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Raboutou and Cameroni in Valais  Facebook

Dark Water 8A+ by Javier Meng  Facebook

38 % (3 000 routes) access ban in Grampians  Facebook

Save Grampians Climbing: "It is with shock and confusion that Australia’s climbing community has received news from Parks Victoria about substantial access bans to over 3,000 climbs (38% of total climbs) in the Grampians National Park Here you can sign a Petition Stop Climbing From Being Banned in the Grampians.

Anybody understanding the reasons for the bans affecting 3 000 routes?

Sid Lives 9a by Enrico Lovato  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureEnrico Lovato jumps 8c+ and does his first 9a, Sid Lives in Arco. (c) Lorenzo Rossato

"Two weeks ago I was advised by a friend of mine to try a short bouldery 9a in Nago crag, near Arco. The route consist of a 8b Boulder into an another 7b Boulder without any rest. In the first session I figured it out all the moves and after the 2nd session I began to fall high. In the 6th session I won the mental battle against this intense route. The strange thing is that I’ve never done an 8c+ route, I usually dislike long and endurance routes, and considering I love bouldering, I found this route very similar to my climbing style, so I didn’t care about the grade. I think maximal force trainings, using moonboard and hangboard, helped me a lot to achieve the goal."

14th Plenary Assembly in Tokyo: Olympics, Gender and Para  Facebook

The 14th IFSC Plenary Assembly took place this week in Tokyo and Olympics, Gender equality and Para climbing were on the agenda.

"The proposal to add a female athlete representative to the IFSC Executive Board was approved during the IFSC Plenary Assembly on Saturday. The representative will be elected at the upcoming IFSC World Championships in Hachioji in August, alongside other members of the Athletes’ Commission. A new career path is also being put into place to include more women on the routesetting and officiating teams for IFSC events."

It was decided that the World Championship in 2021 will take place in Moscow. Further more, Vertical-Life did a presentation in regards the new results system they are developing. "The workshop concluded with a presentation from Matthias Polig, CEO of Vertical-Life. Contracted to develop a new membership database and competition result software, the company provides a range of digital tools to improve climbing development. Matthias’ presentation gave attendees a view of the digital future of our sport."

La Rambla 9a+ by Gonzalo Larrocha  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureGonzalo Larrocha has done his second 9a+, La Rambla in Siurana. More info to come. (c) Javi Pec

New competition stars 2019  Facebook

It is less then a month before the World Cup season will start. Here are some names that might be the new starts in 2019.

Vadim Timonov, Yannick Flohe, Sam Avezou, Natsumi Hirano, Luka Potocar, Naile Meignan, Laura Lammer. Any more names you think can evolve to become a star 2019 on the senior circuit.

La Révolutionnaire 8C+ by Ryohei Kameyama  (2) Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureRyohei Kameyama, who just recently did the first repeat of Charles Albert's No kpote only 9A (8C+) in Fontainebleau has done the equivalent by doing La Révolutionnaire 8C+. It only took him four sessions. (c) Ryosuke Hibino

"This boulder has small crimps and slopers, so I struggled to maintain my endurance. Next project I think is "Trip hop" (8C). I couldn't climb this boulder my last bleau trip."

How do you train?
I feel my training key is campus board training. I often do ladder training. ladder training is simple. climb up and down, but I perform it as fast as possible and long time. It train endurance and agility, finger strength.

Adam Ondra cooking  (1) Facebook

Two 9a's by Gabriele Gorobey in Osp/Misja Pec  Facebook

Gabriele Gorobey reports on Facebook that he has had some amazing days in Osp/Misja Pec having done his two very first 9a'; Halupca 1979 and Sanjski par extension. The multi-discipline climber, is known for establishing everything from hard core boulders to big walls.

Killer Z 8c by Chris Weidner (44)  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureChris Weidner has done his second 8c, Killer Z in Hurricave which is a horizontal extension to an 8b. He started climbing in 1988 and did his first 8c being 40 years old. They key is hard training. (c) Lindsey Tjian

"It's an endurance route that, for me, required as much mental stamina as physical. There are a number of decent rests, but at each one I found it challenging to maintain tension with only the muscles required to stay on and to relax everything else. I used to run marathons and when I lowered from the redpoint, which took about 25 minutes, I felt like I had just crossed the finish line.

My whole life I've valued outdoor climbing much much more than indoor climbing and training. I only climbed in the gym when it was impossible to climb outside. I've changed my way of thinking, and am now putting a lot of time and energy into training. Turns out it works :)

This winter I committed to strength training for a few months. I did a repeaters cycle on the fingerboard then max hangs once or twice a week. More importantly for the Hurricave, which is often horizontal climbing, I trained core and upper body strength. For the first time since I was in high school I lifted weights. I gained a few pounds of muscle (I hope it's muscle!) but my strength to weight ratio feels higher than ever."

Climb and develop more locally - Eco friendly crags  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureProtect our winters is a new platform where climbers can talk about climate change. 8a also want to encourage climbers to climb and develop more locally.

Rock climbing is one of the best sports when it comes to having less impact on the climate. We play in the nature and limited equipment are needed. The carbon footprint we create is almost solely related to how we transport our self to the crags. The best way a climber can reduce their impact on the climate change is actually to climb and develop more locally, especially on the crags that can be reached by train or by bike.

Eco friendly crags should be promoted locally but also for climbers planning their next trip in order to create minimal carbon footprint. Göteborg in Sweden has some 1 000 climbs that can be reached within 10 min train from the city center and then 10 min walk, alternatively 30 min with a bike. Please share recommendations for other Eco friendly areas and crags.

Alex Puccio FA of Mammoth Rub 8A+  Facebook

Off the Wagon 8B+ by Lasse von Freier (16)  Facebook

Lasse von Freier has done his first 8B+, Off the Wagon in Valle bavona. " Finally my hard training this winter payed off! A few days ago I repeated the classic„Off the Wagon” (8B+) in my second session. Skipping the 8B grade felt kind of unexpected."

Rock & Splash with the Kruder sibblings  Facebook

How Adam Ondra deals with fame  Facebook

8C by Nico Pelorson with one shoe  (6) Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureNicolas Pelorson, who previoulsy has done eight 8B+', has done his second 8C Délir onririque assis in Rocher Saint German. (Nico’s first was The Big Island in Font this December.) FA Charles Albert did climb barefoot, Nico used one climbing shoe and it took him some 20 sessions. "It's not so many harder with two shoes I think. Video

Coup de Grace 9a by Marco Zanone  (2) Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureMarco Zanone, who has done three 8c+' in 2019, has done his first 9a, Dave Graham's Coup de Grace in Ticino. (c) Matteo Pavana

"I started trying this route back in 2016, I was recovering from a bad injury to my middle finger and I was definitely not strong enough for even climbing all the single move, but I knew that I was investing well my time because maybe in the future I would have been able to climb it.

Then in Autumn 2017 I came back with my brother Andrea with a different mindset, the conditions were prime and even if I was attending a Film School in Milan with limited time for climbing, my shape was quite good.
My progressions on the route was steady and after few days I was able to climbed the route from the second bolt to the top, but adding the 8A boulder problem at the start was another story.

I was feeling very close, cause I fall few time at the end of the roof, but then the winter came and I had to give up. 2018 was a bummer, the route was always wet I've never been able to give a proper go from the bottom. This year the spring arrived earlier than ever and after climbing A Muerte in Spain last month I felt ready to come back there. On the second day of attempts I eventually found my self topping out this outstanding boulder of granite, marking my first 9a.

My brother Andrea climbed this route back in autumn 2017; I was there belaying him on the send go and since then I've never stopped dreaming to feel all the emotions he felt during that day."

Agresija II 8b+ by Ema Seliškar (14)  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureEma Seliškar has done her fourth 8b+ the last six months, Agresija II in Kotecnik. In the Age & Gender bonus ranking the 14 year old Slovenian is #13. Last year she was between #9 and 12 in all four European Cups she entered. (c) Lucija Tarkuš

"Last year I was really nervous on comps, so I couldn't show my best and because of that I decided that I was not ready to compete in the Worlds yet. I am really looking forward and training hard to participate in the Youth Worlds this year in Arco. Nowdays I train 5 times in a week for 3-4 hours a day."

Climbing ethics based on a traffic light system  (5) Facebook

Click to Enlarge Picture8a first presented climbing ethics in 2003. We used a traffic light visualization in order to say that there is no absolute strict rules. However, when it comes to "world records" we think you should not move towards getting a "yellow card". Do you agree with the presented ethics?

"In sport climbing, compared to most other sports, there are few written rules or use of referees. Instead, the climbing community creates and circulates their own Practice & Ethics. Beginners are sometimes struggling to understand what is "normal" behavior and what's allowed and what's not. Over time, the general procedure has been modified and in different subcultures different ethics apply."

Who is Adam Ondra - Road to Tokyo #4  Facebook

Tom Randall & Hannes Puman on a 8b (+) crack in Spain  (8) Facebook

Pros and cons with Olympic money  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureTokyo 2020 has already had a great impact on many of the federations when it comes to funding. Talking to coaches and athletes, many say their financial support for training camps, competition travels and even monthly salary have created much better opportunities.

Most probably, this will mean that we will see bigger starting fields and in fact a higher level which the route setters have to adjust to.

At the same time, the pressure on the route setters will increase dramatically and it will also be very hard for them to stay independent towards the federations somewhat paying their salary. What they are all aiming for is to set the climbs in Tokyo 2020. Possibly this could be that there will be a slight adjustment towards the preferable style for the often shorter and more dynamic Japanese climbers?

Further more, all route setters knows quite well which type of routes and boulders each top climber likes so it will be a very delicate issue to set the only three final boulders in Tokyo.

Of course this could also relate to the holds the route setters bring to the scene which some nations will know better than others. Do not forget also that as climbing is getting bigger it will be possible to bet money who will win etc. In the end it just might be that IFSC must set up some rules in order to create as much fairness as possible. Here are some critical info that just might be shared some months before every comp, beside that route setters have to sign documents with all kind of rules.

1. Specify which holds that will be used.
2. Specify the walls and their angels.
3. Specify which types of style

Carlo Traversi in Leavenworth  Facebook

IFSC in a multi-year agreement with two Japanese companies  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureIFSC has signed a four year contract with Dentsu Inc, the world's largest advertising agency, and Synca Creations, a TV production and distribution company. (c) Eddie Fowke

"The agreement grants Dentsu and Synca rights to the procurement and negotiation of incoming IFSC marketing and media deals (media rights for Asia Pacific (excluding China), Latin America and the Caribbean) for IFSC events in the 2019-2023 climbing seasons."

Brooke Raboutou makes USA Team  Facebook

Kruder, Cameroni and Webb in Brione  Facebook

Ogata and Noguchi win The North Face Cup  Facebook

1. Yoshiyuki Ogata - Akiyo Noguchi
2. Jongwon Chon - Futaba Ito
3. Tomoa Narasaki - Miho Nonaka
Adam Ondra was supposed to participate but he had to cancel.

Recently, Kokoro Fujii and Akiyo Noguchi become Lead National Champions. Akiyo was #2 in Bouldering and #3 in Speed so she seems to be well prepared for getting that Olympic ticket. Her #1 competitor is Miho Nonaka who won Bouldering, #3 in Speed and #7 in Lead.

Kokoro was #2 in Speed and #6 in Bouldering and should be the first contender after Tomoa Narasaki to qualify to Tokyo 2020. Tomoa was #2 in Bouldering and #2 in Lead and #4 in Speed.

There is a country quota of two male and female but as Japan is the host, only one male and female will qualify by results. The second person will be selected. Ogata tells us that the Japanese World Cup team has been decided but it has not been public yet.

REM 8C+ comments by Giuliano Cameroni  (22) Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureGiuliano Cameroni has done his first two 8C+ just the last month, Poison the Well in Brione and REM in Cresciano. (c) Jimmy Webb

"REM and Poison the Well have first been tried by Dave Graham more than 10 years ago. I have never seen chalk on the REM holds, so I guess it hasn’t been tried in the last 5 years.

I started trying REM in January and it took me eight sessions to complete it. The key was the mental aspect: during the last four sessions I kept falling off the last hard move without any improvement. After that I decided to take a two weeks break from the boulder. Meanwhile, I was able to climb Poison the Well, which gave me a lot of confidence and motivation to complete REM as well.

The night of the send I was positive and didn’t feel any pressure, which allowed me to execute perfectly. Definitely felt like I was climbing in a dream! Also, this whole boulder is hands down my favorite piece of rock and the one I learned the most from."

Giuliano arrived to the boulder 23.30 and then did some easy warming up before he sent it 01.00 during the night. Video is coming up in April on Mellow.

"I warm up at the boulder, but just the minimum needed by hanging on the perfect Dreamtime holds and grabbing the crimp at 70%. It’s all about that right hand razor, so you really want your skin to be perfect and your fingers to be warm and well rested.

You need really cold conditions to hold on the right hand razor. During the day it was too warm, but at 1 AM it was dry and perfect! On REM I liked to warm up super slow and be sure I was at 100 when I gave the good try. On these kind of boulders where it all comes down to the skin, I prefer not doing too many moves in order to preserve the skin, so I mostly hang on comfortable holds or grab small crimps at 50-70%.

Grade-wise, a new beta has been found, so the difficulty still needs to be confirmed. Nonetheless it’s still one of the best and hardest lines in Ticino."

9.32 by Brooke Raboutou  Facebook

Margo Hayes and Jesse Grupper won the USA Lead Nationals ahead of Ashima Shiraishi and Zander Waller. Most interesting from the Speed event was Brooke Raboutou doing 9.32, way ahead of Margo at 11.90 and Ashima at 12.67. Only a couple non-Speed specialists have gone sub 9 seconds. Complete results

Among the male, Sean Bailay who won in Bouldering should be the first USA contender to get a ticket to Tokyo but he needs to cut more than a second from his 8.66 in Speed. The best non-Speed specialist go sub 7 seconds.

La Rambla 9a+ confirms grade inflation  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PicturePiotr Schab has published a picture on his Insta showing the hold FA Ramon Puigblanque said was eliminated on La Rambla 9a+. (c) Pablo Benedito

Originally La Rambla was Alexander Huber's project and in 1994 he made it to a first anchor as an 8c+. In 2003, Ramonet continued six meters by traversing right towards La Reina Mora 8c (9a). He tried to stay as close to Hubers original line meaning he eliminated a very good jug further out to the right.

After the three first repeats; Marin, Sharma and A Bindhammer, Ramonet said in a video that they did not repeat his original 9a+ line but an easier 9a variation. Later Ondra repated it commenting, "without resting hold although it is nonsense to consider it as prohibited."

To sum up, La Rambla with 25 ascents, is by the current grade standards, a well confirmed 9a+ (although not the hardest one) and Alex Huber's FA should today be considered 9a. However, it just might be that without adding grade inflation, everyone but Ramonet and Ondra did climb a 9a, this is at least what Huber and Ramonet thought at the time. Piotr has confirmed that the six meter extension of Hubers original line creates minor difference in difficulty.

It should be mentioned that Alex Huber has said that the 8c+ grade of La Rambla was based on that Action Directe was considered a hard 8c+ at the time.

Almost blind Justin Salas does Texas hold'em 8A  Facebook

Justin Salas has about 10% of his central vision left, after his optic nerves began to atrophy at age 14. With his peripheral vision, mainly intact, he can see the overall shape, contrast and shadows. Old 8a interview with the ParaClimbing World Champion in 2018.

No Kpote Only 9A (8C+) in just 4 sessions by Kameyama going for Burden of Dreams 9A  (6) Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureRyohei Kameyama has done the first repeat of Charles Albert No Kpote Only in Fontainbleau and what makes it totally amazing is that he just needed four sessions! He could not do the bar foot sequence by Charles so he found new beta.

In comparison, Ryohei could not do the first move on Burden of Dreams 9A, although he could within eight days link it to the top from the second move. (c) Ryosuke Hibino who has helped us out with with some further info.

Next is probably La Révolutionnaire 8C+ and then possibly The Big Island sit project. They will stay until 24/3 in Font. Ryohei's secret training is campus board five sessions a week.

No Kpote Only 9A (8C+) by Ryohei Kameyama  (18) Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureRyohei Kameyama reports on Insta that he has done the first repeat of Charles Albert's No Kpote Only 9A in Fontainebleau. More info to come. (c) Ryosuke Hibino

" I feel "Burden of Dreams" is more a little difficult than this problem. I think this boulder is v16/17 (8C+/9A)."

Burden of Dreams is the 9A by Nalle Hukkataival. Ryohei has previously done two 8C's; The Big Island and Kuzan.

Le pied à coulisse 8C (+) by Nicolas Januel (36)  Facebook

Nicolas Januel reports on Insta that he has done Le pied à coulisse which was set up as Fontainebleau's first 8C+ by Guillaume Mondet in 2016. Jimmy Webb and Charles Albert have later repeated it calling it 8C. Nicolas first tried it in 2003 and in total the 36 year old needed 200 attempts over 40 sessions to take it down.

18 months - 100 gyms available on the VL app  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureVertical-Life introduced their Smart Climbing Gym system just 18 months ago, and the number of gyms that have joined is increasing by the week.

The Smart Climbing Gym tool offers many features to manage your route setting, course booking, and staff management. App users can mark their climbs, give feedback to the gym, and take part in challenges to win prizes. The app also includes free, individualized training plans that provide instructions on how (and what) to climb during a training session.

Try the app for free!

Crux move training with Alex Megos  Facebook

REM 8C+ by Giuliano Cameroni  (2) Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureGiuliano Cameroni, who did his first 8C+ last month, reports on Insta that he has done the FA of REM 8c+ in Cresciano. It shares the start of the classical Dreamtime and then it goes straight up so climbers should have looked and tried it for 20 years. The 21 year old Swizz is #2 in the 8a ranking game. (c) Hannes Kutza

"The crux is a low percentage move off two micro grips. Fell on this move for a month, then took two weeks off the boulder and did it first try at 1AM!"

Ukrainians going for Tokyo 2020  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureFedir Samoilov and Nika Potapova (16) just recently did Fuck the System 9a in Santa Linya. Last year Nika was #2 in the Lead Youth WCH and she won the Youth European CH in Bouldering. Fedir was #9 in the World Cup in 2017 and in the last three events in 2018, his worst result was #11.

How was the trip to Santa Linya and what are your 2019 plan and ambition?
Nika: I was very satisfied with the trip. Everything went just perfect! I am super happy to have reached the 9a level in climbing. At the beginning of my climbing career I cold just to dream about this. My coach name is Artur Pechii and I am very thankful to him for support and everything he does for me.

My plan for the next year is to participate in youth comps and senior WC’s and WCH. I will also try to qualify to the Olympics.

Fedir: This year we have been in Santa Linya two times. First trip (in January) we had very cold conditions and the whole three weeks we were just running on the routes until the fingers become totally numb. On the second time we was much more lucky with the weather and all things went better. I was getting stronger and stronger every day. It’s a pity that time gone so fast.

I think that Santa Linya is a special place with especially dynamic style of climbing and the routes usually requires a lot of power and endurance. I think this style does not fit my style of climbing and this is the reason why we are coming.

I'm trying to make it to the Olympics. This year will be very hard and the very hectic for sure :) because you have to take a part in almost all WC`s. When climbing became the Olympic sport things are much better. Almost all official events are funded. But 2 - 3 years ago we almost hadn't any financial support.

Meiringen 4-7/4 Trailer  Facebook

Better protection on easier routes needed  Facebook

Commenting on Youtube, the climber said that he made some novice mistakes. I do not agree at all. Easy routes should be better bolted!

International Women's Day - Climbing is unique  Facebook

Climbing is unique as there is no other physical sport where female are so close to male top performance. Actually, there are some examples where women have actually performed on a higher level than male like Lynn Hill making the FA of The Nose 8b+ MP in Yosemite and Ashima Shiraishi setting age grade world records. Another example is Beth Rodden doing the first 8c+ trad climb.

Several coaches and route setters have over the years said that, if the routes had been adjusted to female lengths, the best would always made it to the semi and possibly the finals. Two years ago,being 15 years old and 152 cm, Ashima's outdoor performance would have placed her Top-20 among the senior male. Talking about multi-discipline climbers, Barbara Zangerl would easily fit into Top-30 or even Top-20 in the All Time High list.

Climbing is a great powerful platform for promoting gender equality and empowering women and girls.

Log Cabins 8A+ by Isabelle Faus  Facebook

The best female climbers  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureEscalade9 keeps track of all the 8c+/9a and harder ascents. In total there are 17 female that has done a 9a and harder and another five who has done an 8c+/9a. Era Vella and Esclatamasters are examples of routes given 8c+/9a.

Here is a list of the ones having done at least two 9a's
9b: Angela Eiter (c) Red Bull Contenpool/E. Holzknecht
9a+: Margo Hayes (2), Anak Verhoeven,
9a: Angela Eiter (2), Anak Verhoeven (2*), Josune Bereziartu (2), Julia Chanourdie (2), Ashima Shiraishi (2)

Here is a ranking based on the 8a points, excl. 8c+/9a
1. Angela Eiter - 4 000
2. Anak Verhoeven - 3 950
3. Margo Hayes - 2 700
4. Chanourdie, Bereziartu and Shiraishi - 2 600
5. Eleven female with one 9a - 1 300

Noteworthy is that Angela Eiter is a contender for being the best female Lead competition climber having won four World Championships and three times she won the Lead World Cup.

Queen Line 9b by Stefano Ghisolfi - in Italian  Facebook

Cat boulders 5C+/6A  Facebook

Pachamama 9a+ by Seb Bouin  (6) Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureSeb Bouin, who previoudly has done 32 routes 9a to 9b, has done Chris Sharma's 50 meters test piece Pachamama 9a+ in Oliana. (c) Jon Cardwell

"This line is for me one of the best in Oliana (or the best). Thank’s Chris Sharma for bolting this one. I tried it last year but weather was a disaster. It was wet every time. This year it took me two little travel (1.5 weeks both). Next plan, maybe other route in Oliana and Spain. But the main plan is to be ready for Move in Norway (Flatanger).

The Dawn Wall on Netflix  Facebook

Climbing is getting out there more and more on the public scene. Now you can see The Dawn Wall on Netflix.

Alex Totkova portrait  Facebook

The Orb 8a by Lynn Hill (58)  (2) Facebook

Lynn Hill was the best female climber in the world in 1990 when she won the World Cup and did the first female 8b+. Remarkable to say the least as she in May 1989 had fallen 22 meters into a tree in Buoux as she had forgotten to tie in properly! In 1993, she made the FA of The Nose and graded it 8a. The consensus grade is now 8b+!

In 2008, she did Chblanke 8A (+) being 47 years old and now 11 years later she is still pushing hard and has done the Orb 8a in Boulder Canyon.


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