Sharma screaming and pushing hard but sitting in a camera following and listening to Ondra it is actually totally mind-blowing. He is like a pitbull ballerina fighting for his life and even Sharma says he learnt from that. However, no words can describe the intensity during the 60 seconds he is doing the two cruxes....

Apart from that my second choice is the Hirayama and Woods story opening 9a and 9a+ at Mt Kinabalu at almost 4 000 metres. The interaction and the different perspectives from the master and his prodigy is just phenomenal and funny. As I am running out of positive words in my vocabulary I would like to finish by saying that it is actually a feel good film making you very happy to be apart of the climbing community with all it's varieties, great personalities, spectacular sceneries and lot of adrenaline. Thank you very much, Josh!

 
 
Essentials Of Climbing - The Importance of Endurance featuring Andy Raether  Facebook
 

Essentials Of Climbing - The Importance of Endurance featuring Andy Raether from EASTERN MOUNTAIN SPORTS on Vimeo.

 
 
Chris Webb Parsons Movie Teaser.  Facebook
 

Don't Blink Teaser from Abstract Normality on Vimeo.

 
 
7c+ by Kylie Cullen (8)  Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureRudy Ruana gives us the great story that Kylie Cullen (8) has done Fuel Injected 7c+ in Frustration Creek. Her father Brian was kind to share the story.

They actually built a home wall within a few weeks of her birth so she and her younger brother have been around it their whole lives. For less than a year Kylie has been climbing in a team only a couple days a week for two hours. This was the first time she projected a route and her parents thought it could be a great lesson. Otherwise she is playing the piano and doing dance classes.

She is not competitive and being scared was possible the biggest challenge so they actually had to practice some lead falls in the gym after she had refused to pass the crux bolt and here is their nice story of the ascent.

"Daddy am I still on toprope", (is the bolt still above my waist.)? I tried not to sound like I was lying when I said, "yes" and she pressed on. Then just after she clipped the last bolt and began the first of three waist level lockoff/deadpoints in a row, her feet slipped and cut surprisingly, Craig and I shouted more encouragement and suddenly two big moves later, it was seemingly over as Kylie starts shouting, "I did it Daddy." Of course now she is three meters above her last bolt with two moves to go before she can clip, and my father instincts are kicking in and screaming "clip the anchors, clip the anchors. Now Kylie has said to me she wants to be the first in the family doing an 8b+"

 
 
Kilian Fischhuber in Hueco Tanks  Facebook
 

 
 
156 female compete in Central Rock Gym - USA  Facebook
 

 
 
 
9a by Magnus Mitbö in Santa Linya  Facebook
 

Magnus Midtbö has repeated Jakob Schubert's Seleccion natural left exit 9a in Santa Linya and jumps to #3 in the ranking. "Fell once after the old anchor. The new top makes a very obvious line to the very top of the cave. Makes it a little harder as well.

The Norweigian is also a very good competition climber who normally makes the final Top-8 and in 2011, he was #4 in the world championship.

 
 
Estado Critico 9a by Domen Škofic (19)  Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureDomen Škofic reports on Facebook, "Just did Estado critico 9a on super windy day in Siurana. I was almolst blown down from the wall the try before ... needed 6 tries and I fell from the top 3 times. Felt soo easy didn't even get pumped this time Respect to Alexander Megos for the on-sight ... crazy! I can imagine flashing it with good tick marks but not on-sighting even in my dreams."

The 19 year old is #9 in both the 8a ranking game and in the Lead World Cup. Since 2009, he has been the best European Youth competitor in his age group and this year he was also the Boulder Youth European champion.

 
 
Era Vella 9a by Ruben Firnenburg (16)  (1) Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureRuben Firnenburg has done Sharma's high class Era Vella 9a in Margalef which is the most repeated 9a in the world during the last years. The 16 year old did his first 8c+ when he was 14 years old and last year he won the Euro Youth Cup.

"Yeah, first 9a!!! Feeling very good now. Was working hard for it since winter 2012 and broke my hand taking a big fall in it. I finally did this impressive overhang and I'm really motivated for more hard stuff now! A muerte ;-)

 
 
9a by Tomi Nytorp  Facebook
 

Slouppi reports that Tomi Nytorp has done his second 9a, Escalatamasters in Perles. "According to Tomi, he studied the moves three times and managed to sent the line on his second redpoint try.

 
 
Three 8c+ by David Firnenburg (18)  Facebook
 

David Firnenburg has had a good start of this trip to the Siurana/Margalef area, where he during nine days have done three 8c+. In the 8a Combined Junior ranking, the 18 year old is #2.

 
 
8B by Liam Vance (17)  Facebook
 

Liam Vance has flashed his first 8A, Power of Landjager in Hueco Tanks. The 17 year old has also done his first 8B, Li in Hueco Tanks which actually took him only 10-15 minutes.

"Li felt more powerful than anything else I have done and based on the 8A+s I have climbed I think the grade is solid. It's a pretty simple climb and it suited me very well probably explaining the quick send."

 
 
The Nest 8C also by Paul Robinson  (5) Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PicturePaul Robinson has done the third ascent of Daniel Wood's new The Nest 8C in Red Rocks. "Happy Holidays to everyone! Wow, this bloc is a gem. so psyched to have climbed it :) amazing effort by DW and JWebb putting up this perfect 5 star line. a nice intro boulder leads to the ultimate triple bump! psyched!" Grade comment by Paul.

This was Paul's fourth 8C in 2013 and in total he has done 14. In 2013, there are 36 recorded 8C ascents in the 8a data base and in total 137 ascents included Adam Ondra's two 8C+.

 
 
8A by Karoline Sinnhuber (18)  Facebook
 

Karoline Sinnhuber who previously has done an 8A+ has done Air Force One 8A in Saalachtal. The 18 year old has been a successful competition climber for fiur years and in 2013, she has won a Euro Youth Cup both in Lead and in Boulder.

 
 
Third 8a+ by Àlex Hernández (15)  Facebook
 

Àlex Hernández has onsighted his third 8a+, Martina in Montserrat. In 2013, he has also done two 8c's in Oliana, the first when he was 14 years old.

 
 
9a+ by Ramonet in Santa Linya  Facebook
 

Ramón Julian Puigblanque has done a new 9a+ link-up in Santa Linya, Seleccio Analogica. The day after he did the Esquerra 9a exit of Seleccio. Measuring the last ten years on both rock and on competitions, the 159 cm tall has been the climber in the world.

 
 
8C also by Dani Andrada  Facebook
 

Dani Andrada has done the first repeat of Iker Arroitajauregi's Txapela 8C in Albarracin. "A muerte" is most famous for being one of the guys in the world having set up most hard core routes in the world and he is also the major contributor to Santa Linya.

 
 
8C also by Chris Webb Parsons  Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureChris Webb Parsons has done Dai Koyamada's Insanity of Grandeur 8C in Chironico and reports on Instagram.

"YES!!! Just finished of Insanity Of Grandure 8C. After 6 days of work and falling on the slab top out twice (yes twice) today I topped it out with the rain and snow poring down and skin so torn up. Thanks to the amazing people I have met on this trip and a huge thanks goes to two incredible people @sashaturrentine and @alexjohnson89 for coming to spot me and support me on this journey. This journey has not just been about climbing, it's about new friendship, happiness and so much more.

 
 
8C again for Woods (FA) and Webb  (4) Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureDaniel Woods have made the FA of The Nest 8C in Red Rocks. "This was a joint effort FA with my dawg @jwebxl. So cool to go to #war on this rig and share his motivation to get closer and closer! In the end we sent on our last tries and stood on top of one of the raddest boulders I have seen."

James Webb repeated shortly after and comments. "One of the most amazing lines you'll ever see. Huge thanks to Kenny barker and Andy raether for finding, cleaning, and sharing this gem with us. 5 days. (c) Bearcam

 
 
The hardest pitch in Yosemite has been done  (8) Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureTommy Caldwell reports on Facebook: "I regret to inform anyone looking to climb the hardest pitch on Yosemite that now they have to get to the absolute middle of El Cap to make it happen. PITCH 15 WENT DOWN!!! It's looking like winter conditions are the way forward. I Love this climb!!!"

Tommy has been projecting The Dawn wall for six years and he has been accompanied mainly by Kevin Jorgeson. On topo picture, six pitches graded 8b+ or harder have been filled in and earlier reports have speculated that there actually might be some 9a included. This would probably mean that the world's hardest pitch on a big wall might just have been done.

 
 
9a FA by Adam Ondra again  Facebook
 

Adam Ondra has done his 87th 9a, Nove G in Gemona which was also his 32nd 9a FA. The first 9a he did in 2006 when he was 13 years old. For 2014, he only priority is competitions. Here is a video of Nove G.

 
 
Romain Desgranges interview  Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureRestjug has made an interesting interview with Romain Desgranges who started climbing when he was 14 years old and won the Euro Champion in 2013, being 30 years old.

"I don’t think I am particularly gifted for climbing, I don’t have the super-powers that climbers such as Adam and Sean can have. I’ve got to work through things time and time again, learn, repeat, do it again and do it again to pull off things that might be innate for them. My talent might be that of being able to train really hard and systematically so that I can compensate for the lack of other qualities. Even technique improvement can become a matter of repetitions that you just need to go through. Because of this, I might end up working like a mechanical robot or analyse things like an engineer, so that I can hopefully look like I have a feline instinct for climbing : )"

"Momo" is also a world class boulderer and during four days he did nine boulders graded 8A to 8B. "In general the grades were homogeneous within the area and there is some type of national grading, they weren’t the hardest blocs of those grades that I happen to have tried : )

 
 
8B and two 8A+' by Giuliano Cameroni (16)  (7) Facebook
 

Giuliano Cameroni has done Blinded by the light 8B in Brione and also two 8A+ including a FA. The Swiss 16 year old is one of the guys with the most dramatic progress in 2013. Last year he did a total of three 8A's and this year he has done 19 boulders 8A+ to 8B (+).

 
 
8c+ by David Firnenburg (18)  Facebook
 

David Firnenburg has done his seventh 8c+ and harder, L'Odi Social in Siurana. "Cool route on compact rock! Crimpy and powerful crux with flat footholds, then good rest and second crux afterwards. Best conditions in the shadow. Could send it in 8 tries. I'm satisfied :-)

 
 
DPM Digital #26  Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureIn the latest issue of DPM digital magazine #26 you will find many nice articles including interviews and videos of James Webb and Ashima Shiraishi.

 
 
La Rambla 9a+ by Sangwon Son  (5) Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureSangwon Son, an active competition climber until 2011 who almost always was Top-15 in Lead and his best Boulder result was #5 in the worlds 2007, has done La Rambla 9a+ in Siurana.

The Korean started to work it for two weeks one year ago and in total it took him five weeks to complete it. Sangwon has previuosly done Kinematix 9a and he has put up several routes of to 8b+ in Japan and one at Railay Beach.

La Rambla was first set up by Alex Huber in 1994 as an 8c+ by skipping a top out. In 2003, Ramon Julian Puigblanque continued the original bolted line calling it 9a+.

 
 
Ondra's only priority in 2014 will be competitions  (9) Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureEvening sends have made a short interview with Adam Ondra where the most interesting thing was his strong focus on competitions the next year. (c) Vojech Vrzba - Vasil Vasil 9b+ from last week

"Next year my plan is to do well in comps, everything [comes second to that]. If I climb next year outdoors, I will focus on onsighting as it is easier to combine with indoor training and comps. At the same time, I would definitely like to confirm the 9a onsight, as I don’t think the one I did is very hard for the grade.

 
 
8a+ and 8a again for Cathy Wagner (48)  (50) Facebook
 

Cathy Wagner who did her first 8a in 1994 and has in total done over 400 up to 8b, has done La queue du diable 8a+ in Gorges du Loup. This means that the 48 year old has done 32 routes 8a and harder this year, her best performance since 2004. This is truly inspirational showing that climbing is unique when it comes to age and performance for physical sports.

 
 
Meadowlark Lemon 8B+ (C) also for James Webb  Facebook
 

James Webb has made quick work of Meadowlark Lemon in Red Rocks which he actually was close to flash. He also gives it a personal grade of 8B+ like Daniel Woods.

"1st go on the 2nd day. Such a beautiful line and huge props to Paul on the FA! Time for some searching and cleaning new projects.

 
 
Mind Control 8c (+) by Akiyo Noguchi  (6) Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureAkiyo Noguchi, #2 in the last Lead World Cup and #2 overall in he Boulder WC in 2013, has done the classical Mind Control in Oliana which was set up by Chris Sharma as an 8c+ but later some guys have said 8c.

"So wonderful day for me. It's my first 8c+. I send it my 5th try.
I want to try more wonderful and hard route!!!!!"

 
 
9a by David Martinez Lorden  (1) Facebook
 

David Martinez Lorden has done his first 9a, Monster in Alquezar which is a technical 50 meter long monster. David has previously done five 8c+ out of which four the last 12 months.

 
 
8C also by Gabri Moroni  Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureGabri Moroni has done Insanity of Grandeur 8C in Chironico. Earlier this autumn the previous successfull WC boulderer has done four 9a's and harder.

"2nd ascent of this great testpiece from Dai! Took me 5 days of work this year + 15minutes to do Delusion of Grandeur a few years ago. I haven't tried other 8C's in my life but I'm pretty sure this thing is harder than the other couple of 8B+'s I've done on this style...

 
 
8c by Nina Caprez  Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureNina Caprez reports on FB that she has done Guère d'usure 8c in Claret. Guère d'usure

 
 
Meadowlark 8B+ (C) for Daniel Woods  Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureDaniel Woods has done Paul Robinson's Meadowlark Lemon in Red Rocks for which he gives a personal grade of 8B+. (c) Bearcam

"Have dreamed about this line! One of the most aesthetic and fun to climb lines I have done. Jimmy and I warmed up in the sun, then made our way back into the "ice box," to meet up with Nalle and Bearcam at the lark. Jimmy was so close on the flash, falling at the top. We all were able to put the moves together very quickly. A half hour later, I was standing on top. It took me 3 tries from the start including some time to work out the moves. grade aside, congrats to Paul for opening such a beautiful line.

 
 
Third 9b+ FA by Adam Ondra  (23) Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureAdam Ondra has established his third 9b+ FA, Vasil Vasil in Sloup. In total the 20 year old has done 86 routes 9a and harder out of which 21 are 9a+ or harder FA's.

"2 years and 20-25 days on this thing. It is definitely not mega line, it is painful, short and in dirty place. But it was there, I bolted it 5 years ago and I couldn't leave it unclimbed. It is basically one-mover. 7 meters of burly 8b route into hard boulder problem, which is 8B+ on itself for sure. One single move is at least 8B. Very frustrating process of making no progression for long days, but when it finally happened, on super cold sticky day, it felt like nothing. In a short moment it was all over. Short, but LONG awaited moment. I am so happy."

Next year, Adam has said he plans to do the Lead World Cup. In 2009, being 16 years old, he won and this year he was #1 and #2 in the two WC's he entered. National Geographic has appointed him as one of the adventurer of 2013. Click here and then below the picture to vote. (c) Petr Pavlicek

 
 
Nina Williams #1 in the ranking game  Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureNina Williams has recently done Gentlemen's Project, 8a in Joe's Valley, Utah and has moved to #1 in the world ranking game for women. "lots of learned movement, got the bottom dialed but fell off the very last move to the sloper about 6 times... slapped a knee pad on and did it first go of the third-day session." She is the first woman to be #1 since the long reigning Alex Puccio, and only girl with more than 10,000 points. (c) Beau Kahler

 
 
Japan Climbing Feature  Facebook
 

 
 
God's Own Stone 8b (+) by Hayes (15) and Kiersch (18)  (2) Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureMargo Hayes (15), see the picture, and Michaela Kiersch (18) have both done God's Own Stone 8b (+) in Red River Gorge. Both have climbed since they were kids and Margo first made headlines when she did her first, out of three, 8A boulders. In the last two Youth Worlds, Margo was #7 and #8.

Michaela has been around #10, during the last six Youth World Championships. Now she is going to Spain for a month. Michaela blog

 
 
First 8C by Toshi Takeuchi  (1) Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureToshi Takeuchi has repeated Paul Robinson's Meadowlark Lemon in Red Rocks. "DONE!!!! YEEEEESSSS Best Boulder I've ever done. 3 days. 4th ascent? So much respect for Paul to find & FA this amazing bloc. HAPPY THANKS GIVING DAY!!!

 
 
9a by Sindre Saether in Santa Linya  Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureGeir Arne Bore reports that Sindre Saether has done his first 9a, La Fabela por la Enmienda in Santa Linya. The Norwegian is actually one of the best allrounder in the world as he also has done several world class trad ascents, big walls, winter climbing and bouldering.

 
 
8c+ by Luca Zardini (41)  (4) Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureLuca Zardini blogs about his latest 8c+, Histerija in Misja Pec and that he is now on his way to Oliana.

In 1992, Luca was #2 in the Lead World Cup and he was an active competition climber until 2007 making it into the Top-8 final almost every year. Also on rock, he has been one of the best but not yet reached 9a.

 
 
8B and two 8A+' by Giuliano Cameroni (16)  Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureGiuliano Cameroni has the last weekend done Les feux de la vampe 8B in Cresciano and two 8A+. The 16 year old has previoulsy done The Dagger 8B (+).

 
 
PuntX 9a by Muriel Sarkany (39)  (12) Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureMuriel Sarkany, one of the best competition climbers in the history, has done PuntX 9a in Gorges du Loup. When Alex Chabot put it up in 2007 he did not give a grade but said, "the hardest route in Gorges du Loup", although three more 9a's already existed. Josune Bereziartu, Charlotte Durif, Sasha Digulian and Alizee Dufraisse have previously claimed the 9a grade.

Between 1997 and 2004, Muriel won the Overall WC 5 times and the remaining 3 years she was runner-up! The 153 cm tall stopped competing in 2010 and has since been doing some great progress peaking so far being 39 years old.

""It is a dream which becomes reality! To make one 9a, I dreamed about it and I did not think that it would become true one day. I looked a lot to find this route and as soon as I tried it, I felt that one day I could make it. I did not make all the moves and I couldn't do three sequences without stopping. The holds are small and the moves are bouldery but it wasn't morpho for me;-)

It was a big investment in time and in energy, but the result was really worth it! Ready for the next project ;-) but while waiting for to find it, I have only a desire: Try many new routes"

 
 
First 8A+ by Ann Raber  (2) Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureAnn Raber has done her first 8A+ Barefoot on Sacred Ground in Hueco Tanks. "Three of the moves took a full season each to learn. Regardless of the grade, sending this was a new level of commitment and difficulty for me, and a milestone."

Ann is also a great video maker and here is her first 'climbing personality' video, "featuring the strong and hysterical crack ho Kim Groebner!

 
 
8C+ and 9A are needed to take us further  Facebook
 

Peter Baumgart has written an article with a clear message to the best boulderers in the world, 8C+ and 9A are needed to take us further.

" I sometimes get the impression that the top boulderers are locked in a game ‘I do not want to be the first to propose 9A and then being called off by the others to have over-rated it’. And this is a bit strange. What could happen?

Let’s say Daniel claims 9A. Big news. Sure the others will soon attempt to repeat it. Let’s assume the first repeater gives it 8C. So? Will the reputation of Daniel suffer? Most likely not.

Fred Nicole has never been called a weak jerk despite several of his problems have been downgraded. His name rightfully stands out as one of the top boulderers who actually took the sport further."

 
 
8c+ by Dylan Barks (18)  (4) Facebook
 

Dylan Barks has done his third 8c+, Golden Ticket in Red River Gorge which was 9a until Adam Ondra onsighted it last year. "One of the best if not the best I've been on. A pleasure to climb. Psyched to be back climbing on a rope. Around 10 tries." This autumn, the 18 year old has also done his first 8B boulder and being 16, he did his first 8c+.

 
 
9th 8C FA by Daniel Woods  Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureDaniel Woods reports on instagram with a Bearcam picture that he has opend Defying Gravity 8C which is his 18th of that grade out of which nine FA's.

"This #beast is 25 feet tall, 58 degrees overhung, and #explosive. It is located at #thunder ridge in the #south platte of #coloradical. For sure in my top 3 list of best boulders that I have done.

 
 
8C by Iker Arroitajauregi  Facebook
 

Iker Arroitajauregi has made the FA of Txapela 8C at Albarracin. Here is a very nice Hoya Moros video made by him. The 36 year old is a late bloomer and three years ago his personal best was 8A+ and last winter he did four 8B+. Interview in Spanish together with nice pictures and videos.

 
 
8A (+) by Caroline Sinno  (1) Facebook
 

Caroline Sinno has had a good short trip to Hueco Tanks where she fist did Schwerer Gustav 8A (7C+) and later Barefoot on Sacred Ground, 8A (+).

"Sooo happy!! Took a bad fall on my ankle when going to the jug and even thought it was broken :/ Then put some Crimp Oil on it and relaxed for a bit before sending it next go.

 
 
8a's and 8a+' by Karin Magog (40)  Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureKarin Magog continous to improve and is at her peak being 40 years old. The last week she has done two 8a+ and two 8a in Tres Ponts. 15 years ago she did her first 8a+ but know they come much more rapidly.

 
 
8C by Paul Robinson  Facebook
 

Paul Robinson has taken advantage of his Rumney endurance that made him do an 9a+ two weeks ago, by doing the Daniel Woods 24 moves traverse White noise 8C in RMNP.

"Had some of the most perfect climbing conditions on it ever today! Hard 8b+ or easy 8c boulder? Such cool climbing and a rad traverse! Was good to still have some rumney endurance for the top!

 
 
8C (B+) by Nacho Sánchez  (3) Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureNacho Sánchez has repeated Rubén Díaz Torres' Kemena for which he gives a personal grade of 8B+. "It is a very long boulder, more than 20 moves. It does not have any really hard moves but it is very resistant. You could divide it in three sections, which I think is around 7C, 8A/+ and 7A for but everything sums up."

Read the interview we've carried out with him after this achievement (in Spanish).

 
 
8c by Alex Ventajas (14) and 8c+ FA and repeat in Santuario  Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureAlex Ventajas (14), see picture, has done his second 8c in Santuario, Suci pa la Hipoxia which finishes in the new 8c+ FA Hipoxia extension by Iris Matamoros Quero. Iris projected it for five years and he thinks it is almost 9a as also the first repeater Gonzalo Larrocha believes.

 
 
Fazata does the first 8B+ in Bulgaria  (2) Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureStanislava Lambreva reports that Ivaylo "Fazata" Radkov has done the first 8B+ in Bulgaria, Uspurt in Rila monastery valley.

"I've never been waiting, thinking and dreaming so long for a problem. Almost half a year the stone was into me. I was trying it over and over, the whole winter, spring, fall and summer.

"Upsurt" is quite different than all other hard boulder problems I have done. Huge compression on so strange holds. It's hard for me to give a grade, but for sure it's much harder than all the 8B's I have done overseas, I can't say if it's 8C, as I've never tried.

 
 
The Bridge of Ashes 8B+ (C) by James Webb in 30 min  (5) Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureJames Webb and has done Dave Graham's high class test piece in RMNP, The Bridge of Ashes, giving it a personal grade of 8B+ as he did it in just 30 minutes.

"3rd ascent. Such a dope problem! So cool that Dave found and created this guy. Not many people have that hard work ethic accompanied by the vision needed to see things like this. A true pioneer no doubt. Painful rock but amazing climbing on a stunning feature. Climbed it in 30 minutes so for me it feels a bit below 8C. Nonetheless i'm stoked to have climbed it! Rad!!"

James is #4 in the ranking but he would have been #2 without all his personal gradings. During the last two weeks, he has flashed ten boulders 8A to 8B. His trend diagram shows that he is about taking bouldering into the next level.

 
 
8C FA by Chris Webb Parsons  (1) Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureChris Webb Parsons has after eight days done his fifth 8C, Belly Of The Beast in Peak District which is a six move sit start extension to Ken Roof Low 8B+ (old video). In the 8a ranking game he is #7."I'm in the best shape of my life right now."

What is up next and what about the WC next year?
"I'm in UK for another week then I'm off to Font, Swiss for a month or two then I'll be living in Austria for the foreseeable future. Yes, I'll be doing all the WC in 2014." This year he was #12 in the last WC. (c) Jose Luis Olivares Ferrandiz

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