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Interview with Nacho Sánchez  (3) Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureLast Friday, Nacho Sánchez sent his long awaited project in Crevillente, 'Crisis', grading it as an 8C/+. After two and a half years of efforts, he finished off this boulders 21 movements which in his blog he calls it a power-endurance problem.

It's the hardest boulder in his career and also in Spain, and this murciano (from Murcia) has stuck his neck out suggesting such a grade in a time when the need to be brave and suggest more than 8C is being discussed.

We've made the most of this opportunity to talk to him. Don't miss out his impressions on his last achievement.
Pic© Ignacio Sandoval Burón with Nacho signing posters during the 2014 Gijón WCh.

Fifth 8C by Gui-Gui in Font  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureGuillaume Glairon-Mondet has done the first repeat of Jan Hojer's Le Marathon de Buissy 8C in Fontainebleau. Gui-Gui has been a very succesful competition climber since he won the Youth World Champion for the first time in 2000. The last year he was #4 in both The World Champion and in the World Cup.

How to increase the life span of your rope  Facebook

Here are some advices how to increase the life span on your rope that will save you some money. Based on the quality and how your treat it, it can last for 200 climbing days but some actually need to cut it after just one hour.

1. Switch ends and even ropes when taking multiple falls in the beginning of a route. A roped that is stretched out needs to rest.

2. Make the falls soft if possible by paying out slack or jumping up.

3. Use long quickdraws in order to avoid the rope touching the rock.

4. Fat, rounded and new quick draws reduced the friction on the rope. The best are the turning DMM Revolver.

5. Wash the rope when it gets dirty
6. Cut the ends of the rope
7. A thicker rope normally last longer
8. Always use a rope bag - An IKEA bag costs 1 Euro

8B FA on Canary Islands  Facebook

'Juega juega' 8B first ascent. from X.B.F productions on Vimeo.

Caldwell and Jorgeson attempt the Dawn Wall project  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureTommy Caldwell and Kevin Jorgeson have started their first real push of their Dawn Wall project in Yosemitewhich they have been working on for six years. In total there are 20 pitches out of which 14 are harder than 8a and three could be 9a.

Kevin reports their progress with great pictures every day and so does Tommy, "@alexhonnold made a visit to the wall bearing moral boosting treats. Then we sent pitch 10. Now we are battening down the hatches for for forecast very high winds tomorrow. Good thing it's a rest day."

It could be mentioned that in the climbing history, no other climbers have so consistency been working on a project for six years. The Dawn Wall, might just be the hardest challenge out there...

Hukkataival and Graham do 8B  Facebook

Dave Graham and Nalle Hukkataival Climb Things Done Changed 8B  Facebook

Dave Graham and Nalle Hukkataival Climb Things Done Changed 8B from Sean Morgan on Vimeo.

Honnold solos 290 pitches turning 29  Facebook

8A+ by Georgia Tesio (14)  Facebook

Giorgia Tesio - Excalibur (sit-start) - Varazze from CoreFamily on Vimeo.

Patagonia Dreamin  Facebook

Patagonia Dreamin - Arcteryx - AliasCinema from AliasCinema | Alex Lavigne on Vimeo.

The stories of The 8C grading story  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureThe Story of the Two (grading) Worlds 8C is probably, due to the beauty, the controversies and it's grade, the most well known hard core boulder in the world. Dave Graham put it up in 2005 as an 8C and 8a published his grade statement which probably was the major reason for why the Ticino grade inflation was stopped. The controversies were actually caused by UKC who said Koyamada's second ascent "wasn't legitimate"

1. Graham makes FA including his 8C grade inflation statement
2. Dai Koyamada makes 2:nd ascent and UKC reports it as most likely 8C+
3. Paul Robinson makes 3:rd ascent and UKC report it as 8C+ and says Koyamada's ascents wasn't legitimate
5. Robinson records it as an 8C in his 8a scorecard
6. Koyamada returns and finds a "more natural" start laying on the ground and calls it 8C+. Excellent video
7. Later it was found out that UKC was wrong and that Koyamada had, originally, started in the correct position.

It should also be noted that Dave Graham never said Koyamada had started in in a wrong place. Dave had only said that The Story of Two (grading) Worlds are just a "pure sit start" to the Dagger. The UKC article saying that Koyamada's ascent "wasn't legitimate" was based on video comparison with Robinson's ascent who actually had started 40 cm more to the left of how Graham started. The last years, all have started with the logical "pure sit start", from a crash pad, as Graham did.

WOW - Check the amazing sequences  Facebook

54 min of sport climbing from New Zealand  Facebook

46° of Southern Rock from Phat Phriction on Vimeo.

Less top climbers combine routes and boulders  Facebook

From the combined ranking we can see that less top climbers performs on the highest level in both routes and boulders, compared to previous years. Here is the Top-10 list.

23 538 David Firnenburg - 19 777
23 192 Lukasz Dudek - 19 515 Anna Gallyamova
23 159 Stefano Ghisolfi - 19 246 Katie Lambert
23 112 Alfons Dornauer - 19 240 Maria Davies Sandbu
22 892 Matthias Schiestl - 18 787 Teresa Troya

22 688 Jernej Kruder
22 650 Domen Skofic
22 625 Ellis Butler Barker
22 546 Piotrek Czarnecki
22 501 Piotr Schab

8C/+ FA by Nacho Sánchez  (18) Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureNacho Sánchez blogs, including great pictures that he has done the FA of the 21 mover Crises 8C/+ in Crevillente. It took the Spaniard 2.5 year to do all the move and later one more more to send it. Previously, he has done at least three 8C's. The grade suggest that it is a contender for being the hardest boulder in the world. In reality, there are just one boulder graded 8C+ in the world, which is a traverse by Adam Ondra.

Climber of the year 2014 - Draft  (21) Facebook

Here is a preliminary list of Climber of the year 2014. Please feel free to update the list and also add some guys we have missed. The list is based on officiell sport climbing performances and we also give extra credit for the ones being an active role model in the climbing community, performing at top level in different disciplines including MP and opens FAs.

Even if Adam Ondra is totally superior, it seems that the other top guys have reached a new level. Interesting is that none out of the Top-11 are active 8a members but maybe there are some more guys up there who are not public with their ascents?
1. Adam Ondra: Double world Champion
2. Alex Puccio: #2 in World Champion
3. Jan Hojer: #1 in the World cup
4. Angy Eiter: New level of of female route and boulders
5. Jimmy Webb: New level of male bouldering
6. Ashima Shiraishi: 8B+ and 8c+
7. Alex Megos: Multiple 9a's and 8B+ and harder, 8c MP
8. Ramonet Puigblanque: #2 in the World Champion
9. Jule Wurm: #1 in the Boulder World Champion
10. Domen Skofic #5 in World Cup, #4 World Champion
10. Jakob Schubert: #1 in the Lead World Cup
10. Daniel Woods: Some 20 FA between 8B - 8C

Mina Markovic, Jernej Kruder: #2 in Boulder World Champion, Stefano Ghisolfi, Shauna Coxsey, Nalle Hukkataival, Akiyo Noguchi, Jain Kim, Gui-Gui Mondet, Sasha Digiulian, Paul Robinson, Gabri Moroni, Sean McColl, Katharina Saurwein, Anak Verhoeven, Sachi Amma, Dima Sharafutdinov

David Graham, Kilian Fischhuber, Magdalena Röck, Mathieu Bouyoud, David Firnenburg, Martin Stranik, Magnus Midtbö, Nina Caprez, Mina Leslie-Wujastyk, Chris Sharma, Fabian Buhl, Isabelle Faus, Emilie Pellerin, Karoline Sinnhuber, Jorg Verhoeven, Dani Andrada, Manon Hily, Alfons Dornauer, Lukasz Dudek, Pablo Barbero, Nancho Sanchez

Albarracin  Facebook

Climbing trip to Albarracin from xclimb on Vimeo.

First 8B by Isabelle Faus  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureIsabelle Faus, who is having her best year ever with 17 boulders 8A and 8A+, has done her first 8B, Epochalypse in Flagstaff Mountain, Colorado. "Christmas Eve, did the apocalypse[sic] today :::) first 8B, in my Michael Jordan shorts and batman t shirt," she reports on Instagram. (c) Instagram Peter Beal

The 21 year old is #2 in the 8a ranking game. Epochalypse was set up by Daniel Woods and it adds six moves to Trice, the first 8A+ in the world put up by Holloway back in 1975.

One more 8A+ by Ashima Shiraishi (13)  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureAshima Shiraishi reports on instagram that she has done A Maze of Death 8A+ in Bishop. Although being just 13 years old, Ashima has had the most impressive ticklist in the World during the last three years. In total she has has done eight boulders 8A+ to 8B+ and flashed one 8A. With the rope, she has done four 8c+ and flashed one 8b+.

Next year, she will be allowed to compete in the youngest category in the youth World Championship. In the 8a climber of the year, Ashima was #8 when she was 11, #6 last year and in the provisional 2014 list, she is #5. (c) Rob Mulligan

Stay auto updated on ascents by your "friends" and in Crags  Facebook

Once you are logged-in, you can search any member and click to get automatic updates on the recent ascents. This is also possible for specific crags and you can also make your selection based on the grade. By clicking on "My Updates" in the top of the left column, you will get a list of all the ascents made by your friends and in crags you cover.

You can also search for the latest First Ascents and the latest hard routes and boulders, divended on gender, age and country.

164 kids compete in Russia  Facebook

Ìàóãëè 2014 from BULLmovie on Vimeo.

Melise Edwards hits the South  Facebook

Melise Edwards Hits the South from Drexel Bakker on Vimeo.

Janja Garnbret (15) onsights 8a and more  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureJanja Garnbret, Junior World Champion as well as Euro Champion in both Lead and Boulder, has had an Amazing weekend in Ops/Misja Pec where she onsighted Chiquita 8a and flashed Sonce v oèeh 8a+ besides doing two 8b's.

Previously in 2014, the 15 year old has done Pura Vida 8A+ in Magic Woods and actually won all the comps she has entered. The Slovenian moves up to #3 in the 8a Teenager of the year and as she does not have a shoe sponsor, somebody should quickly give her a X-mas gift. Picture (as almost always nowadays), Luka Fonda

Everyone can do an 8C dyno boulder January 4  (2) Facebook

Daily Buss Live reports that on Januray 4 at 9:47 AM PST, the gravity will be reduced. "If you jump in the air... it should take you about 3 seconds to land back on your feet instead of the usual 0.2 seconds."

In practice this means of course that this is the date and time for setting a great personal record. During five minutes planet alignment will decrease gravity causing partial weightlessness. It is the british astronaut Patrick Moore who says that, "Pluto will pass directly behind Jupiter, in relation to Earth." Moore calls this the Jovian-Plutonian Gravitational Effect.

DBL disclaimer: DailyBuzzLive.com is a news and political satire web publication with news articles. Some are inspired by real news events, but a few stories are almost entirely works of complete fiction. This site is a source of parody, satire, and humor and is for entertainment purposes only.

Katja Vidmar on desert sandstone  Facebook

Desert Sandstone from 8HOUSE on Vimeo.

Pre-order the Circuit  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureThe Circuit, climbing’s annual magazine focusing on performance and World Cup climbing is gearing up to release it’s second issue. In January, due to popular demand The Circuit will join the digital revolution with the release of Issue 2 in interactive pdf format, followed by the collectable print version in Late March.

Issue 2 has grown to 120 pages with in-depth interviews including Kilian Fischhuber, Anna Stohr, Alex Puccio, Sean McColl and many more as well as editorial content, photo features and Lead and Boulder season reviews.
Pre-orders are now open for Issue 2 with the first 500 getting a digital copy of Issue 1.

During 2014,Eddie Fowke has published several short WC reports and pictures on 8a and we are very much looking forward to read the in-depth profile interviews. Here you can pre-order it.

Switzerland Bouldering 2014 • More Magic in the Wood  Facebook

Switzerland 2014 • More Magic in the Wood from Eliot Stephens on Vimeo.

Bluetopia  Facebook

BLUETOPIA from Mission Control Collective on Vimeo.

Bouldering Movie - The Passion 2  Facebook

Bouldering Movie 'The Passion Part 2' from 45degrees on Vimeo.

2 year old Japanese climber  Facebook

Fontainebleau  Facebook

8a community based grades instead of topo grades  Facebook

With more accurate grades, the climbing community would rather go for the highest quality instead of sometimes go for the softest ones. Would it not be better to give the grading power to the 8a community instead of one topo author acting like God?

8a reporting ascents means that we analyze the database looking for personal downgrades and number of "Soft" comments in order to give the most accurate grade possible. Most climbers always use the topo grade as they do not have the experience, they do not care or they are afraid to discredit friends etc. This is just perfectly fine but it also means that it is impossible to base the grade on a normal calculated average.

In practice we report 8b (a+) once a quarter of the latest recorded grades differs but also the number of "soft" counts. In one way it would be good to have a formula that also could be used for the scoring. The easiest way could be to use the quartile 1, i.e. the third lowest grade from the last 11 ascents or equivalent.

Another option could be to calculate a mean based on the last ascents were also "soft" and "hard" could give , 0.5 minus or plus of the chosen grade. Over the years, we have gotten many suggestions and if you have a great simple idea please forward it in a comment.

What does not work is to calculate an average grade of all ascents as most do not care and also that a hold can break. Many have suggested that we should have both a personal and a topo grade column once you add ascents. We would like to do the opposite, i.e. just to search the name and add it without recording a grade, which is how it works via Tick List adding. At the same time, we and the community are thankful for personal grades and soft or hard comments.

Grades can be motivating but they are much less important compared to the Adrenaline, Beauty and the Challenges.

Long term pyramid progress is the key  (6) Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureEveryone would like to climb one grade harder and the normal way is to stop climbing and start projecting, meaning optimising the beta and muscle recruitment for specific cruxes on a soft graded route. Can you really say you climb one grade harder just because you learnt how to robot climb a route that is about to get down graded?

Would it not be more fun to and productive in the long run, to instead focusing on increasing that pyramide base before you start to build one more (grade) floor without a solid foundation. Focusing on just putting rocks on top of each other before the cement has hardened will create a pointy pyramid with cracks. Sooner or later it will break and you will fall and with the steep sides, you might keep sliding all the way to the ground.

The picture shows James Webb very flat pyramid, suggestion that there are plenty room for more 8C's and also 8C+. In general, a solid top of the pyramid should multiple with at least 3.

Mexico bouldering  Facebook

Adam Ondra answers "your" questions... 9b flash  Facebook

Adam Ondra answers "your" questions... 8b blind folded  (1) Facebook

A vertical eye on the Zlagboard  Facebook

A passion for new routing - Michel Piola  Facebook

"A Passion for new routing" Michel Piola (10$ Download) from redpointmovie on Vimeo.

German Team New Age Training by Udo Neuman  Facebook

Splints for splits by Rok Klancnik  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureRok Klancnik slept with splinted fingers and it helped to speed up the recovery of splits on his index fingers. The idea is that extended/stretched fingers recover faster compared to bent ones.

"During the first three hot weeks in Hueco Tanks my skin was terrible, thin and sweaty. Fingers were in pain all the time because of that. Later I used a bit of Antihydral on my finger tips to stop the sweat. Well, it did that and my skin was really tough and hard, also because that day was much colder.

But after a couple of tries in Slashface 8B (fell on the end on 2nd go) I got splits in both index fingers, and pretty deep too. Then my friends told me to put on some moisturizing cream and tape it during the night. I did that, put the tape off and waited for skin to dry.

Then I removed the skin around the split with sandpaper and repeat the previous method during the day. Then before the night, I took off tape again and made some kind of splint to keep my fingers in extended/stretched position, therefore allowing fresh air to come to the wound and heal it. Next day I did the same (removed excessed skin) and let it heal on fresh air. Now, it's almost completely healed, but I still put some tape over it during climbing.
I hope this won't happen any time soon :)

Honnold Foundation - Solar Aid interview  (4) Facebook

Click to Enlarge PicturePlanet Experts has a very interesting interview with Alex Honnold regarding his Honnold foundation. The Foundations aim is "Improving Lives Through Sustainability". The foundation offers grants to organisations and the focus has been Solar Aid which started in Chad in 2010.

During the last seven years, the most famous solo climber in the world, has lived in his van on roughly USD 1 000 a month. In his 8a scorecard, Alex has 798 ascents recorded up to 8c+ including all his solo ascents.

“Honestly, a big part of why I started the Foundation was to be able to have interviews like this,” Honnold told me before hanging up, “as opposed to interviews about death and fear and all the risk-taking or whatever. I’d much rather spend my time talking about cool issues that are actually important to the world.”.

FA Of Bertha's Tower In Antarctica  Facebook

Fischhuber retires from WC competitions  (2) Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureORF.at reports that Kilian Fischhuber, the best male Boulder competitor in the history, will stop competing. The 31 year old won his first WC in 2004 and his last and 21 in his hometown Innsbruck last year. The Austrian has won the overall World Cup five times and been runner up four times. Two times he has been #2 in the world championship and in 2013,he was the European Champion.

During especially the beginning of his career he combined his boulder training with doing multipitch climbing and he has also done several 9a's and 8B+' ascents. He says that his next climbing projects will be done in Iran, South Africa and India. Kilian will also accompany his partner, Anna Stöhr, the best female boulder competition in the history, for her World Cups. (c) Heiko Wilhelm

OR presents amazing battery heated gloves and mitts  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureOutdoor Research, an innovative focused major player in the outdoor market, has introduced a unique heated glove perfect for the climbers fighting winter conditions. The rechargeable battery last between two hours to eight hours depending on how warm hands you want.

We have just tested the Stormtracker gloves and they work good but they also have Lucent mitts, see the picture. In practice you will probably have many more rock climbing days during the winter using the mitts. This is a must have for all hard core guys pushing the grades also in freezing conditions.

At the same time, the battery heated gloves goes for Euro 230 and the mitts for to Euro 340, so you have to dig deep. 8a has already asked for further innovations with a heated smaller glove with open fingers and also for a heated chalk bag that you could use fighting high up towards the anchor with ice cold finger tips.

The impact of this amazing innovation can in a few years mean that it will be quite normal to climb outdoors year around and what if OR could also innovate refrigerated gloves for summer conditions :)

Flexible rankings for all crags and boulder areas  Facebook

For all the 5 000+ crags in the 8a database, you know find an All Time High and Last Month ranking based of the Top-5 ascents. You can edit the ranking and base it on a selection on five criterias such as age, FAs or onsight etc. Kind of interesting is that Adam Ondra is the superior ranking lead in all the Top-9 most popular crags in the world. The next time you go on a trip you can challenge your friends for a ranking game, selecting your best criteria :)

Luka Fonda shares his epic movements  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureLuka Fonda had five great pictures published on 8a last week and here is he with his crew that made it happen. Klemen Becan, Domen škofic, Luka Fonda, Mina Markovic and Gorazd Hren. During the big Mind Control day he jumared the 50 meters three times!

What is the best thing of being a photographer and how is a normal day at the crag for you?
Traveling, nature, passion, good people, adventure... be there when best athletes do an amazing performance... and many more things.

As a photographer I am staying in crag with guys all day, sometimes also some time before and after (to check up different angles, lights, fix the ropes and other factors important for photography). I also discuss with climbers about their projects and plans, what they are climbing during the day and try to follow their sends. But sometimes, especially by those guys, it is really hard to follow - one is sending his/her hardest project, during another one is probably sending his hardest on-sight. Well, there are also cases when one just go 'to check up the moves' and then send the route. So, you need also to know a bit how to read between the lines and be ready 100% for every try.

For me, the hardest are onsights, because when an athlete do it 1st try, I need to do same by photo. By projects, story is different. I can follow the progress and observe the moves interesting to catch.

After coming back to apartment second part of work just stars. Copy and check all the pictures, choose best ones, followed by editing and publishing… and answering questions from 8a.

Domen Škofic doing Papichulo 9a+  Facebook

Great progress for 8a during the last two months  (14) Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureThe diagram shows how the 8a ranking has improved during the last two months on Alexa which measures all websites in the world. One reason for this could be that some facebook integrated websites are loosing traffic as you tend to only visit them once you have got the FB link alert.

8a does only share our stories when they are extraordinary and we have not done any Google optimisation. This means that we have a very high direct traffic, i.e. our visitors almost always type in 8a.nu or use a bookmark for entering 8a.

What is also good news for the 8a community is that all major banner companies on 8a have agreed to continue also during 2015. We are looking for more guys that could help us with translating and news, proofreading and improving the data base etc.

Parkour and Bouldering converge  (4) Facebook

Boulder deflation reaches 8B+, let us go for 8C+!  Facebook

During the last month, the yearly percentage of 8B+ and 8C recorded ascents are 4 % which can be compared to 18 % 8A+ and below and it has been like this the whole autumn. It seems that the top guys are lately more interested in doing multiple "easier" boulders compared to repeating the hardest ones, out of which most have already been downgraded. It might also be that the grade deflation on the very top has also spread to 8B+, meaning some of them have become 8B.

The logic for this is of course that, as it seems the boulderscale has stopped at 8C, less harder boulders are put further down in the grading scale. At the same time, the number of 8Aboulder guys and ascents are just increasing rapidly meaning that possibly the future 8B grade will be where everyone ends up, more or less.

David Graham, are you listening, the community needs your voice again in the same way as you put up The Story of Two (grading) World's as an 8C, in 2005, in order to stop the previous grade inflation. Please, get your crew and put together some 8C+ upgrading suggestions :)

Fight or Flight 9b by Jakob Schubert  (5) Facebook

Jakob Schubert, the World Cup winner 2014, celebrated his 24th birthday today by doing his first 9b, Fight or Flight in Oliana. This is only 9b ascent during 2014 beside Adam Ondra's First Round First Minute. Beside that a dozen climbers have done 9a+.

First 8A+ by Giorgia Tesio (14)  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureGiorgia Tesio has done her first 8A+, Excalibur sit in Varazze which was 8A before a hold broke. Here is the impressive video made by Christian Core. Last year, being 12, she did her first two 8A's and being 12, she also flashed her first 8a route. Great video portrait.

Picture by Christian Core: "It's motivating to see how her father is bringing her training to many gyms and trying the boulders, sometimes he climbs too but other times just wating, in the cold and the wind. All the family, mother and sister looks as a motivated team. Giorgia is very strong in the bouldering, she's discovering her limits right now, I'm sure she can do more...

Stefano Ghisolfi, WC winner in 2014, did it the same day and commented that Gioriga was much stronger: "She did it very easily. I did the boulder three years ago and now it is harder because a hold broke, I had to fight because it is very hard. She impressed me, she knew all the moves perfectly, I don't know how long she tried it but I don't think too much, I had to work all day to do the new version.

Mélanie Sandoz does 8A and aims to win the Euro Championship  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureMélanie Sandozhas done her fifth 8A, Verdict in Fontainebleau on her fourth session on it. "I want to go back on Verdict to work the moves because I never done the first move and it's the most difficult. After 45min, I have done all the moves. And 4-5 tries later, I send the boulder."

The Frenchwomen has the most remarkable competition stats ever. During 38 boulder WCs, her best result has been #6 but in 2012, she become the world champion and in 2013, she was #3 in the Euro Championship.

"Last year was difficult for me. I made a lot of change in my training this year and it's really good for me. I want to come back at the top level in world competition. My principal goal this year is the european championship. At the World Championship in 2012, I was an outsider. I trained a lot the months before and just thought of this comp. My objective was to qualify to the final. In final, it was easier to climb first.

My trainer is Ludovic Laurence. Generally, I train with him and with Guillaume. I stop to train at the French Camp, I train at the gym in Paris so I climb with more people than last year. I train 5-6 times of climbing + 3-4 times of musculation or pan Gullich + Running (1 time).

The last 3 years, I have climbed 10-15 days per year and 5 days in Magic Wood (in 2012 and 2013). This year, I would like to climb more outside. I will go to climb in Bishop and Red Rocks in January for 15 days. And I plan to go in Rocklands in July.

Samuel Ometz (18) does The Story of Two Worlds 8C  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureSamuel Ometz has done The Story of Two Worlds 8C in Cresciano which is the classical sit start to The Dagger 8B (+) which Samuel did almost two years ago. In the 8a ranking game, the 18 year old is #5.

"Happy to finally climb it after having tried it so much last year, went first session first real try from the bottom this year! So unexpected! In the morning it was snowing and the end was wet, so we had to wait until it got dry. Don't really know if it deserves the grade though...

I had to wait a moment before topping out because I could not feel my hands anymore but I still had feelings in the hard part.

The Swizz was using Dave Graham's original sit start from 2005 which some thought was 8C+ at that time and the name actually refers to the Ticino grade inflation which was mainly stopped because of Dave's statement.

8c by Laura Rogora (13)  Facebook

Laura Rogora jumps two grades and does her first 8c, Ciccio fomaggio in Sperlonga and it took her 18 tries over eight days to do it. The 13 year old is the third youngest female to reach 8c. Last year, her personal best was 8a and this year she has done 11 routes 8a and harder.

9a and 8c+ by Magnus Midtbø  (1) Facebook

Magnus Midtbø has done Joe Blau 8c+ and Fabelita r2 9a in Santa Linya. "Very hard bouldery crux right after the anchor of Fabelita, then endurance climbing all the way to the very top of the cave!"

The Norweigian has been a successful competition climber for 10 years and during the last 22 WC's and Championships, he has been Top-12 in all but one event.

8A+ by Mina Leslie-Wujastyk  Facebook

Mina Leslie-Wujastyk has done her fourth 8A+ in 2014, Lethal Design in Red Rocks. "So sharp! Lots of moves = very numb fingers for the top out!"

Mina stopped competing midways in 2014 after being Top-21 during her last 13 WCs. In total, she has done 44 boulders 8A and harder. Two months ago, she also did her first 8c, Mecca extension.

8c+/9a FA by Toni Lamprecht (43)  (1) Facebook

PlanetMountain reports about the Toni Lamprechts 8c+/9a FA Black Flag in Kochel. Toni has been one of the leading climbers for 20 years both in lead and bouldering and he says that a much harder direct start can be made.

9a flash by Adam Ondra  (3) Facebook

Adam Ondra goes to 102 routes 9a and harder with a second go FA of Transcription and a flash of Chromosome Y 9a in Charmey. "Amazing bouldery route which fit my style perfectly. Thanks for the beta Pirmin!"

Pirmin Bertle put it up in 2012, "It starts right away with an 8B boulder with really funny, but highly complex moves in a 45° overhang. Linked by some kind of knee bar, where you never know if it is tiring you or not, follows a 7B+ traverse with delicate food moves. You arrive in a knee bar where you have to regain your forces for the final 15m 7c+.

Adam has previously onsighted three 9a's and flashed one which actually stood as 9a+. The number of 8c+ routes onsighted by Adam is 15.

8B by Liam Andrews-Bancroft (17)  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureLiam Andrews-Bancroft has done his second 8B, Busted Shadow Sit in Bradley. "It took about 7 days of work, 5 for the stand and 2 to add in the sit. This has been the best climbing season I've ever had!"

The 18 year old started to climb in 2010 and had a personal best of 7B in 2012 and 7C+ last year, so here we have some great development going on.

8c+ by Philipp Gaßner (14)  (2) Facebook

Philipp Gaßner has done his first 8c+, Reality Check in Schleier Wasserfalle. "Felt really good today with perfect conditions; I checked it out 4 or 5 times and need 2 goes to send the whole route, totally my style." Previously this year, the 14 year old has done two 8A+ boulders.

Mind Control 8c (+) very fast by Mina Markovic  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureMina Markovic is having her best week on rock of her life and yesterday she did Mind Control 8c (+) in Oliana. "It was waaay faster than I expected. Yesterday I checked up the moves and today I did it on 2nd try of the day."

Mind Control was put up by Chris Sharma and with 21 ascents the last three years it is the most repeated 8c and harder in the 8a database and also the one with the highest star rating.

The great picture is from Luka Fonda who has made some kind of 8a record with four published pictures in just five days. Luka has promised us to give his story and how a normal working day at the crag looks like as soon as all the editing is done.

Third 8c+ in six days by Stefano Ghisolfi  (17) Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureStefano Ghisolfi has during the last six days done three 8c+ in Red River Gorge including the previous 9a, Golden Ticket. "One of the most amazing ascent of my life, bleeding from 3 fingers, at my third go I slipped because of my blood, at 4th go I changed method on the way. I also hit my head on the rock on the last part of the route!"

After the first week's eight routes 8a+ and harder including four routes up to 8b+ onsight, the Italian said RRG routes seemed to me half a grade softer than in Europe. During the second week, only one out of for was marked "Soft" and he even proposed an upgrade of a 7c+. Stefano is #3 in the 8a ranking game.

Papichulo 9a+ and a 8c (+) flash by Domen Škofic  (2) Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureDomen Škofic has done Chris Sharma's 45 meter Papichulo 9a+ in Oliana. "After 5 days of work and exactly 10 tries I managed to send my first 9a+ :) Felt good after I stuck the crux move but the mind pump kicked in. Managed to stay calm and finished the slab part smoothly. Also the first 9a+ for Slovenian nation :)"

Slovenia has only two million inhabitants but has actually for many years been one of the leading climbing nations in the world. In the World Cup, Domen was #5 and in the World Champion, the 20 year old, was #4. During the last few years, only some ten guys each year send 9a+ and Papichulo, with six ascents, is the highest star rated hard core route in the 8a database. (c) Luka Fonda

Domen also managed to flash Mind Control 8c (+) which previously only Adam Ondra has onsighted and Reffo Silvio has flashed. In the 8a ranking game, Domen is #5.

8b+ onsight by Mina Markovic  (12) Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureMina Markovic, who has been Top-2 in the Lead World Cup for five straight years, has onsighted Los Humildes pa Casa 8b+ in Oliana. The great picture is from Luka Fonda who says, "It looked quite easy."

Mina wrote on Facebook, "Woke up in frustrating foggy morning nature surprised us with beautiful day." The last few days, Mina has also done her first 8c, another 8b+ and onsighted two 8a+. Quite a good tick list for a competition climber who is not so used to climb on rock.

Including being #2 in both the Lead WC, the Combined WC and the Lead World Champion Mina goes to Top-10 in the 8a climber of the year list and let us hope there are more to come.

Three 7C's and a 7C+ by Kylie Cullen (9)  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureKylie Cullen has during the last month done her first three 7C's, out of which two in just half an hour, and Water Hazard 7C+ in Bishop. This summer the 9 year old did her first 8a+ on top rope. Here are some comments from Brian who also is the father of Michael (7).

- They have both been climbing their whole lives, since mom and I both climb and have a bouldering wall at our house. For the last year and a half Kylie has been climbing with a team indoors. Michael has been climbing with the team for the last year but he doesn't train as much as play, directed toward a lot of climbing volume.

Kylie climbs maybe two hours two days a week in a gym, and usually one or two days on weekends outdoors. I generally keep them on ropes so they safely cover a lot of ground and learn as many different movements and techniques as possible in a given period of time. The kids also play tennis and ride bikes, as I really want them to be well rounded athletically. Spitting Venom 7C, video.

19 boulders 8A and harder in three weeks by Baptiste Ometz (16)  Facebook

Baptiste Ometz has during the last two weeks done six boulder 8B and harder and counting three weeks, we are talking 19 boulders 8A and harder.

The 16 year old and 180 cm did his first 8B when he was 11 years old. The reason for the rather slow progress until 2014 are numerous injuries like broken wrist, toe problems and meniscus. Since February he has been OK bouldering four times a week. In 2013, he won one Euro Boulder Cup and in 2014, he become the European Boulder Champion.

Another seven great sends by Alex Puccio  Facebook

Alex Puccio, #2 in the Boulder World Champion, continues to show that 2014 is also her best year on rock. One week ago she did her fifth 8B and during two more bouldering days in Joe's Valley, the 25 year old has done five 7C+ and 8A plus flashing one 7C and one 7C+. Alex has been #1 in the 8a ranking game for many years and she is now #20 among the guys.

Five 8a+ to 8b (+) onsights by Ghisolfi in RRG  (3) Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureStefano Ghisolfi has had an amazing first week in Red River Gorge where he beside having done one 9a, Southern Smoke Direct has done five 8a+ and harder onsights including Omaha Beach 8b (+). Interesting is that he has marked all eight routes he has done as "Soft".

How do you like the sand stone and what about the grades?
The quality of the rock is great, very different from the crags I am used to climb in, in Italy. There are a lot of variety of styles. The grades I think are half grade softer than Italy or Europe, or maybe the routes just fit my style.

Stefano, who won one World Cup this year, is #3 in the 8a ranking game after Ondra and Ramonet. More info on his RRG blogspot

The South Face 8b (+) in Yosemite by Alex Honnold  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureAlex Honnold, the most famous solo climber in the world, has during the last six weeks done four of the great 8a and harder Big-walls/multi-pitches in Yosemite included Matt Wilder's South Face 8b (+). "Maybe more like 8b. But the boulder problem took me three sessions to work out. Otherwise the route is a cruise."

In total Alex has now done eight of the classical Big-walls/Multi-pitches in Yosemite and he is #1 in the traditional ranking game both in 2014 as well as All Time High. Out of Alex' 798 recorded ascents in the 8a data base, more than 200 are trad. Included three 8c+'s and two 8A+'s, Alex is one of the most diversified top climbers in the world. (c) Photo by Jimmy Chin

One more 8c+ by Angy Eiter  (5) Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureAngy Eiter has done the first repeat of Stefan Brunner's, Nostalgischer Bastard in Prutz. In total, the four times world champion has done five 8c+ and two 9a's in 2014 which is the most impressive female, one year, tick list in the history of sport climbing. (c) Bernie Ruech

The interesting thing is, when structured training seems to get more popular, Angy says she does not follow a strict programme as she did before. "My body and mind give the program its direction, which includes a healthy mixture of routes and boulder training."

How and how much do you train nowadays?
I go routes climbing about three times a week, time varies. Usually I give two attemps on a hard route with a long break between and climb two softer routes. Furthermore, I do one boulder session a week and try to do some power exercises one or two times per week. Different body exercises like: campus, pull and push ups, abdomen, back, and shoulder

One more 9a by Angy Eiter  (3) Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureAngy Eiter, one of the most accomplished lead competition climbers in history, is about to take female rock climbing to yet a new level. Yesterday she did the possibly only third repeat of Christian Bimdhammer's Big Hammer 9a in Pinswang from 2005. In 2014, the four times world champion, has done four 8c+ and two 9a's which is the best female tick list ever for a year. Great interview by ClimbZA including her tick list up to 8B in Rocklands from this summer. (c) Bernie Ruech

Wow, so how many days of projecting and how do you train nowadays?
Yeah I can't believe this achievement yet. I tried "Big Hammer" this autumn for my first time and I had no idea how to solve one of the two hard boulder problems in this route. Finally I found a suitable solution for my size. However, the pocket in this crux was a battle, both painful and tough. All in all in needed about ten days of projecting.

Nowadays, I don't follow any specific training regime any more. My body and mind give the program its direction, which includes a healthy mixture of routes and boulder training. Additionally, I regulary do some power exercises.

9a by Stefano Ghisolfi in Red River Gorge  (8) Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureStefano Ghisolfi has had a great start of his trip to Red River Gorge where he has done Southern Smoke Direct 9a which is an 8B start to the original 8c (+) line. "Nice line, hard boulder at the beginning and than only endurance. Did after trying it on the second day, did on the third here in red river, I'm happy!"

Two years ago, Adam Ondra made the second ascent by flashing it and now everyone agrees on Adam's personal down grade to 9a. In the Lead WC 2014, Stefano was #9 after having won one event and in the 8a ranking game, the italian is #3. Updated RRG info in a new blogspot.

Montecore 8B+ (C) by Alex Megos  (2) Facebook

Alex Megos has done the fifth, or so, repeat of Markus Bocks 24 mover in Frankenjura, Montecore for which he gives a personal grade of 8B+ as he did it over just two sessions. Great video of the up-side-down problemTomorrow, Alex travels to Stockholm where he will compete in the La Sportiva legends only.

So what is the next plan and what is the focus for your training nowadays?
I haven't thought about that yet. We will discuss that with Patrick and Dicki (his trainers from Gimme Kraft)in the beginning of Dec to put up a training plan for the month. For sure we will work again on power and tension, as this are still my weaknesses...Patrick has some new exercises he told me.

Any plans and ambitions for 2015?
Too many :) Climb harder, train smarter, nothing specific though.

Alex always has his way getting out of questions where he gets pushed against the wall but in a previous FB-chat he said that there are at least five 9a projects in Frankenjura out of which some could be 9b.

9a FA by Roland Hemetzberger  (1) Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureRoland Hemetzberger, who previously has done ten 8c+, has done his second 9a FA after five years of projecting, The Void in Achleiten.

"30m of 8b+ or 8c climbing a small rest follows in a hard boulder. I always thought the last meters were not climbable. I have tried the route every year and this year maybe six days or so. That is the Route. The Name is calling - The Void - every climber knows this feeling. My hardest ascent before was Lichtblick, a 9a FA in Achleiten too."

Rolands next plan is to travel to Africa and later to free a long alpine route and also open some more sport projects.

Two 30 minutes 8B's by Baptiste Ometz (16)  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureBaptiste Ometz, European Boulder Youth Champion in 2014, has done twelve 8A and harder the last week including two 30 minutes 8B in Cresciano; Mithril and La Proue. In total, the 16 year old and 180 cm tall has done 28 boulders 8B and harder and he is #9 in the ranking game, three positions below his three year older brother, Samuel.

Fifth 8B by Alex Puccio in 2014  (23) Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureAlex Puccio is about to set new standards for female bouldering in 2014 with two 8B+ and now her fifth 8B and the first female ascent of Black Lung in Joe's Valley. (c) Joel Zerr

-AMAZING!!! :) Got really really close the first day on it, but finally went down on the third day. It's sooo cold here. Thank you Joel Zerr and Ben Spannuth for brushing the snow and ice off the top out holds. :) original way."

Alex has been one of the best competition boulderer for many years but abstained the last two WCs in 2014 and instead focused on rock before the world championship where she got the silver. Check her Facebook for a short five one-arms pull ups. In the 8a ranking game, Alex is now #20 among the guys which no other female has been even close to be.

Lluc Maciá - the 3rd ten-year-old to on-sight 8a  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureThe progression experienced by David Maciá's older son, Lluc Maciá, has gone from linear to exponential in the last times. A little more than a month ago he was able to send his first 8a+ with Martina in Monserrat, a nice feat which he repeated the day after with Sprint Final in the same area.

But where he's specially standing out is in the on-sight mode. Some few days before he sent those two routes, he also raised his bar at climbing without any previous info by on-sighting the spectacular tufas line in Terradets Norte, Vitamina N, 7c+. And it seems like this crag is among his favourites since it was there, more exactly in Bruixes, where one day last week he started by trying to on-sight Orient 7c/+ with no success —he did it second go— and then he didn't give up going for Bon Viatge 8a, with no failure this time (in the pic).

This route was originally graded 8a+. However, ulterior repetitions have settled its level a plus lower. ”It's got it all. It's one of the longest routes in this sector with a hard crux in the middle which I had to fully fight and an impressive arrival to the anchor.” The young boy tell us more about it: ”It's been some time that my dad has been telling me that I was strong enough to go to Les Bruixes and try to climb on-sights and so we did. An incredible sector, one of the bests I've ever seen. That Saturday I tried to on-sight a 7c+ and I almost did it, and then we decided to go and try an 8a. In the beginning it was intended for a second go ascent, but we had it clear that my first go had to be on-sight and a muerte. And so it was.

It was pretty thrilling. All the people in the sector was paying attention to me and they didn't stop cheering me up all the way up, specially at the upper part, when I started to think that I could send it. A huge satisfaction. All the people were smiling. All my family was shouting and hugging."

With this and if we're not wrong, Lluc Maciá became that day the third person to on-sight an 8a at the age of 10, after Adam Ondra and Ashima Shiraishi, and we couldn't find a better moment to have an interview with him.

Two more 8A's by Karoline Sinnhuber (19)  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureKaroline Sinnhuber has done two 8A's in Saalachtal, Mud-nut and Reloaded and in total she has done ten in 2014 included one flash. In the 8a ranking game, the 19 year old is #4. In 2013, Karoline won the European Junior Bouldering Championship and also one Euro Lead Youth Cup.

9a by David Firnenburg again  (1) Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureDavid Firnenburg has done his second 9a in Frankenjura in the last three weeks, The Elder Statesman which is a direct version to an 8c+ he did last week. In the ranking game, the 19 year old is #8. More info in his blog (c) Ben Ullman

8C again by James Webb  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureJames Webb has done the first repeat of Daniel Wood's Defying Gravity 8C in Thunder Ridge. "Yess! Felt so nice to connect with that first move. Such a heinous jump from one glassy rail to the next. What a strange problem.... and putting it all together may be one of the lowest percentage things i've ever done."

In total, James has done five 8C's the last year and including 25 boulder 8B+ and three 8B's, he is #1 in the ranking game. James is also frequently using personal grades.

8b again by Cathy Wagner (49)  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureCathy Wagner has done her third 8b this year, Le gardien du temple in Blavet.
The picture is from a 7c+ in Volx. The 49 year old, started to climb in 1986 and did her first 8a in 1994. In total, she has done 458 and the amazing thing is that 2014 is her best year ever. Is there any physical sport where female can progress being 49 at the same time as the best is just 12 years old?

Important progress on the Dawn wall by Caldwell  (12) Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureTommy Caldwell reports on Facebook, "Oh my goodness!!! After six years I finally sent this beast of a pitch. Inspired by Keven's fight to the death near miss.This officially means all the hard individual pitches have been redpointed. I am so psyched my hands are shaking!" (c) Tommy Caldwell

Tommy is talking about Mescalito or the Dawn Wall project in Yosemite which he has been working for six years, most of all with Kevin Jorgeson, sleeping probably some 100 days up in portaledges. This means that all the 30 pitches has been done on the hardest MP in the world, out of which seven pitches around 8c.

In 2001, Caldwell accidentally sawed off much of his left index which later had to be cut of. Some weeks ago, he was nominated as one of National Geographic 2015 Adventurers of the Year. Here you cn vote for him

9a by Ruben Firnenburg (17)  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureRuben Firnenburg has done his second 9a, The Essential in Frankenjura which his two year older brother, David, also did two weeks ago. "Really happy to send it. Cool and bouldery line on pockets. Crux for me is a dead-point-move at the second bolt. Pretty unexpected because of rainy and foggy weather. Route was almost dry." (c) Ben Ullman

Just Do It 8c+ by Drew Ruana  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureRock & Ice reports that Drew Ruana has after just eigth days or work done Just Do It in Smith Rock which was set up by J-B Tribout in 1992.

The 8c+ route is a true endurance test-piece with 18 bolts on 45 meters almost vertical climbing. Previously, the 15 year old who was #2 in the last Youth World Champion has done five 8b+'s.

8c+ MP by Fabian Buhl  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureFabian Buhl , a world class boulderer who lately has been focusing more on routes, has done the first repeat of Alex Huber's seven pitches Nirwana 8c+ on Sonnwendwand at Loferer Steinplatte. In total the route is 250 m and has just 17 bolts.

There are just a couple of 8c+ MP in the world. Fabian projected it six days included half by himself walking 1 - 2 hours in snow before he could start rapelling to the 50meter long 8c+ pitch. "Huge respect to Alex, it is just an amazing route and we hope the video will be great."

From Facebook: "I worked it over several days, yet it was totally unexpected! I was attracted by the steepness of the wall and it´s dynamic and technical climbing. We just wanted to film some tries for a upcoming movie project, but now Stefan Schlumpf & Diego Defilla got the full ascent."

First 8c+ by Rafa Fanega (39)  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureRafa Fanega, who started to climb in 1991 has done his first 8c+ being 39 years old, La Rubia in Villanueva del Rosario, which also have been onsighted by Adam Ondra.

In total, Rafa has recorded 1 174 routes and out of them several hundred FAs between 4c and 8c, just during the last four years. Most of his FA are from Fin del Mundo outside Madrid which during the last few years have been one of the most popular crags in Spain although it is closed between February 1 and June 15th. The picture is from one of his FAs in Fin del Mundo.

9a by Markus Jung in Frankenjura  (3) Facebook

Markus Jung has done his third 9a and his first in Frankenjura, The Elder Statesman. "Huge much fun sending it! too many times it was wet.. the weather made me crazy! happy to climbed it in almost dry shape :)"

In total there are 24 routes 9a and 9a+ in Frankenjura out of which all but six have been opened by Markus Bock. In comparison to other 9a's, the Frankenjuta ones are seldom repeated suggesting the grades are pretty hard here. There are also at least ten projects 9a and harder out of which half of them are open projects.

Oldboys bonus ranking game  (9) Facebook

The webmaster is about to fix a new 40+ ranking that is based on getting 100 points bonus for every year? Here is the preliminary ranking game. Overall, Chuck would have been #5 including all the younger guys. We plan also to present a similar ranking game with 200 bonus points pr year for the kids, meaning Mikel Linacisoro and Laura Rogora are in the overall Lead.

12 803 Chuck Odette (59) - 11 199 Muriel Sarkany (40)
12 565 Keefe Murphy (54) - 11 167 Audrey Sniezek (43)
12 553 Steve Crowe (57) - 11 063 Karin Magog (41)
12 470 Hector V (64) - 10 800 Maggie Smith-Odette (45)
12 390 Roland Meggle (54) - 10 529 Gundi Kraft (41)
12 300 Chris Zehani (40) - 10 402 Michaela Drlikova (42)

12 200 Luis Penín (40)
12 142 Lee Sheftel (68)
12 100 Matteo Gambero (40)
11 970 Frederic Bouyge (46)
11 890 Diego Marsella (43)
11 793 Jibe Tribout (53)
11 770 Johan Luhr (53)

One more great 8B+ FA by James Webb  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureJames Webb, who turns 27 today, has done his 30:iest 8B+ and harder the last year by the FA of Komodo in Wyoming. "30 moves of sustained compression climbing on pinches, slopers, crimps and kneebars. Kinda got it all!!" Picture by Dave Graham who earlier this week did his 72:nd boulder 8B+ and harder.

Jorg Verhoeven does the Nose 8b+, 30 MP  (8) Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureJorg Verhoeven, who won the Lead World Cup in 2008, has made the fourth ascent of The Nose in Yosemite which was opened by Lynn Hill in 1993. Lynn originally graded it 8a but nowadays the consensus grade for the 900 meters route is more 8b+. Ascent #2 and #3 were done by Tommy Caldwell and Beth Rodden.

"Yeeeaaaaah! I freeclimbed the Nose!!! In three days time I managed to grab the 4th ascent of this iconic route. I sent the Great Roof first burn on day #2 and Changing Corners after two falls the next morning. So incredibly glad I pulled it through. A lot of respect to Lynn Hill for freeclimbing this route 20 years ago! At least the male/female statistics are equalized now Feels like a big chapter has come to an end. PSYCHED!!!"

During the last two years, the Dutch has four times been on the podium in the Boulder WC so we are talking broad repertoire. Including having done one 9a, bouldered 8B+ and also having done several 8c+ and 8B FA, we are talking about one of the greatest climbers in the world, ever.

8c by Sasha Digiulian in RRG  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureSasha Digiulian has had a three day break from University which she spent in Red River Gorge where she did the first female ascent of Thanatopsis 8c. (c) Keith Ladzinski. "Good to see that training is helping me. I train 5 days a week while in NYC with Alexi Thomokas and Kevin Paretti.

Very excited to have sent everything at the Motherlode now! I tried this climb in March while I was at the Red for a week. I did not complete it, and this weekend I returned to the RRG during a school weekend and ticked it off my first day back on it, my 5th try of the day. FOX Focus Series will have video provided by 3StringsMedia coming soon.

Schubert shows record maximum power in between endurance preparation  Facebook

Jakob Schubert, the overall Lead WC winner in 2014, has in between the two last lead WCs, taken a short trip to Magic Woods where he during his second day set some kind of record; Riverbed 8B Flash, Foxy Lady 8A Flash, From shallow waters to Riverbed 8B+, Mystic Stylez 8B+ (which he did twice) and Voigas 8A+.

Baptiste (16) and Samuel (19) Ometz do 8B+  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureBaptiste Ometz (16) and big brotherSamuel (19) have both done From shallow waters to the riverbed 8B+ in Magic Woods. During the last ten days, little brother has done eight 8A+ and harder and now it is just big brother ahead of him in the junior ranking game. Among the seniors, the both 182+ cm are #6 and #9. The picture of Baptiste is from the European Championship in 2014, which he won.

The Essential 9a by David Firnenburg (19)  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureDavid Firnenburg has done his third 9a, The Essential in Frankenjura which Markus Bock set up in 2008. The 19 year old is #2 in the Combined ranking game.

"It’s my first 9a in Frankenjura. Some years ago it still felt impossible to send 9a in Frankenjura but nowadays not anymore. At the moment I feel in good shape and I’m super motivated. I’m with Ruben and he is also working on it. It already looks pretty good and I think he is close to send it too. We’ve still some days left here. More pics and info in his blog. (c) Louisa Firnenburg

Goldrake 9a+ by Gabri Moroni  (3) Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureGabriele Moroni has finished his longest project ever, the 9a+ Goldrake in Cornalba which Adam Ondra made the FA of in 2010. In total, the former successful boulder competition climber has done twelve 9a's and two 9a+. Comments from the Italian is coming up.

- I tried Goldrake a lot a few years ago. I got pretty close to send it after some days... then I kept failing for another season. This route really deceived me many times. Of course it has a lot of hard climbing in it but what made Goldrake really extreme for me was dealing with the conditions and the skin issues. I got plenty of times at the top crux with numb fingers. Once I fell past the crux also with frozen tips so I decided to quit trying it for a while. It was really hard for my motivation.

This year I came back probably stronger and with a fresh mind and incredibly after a couple of days I sent. It is in incredible how the body had all the moves and feelings still memorized...

8a onsight by Audrey Sniezek (43)  (3) Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureAudrey Sniezek, 43, who did her second 8c in July has spent the autumn in Kalymnos after first having summited Kilimanjaro. During the last week she has done four 8a's including the onsight of Fun de Chichunne.

It will be interesting to follow how a former corporate software professional can continue to progress now that she is taking a break from her business career. Ten years ago her personal best was 7b and since then she has had continuous progress only hindered by some injuries.

First 9a by Stefan Scarperi  Facebook

Stefan Scarperi has done Adam Ondra's Biologico 9a in Arco. "Yes super happy my first 9a. 5 days!" Previously, the Italian has done five 8c's so this was a great personal record. The last two years, Stefan has done all Boulder WC's being #7 as personal best. The Italian male climbing scene has scene a great progress the last years and it just might be that they have the most 9a climbers during 2014.

8c by Marieta Akalski in Rodellar  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureMarieta Akalski stopped climbing in 2005 with 8a+ as personal best as she was trying a career in finance. In 2011, the Massage Therapist, started training again mainly indoors and six months ago, she took up rock climbing again. In october she has done two 8b+ and 8c Florida in Rodellar, see picture.

So how can you explain this extreme progress?
Good question! Let me think...

One of the biggest reasons I've been able to come back is my ambition. It's quite a transition from indoor bouldering to sport climbing and time is the biggest factor. I moved out and sold most of my belongings, sacrificed my clients in order to have the freedom to spend multiple months on the road.
These are all factors that have led to my success in 2014.

My goal is to push myself even farther. Maybe do another 8c or harder. I don't think I've reached my ultimate potential. Unfortunately for me this trip is almost over and I am faced with the reality of going home back to work. My ambition is to find a way to climb full time and see how far I can push myself!

Underground 9a by Reffo Silvio  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureReffo Silvio has done Underground in Arco which lately is one of the most repeated 9a's (8c+) in the world. The Italian has previously done one 9a and one 9a+ and he is #5 in the ranking game.

The chipped route, which actually was the world's first real big roof that was climbed, was first done in 1998 by Manfred Stuffer and graded 8c+/9a. Gerhard Hörhager, who projected the route together with Manfred, has said he does not believe the FA and he took it personal and stopped climbing for a year when it happened. In some topos, Manfred is not mentioned as FA. On the picture by Luka Fonda, Domen Skofic does it.


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