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La Capella 9b by Stefano Ghisolfi  Facebook

Ondra technical training and flexibility is most productive  (1) Facebook

Click to Enlarge PicturePhysical training recipes you find all over and this seems to be the prioritized way of training for almost every dedicated climber. It is easy to follow a physical program and it is easy to measure progress. In practice, this means that most of us have trained hard to optimize our physical strength. At the same time, you might be close to get injured if you just continue that physical focus.

In other words, it might most productive to add a couple of hours with technical training instead of a continuation with sub-optimization physical training.

Looking at the best climber in the world, Adam Ondra, we can see that what most differate him to other climbers are actually his fast climbing as well as knee-dropping and flexibility.

As simple as it sounds, the fastest way to progress for the dedicated climber is probably just to try to copy the master. During every other training session, spend an hour climbing very fast and also practice on your knee-dropping technic as well as doing some flexibility training.

Within a month, you have probably made a solid base to take the next step in your progress.

How do you climb/train 2018?  Facebook

The results will be compared with an identical poll from 2015.

No Speed focus in Innsbruck Combined WCH  Facebook

In a Combined competitions, the guys who perform well in all disciplines are normally the ones who qualify to the final or who win. This is actually not the case in the Combined World Champion qualification in Innsbruck as the results in the three disciplines are not summed together but multiplied.

Let us say there are 100 athletes in all three disciplines, the following calculations show that if you are not Top-3 in at least one discipline it almost does not matter if you actually perform well in all three disciplines. In brackets the summed results which is used in most Combined competitions.

1 * 5 * 100 = 500 points (106)
3 * 3 * 57 = 513 points (63)
10 * 10 * 10 = 1000 points (30)

If the qualification results were summed, the guy who performed well in all three disciplines would have been the superior winner. However with the multiplication formula, he/she will not have any chance to make it to the Top-6 final. As the Top-30 or so best positions in Speed are occupied by the specialists, it has relatively low impact if you are the best of the non-specialist or dead last. What matters is scoring Top-3 in at least one discipline.

It should be mentioned that in the final, good results in all three disciplines are relatively more valuable. Further more, with the Speed specialist out of the game, the importance of a good speed performance is equally important as doing well in Lead and Bouldering two disciplines.

1 * 1 * 6 = 6 (8)
2 * 2 * 2 = 8 (6)
3 * 3 * 1 = 9 (7)

Other sports/hobbies beside climbing  Facebook

In own matter: redesigning 8a.nu  (11) Facebook

As many of our regular users already know, the 8a.nu platform has been run by Vertical-Life since recently. It is our common aim to improve the service, design and usability of the page. We provide the world’s most extensive database of crags, routes and information on ascents. It is our intention to make sure all this information is easily accessible to climbers around the world.

We appreciate the collaboration of a broad network of climbers, who love to use 8a.nu for tracking and sharing their personal achievements and for celebrating those of friends and of the community.

Our editorial focus is on news reports and analysis of outdoor climbing and competitions.

The thorough redesign of the website will require a few months, because we need to ensure that contents and functionalities are maintained. We hope you are as excited as we are! Stay tuned :-)

About Vertical-Life: specializing in software and media for climbing, operating on an international level. With the Vertical-Life app, the Smart Climbing Gym system and the Smart Scorecard for comps we offer digital products for climbers and professionals in the climbing industry.

Top climbers with most recorded ascents  Facebook

Here are the active 8a top climbers with most recorded ascents that through their star rating of their routes and boulders help the community to find the best crags and climbs. It might not be a coincidence that some of the best also have the widest grade pyramid, also relatively easier climbs are interesting to remember.

2 529 Moritz Perwitzschky
2 268 Jose Agustí
1 964 Adam Ondra
1 854 Christof Rauch
1 837 Rafa Fanega
1 671 James Webb
1 644 Paul Robinson

1 484 Daniel Fuertes
1 452 Mathieu Bouyoud
1 243 Jernej Kruder
1 146 Ramón Julian Puigblanque
1 089 Jan Hojer
935 Alex Honnold

Trendy big crags and the NOT trendy  Facebook

In the Ticklist, the percentage of the ascent added the last year is measured. Using the %, here are the big trendy crags/boulder areas as well as the Not trendy.

54 % Leonidio, Lofoten
21 % Chulilla
20 % San Vito Lo Capo, Mallorca, Black Mountain,
19 % Brione
16 % Rocklands
15 % Cuenca, Albenga

3 % Railay Beach, HP 40
4 % Terradetts, Orpierre, Freyr, Hueco Tanks, Cresciano
5 % Rumney, Chateauvert, Tres Ponts, Peak District, Zillertal, Targassonne

Highballs and Dynos in the Reunion Jungle  Facebook

Adam Ondra does the FA of Eagle 4 9b  (2) Facebook

Best Climbing Shoes - 2018?  (1) Facebook

Based on almost 3 000 unique votes, here are the result for - Best Climbing Shoes? La Sportiva continues their domination and Scarpa gets an improved result.

44 % La Sportiva
20 % Scarpa
14 % Five Ten
06 % Tenaya
05 % Boreal
04 % Ocun
07 % Other (Most mentioned: Evolve, Wild Climb and Mad Rock)

8b by Chuck Odette (62) going for 8b+  (3) Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureChuck Odette, who did two 8b+' last year, being 61 years old has done Killer Bees 8b in Hurricave. In the Age bonus ranking, the 62 year old is #2 after Adam Ondra. (c) Heidi Baxter

"The older I get, the harder they feel…but I’m not giving up yet!

It seems like every time I send a route, there’s a small contingent of people who want to downgrade it because I’m so old it must not be that hard. There’s an indisputable, previously downgraded to 14a (8b+) route which suits my strengths that I’ve been saving for an old age ascent, hopefully in 2018. If I can stay healthy, I’ll do it!"

8A+ by Nina Williams  Facebook

Silence 9c premiere 23/2 at 9 pm - Ondra & Moffat Show  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureWhat does it take to climb the world’s first 9c? How do you train for such achievement? That and much more will be revealed in the 17-minute film directed by Bernardo Giménez which documents Adam Ondra’s journey to the successful climb. It shows what preceded the afternoon of September 3, 2017 when he “sent”, as climbers say, this project in the spectacular Hanshelleren Cave in Norway.

"Silence is located in one of the beautiful Norwegian fjords. I really like how the extreme sport achievement goes hand in hand with the peaceful and gorgeous surroundings in the film giving it a very special feel. Bernardo did a great job depicting this contrast,“ says Adam Ondra, the main protagonist, about the movie.

The film will premiere in Riva del Garda, Italy, as well as online as the whole event will be live streamed. “We wanted everyone to have a chance to enjoy the evening with us and watch the movie which is why it will be also available on YouTube for free afterwards,” explains Pavel Blažek, Adam Ondra’s manager."

(c) Photo credit Pavel Blažek More info and live stream link. We will present the embedded code so the premiere can be seen directly on the 8a website.

Frozen Waterfalls North of Detroit  Facebook

Midtbö comes clean about his Vlogging  Facebook

Magnus Midtbö, #4 in Arco WVH and 8c+ onsight, started Vlogging ten months ago and has now made 110 episodes. It is about his daily life and also showing some extreme training regimes. In the video below he comes clean and talk about social media and how to get attention for the sponsors. He has almost 35 000 subscribers on his Youtube channel and 121 000 followers on his Instagram.

Lattice Training - Ascending Board Problems  Facebook

8b (+) trad ascent by Tom Randall  (2) Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureTom Randall has done La Fuerza de la Gravedad in Vadiello giving it a personal grade of 8b. Last year Carlos Logroño made the FA with the gear pre-placed. (C) Talo Martín

In December Tom tried the route for three days with Swedish WC athlete Hannes Puman (19) with no success. Hannes only climbed cracks once days before with Randall as well on a bouldery 7A+ roof-crack in La Pedriza. He also never put a cam before so both considered that could be better with the cams pre-placed. Surprisingly Hannes did it after just check the route for the first two days without any expectations and sending it the last day on his first try leading.

Last week, Tom sent it after warm up on the route and sending on his first go placing the gear on lead. Video coming soon. Randall has previously done 15 trad routes between 8b+ and 8c+, Century Crack, and should be considered one of the best crack climbers in the world. He also have a 9a+ trad project, the Crucifix, in USA and plans to go there one month in October.

Tom has chatted to Adam about Century Crack and the Crucifix because the fact that Silence has a crack in the middle, seemed very interesting. Surprisingly, Adam said that Century Crack was one of the few hard trad routes that he’d be interested in repeating. Likewise Tom has said that he’s keen to look at the crack beta on Silence as it looks very similar to a lot moves him and Pete Whittaker have done.

Ondra comments his 9a+ flash  (7) Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureAdam Ondra comments his and the world’s first 9a+ flash. The picture by Bernardo Gimenez is from Adam's Instagram.

Flashing Super Crackinette is definitely a big mental breakthrough for me. 9a+ flash has been a goal of mine for many years now, but the problem is to find a good route. And once you have it, it is a problem to find someone who gives you the perfect beta. And then, the pressure could be way bigger than competing in the finals of World Championships. I had only tried seriously two routes of 9a+ grade in the past - Biographie in 2012 and Seleccion Anal in 2014. Biographie was quite far, Seleccion Anal was very close, but it is definitely not a reference for 9a+ and i honestly think it is more of 9a hard.

Then, I pretty much ran out of convenient routes. Then, I was once in St Leger and saw this project. It was a project with 9a question mark. It looked so perfect. A few moths later, Alex Megos finally made the first ascent and gave it 9a+. I knew immediately this could be the goal. Perfect line and reference grade by Alex himself.

This trip, I came to St Leger specifically for this trip. And it was a lot of pressure. I had so much doubts if I am strong enough, if I should not postpone that by another year. But then Bernardo was supposed to come for the filming, Quentin Chastagnier was supposed to come to show me all the moves (thanks for that!). At one point, there was no step back. I had to give it a try.

And I felt just so strong and confident, but as the end was getting closer, I could feel a bit nervous. The final last hard move was heartbreaking, but in the end, I had a tiny margin and did not let go. The way towards the anchor was free and towards one of my proudest achievements of my carrier.

Top-5 Male + Female comp climbers in the history  Facebook

Here is the 8a Top-5 male + female competition climbers in the history. It is based on the number of points achieved, number of WC wins, number of World Championships as well as podiums. The ranking can not be calculated as there has been different of number of World Cups and World Championships. Further more the first Lead World Cup was 1989 and the first Boulder in 1999. The list does also reflect who has been dominating over the years.

1. Jain Kim - Ramon Julian Puigblanque
2. Angela Eiter - Kilian Fischhuber
3. Muriel Sarkany - Jakob Schubert
4. Mina Markovic - Adam Ondra
5. Akiyo Noguchi - Francois Legrand

Others that can be mentioned having made a strong mark on the historical competition scene are; Sandrine Levet, Anna Stöhr, Robyn Erbesfield, Liv Sansoz, Maja Vidmar, Dimitri Sharafutdinov, Sean McColl, Jorg Verhoeven, Jerome Meyer, Tomas Mrazek, and Alex Chabot.

9b FA by Adam Ondra  (16) Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureAdam Ondra reports on Instagram that he has done the FA of Eagle 4 9b in St. Leger, France. © Bernardo Giménez

"Today, it was dry, I felt strong, made through the hard part and fell 5m from the anchor from totally easy terrain. Luckily, I could do it even second time in the late afternoon."

Few days ago Adam did Super Crackinette, the first 9a+ flashed ever. In the last 12 months Ondra has done 23 routes from 9a to 9c. In total, there exist 30 established routes 9b or harder. Adam has done 22 of them. The runner up is Chris Sharma with seven 9b's or harder.

8C and WC plans for Matt Fultz  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureMatt Fultz has after 13 8B+' done his first 8C by the FA of The Expanse in Joe's Valley. Last week he won both the qually and semi in the USA bouldering nationals and was #4 in the final. More info at his Instagram (c) Kieran Hadley

"It took me about 6 sessions in total. I’ve never competed in a World Cup, but I’m planning on doing Vail and the world championships in Austria this year!"

What is interesting is that the the 26 year old has had an almost continuous progress for eight straight years. In the 8a ranking game, the 183 cm and 78 kg, is #7.

Durif and Larson in Hollow Mountain Cave  Facebook

Hirayama (48) goes for La Rambla 9a+  Facebook

Yuji Hirayama reports on Facebook that he is leaving for a three weeks trip to Spain where he wants to finish something he worked hard on 2005. " I do not know if the timing of life is limited and I can fill in the past time, but now I want to clip the anchor!!!"

What he must be talking about is La Rambla 9a+ in Siurana. What an extreme feat it would be if he could take it down being 48 years old. During the last years he has done both 8c+ and 8B+. Yuji should be considered the most accomplished multi discipline climber in the world the last 25 years:

Dreamtime 8C by James Webb  (2) Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureJames Webb reports on his Instagram that he had to leave Fontainbleau due to rain and instead went to Cresciano where he did Dreamtime 8C on his first day. (c) Kevin Takashi Smith

"4 years ago I spent countless days trying this thing and was never able to put it to rest. It was a massive mental and physical battle for me and it killed me to not be able to complete it."

Dreamtime was put up by Fred Nicole in 2001 as an 8C but was considered 8B+ for many years until it broke. In total James has previously done 14 boulder 8C and one 8C+ and he is #2 in the 8a ranking game. Counting only flashes, he has been #1 for several years including having flashed 14 boulders 8B.

Calculation grades and grade inflation  Facebook

It is nice to see how well the grading system works around the globe and that we have a slow but steady grade inflation is just natural. One of the reason for this is the calculation grading that some topo authors as well as websites use.

Let us say twelve guys do and report a 9a and then three guys come along suggest 8c+. The calculated grade would still be 9a although it just might be that most of the first repeaters did actually not suggest 9a. Instead they just used the topo grade, as they do not care, or possibly wanted to make the first ascentionists and the sponsors pleased.

Other possible reasons for the 8c+ suggestions, might be that a new sequence was found or a hold broke making it easier.

In practice, trying to calculate grade, a higher weight should be given to the last suggestions otherwise the multiplication sum just might continue the grade inflation.

World class today and for most years  (1) Facebook

Here are a list of old-school guys that are still world class. Fred Nicole is of course number #1 and has been on the cutting edge for more than 30 years. Does it exist any other physical sport where an athlete has been world class for over 30 years?

What is unique with runner-up Yuji Hirayama is that he has been world class in so many disciplines from winning six World Cups to having set the Speed Record on El Capitan.

1. Fred Nicole -70: 8b+ in 1987
2. Yuji Hirayama -69: #4 in a WC 1991
3. Dani Andrada -75: 8c in 1993
4. Muriel Sarkany -74: #5 in a WC 1993
5. Dani Andrada -75: #1 Speed WCH in 1997
5. Dai Koyamada -76: #4 in a WC in 1998

Other climbers with a long successful career who are still going strong are Ben Moon, Martina Cufar, Beat Kammerlander, Alexander Huber and Maurizio Zanollo. Is there somebody that we have missed?

Varazze - 9 days of bouldering  Facebook

Varazze - 9 days of bouldering from Matthias Paré on Vimeo.

9a+ flash by Adam Ondra  (6) Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureFanatic Climbing reports that Adam Ondra has flashed Alex Megos Supercrackinette 9a+ in St Léger and Ondra confirms the grade on his Instagram. This means that Ondra has once again raised the standard in climbing. In 2012, Adam flashed Southern Smoke direct 9a+ in Red River Gorge, giving it a personal 9a grade.

"According to witnesses, the Czech phenom was very easy on this route of resistance, guided by the bolter of the route himself, Quentin Chastagnier. Ondra has given him a belay and checking the moves while Quentin was putting the draws." (c) Bernardo Giminez

UK Boulder crag destroyed  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureThe BMC comes with the sad news that Whitehouses bouldering crag has been destroyed with a hammer and a "no climbing" sign has been installed. The landowner has previously compliant about bad behavior from climbers.

The article has given some advises in regards - How to avoid this happening again?

The picture is the 8a Access poster and what should be underlined is it is not just about presenting guidelines but that we have to talk to the guys not following the rules.

Oman DWS - Chris Sharma interview  Facebook

Rocklands 2017  Facebook

The complete 8C to 9A list and the progress  (1) Facebook

Click to Enlarge Picture99boulders.com has presented a comprehensive list: 8C 123, 8C/+ 6, 8C+ 10 and Burden of Dreams 9A. Also all ascents have been added so Alex Beale have been working hard. The most repeated 8C and 8C+' are:

16 Practice of the Wild - FA Chris Sharma
15 The Big Island - FA Vincent Ponchon
13 Monkey Wedding - FA Fred Nicole
13 The Story of Two Worlds - FA Dave Graham
11 From Dirt Grows the Flowers - Dave Graham
11 The Wheel of Life - Dai Koyamada
08 Catalán Witness the Fitness - Chris Sharma
(Most probably not 8C any longer but as the diagram include these ascents, we have not taken it out from the list)

04 Creature of the Black Lagoon 8C+ FA Daniel Woods

The picture shows the extreme development the last years with over 100 ascents the last two years. In total, 116 climbers have done at least one 8C including the only female, Ashima Shiraishi. Charles Albert have done six, all of them barefoot.

It should be mentioned that grades are subjective and Alex says, "I’ve tried my best to be as comprehensive as possible with this list. However, I’m still human. If I’ve made any mistakes or left off any problems or people you think should be added, let me know in the comments. I get most of the info from 8a.nu and HardClimbs.info."

The Nest 8C by Takahashi and Pringle  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureKeenan Takahashiand Ethan Pringle has done The Nest 8C in Red Rocks after having worked it for a long time. Daniel Woods put it up in 2013 and it has previously seen five ascents.

Keenen's Insta, including picture: This one was quite a journey; I don't know if there's any other move I've tried more than the one pictured. So much microbeta, self-doubt intertwined with self-belief, existential crises in full effect, and finally the strangest and most wild sensation of place in the world. Many huge mental and physical battles but the war is finally over!

From Ethan's Insta we see that he got inspired by Keenen's beta and fired it of on project day #50.

The Circuit Climbing T-shirts  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureEddie Fowke, who runs The Circuit Climbing has recently gone on Facebook to sell a limited edition run of tee shirts to raise money for the 2018 season. We spoke to Eddie to find out more about the background and future plans.

“I've shot 69 World Cups over the last 5 years (starting 2013), and more than 100 international competitions in all. I made the tee shirts as a homage to 1970’s style rock band tour shirts. They are something I will do more of, this first limited run was to fund my weekend at the US Nationals, but there will be a further run available internationally to help support The Circuit in 2018 and beyond”.

Japan Cup podium presents new faces to the WC  (2) Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureRyuichi Murai, #3 in the 8a ranking game, comments the Japan Bouldering Cup where he sensationally got the silver which made him qualify to the national team going for the World Cups. "I spent only one month to training for BJC2018. I mainly trained my weak movements. For example, coordination and triple dyno. Additionally I also did pull-up with Beastmaker2000."

1st Kokoro Fuji - Akiyo Noguchi
2nd Ryuichi Murai - Ai Mori (14)
3rd Tomoa Narasaki - Futaba Ito (15)

Interesting is that it was basically only this competition with 160 participants where new athletes could qualify for the national team and the World Cup 2018. "An athlete who have high world ranking last year, and an athlete who won in Bouldering World Cup last year, could already be qualified."

Futaba Ito won the Youth World Championship where she was accompanied by two 14 year olds. Ai Mori was #7 in that World Championship but she is to young to do WCs this year. Some coaches said last year in Innsbruck that these Japanese girls are the future. Bear in mind that these young girls did actually beat Miho Nonaka #4 in the WC last year as well as Aya Onoe and Mei Kotake, #10 and #11 in the WC 2017.

Remember also the fast positive trend for Japan and that they had five guys in Top-8 last year. With so many new faces winning over some of the best boulderers, we just might see the Japanese domination increase in the future.

34 gyms connected to Vertical-Lifes App  Facebook

More and more climbing gyms offer digital services to their customers. This is not only comfortable for climbers – for example when getting informed about new routes via smartphone – but it also allows a comparison between the gyms and gives them visibility.

There are now 34 gyms world wide that have signed up using Vertical-Life's App in order to organize their route setting and give possibility to mark routes and create challenges. Most active in January was Oslo Klatrecenter with 2 520 "Zlagged" climbs.

For every month there is a Challenge like in February where everyone who Zlags 300 meters or 66 boulders take part in a Raffle with many nice prices.

Margalef winter trip  Facebook

Silence 9c video streamed 23/2 from Arco  (2) Facebook

Scoring by points possible by IFSC new rule  Facebook

As number of zones is the new second critera for the IFSC bouldering scoring, most probably they will present the scoring something like this.

1. 3T 4z (5:7)
2. 3T 3z (4:6)
3. 2T 4z (2:6)
4. 2T 4z (3:6)

To make that much easier they can simply take out T and z and present it with points. In practice this means that a Top equals 10 points and that a zone equal 1 point and the media would be free to actually skip the T's and the z's in the result list, see below.

1. 34 (5:7)
2. 33 (4:6)
3. 24 (2:6)
4. 24 (3:6)

Bear in mind that most think that two zones would be great, meaning we could continue with the same point scoring and it would be much easier for the Olympic non-climbing spectators to understand.

In the 11 point system, we have also given an extra point for the flash of the top. Otherwise we could end up that a person who has flashed three tops but failed to get to the second zone on the fourth, would be beaten by somebody doing the three tops in 10 tries and getting the second bonus on the fourth boulder.

In the same way, one flash and flash of all but one zones would be beaten by somebody doing all scoring on the four problems in 15 tries. Flash is the name of the game in bouldering and that is why we have given it one bonus point in the 11 point system.

Bouldering format trial and error  Facebook

Andrew Bisharat has made some comments and asked questions in regards the bouldering formats etc. Below you have the answers. He actually also gave some credit for my idea of creating different beta style within the same boulder.

"His example was to envision a problem in which the beta could involve running/parkour-style movements on volumes, or a techy traverse solution on underclings. I actually agree with this idea in theory. It would be really cool to see a problem that lends itself to beta diversity, though in practice, I’m not sure how you could set a problem like this."

IFSC route setter, Tomasz Oleksy has today answered me, - I think I can create this future problem :)

Later Andrew discusses the problem that the route setters can decide who will win by favoring certain style or size.

"The stakes in comp climbing are going up every year. Purses are getting bigger, and now climbing is in the Olympics. As the stakes are raised, will we begin to see more prevalence of setter bias?"

Andrew's possible solution is to let programmed robots do the setting. What about simply use my original idea one more time to make it mandatory for the IFSC route setters to actually create two different style/size betas when needed?

Parkour or Power solution to the first zone  Facebook

The Parkour boulder setting has seen some negative reactions at the same time it often create spectacular shows. However, sometimes it is dead boring to see several climbers running around like a pinball ball landing on the floor with no points, 30 times in a row. It is also a bit problematic that the route setting can be so divers so sometimes the strongest guys have no chance as the route setters did choose to mainly challenge the parkour skills.

One idea to more easy find a better balance would be if the route setters actually for parkour problems sometimes added another solution maybe from another starting hold or traversing on underclings, not reachable from the parkour running volumes.

Lead climbing has gotten much more popular the last few years due to much more volumes being using creating different solutions. We often see different solutions also in bouldering but when it comes to running on volumes it is almost identical moves being done.

We are getting closer to the Olympics and that would be every IFSC route setters dream. Who will be the first to just simply add four underclings creating a traverse that you can not reach from the parkour horizontal running volumes?
Update: IFSC route setter Tomasz Oleksy has said, " I think I can create this future problem:)"

Catalan Witness the Fitness 8B+ (C) by Dave MacLeod (39)  (5) Facebook

Dave Macleod, one of the greatest trad climbers in the world, reports that he has done the eight ascent of Chris Sharma's Catalan Witness the Fitness, giving it a personal grade of 8B+. Including Jakob Schubert's recent flash suggesting low-end 8B+ as well as most guys have said it to be soft 8C and in fact, Sharma not giving it a grade, it might be that the great roof boulder should just be called 8B+ and delete it from the 8C official list? Two years ago, being 37 years old, Dave did Practice of the Wild 8C.

Alan Watts - Bolting and Hangdog pioneer in USA  Facebook

Alan Watts was the first one bolting on rappell and hang-dogging his routes in Smith Rocks. This created a big controversy in the mid 80-ies as you were only allowed to go ground-up and if you fell, you were immediately lowered down to the ground, Old 8a article with Lynn Hill. Here is his new Pioneering Smith Rock Video with Alan Watts.

Boulder WC rules change  Facebook

IFSC have changed the Boulder World Cup rules 2018 so number of zones will be the first criteria after counting the number of tops. Previously, the second criteria has been number of attempts for the Tops.

In practice, counting zones prior to attempts to tops will have most impact and create more fair ranking especially for the ones doing just one boulder. For the WC finals 2017, the only one dramatic change that would have happened, would be Rei Sugimoto moving from #4 to #2 in Meiringen.

A positive consequence of the rule change, is that it will be a bit easier to follow who is in the lead as well as the ranking could be decided at a later stage. IFSC have been discussing new scoring for years also and in 2017 they put together a working group 2017 where 8a suggested the 11 point system, which also values zones more as the new IFSC rule.

La Plancha 8b+/V14 Sam Weir  (1) Facebook

Toyamagawa boulder collection  Facebook

Toyamagawa_Collection from Imashi Hashimoto on Vimeo.

USA Nationals scoring by points  (11) Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureThe semifinal of the USA Bouldering Nationals is streamed live, 09.25 MST: Euro 17.25. Interesting they rank the climbers by three zones; 5, 10 and 15 points and you get 25 points for the top. For each try 0.1 points are deducted both for the zones and the top. Here you have the results.

The big change for this system, in comparison to the IFSC system, is that two tops can loose to somebody that does many zones. Scoring by points have been up to discussion inside IFSC and 8a have forwarded a similar scoring system with two zones 3 and 5 points respectively 10 points for the top or 11 points for a flash. No deduction for tries but instead counting attempts for tied scoring.

On the picture by Eddie Fowke - The Circuit Climbing you clearly see the 5, 10 and points zones holds.

8A+ by David Mason in North Yorkshire  Facebook

Rhythm (8A+), Flasby Fell, North Yorkshire from David Mason on Vimeo.

8B by David Mason in North Yorkshire  Facebook

Cypher (8B), Slipstones, North Yorkshire from David Mason on Vimeo.

Bombero de la Roca 7a+ in Sant Llorenç del Munt  Facebook

9a+ and 9a FAs by Adam Ondra  (1) Facebook

Adam Ondra reports on Instagram that he has done two impressive FAs in Camaiore; La Terza Eta 9a which he did in four tries and Naturalmente 9a+.

"One of the best routes I can imagine. Slightly overhanging wall, tiny crimps, undercuts, shitty feet, resistant, bullet-proof rock. Tried for two days three weeks ago, now it went down after checking the moves. Rather high-end 9a+ I would say."

The level is going up in 2017 and Ondra is leading the pack. During four days, the 23 year old has done two 9b's, two 9a+' and two 9a's. It will be interesting to follow the progression during 2017.

Pau Contreras en Wonder boy (8b) FA, Sant Llorenç del Munt  Facebook

Rescat Emocional (7b+), Sant Llorenç del Munt  Facebook

8c+ trad by Ethan Pringle  (10) 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.

Hungry Monkeys in Railay  Facebook

Hungry Monkeys from Ironmanfilms on Vimeo.

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

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.

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.

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!"

8C after driving 7 000 km by Tamás Zupán  (17) Facebook

Tamás Zupán has set a new record of dedication by doing his second 8C, Zunami in Saalachtal, driving 7 000 kilometers to reach his goal.

- I was there with my friend in the middle of March and I climbed some boulders in the lower sector and I tried Gizmo 8B, which is a variant of Zunami. I live 600 km far from Saalachtal and I could travel there only on Wednesdays because of my work. I woke up at 4:30 a.m., started my journey from home at 5 a.m. and I came in Saalachtal at 11 a.m. I climbed until 2 p.m. and I arrived at 8 p.m. I climbed ’Gizmo’ on the second trip and finally I could manage ’Zunami’ on my 6th trip.

The first move is incredible complex because in the same time you should move separately your all limbs when make the crossing movement, after it is really crimpy, overhanging and that’s why I really liked it.

8b onsight by Laura Rogora (14) and one more today  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureLaura Rogora, who just did her first 9a, has onsighted Batuka 8b in Margalef and she put up all the draws by herself. Batuka has been recorded 57 times in the data base, all with 8b and only two guys have onsighted it before.

- The route is divided in two sections with a very good rest in the middle. The first four bolt are hard and I thought to fall every move. The second part is easier but there is another hard move. Today was the first day of the trip. In this week I would like to visit new crags: Santa Linya, Rodellar...

Today the 14-year-old onsighted Codigo Norte, an 8b in Santa Linya. "I'm staying here just for one week so I think I will climb only onsight."

Anak Verhoeven (19) makes the FA of Ma belle ma muse 9a  (1) Facebook

Anak Verhoeven, who was #4 in the Lead World Cup last year, has done her second 9a, the FA of Me belle ma muse in Romeyer.

Just later, it was repeated by Jean-Elie Crestin-Billet and here is his video. Jean-Elie actually called it an 8c+/9a.

Kajsa Rosén (18) - A new star in the making  (3) Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureKajsa Rosén, who did her first 8c and flashed an 8b+ last week, has done Mind Control 8c (+) and onsighted T-1 Full Equipe in Oliana. There is only a handful of female who have onsighted at this level before. "What to do next? Still suprising myself here in Oliana."

Last year, the 18-year-old was #9 and #10 in the last two Lead World Cups she did.

Loic Timmermans, who is still ahead of Kajsa with one 9a, reachead out to 8a with a nice reflection.

"Kasja is crushing all the routes she's trying like nothing. I was even more impressed when she told me she did Mind control without getting pumped. I think she has a good attitude to. Not taking things too seriously, just climbing and see what happens.

Two 8c (+) OS and a 9a+/b by Adam Ondra  (2) Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureAdam Ondra has had a great weekend. First he did the FA of Vicious Circle 9a+/b in Osp/Misja Pec, which he bolted last year. (c) Luka Fonda

"Left start into Sanski par. Bouldery and short 8c+ into the most of the Sanski par 9a (without first six moves). I would say two 8c+'s with a bad rest in between. Super powerful and resistant climbing.

The next stop was Medveja, a new secret zone in Croatia. It was one of the best days of climbing ever as I onsighted two 8c's ('The Core' is considered 8c+ by those few, who repeated the route) and the first ascent of 'More', 9a. World record maybe? Haha.

Most of the routes are slightly overhanging, crimpy on super solid rock with a minimum of Sika and in general fitting my style pretty well.

The last day I tried a project in Pandora, a different zone in Istria, which is definitely pretty hard in the region of 9b or more. Something like 20m of bouldering in the roof. Definitely a lot of rock around there worth returning for."

8B (+) flash by James Webb again  (2) Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureJames Webb has traveled to Finland to take part in Sisu Masters with an amazing line up including Daniel Woods and Dave Graham but also to try Nalle Hukkataival's Boulders. First they had to crush some ice on the top of the Globalist in Sipoo and then James just flashed it and gave it a personal grade of 8B. The best flash boulderer in the world has now flashed 13 8B Boulders, four out of which were originally graded 8B+. (c) Nico Backström

"Absolutely incredible boulder from Nalle that I've wanted to climb on for so long. Perfect rock, amazing movement. One of the best!"

Next up could be Hukkataival's famous Sisu or Lappnor Project that the Fin has been trying for six respectively four years speculating that it could become the next level.

8b+ flash and a 8c by Kajsa Rosén (18)  (3) Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureSimon Carter, a professional climbing photographer for 25 years, reports on Facebook:

"I've seen a lot of really impressive climbing over all the time I've spent at Oliana over the years... and add to that today's jaw-dropping sends by 18 year-old Swedish climber Kajsa Rosen. First up she hiked Fisheye (8c) first shot (after only working it twice yesterday), for her first of the grade, and THEN casually flashed Los Humildes pa Casa (8b+) soon after (pictured). Kajsa Rosen; a name to watch out for for sure!"

Simon is spot-on as the young Swede has had an extreme development over the last few years. In the past year, she was #9 and #10 in the last two Lead World Cups she did.

So how much beta did you get and do you still plan to get yourself a station wagon and hit the road?
I saw a french guy climbing it and he told me about a knee bar. I heard some screaming from below but it was very windy. My plan is to do some comps and some rock climbing and have fun. I graduate this year so hopefully I will have some more time for climbing.

8C by Ashima Shiraishi (14)  (21) Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureReel Rock Film Tour comes with the amazing news that Ashima Shiraishi has made the first repeat of Dai Koyamada's spectacular Horizon 8C, in Hiei, Japan. The 14-year-old worked on the 30 move long roof problem in December and now she has done it on her third day, which means she is the first female and the youngest climber ever to have reached 8C. Here you can find Dai's comment on his FA including a picture where you see that it is almost a horizontal roof.

- "No doubt the Super Project was the hardest problem I’'ve ever done and that probably means it’s a V16 (8C+). However, I’'m not quite sure because I don’t have enough references to compare with. I would be able to fully understand what V15 (8C) is like exactly if I did more than fifty or so of them, but my accomplishments don’t even come close to that."

Based on Ashima's Route and Boulder ticklist, she has been the world's best female rock climber since she was 12 years old. Among the male, she is currently in the Top-20 including also having done two 9a's last autumn. How many 14-year-old girls are able to compete with the best male in any sport? (c) Brett Lowell

8C by Ryuichi Murai incl amazing 240 spin  (3) Facebook

Ryuichi Murai , who two weeks ago did two 8B+, has done Dai Koyamada's Babel 8C in Shiobara. "This problem links Catharsis(8B+) to Hydra(8B) via Uma(8B+). About 30 moves that include various moves made me enjoy myself."

Totally amazing! Watch that mind-boggling sequence where the 167 cm tall spins 240 degrees with his foot. How is it even possible to find such solution :)

Laura Rogora (14) does her first 9a  (3) Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureLaura Rogora has become the first Italian female to do a 9a by Grandi Gesti in Sperlonga, which is a 20 meter long roof link up. Last year the 14-year-old won both Lead and Boulder Italian Championships and to make the story even more amazing, she mainly just trains in a Bouldering gym. She is #1 in the 8a ranking game. (c) Stefano Michelin/UP-Climbing

- It took me about 15-20 tries in one month and half. I went to Sperlonga seven times. I didn't do a specific training for this route because my purpose is training for competition. Now I need going to train hard for competition especially for the world youth championship in China in November. Surely I will continue to climb on the rock. I planned a trip to Spain in April I think I will climb on sight.

Mowgli repeats his 8B+ (C) twice after just a short warm up  (6) Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureCharles Albert, who did the FA of the L'Alchimiste left exit last week, considered to be harder than the 8C right exit, did it today twice. (c) Neil Hart did get it on video both times.

"He is so strong he made it look like a 6A. I picked him up at one o'clock and we did a very quick 7B that took two tries and we drove to the L'alchimiste. He just pulled on and fell three times on the crux then sent it, then climbed it again so we could get another angle.

It is easier for him bare foot because he can hook his toes into the side pulls better. Definitely a new level!"

Women are catching up in the Santa Linya caves  (4) Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureSome ten years ago, several men - notably Dani Andrada, Patxi Usobiaga and Chris Sharma - broke through to the next grading level establishing several 9a's and 9a+'s in Santa Linya. As of 2016, however, it seems that progress has become stagnant with Chris Sharma's two 9b FAs representing the highest attainable level.

Women, in the mean time, have caught up, in 2010 Angela Eiter did the first female 8c in Santa Linya. Quickly thereafter other women have followed suit with ten other females having completed climbs ranging from 8c to 9a(+) over the last two years. Complete stats. In this great picture captured by Luka Fonda, Janja Garnbret (16) flashes La Fabelita 8c.

If the trend continues, it is only a matter of time before women are on par with men in Santa Linya. While impossible to know for certain, one of the reasons behind such phenomenal progress for women may lie in the nature of the climbing in the cave where technical skill and endurance are of vital importance. That, and the fact that these ten women - and the many who will follow - are testaments of climbing strength and power.

Charles Albert interview  (2) Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureFanatic Climbing has made an interview with Charles Albert, who did an 8C yesterday, giving it a personal grade of 8B+. The interesting fact is that the 18-year-old seldom trains indoor and the only training he does beside Bouldering is stretching. (c) Neil Hart

"Yesterday I was climbing alone without pads and luckily I met Kevin Thibaut and Mounir (strong but low profile Font locals) who were trying it. I joined them and I managed to send it on my first real session trying the left version. Regarding the grade, I would say for me it’s not harder than “Gecko assis”, the 8B+ I did barefoot last year… I also tried the sit start of “Alchimiste” which adds an easy but beautiful move but doesn’t change the difficulty. I have not done the sit-start version but will come back and try sending the whole thing because it makes the line even more beautiful !"

"A 14-year-old girl redefines rock climbing"  (6) Facebook

BBC has made an interview with Ashima Shiraishi, where, among other things, she says her goal is to break records held by her male counterparts. The 14-year-old claims to be the only female to have done a 9a+ (Direct open your mind R1 in Santa Linya) and the youngest person to have reached that grade.

It should be noticed that the route was originally a 9a until some holds broke and it was speculated that it might be a 9a+. Later Edu Marin repeated it saying it is still a 9a. The first woman to claim having done a 9a+ route was Josune Bereziartu (route: Bimbaluna), which has been subject of being downgraded.

8c+ (9a) by Thilo Jeldrik Schröter (20)  (1) Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureThilo Jeldrik Schröter, who just turned 20, has been a successful boulderer for many years including being #4 in a Youth Euro Championship. Now he has been in Siurana for some weeks and it actually turns out that he has a great talent for routes as he just increased his personal best from 8b to 8c+, respectively, a possible 9a - Jungle Speed. (c) Tina Johnsen Hafsaas

"I worked the route for five days. The route is built up with a boulder in the beginning that could be something like 8A+, leading you into a rest. From there it's about 8a+ technical face climbing to the top, which for me was the redpoint crux as I fell there three times before nailing. Not many people that are able to do the start fall in the top, so I guess a route is never over before it's over for a boulderer, even though the individual moves feel easy."

9b again by Jakob Schubert  (1) Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureJakob Schubert reports on Facebook with a great picture by © Elias Holzknecht/ WOODSLAVE productions,

"LA PLANTA DE SHIVA! After the biggest fight of my life I managed to clip the anchor of this amazing 9b in Villanueva del Rosario. 2nd Ascent after Adam Ondra. Super happy and proud to have send this one, my hardest route so far. Time for fiesta!"

Jakob has been the best male lead competition climber in the world since 2010 and in 2011 he won seven events straight. He also won overall in 2014 and last year he was #3. The Austrian is the fourth climber after Ondra, Sharma and Andrada to have done two 9b's. Here is a new Podcast.

"The process was actually rather special and I learned a lot about trying something that hard. The first few days on the route were pretty frustrating and I felt like I'm not strong enough for this route. I think it's the hardest route I have ever tried and because the rock is so special on the 9b part it's very difficult to find the right beta and can take a lot of time.
I kind of gave up on the route and climbed some easier ones for some days, but since it didn't get out of my head, I returned with more motivation and a better mindset and suddenly made a lot of progress. The send was epic, I almost fell at the second to last move and fought super hard to reach the last hold. Really happy and proud of this one.

2016 I will only do the Lead season (+BWC in Innsbruck) mostly because I want to have more time to climb outside until spring. I will fly to Hueco for 3 weeks beginning of February and after we have a 10 day training camp with the national team in Fontainebleau and in Andalusia. After that I'm not sure about my plans yet, but I really want to go back to Flatanger since it's such an amazing place and I would really love to try 'Move'.

Second 8c flash and an 8b OS by Janja Garnbret (16)  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureLuka Fonda comes with another superb picture of Janja Garnbret, who flashed her second 8c yesterday in Santa Linya, La Fabelita. The 16-year-old got the beta from Mina Markovic, who belayed her and explained the moves. The Slovenian onsighted also one 8a+ and La Ruta del Sol 8b.
Having been in Top-3 in all the three World Cups and #2 in the Euro Championship last year, Janja is #6 in the 8a Climber of the year list, where her Slovenian teammates, Mina and Domen Skofic are #2 and #9 accordingly.

9a for Markovic and 8c flash for Garnbret  (24) Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureDomen Škofic comes with amazing news on Facebook, "Special day for our crew today!!! Both @miiiinam (Mina Markovic) and @janja_garnbret made history today by doing a 9a (Fabela pa la enmienda) and 8c flash! (Rollito Sharma extension) Congrats girls, you're outstanding and a huge inspiration!"

Mina won the Lead World Cup this year and Janja (16) was #7 but she participated in only three events, making the podium in all of them. In the European Championships she was #2. All of them come from Slovenia, which is one of the leading Climbing nations although it has just about two million residents. In the 8a Climber of the year list, Mina is #2, Domen #8 and Janja #12. More info to come. (c) Luka Fonda

8B+ in 30 min by Ashima Shiraishi (14)  (23) Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureAshima Shiraishi (14) comes with amazing news on Facebook, (c) Ikuko Serata

"Santa Claus gave me the best Christmas present ever🎁! I sent Phenomena V14 (8b+) in Hinokage, Miyazaki!!! This was the 2nd ascent after @dai_koyamada and the first female ascent!! I once again surprised myself by sending it after about 30 MINUTES of working on it!!!"

This was the 14-year-old's second 8B+ and one of the quickest 8B+ ascents in the history of bouldering. Adam Ondra and Daniel Woods are the only ones who have flashed an 8B+. In the 8a ranking game, Ashima is #2 in bouldering but if we take in consideration both routes and boulders, Ashima has been #1 in the world since she was 12 years old.

8B again by Ashima Shiraishi (14)  (36) Facebook

Ashima Shiraishi reported on Instagram that she had sent Terre de Sienne during her first day in Hueco Tanks. It was set up by Fred Nicole as a hard 8B+ but now it is considered an 8B. She also made a quick ascent of Diaphanous Sea 8A.

The 14-year-old sent one 8B+ boulder previously (UKC reports four) and one 9a+ sport route. In fact, Ashima has had the most impressive combined female tick list for the last two years. It should be noted, originally both of these great boulders had a higher grade, however, we are reporting the consensus 8a grade.

9b by Pirmin Bertle  (44) Facebook

Click to Enlarge PicturePirmin Bertle has done the FA Meoise 9b in Charmey after 50 days of working on it and 150 tries, it was the last try the last day before leaving to Buenos Aires with his family for nine months! On the 30th March 2012, The German did two 9a's, Chromosome Y and X in 75 minutes, video. Meoise is a link up which actually goes straight up through two 8B cruxes.

Previously in 2015, he did one 8C+ and one 9a+. His 9b blog story is just amazing and here topo for Charmey and Jansegg.

8C+ and 9a+ FA by Pirmin Bertle and one even harder  (21) Facebook

Pirmin Bertle, who has done six 9a's, did yesterday do his hardest route ever, which made him share the news that in April he did a 8C+ FA, Drop a line in Couisimbert and that he in August did the FA of Des scènes bizzarres dans la mine d'or 9a+ in Jansegg, video. Last week, he also did the FA of Mediomalomania 8C in Lindental, "but the hardest thing in my life I sent yesterday."

Interesting is that he did not climb at all during the first six months of 2014 due to having caught bone mark edema. Then he just climbed very easily for some months until he started to work only on the 8C+ boulder. Interesting is also that he only trains five hours a week and never indoors. More info on his blog and on 8a tomorrow. :)

Drop a line 8C+ at Cousimbert, the real video from Pirmin Bertle on Vimeo.

Ondra wins in Kranj and gets the overall title  (4) Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureAdam Ondra, the double world champion from last year, won in Kranj meaning that he got another overall victory. His first Lead overall he got in his debut season 2009, being 16 years old. Including being #3 in the Bouldering WC as well as being #2 in both the Lead and Boulder European Championship, 2015 is also his best competition season ever.

Overall WC ranking - Kranj results
458 Adam Ondra CZE
400 Gauthier Supper FRA
396 Jakob Schubert AUT
376 Domen Skofic SLO
354 Romain Desgranges FRA

8B+ by Ashima Shiraishi (14) again  (16) Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureAshima Shiraishi reports on Facebook that she has done 8A, 8A+ and 8B+ all in one day. This confirms that she is the best female climber out there, although being just 14 years old. Photo: @leibav

- V11, V12 and V14 in a DAY! Holy CRAP!!!!!! I had the best day climbing today!!!! It's been a while since I climbed on some REAL ROCK!!!! Started off the day by sending Worthless V11 then Wetness the Fatness V12 pretty quickly! Later on, I decided to give Nuclear War V14 a try and managed to send it!!!! Nuclear War hasn't seen a 2nd ascent in 9 years (when Matt Bosley did it). Psyched to have gotten the 2nd and 1st Female Ascent! Stay tuned for some video

Low prices at EPIC TV Shop  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureEPIC TV is the biggest video climbing media and their webshop is growing with low prices, and that includes the biggest brands.

Solution (in the picture) is Euro 109 including free shipping. In fact, once you become a member you get 5 euro for free and then 10% lower prices. This means that new members pay euro 93.50 for Solution and then you get a 5 euro coupon.

You can also buy ropes for under 100 euro, a Mammut harness for 45 euro, a Grigri for 69 euro and even get a quick draw from Climbing Technology for Euro 6.95! And do not forget that the prices are 10% lower for members. It seems, pretty much all brands are at sale there so check it out and start saving some money.

9a's FA and 8c's onsight and ethics by Adam Ondra  (2) Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureAdam Ondra has added another 20 climbsand some interesting comments to his scorecard including 1 670 ascents, from his recent trips to Flatanger and Arco. The hardcore hightlights were two 9a's FA in Flatanger, Brunhilde low start and Witchhammer. "A new line bolted by Adam Pustelnik...Really fun climbing, different sections with rests in between, never easy. Flatanger at its best."

The double world champion from 2014 visited also Hell, some two hours south from Flatanger by the Trondheim airport, where, among other things, he did the last project giving it 8c+ based on an interesting ethical comment. "The climbing is 8c, but clipping the 2nd bolt adds the grade."

The film producer Petr Pavlíček was with Adam and says Adam had also bolted some new lines one out of which includes the biggest dyno ever and it comes after a 9a route. Adam Ondra story of Change 9b+ from 2012.

First 9a by Erik Grandelius after reading a book  (2) Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureErik Grandelius seems to be in the best shape of his life, having onsighed two 8b's and done his first 9a, Cabane au Canada in Rawyl.

"We spent two weeks in Switzerland. The first day I realized that I was in good shape as I surprised myself by falling at the chains on the onsight of Paradis Articifiel 8c. We stayed another two days in Rawyl but then it became to warm (even though it is at 2000 meters) so we went to Gastlosen for a week. When we came back I sent the Cabane au Canada the first day on the second try.

Altogether I made six tries over three days. I feel that I have reached a deeper focus in my climbing, especially the last four days of the trip I dwelved into an almost meditative state as soon as a tied in, even on warm-ups. During the trip a was reading "Das Glasperlenspiel" by Herman Hesse and it made a great impression on my climbing. The great spiritual and intellectual discipline and the strong organization in the fictional Kastilien became an inspiration for me. I also feel that climbing hard in the alps also requires a great deal of organization and discipline as you have to time the weather, the resting, the nutrition and mental state perfectly.

Ammagamma 8B flash by James Webb  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureJames Webb has flashed his 11th 8B, Ammagamma in Grampians, which was put up by Klem Loskot in 1999 as an 8B+.

"Despite the unstable weather we're making it happen down here in OZ. The climbing style and rock quality has definitely exceeded my expectations. Yesterday was a perfect day and I took advantage by flashing the mega classic 'Ammagamma' 8B. I've been wanting to climb this one for as long as I can remember and it feels amazing just to climb on it. @matt_fultz also took it down!"

In total, James has recorded 88 flashes 8A and harder and without all his personal gradings, it would be over 100. The runner-up in the flash category is Daniel Woods who has flashed some 65 boulders 8A and harder, out of which five are 8B's.

8a and 8a+ onsight by Kajsa Rosén (18)  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureMoon Climbing reports that Kajsa Rosen from Sweden, who got the bronze in the Youth World's last year, has had an amazing onsight day in Voralpsee in Switzerland.

Beside onsighting Alaska kid 8a and Mordillo 8a+, she fell at the top of it's 8b extension. On Friday, the 18 year old is going to compete in the Imst Lead WC. (c) Stefan Ösund

- I did not go all in for the move as I did not think 8b onsight was possible. Kind of a stupid failure and I was not so happy. The 8a+ part was actually not so hard for me. I spent like 30 minutes on it.

Adam Ondra redpoints Three Degrees of Separation and suggests 9a+  (1) Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureAdam Ondra has made the second ascent of Three Degrees of Separation, a route Chris Sharma put up in 2007 as a 9a. In an old Planetmountain interview it was listed by Adam among "The Routes I Cannot Climb!"

"Three massive dynos into perfect jugs is something that is very rare on rock, especially in the middle of a route. I tried it for four days in 2010, but was actually never able to do the crux dyno, not even as a single move, although I was very close."

"You have to be able to do that dyno easily as a single move, because the 20 meters of 8c (5.14b) below really pump you out. Well, dynos aren't my cup of tea, I don't have the pure explosive power to perform them, but at least I can take advantage of my height. In any case, the fact that it remains unrepeated despite many attempts indicates that this one could easily be upgraded..."

After the ascent, Adam told UKC

"It is just too specific to grade, and I know for big dynoers like Jan [Hojer] the dyno is not that hard, but to get there fresh is quite a different story. To me it felt like the hardest route in Céüse, but that doesn't mean that it is definitely at least 9a+, because it doesn't fit me that well, but my suggestion is 9a+ and we will see." © Pierre Délas/Kairn

59 000 members and 3.5 million ascents  Facebook

Yesterday, the 59 000th 8a member signed up and in total there are now more than 3.5 million ascents in the data base that will help you to find the best crags and routes in the world. We are working on a totally new design that will be presented on Thursday both for the 8a community as well as on the Outdoor trade fair in Friedrichshafen.

8B by Jan de Smit (41) in Rocklands  (2) Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureJan de Smit, who started climbing in 1990 and was the Belgian Champion in 2013, is in his best shape ever, being 41 years old.

In the last week he has done 13 boulders 7C+ and harder including Mooiste Meisie 8B which was originally an 8B+. It is also interesting that he 185 cm tall has given personal grades for most of the hardest ones, including calling his flash of Stalker on the horizon, which was set up as an 8A, an 7B/+. Blogspot including great videos.

- Above all comments and grades, Rocklands has the most amazing boulders you will ever climb, anywhere.

Progression at 40+ involves more discipline and commitment. As you age the impact of sleep deprivation, malnutrition and over training can be deeply detrimental to your improvement. Over the years i have become more engaged in training and coaching, gathering information and experience I felt the need to bundle all this information in an effort to create a giant database filled with relevant information about training for climbing. All of this work resulted in the creation of Steelfingers.be , a free website with training tips and exercises for climbers.

Portrait of Jakob Kronberger (14) after his first 9a  Facebook

Here you have the link to Jakob Kronberger's very impressive scorecard.

A portrait of Jakob Kronberger from Wild Country on Vimeo.

8c (+) 2:Go by Ashima Shiraishi (14)  (1) Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureAshima Shiraishi has done Nordic Flower 8c (+) in Flatanger on her second go, which was put up as an 9a. From Instagram: "It was nice to take a break from my wet/hard project and to climb this 160ft beast!" She is talking about Thor's hammer 9a+.

The 14 year old has previously this year done one 9a+ and one 9a and actually, she has had the most impressive female tick list in the world for two years now. © Henning Wang/MadSkillz Media comments, "I have never seen a female climbing so naturally and making hard moves looks so easy. Her endurance is just amazing apart from her power.

9a by Jakob Kronberger (14)  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureJakob Kronberger has done Klem Loskot's Intermezzo XY gelöst 9a in Plombergstein. Last year, when he did his first 8c+ at the same crag, he said: "I would like to climb Intermezzo. If I can't do it this year, I already know what to expect in 2015!"
Alhough he is just 14 years old, Jakob is already 179 cm tall. More info to come. The youngest to have reached 9a are Ashima Shiraishi and Adam Ondra who were both 13 years old at the time. © Salzburg.com

Ben Moon, almost 49, does Rainshadow 9a  (9) Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureBen Moon, who turns 49 next week, reports on Twitter@

"Just climbed my 2nd 9a 25 years after my 1st. Rainshadow 4th ascent. FXXXXXX psyched!!!"

His first was Hubble at Raven Tor which he originally graded 8c+ back in 1990. Ben is mostly known for short powerful routes and for boulders, while Rainshadow, put up by Steve McClure and repeated by Adam Ondra and Jordan Buys, is a power-endurance monster route.

Steve has previously said, "Rainshadow is a truly brilliant route, perhaps my best, on the best UK sport cliff.

8C(B+) in few tries by Adam Ondra  (1) Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureAdam Ondra has spent some time in the Rocky Mountains National Park together with other boulder WC athletes. There, Adam needed just a few attempts to repeat White Noise 8C (B+) and flashed Bear toss 8B. © Chad Greedy (Instagram)

The double world champion from 2014, was #3 in the Boulder WC last weekend in Toronto. In the forthcoming WC stage in Vail (Colorado) he will compete together with 132 participants, which is about 50% more than last year.

Seb Bouin does Chilam Balam 9b  (10) Facebook

Seb Bouin, who has done several 9a and also 9a+', has done the third ascent of Bernabe Fernandez Chilam Balam 9b from 2003. Originally it was graded 9b+ which created a lot of controvercy and in 2011, Adam Ondra (Video) did the 80 meter super steep route and suggested 9b.

Ethan Pringle does Jumbo Love 9b  (17) Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureDPM Climbing has the full story of Ethan Pringle making the first repeat of Chris Sharma's 80 metre long Jumbo Love 9b in Clark Mountain. Ethan had been projecting Jumbo Love since 2007 and here is a great video from 2013. © RV Project - Walker Emerson

In 2000, Ethan took the silver in the Youth World Championship and his best result out of seven Lead and Boulder WC's is #16. On rock he has done a handful of 9as and Biographie 9a+ in 2007, when he was the #1 in the 8a Combined ranking game thanks to three 8B+ boulders he also climbed that year.

Previously only six climbers have done 9b or harder (excluding boulder routes) out of which Adam Ondra and Chris Sharma with 12 and 8 are the only ones to have done more than one.

"WOW!!! Yesterday I climbed my ultimate lifetime dream route, the most bad-ass sport climb I’ve ever laid eyes on, Chris Sharma 's ‪#‎JumboLove‬! WOW. I can’t believe it’s over. I say that half in a literal sense because when I sent it, it was almost like an out of body experience that I can barley remember happening. My story on Jumbo Love spanned over eight years and involved every emotion I can think of: awe, excitement, love, admiration, longing, apathy, fear, frustration, anger, resignation, acceptance, and eventually, MOTHERFUCKEN GLORY!!!

Jonathan Siegrist does Era Vella 9a (8c) on his third try  (75) Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureJonathan Siegrist blogs about having sent Era Vella in Margalef on his third try. Chris Sharma made the FA in 2010 as a warm up and said it might be a soft 9a. Howwever, Jstar says many 8c's are much harder. He also says that the hardest sequence is like a 7A+ boulder problem.

"I climbed Era Vella and I had a lot of fun doing it. Grades are there to offer a foundation for difficulty but the more I climb the more I realize the plasticity of grading. I could comment on how I feel that Era is easy and make a list of routes graded 8c that are much harder and blah blah blah but what I'm after is not a grade, it is an experience. So never mind all that."

It should be mentioned that, over the years, 8a has received many comments like this by climbers who have done Era Vella but who wanted to remain anonymous. By checking the stats and all personal records including quick sends of Era Vella, 8c+ is probably a more correct grade for this world class 45m route.

Climbers should focus on the beauty of the climbs and "never mind all that (grades)", as Jstar explains in his blog and leave the grade to the media who are trying to report as correct news (grades) as possible.


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