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Pros and cons of grading  Facebook

Here is a list with the most important aspects of grades, i.e. why we need them. It also shows that grades are more important for route climbers than for boulderers.

1. Selecting which routes to warm up on
2. Selecting which routes to onsight
3. Selecting which routes to redpoint
4. Measuring progress

5. Measuring daily shape
6. Playing with friends
7. Comparing the best in the world
8. Selecting climber of the year etc

The bad thing with grades is of course that you may be temptated to start choosing climbs based on the softness and not on the quality. Another negative aspect could be getting disappointed just because you could not do your normal grade, when in reality it may have been your anti-style.

One could say that if you like slash grades you think in general that grades are more important. In many gyms, grading boulders is done with colours instead of grades and some boulderers have actually said that we could skip the +'s outdoors as boulder grades are just very personal. What do you think?

Personal goals, training and prerequisites  Facebook

The 8a scorecard promotes doing multiple hard ascents instead of focusing on just one super hard personal grade record. Personal goals of doing about 10 ascents of a specific grade are often the best strategy for long time progress and it makes your grade pyramid more stable in order to reach the next level.

Different climbers have different prerequisites like gender, age, weight, height etc. You are usually also more talented for either open hand or closed crimp, power or endurance and so on. It is just normal to adjust to these and one example is that you seldom see any big guys going for steep 40m routes. Instead you see them doing reachy dynamic boulders.

There is a saying is that "you should train and challenge your weaknesses" but if you really want to invest time into making a new personal best, do the opposite. First, you have to analyze your personal prerequisites and actually try to define the specific move you are best at. It can be doing a long lock-off combining a high step with a gaston, it can be a traverse on slopers or it can be an extreme knee-drop two finger cross over move.

Once you have found your fauvorite move, try to optimize it and then you can travel around the globe looking for the perfect crux move. It will be easy to make a personal best but do not get a surprise if at the same time you will find that your pyramid has become less stable.

Database spell check  Facebook

There are now more than 4 million ascents in the 8a database. As you can add ascents also with free text, the same climb has sometimes different spellings in the database. Over the years, more than 50 people have given us a hand with spell checking. If you want to help as well, just send an email to jens@8a.nu.

9a in Santa Linya by Ruben Firnenburg (19)  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureRuben Firnenburg, #3 in the Combined Youth World Championship, has done Analogica Natural 9a in Santa Linya. (c) Hannes Puman

"Actually I chose Analogica to train for Seleccio, but I was suprised by its quality. The style suited me very well and with two hard crimpy cruxes in the first half the sequences were also similar to Seleccio. The big difference to Seleccio is that Analogica has a better rest making it a rather soft 9a."

Training For Climbing - Core with Eric Hörst  Facebook

9a+ by Jakob Schubert in Oliana  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureJakob Schubert, one of the very best competition climbers of the last five years, reports on Instagram that he has done Joe Mama 9a+ in Oliana. In November he fell on the last move but this trip he just warmed up once and did it on his second try. (c) Elias Holzknecht

"I have been doing only bouldering and power training in december and was a little worried about my endurance but once again I saw how much such training even helps on endurance monsters."

8C by César Quero (37)  (1) Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureCésar Quero started climbing when he was 27 years old and now, ten years later, he has done his first 8C, Soyuz Low in Zarzalejo. To make the story even more amazing, he only climbs a couple of days a week.

" I think the key is motivation. Do not expect results but enjoy each problem. Not being afraid of failure is the best of success. I don't really training. If I'm not too tired from my job, occasionally I go to gym to do dead hangs and propose difficult problems and solve them, I rarely get it."

Great potential in Serra da Leba - Angola  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureSerra da Leba is a mountain range located in the southern part of Angola, some 100 km west of Lubango. The road drops about 1 500 meters in amazing zig-zag turns, sourrounded by nearly untouched rock of great quality. Some 25 years ago I spent some months here and once I rappelled down and climbed 20 meters. At that time I was just a 6b climber but I remember the quality and the endless potential just by the road side. Serra da Leba might be one of the last great untouched and easily accessible climbing destinations in the world.

8c MP FA by Alex Luger in Rätikon  Facebook

8c+ by Jorge Diaz-Rullo (17)  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureJorge Diaz-rullo has done Palestina 8c+ (9a) in Cuenca, which is the second route of the grade for the 17-year-old.

"What a Christmas gift! Today I was able to send Palestina, turning into my hardest redpoint to date. Six days and eleven tries, where I really was mindset struggled, feeling keen and psyched looking the route so close and far at the same time. But what I really enjoyed was this process until I did it."

Sharma & Co in La Comarca  (1) Facebook

Tom Randall takes the big Crucifix trad swing  Facebook

crucifix_web from MIKE HUTTON on Vimeo.

Robinson searching for Aussie boulders  Facebook

Selected chapters from Dai Koyamada  Facebook

8C 2nd day by Martin Stráník  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureMartin Stráník has done a quick two day ascent of Chris Sharma's Catalán Witness the Fitness 8C in Cova de ocell. "Yees, was it a long project in my head, made a quick trip here and did it in two days! Am I super fit right now or is it super easy? Totally my style, but really not hardest problem of this the year, happy Christmas!"

In the first World Cup his year, the 26-year-old was #2 and overall he finished #7. In 2007, the Czech was the runner up in the World Championship being just 17 years old.

8c OS by Patxi Usobiaga  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PicturePatxi Usobiaga reports on Facebook that he has onsighted Fish Eye 8c in Oliana. Patxi is one of the most accomplished climbers in history, with the first 8c+ onsight and victories in both overall world cup and world championships. "So happy to have on sighted Fish Eye 8c , after almost 7 years I got it!"

Mandala SDS 8B (+) by Pablo Hamack (15)  Facebook

Pablo Hammack has done Mandala SDS 8B (+) in Bishop. This was the tenth problem graded 8A or higher in 2016 for the 15-year-old.

Mandala Sit (v13) from Pablo Hammack on Vimeo.

First 8C by Nicholas Milburn  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureNicholas Milburn, who previously has done four 8B's, has done Daniel Woods' Paint in Black 8C in RMNP. "SO GOOD!!! Not sure what grade I should take, so I'll just go with consensus. Other than that death crimp hold this boulder is perfect."

Picture from 2014, when he was #10 in the Youth Lead World Championship. This year he was #33 in the Vail Boulder World Cup.

Mina Leslie-Wujastyk at Flock Hill, NZ.  (1) Facebook

8A (+) flash by Alex Puccio  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureAlex Puccio has flashed Rhino in Hueco Tanks giving it a personal 8A grade. During the last month, the runner up in the World Championships 2014 has done eight 8A to 8B Boulders. The amazing story is that she had spinal surgery in June and she was not allowed to do anything with her arms for almost three months.
Photo (c) Joel Zerr - Alex doing Terre de Sienne 8B last week.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureHopefully this year has been full of good climbing and successful trips to beautiful crags and we wish you strong motivation into completing new challenges in 2017. The traffic on 8a has increased by 20% last year and more than 5000 new members have registered on the website. There are now approximately 64 000 members who have recorded over 4 million ascents into their Tick Lists, including some of the best climbs and climbers in the world.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Honnold and Midtbö in Norway  (1) Facebook

Young alpinists' camp in Chamonix  Facebook

Rings - a good start for kids' climbing  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureEven if your summer house is just 10 meters from a beginner crag with 70 routes, kids very seldom climb. They prefer just to paint on the rock or they want you to pull them up.

This autumn we bought some rings and placed them below our staircase and since then our children, 5 and 6years old, have been playing and doing tricks at least one hour every day. Being stronger they have just found out that doing some laps on the auto-belay next to their parents is a lot of fun before they go bouldering.

Teenagers of 2016 - Draft  Facebook

Here is the draft of Teenage Climbers of 2016 List. Please comment and give opinions. As in previous years, the list is based on sport climbing with more credit for those doing FAs and all climbing disciplines.

1. Ashima Shiraishi
2. Janja Garnbret
3. Laura Rogara
4. Megan Mescarenas
5. Margo Hayes
6. Loic Zehani
7. Stefano Carnati
8. Jan Vopat
9. Naïlé Meignan
10. Stasa Gejo, Nicolas Pelorson, Filip Schenk, Giuliano Cameroni, Ruben Firnenburg, Giorgio Bendazzoli, Brooke Raboutou, Jakob Kronberger, Elena Krasovskaya, Pablo Hammack, Nathan Williams, Felipe Ho Foganholo, Kim Marschner, Max Prinz, Hannah Schubert, Kajsa Rosen, Fedir Samoilov, Sam Avezou, Dinah Marcuson, Matteo Menardi, Austin Purdy, Baptiste Ometz, William Bosi, Borna Cujic, Giorgia Tesio, Vita Lukan, Simon Lorenzi, Jorge diaz-rullo, Moritz Perwitzschky, Amelia Marcuson, Nika Potapova, Chaehyeon Seo, Keita Dohi, Nathan Martin, Kai Ligthner,

Sport climber of 2016 - Draft  (13) Facebook

Here is the draft of Climbers of 2016 List. Please comment and give opinions. As in previous years, the list is based on sport climbing with more credit for those doing FAs and all climbing disciplines.

1. Adam Ondra CZE
2. Janja Garnbret SLO
3. Ashima Shiraishi USA
4. Domen Skofic SLO
5. Alex Megos GER
6. Anak Verhoeven BEL
7. Nalle Hukkataival
8. Jain Kim
9. Jakob Schubert
10. Alex Puccio, Jernej Kruder, Jongwon Chon, Tomoa Narasaki, Sean McColl, Stefano Ghisolfi, Megan Mascarenas, Melissa Le Neve, James Webb, Alexey Rubtsov, Ramon Julian Puigblanque, Dave Graham, Daniel Woods, Laura Rogara, Jonathan Siegrist, Ryuichi Murai, Paul Robinson, Jan Hojer, Gabri Moroni, Shauna Coxsey, Seb Bouin, Chris Sharma, Karoline Sinnhuber, Isabelle Faus, Romain Desgranges, Dani Andrada, Margo Hayes, Edu Marin, Sebastian Halenke, Jessica Pilz, Kokoro Fujii, Petra Klingler, Piotr Schab, David Firnenburg, Charles Alber, Christof Rauch, Katharina Saurwein, Martin Stranik, Miho Nonaka, Akiyo Noguchi, Gauthier Supper, Daniel Fuertes, Mathieu Bouyoud, Toshi Takeuchi, Michaela Kiersch, Carlo Traversi, Angela Eiter, Nina Caprez

beta.8a.nu - responsive mobile platform  (2) Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureOur web developer Tieme has added some more nice features to our new responsive mobile platform beta.8a.nu. It is still in beta version but especially browsing on your phone or tablet is a lot easier than on the current site.

1. New Crag and Ticklist search optimised for mobile.
2. Search "Nearby Crags" based on your location and get driving instructions.
3. Separated News and Video pages.
4. Share to FB and Twitter etc.

Read more and subscribe for updates to our Beta newsletter here. Currently you cannot add ascents, pictures or anything to your scorecard. This is our next priority and will be updated next year. Please feel free to post any feedback!

Webb about his injury and Big Font Project  Facebook

Late Christmas Gifts  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureClimbers-Fingers have some late funny climbing Christmas gifts for you: Puzzle with 1 000 brikcs, stickers and the calendar.

"2pcs of our English calendar A3 - only 30€ including shipping to all over the world. Delivery to Europe in 3 to 5 working days."

Funny Climbing Calendar 2017  Facebook

The Lifeline multiple years trad project  Facebook

Orangutan training follow up  (7) Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureClimb like an orangutan and improve your endurance is the most credited article of 2016 when it comes to feedback through emails and facebook (including follow up questions). Even some trainers have given thumbs up. Some people said that they could feel the change in their technique after just a few sessions, and that it spreads quickly among their friends. Here are some follow up thoughts and answers:

The whole Orangutan climbing exercise idea aims to make you climb more relaxed, using your muscle fibers less, which eventually will improve your blood circulation and endurance. Many climbers have a problem with over-gripping, meaning that you use more strength than needed and also that you do not let go of the tension in your forearm muscles as the hand moves between different holds.

If you start practicing climbing with just one hand at a time, you will learn to automatically relax and let go of tension in the moving forearm, which will allow it to rest for a few seconds before grabbing the next hold.

It won't take too many hours training with the Orangutan technique before you notice that you automatically try to let go of the lower hand and reduce the used contact strength as much as possible. By always focusing on letting go, you will also have the benefit of getting a micro-shake while moving the hand to the next hold, which will save energy for executing harder moves.

In fact, looking at the World Cup climbers, you can see that their style normally is to lock off and to do as controlled moves as possible, in order to get a micro-shake. Further more, this style has also the advantage that instead of grabbing the next hold semi-dynamically with an uncontrolled exaggerated landing power, you grab the next hold smoothly and statically.

Denguin & Shin win the first Ice World Cup 2016  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureUIAA has the full story from the first Ice Climbing Cup held in Durango, USA. (c) Blake Ward/UIAA

1. Alexey Dengin (RUS) - Woonseon Shin (KOR)
2. Nikolai Kuzovlev (RUS) - Angelika Rainer (ITA)
3. Maxim Tomilov (RUS) - Eimir McSwiggan (IRE)

David Mason climbs 3 8B's in the Grampians  Facebook

Ice Climbing World Cup - USA  Facebook

Alex Puccio wins again and does an 8B in Hueco  (2) Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureAlex Puccio has done her 15th 8B, Tierre De Sienne in Hueco Tanks. The day before she won her sixth comp in a row, Birmingham Alabama, since her spinal fusion five months ago. (c) Kim Puccio

"Left Hueco to do a competition this weekend, won the comp, got back late last night and now today I got another gift! felt good to send! getting stronger!!! :)"

In February, the runner-up in the World Championsship 2014, plans to do the US Nationals but she is not sure if she will do the World Cup 2016. Here are her thoughts regarding the Olympics.

"The Olympics is good for our sport in a whole I believe. It will bring more money and attention to climbing and I think it will help even inspiring professional outdoor climbers as well. I guess we will see! I personally will probably try out, whatever that is, to be be selected. Even tho I don't really agree or like the purposed format for the Olympics it would be really cool to say you competed in it. Again, we will see!

Seb Bouin takes off his shoe (1.35) and makes a 9a go 8c+  (25) Facebook

Sébastien BOUIN has just created an 8a log-book with 21 routes graded 9a and harder, excluding four routes he personally called 8c+'s including this one which he made easier by taking off one shoe.

Seb Bouin -Salida del Sol from Tchaloproductions on Vimeo.

9a+ FA by Stefano Ghisolfi  (1) Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureStefano Ghisolfi has done the FA of Ultimatum in Arco, which is the connection of three already hard routes in Massone. Stefano, with three 9a+'s done during the last year, is second in the 8a.nu route ranking game.

"Last connection in Massone, connects The first boulder of Underground, Reini's Vibes, downclimb some moves of Pietra Murata, the crack boulder of L'ultima Pietra with a crazy finger lock, and the last tiny crimps of Stonehenge. More than 100 moves. Not a hard 9a+ due to good rests between the hard sections".

Zillertal in November from Queitsch  Facebook

-Zillertal- November 2016 from Heiko Queitsch on Vimeo.

8B+ by Ashima Shiraishi (15)  Facebook

8A+ FA by Karoline Sinnhuber  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureKaroline Sinnhuber has done the FA of Schluck du Bruder sit 8A+ in Felbertal. In total she has now done 50 Boulders graded 8A and harder.

"Props to Norbert Grugger for spotting this line during our last session. Also a big shoutout to my dad (8a note: also an 8A boulderer) who drove to the bloc 2 days ago for brushing the snow away <3. Perfect conditions today, first go after the warmup."

There is just a handful female who have done an 8A+ FA. The 21-year-old Austrian is also a successful competition climber and in the 8A ranking game, she is #3.

Rock trip in Peru  Facebook

RockTripPerú from Chachas films on Vimeo.

Six country specific editors. Looking for more  Facebook

Andrej Capko is our new editor for Slovakia meaning that we now have country specific editors and translators for six countries, which is a record high: Spain, Italy, France, Sweden, Poland and Slovakia. Most visitors come from USA and Germany and if you would like to be able to report local news or translate to any language just send an email to jens@8a.nu and we will upgrade your account.

8b OS by Laura Rogora (15) again  (5) Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureLaura Rogora has onsighted her fourth 8b, Bella Lu in Collepardo. On the same day she also made the FA of Super crack 8c. The 15-year-old is #1 in the 8a female ranking game and when it comes to onsights, she is #7 among the guys.

What goes through your mind while onsighting?
I do not know. When I feel tired I try to climb speedly without thinking about what I am doing because I only want to reach the next hold.

In the last two years, she has won the Italian Championship in both Bouldering and Lead categories and the amazing thing is that she trains in a not so big bouldering gym.

Ondra's Dawn Wall story  Facebook

8C FA for Markel Mendieta  Facebook

MARKEL MENDIETA eskerrik asko 8c from KOSKAS PRODUKZIOAK on Vimeo.

8C by Jimmy Webb  Facebook

James Webb has done Nalle Hukkataival's Kintsugi, an 8C boulder in Red Rocks, Nevada. As he comments on his Instagram account: "Feels so damn good to do this Boulder. Hands down one of the best lines you will see anywhere".

James is known for being the best flash boulder in the world with 13 8B's and he is also #1 in the 8a boulder ranking game.

Hide and Sick 8B+ by Jernej Kruder  Facebook

Melissa Le Neve retires from comps and does an 8B  (3) Facebook

Training For Climbing - Power with Eric Hörst  Facebook

8C (B+) by Baptiste Ometz (17)  Facebook

Baptiste Ometz, who has done eight 8B+s so far, has done Practice of the Wild giving it a personal grade of 8B+. "Amazing line! 4 days. My style with the jump at the end, simply didn't fell like 8c being already too close on the first day.. psyched for more in magic."

It should be noted that six out of seven climbers who recorded it as 8C, called it soft and also Gabri Moroni, who did the second last ascent, gave it 8B+. It is also noteworthy that earlier this year, the 17-year-old was #11 in the Boulder World Cup in Munich.

8C in Rocklands by Ryuichi Murai  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureRyuichi Murai has done his fourth 8C this year by Spray of Lights in Rocklands. "I managed to climb this king line after 4days working. Extreme smearing made me excited!!"

During the last two weeks he has sent eight Boulders graded 8B and harder and he is #2 in the 8a ranking game. Check out his Facebook account with many short Instagram videos.

8c+ trad by Ethan Pringle  (11) Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureEthan Pringle reports on Facebook that he has done the FA of Black Beards Tears 8c+ at the Promontory protecting the 40 meters by 15 cams and one stopper. For the history books, this is the second 8c+ trad ascent - first was Beth Rodden's Meltown.

- This is definitely one of, if not the coolest and most unique FAs I've ever done in my life! I'd fantasized about how this fabled crack climb might look and feel for weeks before I saw it at the start of the month. When I first laid eyes on it, my jaw hit the floor.

On September 2nd I rapped in and installed an anchor right below the very top of the wall. I knew as soon as I saw the line up close that it was going to have some bad ass climbing on it and it did not disappoint. After 10 days of the usual kind of hard work and of course a fair amount of blood, sweat, a few tears right there at the end, I nabbed the red point.

8B+ FA in Malatal by Christof Rauch  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureChristof Rauch, who did 81 Boulders 8A and harder just last year, has done the FA of The Source 8B+ in Malatal. In the 8a ranking game, the Austrian is #4.

"A new Kingline is born! My best first ascent ever! Beside the "Bügeleisen" (new video is out) this is the best line in the valley! Did it on the last go of the day, after falling 5 times on the last hard move. Really surprised myself to stick the last move at this try. Can't be more psyched. Onto the next!"

First 8c by Daniel Martian (48)  (1) Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureDaniel Martian, who started climbing in 1988 and did his first 8b+ in 2003, has done his first 8c by the FA of Tour de Lion in Lion's head.

"Link-up between Maxi Pista and Lion's Head Express but mega-good!!! Some of the best steep rock and movement at LH. Tentatively rated .14b but it will need to be confirmed. Started to work on it 4 seasons ago but "seriously" committed the last two seasons. Lots and lots of tries until I brought this beautiful stone down to my level."

Hungry Monkeys in Railay  Facebook

Hungry Monkeys from Ironmanfilms on Vimeo.

8A flash by Megan Mascarenas (18)  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureMegan Mascarenas has flashed her fifth 8A, Eternia in RMPNP. Interestingly, this high class Boulder was reported as an 8B a couple of times some 15 years ago. "Such a fluid climb! And toe hooks at the end? Yes please!"

The 18-year-old has participated in five Boulder World Cups since 2015 and her worst result is #4. In the 8a ranking game she is #3.

Bad Girls Club 9a by Margo Hayes (18)  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureMargo Hayes, who earlier this spring did two 8c+'s, has done the first female ascent of Bad Girls Club 9a in Rifle. "Hey boys, I'm joining the club. Officially a bad girl."

The 18-year-old made her first headline five year ago, doing her first out of three 8A boulders. Last year, she was #6 in a Boulder World Cup and got silver in both Lead and Boulder in the Youth World Championship.

Wallstreet 8c by Laura Rogora (15)  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureLaura Rogora, who did her first 9a this spring being 14 years old, has done a fast ascent of the classic Wallstreet 8c in Frankenjura. As a preparation, she competed in the European Bouldering Championship last weekend and was #2.

- I can't believe it!!!! On my second day here Frankenjura, despite the rain, I was able to send my little project: Wallstreet 8c in only 6 tries. Climbing this historical and beautiful line was amazing!

8C in Rocklands by Toshi Takeuchi  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureToshi Takeuchi has done his third 8C of the last 12 months, Spray of Light in Rocklands, and he goes to #3 position in the 8a ranking game. "YESSS!! Total 4 days. Mental battle was over because of bad weather. I have still 7 days more. On to the next!!"

Monkey Wedding 8C by Vadim Timonov  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureVadim Timonov has done his first 8C, Monkey Wedding in Rocklands. "Today I did the main project of my trip in Rocklands! I'm very satisfied! Today will be a party!"

During the last 12 days, the Russian sent 14 boulders 8A and harder including four flashes up to 8B and he goes to #7 in the 8a ranking game.

In 2014, he did a very strong debut in the Boulder World Cup as he was #6 but later he could not make it to the semi in most events.

8B flash by Vadim Timonov  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureVadim Timonov is having some great days in Rocklands, having done one 8B+ and five 8B's including the flash of Quintessential. "Small sharp crimps and coordinational dyno."

9a revenge for Stefano Ghisolfi  (2) Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureStefano Ghisolfi, who was #2 in Chamonix and #9 in Villars, has done Condé de choc in Entraygues. "Nice revenge after disappointing 9th place in World Cup. 3rd pre clipped for me too."

The start has been graded as 8A+ and Adam Ondra has actually said that clipping the third quickdraw is the crux. If you miss it, you could even hit the ground. In the 8a Practice & Ethics we give a yellow card for "Two or three pre-clipped if it is for safety reason". Until like 15 years ago, climbing with three pre-clipped quickdraws would not count as a valid ascent but nowadays it is getting more common. It is great of Stefano to have gone public and it would be interesting to know the number of pre-clipped quickdraws by Tony Lamiche back in 2006. In the picture of Tony we can see that the third bolt is high above the second.

Seb Bouin does Thor's Hammer, which goes down to 9a  (13) Facebook

Fanatic Climbing reports that Seb Bouin, who has done five routes 9a to 9b last year, has done Thor's Hammer in Flatanger, which was put up by Adam Ondra as a 9a+ and which has seen many repeats lately. Seb started working on the route last year and this year it took him five days to fight bad conditions and wet holds. He was also given a new sequence at one of the cruxes which makes the route 9a according to Adam and Seb.

Dino Lagni (47) flashes an 8c  Facebook

Planet Mountain reports that Bernardino Lagni, the world champion from 1999 who did his first 9a being 43 years old, has flashed Mantieni la calma 8c in Ai Piccoli.

"I happened to meet Omar, who was trying the route, and he explained all the moves. I didn’t set off with the idea of flashing it, but with a little luck and driven on by the cheers of those below me… I clipped the anchor!"

Domen Skofic from Slovenia wins in Chamonix  (6) Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureDomen Skofic won in great style in Chamonix continuing his nice progress trend. As a junior, he was the best in the world and in the last three World Cups the 22-year-old has been improving every year being 9 - 5 - 4. Domen is also the #2 in the 8a ranking game after Adam Ondra. (c) Eddie Fowke

1. Domen Skofic SLO 51
2. Stefano Ghisolfi ITA 48+
3. Jakob Schubert 48
4. Gauthier Supper FRA 48
5. Roman Desgranges FRA 47
Complete results

Carole Palmier: a 28 year old rising star  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureCarole Palmier climbed intensively as a teenager but then studying to become a midwife took over. During the last five years she has been combining her exciting work with her climbing life, without having any sponsor although she has done 8c's and an 8c+. (c) Isabelle Bihr

- I climb twice a week during working periods, and I try to take 2 months of for holidays each year to travel an climb. I would like to take more holidays next year. I don't train, I have a lot of progress to do to improve my climbing lifestyle. I like enjoying life without thinking only "performance". I feel strong when I manage to fight in routes I'm trying. The best way to train for me is to give the best every time I go climbing and it works!

My future plan and ambition is to spend more time climbing! I would like to pass my limits, and see what I can do if I only climb and train my weaks points. My climber's dream is to be in my best level in all climbing styles including; cracks, multi-pitch, Frankenjura style, boulder.

9a FA by Adam Ondra in Flatanger again  Facebook

Adam Ondra has done the FA of The Right of Passage 9a in Flatanger. "Amazing extension of Andre Hoyre. Now finally goes up to the easy terrain and the top is not easy... Flatanger at its best in its left less steep part."

In total, Adam has opened eleven routes graded 9a to 9b+ in Flatanger and by doing so he created the crag with the most hard core routes in the world... and there are still plenty of projects like the 9c the Czech is working on now.

9a by Stefano Carnati (18)  (1) Facebook

Stefano Carnati has done Conde de Choc 9a in Entraygues. "Upper part in common with Deltaplane man direct 8c+ which I tried some times last year and sent today in the morning. Tried the first hard part once last year. Sent at 7.30 pm today! Of course I started with the third bold clipped."

9a (8c+) by Mar Álvarez (36)  (1) Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureMar Álvarez, who works as a firefighter, has done Manu Lopez's Kif Kif demain 9a (8c+) in Bielsa. The 153 cm tall, who previously has done two 9a´s, did it going straight up, eliminating a good rest to the right like the FA. In total she needed 17 days to take it down.

- An excellent route that I have enjoyed since the first day. Thanks to Guillaume for bolting it, and the BTR team for being a source of inspiration and motivation.

Two 8A (+)'s in Rocklands by Karo Sinnuber and Hannah Midtbö  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureKaro Sinnhuber, #5 in a Boulder WC this year, and Hannah Midtbö are having great days in Rocklands, having both done two 8A (+)'s, Nutsa and Tea with Elmaire.

In the photo you can see Karo on Tea with Elmarie, which she actually did in just one session. "Fight of my life. but happy that i did it :-)"

Two 8B+'s and one 8A+ flash by Tamás Zupán  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureTamás Zupán, who did his second 8C this spring after driving 7 000 km to it, has had his most productive bouldering days ever. During three days he did two 8B+'s, Phase 2 in Sustenpass, Entlinge in Murgtal and his first 8A+, God save the queen in Steingletscher.

"Today the force is with me :) It has been my best climbing day ever." The picture is from Entlinge.

Delirium 8C by David Graham  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureDavid Graham, one of the leading climbers of the last 15 years, has done his 14th 8C, Delirium and comments on Facebook. (c) Diego Montull

- Made the 3rd ascent of Delirium [8c] last night up at Wolvoland after the big thunderstorm ⚡️⚡️⚡️ YESSSSS!!!! Amazing roof to bulge problem established by @jwebxl a couple years ago. 7 days of effort spread over the last three weeks. Super challenging conditions this June! Extreme heat, thunderstorms, or just pure rain made the send seem like a pipe dream, especially after falling off the last move two separate occasions with the same disastrous heel slip punting. Super relieved I could piece this thing together before heading to South Africa

9a+ FA in Flatanger and two 8b+ (c) onsights  (8) Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureAdam Ondra is back in Flatanger where he has made yet another great FA, 120 degrees 9a+. "Absolutely crazy inverted roof boulderproblem after having done the first part of Elden Inuti."

In fact, Flatanger is the crag in the world with most hard routes and Adam has been one of the pioneers having put up six routes in between 9a+ and 9b+. During the last week, Adam has also onsighted two 8b+' and one 8a+ and that is measured by his personal grades. (c) Erik Massih - It never gets darker than this during the summer nights in Flatanger.

Papichulo 9a+ by Klemen Becan  (2) Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureKlemen Becan has done his second 9a+, Papichulo in Oliana. The Slovenian was previously a successful competition climber, having won one event, but later he later became one of the best onsight climbers in the world. Last year, he has more focused on bolting and redpoint and once again, he becomes one of the best in the world. This summer he runs training camps with Chris Sharma. (c) Anja Becan

- Tried it in the winter after Joe Mama 9a+ but too many people were trying it all the time. Not so motivating for me since I like to climb, so I abandoned project for a while :-)

Now when conditions were perfect (after March) there were less people here and time to put more time in the route. So last month I came here once a week and made 2-3 trys in it (altogether arround 10 serious tries, 4 sessions).

Today I basically surprised my self since I thought finally I can do some training attempts to get stronger and after I came over the crux I just crused over the rest of it without any big rest. The hardest part for me was still minichulo (first few meters) and I did this part only 2 or 3 times :-). At the end I was basically a bit disappointed since I was expecting a bigger fight in the route, but I guess all the training pays of

9a FA by Ivaylo Fazata in Bulgaria  Facebook

Ivaylo Fazata has done his second 9a FA, El Nino Ext. in Dryanovo. "If the world wants to finish NOW I am OK :) 60 moves power endurance beast on the highest quality rock at the crag. Ivaylo Krastev bolted the route and in 2007 climbed it one bolt before the chain, video RESPECT!!!

Interesting is that Ivaylo has also done two 8c+ FAs and his personal best, repeating other routes is 8c.

The Crew 8c+ for Margo Hayes (18)  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureMargo Hayes has done her second 8c+, The Crew in Rifle, and goes to #2 place in the 8a ranking game. "Never let go. That last attempt can be magical." (c) Jon Glassberg

Joe Kinder comments on Facebook, "It makes me proud to see a young climber girl like Margo representing our sport in a real and sincere way, a way that us core climbers believe in. GREAT JOB MARGO!!!!!!"

The 18-year-old, who was #2 in the Youth Lead Championship last year, has competed four times in the Boulder World Cup in the last two years, always made it to the semifinal and once got into the final.

Two 8B's by Isabelle Faus, who is the new #1  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureIsabelle Faus has done two 8B's, The Automator in RMNP and Evil Backwards in Mt Evans. During the last year, she has done one 8B+, five 8B's and nine 8A+'s and she is the new #1 in the 8a ranking game.

- I think my progress is a result of just doing my own thing and enjoying climbing, quitting competition climbing has helped me the most I was always to focused in the gym, trying hard but not really accomplishing anything, and even if I did well in a competition it wasn't satisfying because in the end it is just plastic. Climbing on rock means new experiences every day and that keeps it fun and motivating for me.

Pirmin Bertle does a 9a FA in Patagonia  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PicturePirmin Bertle has done South America's first 9a, video, Azul es el cielo de los ciegos (Blue is the sky of the blind) in Patagonia. Last year he did first a 8C+ FA and in November a 9b FA. Then he took the boat from Italy to Buenos Aires for some real family adventure. Full story and pictures on his blog, which finishes like this:

"The causal game. My baby is sleeping on the canyons ground, my cheering rather soft, more of relieve than happiness. What kind of a struggle! What logistic strain. To get for more than 30 tries, 12 days, 4km deep into this volcanic crack. 4km back, sometimes at night. And Jules, our 4 years old son, who walks this distance not only once all on his own. He is the true star in this story. My girlfriend and my baby girl. Thank you my family! Love you so much."

Action Directe 9a by Stefano Carnati (18)  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureStefano Carnati has done the 19th ascent of Wolfgang Gullich's Action Directe 9a in Frankenjura after over 60 tries.

- I first checked it in august 2013 and on my second go I could do all the moves except the first dyno. I came back a couple of times in 2015 as I wanted to try it more seriously but I was not strong enough. Last year in June I was very close to do it, falling at the last move on the last day of the trip! Then I tried in august with a broken meniscus and temps up to 38 °C and I couldn't do any moves!

Fortunately I had the opportunity to come back these days and eventually send it! It took me over 60 tries!! With this route I've understood how hard it could be to try a route at your limit far from home. Since I started climbing, I've always had the desire to try it one day as I really like pockets but above all for its history! I've been watching videos of the routes countless times!

8c by Laura Rogora (15)  Facebook

Laura Rogora, who did her first 9a being 14 years old, has done Il traverso dei sogni 8c in Collevardo in five tries during one day. Later she onsighted Tomorrowland 8a+ and the 15-year-old is #1 in the female ranking game.

8c+ by Rafa Fanega (41)  Facebook

Rafa Fanega, who started climbing in 1991, has done his fifth 8c+, La Chispa in Villanueva del Rosario. The amazing news is that the 41-year-old has done three of his 8c+'s during the last eight months. In the 8a ranking game for 40+, the 163 cm tall, who has made 55 8b to 8c+ FAs, is #2.

8c+ by Lena Herrmann in Frankenjura  (1) Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureLena Herrmann, who did her first three 8c's last year, keeps steady progress by doing the FFA of Battle cat 8c+ in Frankenjura. In the 8a ranking game, she is #4.

"Without the Jug in the lower part. So happy with this day :-) An incredible line. About 70 moves in the Frankenjura!!"

8A+ FA again by Isabelle Faus  Facebook

Isabelle Faus has done the FA of Peace Frog Sit in RMNP, which is her third 8A+ FA. "Really psyched, its a classic ! Undercling POWER, the Boulder sits under the glass tower and up canyon a lil."

Add the only female 8B FA, which she did last month and she is kind of superior in the FA category. In the 8a ranking game, Isabelle is #2, after Alex Puccio.

8B+/C FA by Dai Koyamada (39)  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureDai Koyamada, who has been one of the leading climbers over the last 20 years, reports on Instagram that he has put up yet another great line. "Miracle happened! Last night I did it! So glad to established this line which I found last June and dream to send. Definitely this is the one of my best FAs ever. Tentatively V14/15. Hope anyone else evaluate it. Name, it's 'NEHANNA'.

8a onsight by Angie Scarth-Johnson (12)  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureAngie Scarth-Johnson, who did her first 8c this spring being 11-years-old, has done another four 8a's in Margalef, one out of which she onsighted: Pollastre de Granja. The Australian is in Europe on a four month trip being home scholed. Here is an 8a INTERVIEW from last month.

The Wheel of Life 9a (8C) by Alex Barrows  (23) Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureAlex Barrows has done The Wheel of Life in Grampians, which is a 70 moves horizontal endurance testpiece that Dai Koyamada put up as an 8C+ in 2004. Alex, who is on a 7.5 months road trip after getting his PHD, chose to give it a route grade of 9a, which seems to be the consensus grade to 8C nowadays.

Interesting, the endurance master who has done Era Vella 9a before, says soft 8B+ would have been his boulder grade. Full story in his well written blog (c) Ella Rusell

Alex Megos does Hubble 8c+ (9a)  (37) Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureUKC reports that Alex Megos has done Hubble, which Ben Moon set up in 1990 as an 8c+. It has been repeated four times and none of the repeaters have suggested 9a for it. However, as many strong climbers like Ondra, Graham and McColl have tried it without success the media have started to speculate whether it should be upgraded to 9a. In fact, UKC actually says that, "it's regarded as the first 9a in the world."

- 8c+, 9a+ or 8b+. Who cares?! It's the name that counts! And the name is HUBBLE! It's a piece of history! Thanks @ben_moon for putting up that thing and for having a vision! A vision for hear is possible, the next step! Pic @dave_heaton

8b again by Cathy Wagner (50)  Facebook

Cathy Wagner has done Mr Benjoin 8b in Verdon, which shows that she is at her peak being 50 years old. In total she has done 647 routes 8a and harder, 60 out of which in last year. Would it not be nice if the grand lady could inspire us all by doing her first 8b+ this year?

First 9a by Maxime Clerc  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureFanatic climbing reports that Maxime Clerc has done his first 9a, Trip Tik Tonik in Gorges du Loup. It should be noted that previously he has done Abyss, which he gave a personal 8c+ grade. (c) Adrien Ragiot

- Trip Tik Tonik is among the most beautiful 9a's on the planet and we must specify on this crag, completely natural.

8A+ by Megan Mascarenas (18)  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureMegan Mascarenas, who was #4 in the last Boulder WC, which actually was her worst result during her last four WC events, has done Jack's Broken Heart 8A+ and Sofa Surfer 8A in Magic Wood.

In the 8a ranking game, the 18-year-old is #3. In two weeks she will try to defend her title from last year in the Boulder World Cup in Vail.

Nathan Williams (17) flashes 8A+  (2) Facebook

Nathan Williams, who started climbing in 2012, has flashed his first 8A+, Black Hawk Down in Topside. The 17-year-old did his first 7C+ just 17 months ago so do not be surprised if Nathan shows up in more news from Rocklands shortly.

Four 8A's for Karo Sinnhuber  (2) Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureKaroline Sinnhuber, who was #5 in the China Boulder World Cup last month, has done four 8A's during the last week, including Nothing Changes (in the picture). Full story and more great pics by Lorenz Ulmer.

Close to 6 000 crags in the database  Facebook

In total, there are close to 4 million ascents in the 8a database and there is a Tick List available for almost 6 000 crags. You can add more crags to the database in a link at the top where you add routes and boulders.

The crag with most ascents is Fontainebleau with 104 000, followed by Kalymnos with 98 000.

Ondra does Geocache 9a+ in a day  (6) Facebook

Adam Ondra has done a quick one day ascent of Alex Megos' Geocache 9a+ in Frankenjura, which actually took Megos six days and 40 tries.

- Almost did in a couple of tries in the short morning session, but punted really hard on the very top. Then I took a rest and sent it in the evening. Regarding to the grade, I agree with Alex that it is strange route most of all (even though it is very cool and fun to climb). And hard too, but how hard is the question. I am considering that the route fits my style, being tall helps a tiny bit and I feel in a good shape, I guess 9a+ could be OK. But conditions were rather humid, even though it was not 30 degrees as the previous day.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

8B FA by Isabelle Faus  Facebook

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

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


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