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Hukkataival questions his Golden Piton "Boldest Move" award  Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureNalle Hukkataival is skeptical towards the Golden Piton 2016 he got from Climbing in regards, "Boldest move".

"This Golden Piton appears to be awarded for my ascent, if only partially and in a slightly backhanded manner, but more so for how I had the nerve to suggest the grade that I did.

Perhaps Hukkataival isn’t one to contemplate the philosophical implications of new bouldering grades” (quote from climbing). Then Nalle continous;

As someone who has dedicated their life to the sport and spends perhaps more time than anyone mulling over issues like this, I find a presumption like this pretty unwarranted."

The fact is that Hukkataival invested 80+ days, not counting replica training, which could be compared to max 13 days for doing all the 8c's and 8c+ he has done previously. Based on that he said that he had no other choice, than to go for 9A. Here is a Hukkataivalgrading theory and practice article from 2010 with lot of references to 8a articles.

 
 
Action Directe 9a by Simon Lorenzi  Facebook
 

Climb2Climb reports that Simon Lorenzi, the Lead Youth World Champion and who won one Euro Cup in boulder, has done his first 9a, Action Directe in Frankenjura. In total, the Belgian needed eleven days of three visits including also some specific training.

Action Directe was put up in 1991 and has after being upgraded around 1995 been considered the first 9a until last year, when Hubble from Ben Moon in 1990 was proposed to be upgraded.

 
 
Annot A Bloc 20-21/5 bouldering festival  Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureAnnot A Bloc invites to a bouldering festival 20-21/5, one of the biggest events on natural boulders in Europe. A new area specially brushed for the occasion, with more than 80 new boulders, in all levels, on a perfect sandstone! More than 400 climbers, a big fiesta and lots of free animations. Video trailer

- A contest on natural boulders will take place on Saturday for all-level climbers
- Some climbing, tree climbing, rope course and rope bridge, free initiation, playful workshops, climbing equipment exchange, a raffle and many other activities will be available for this friendly week-end
- A highly colorful evening , with a final at night-time, a giant BBQ, a slideshow and a Baléti (traditional dance)

 
 
No Foot Contest #8 in Strasbourg  (1) Facebook
 


No Foot Contest 8 (15/04/2017) from EscaladeAlsace on Vimeo.

 
 
Ghisolfi's 8c+ gets 9a by Reffo and Megos  (1) Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureStefano Ghisolfi did the FA of Omen Nomen in Arco last week but as he did it in just his third try after finding the right beta, he suggested 8c+ and as so it did not make any head lines in the media.

Now Silvio Reffo and Alex Megos have repeated it suggesting an upgrade to 9a. Reffo projected it for few days and Megos did it in a session.

What are the important criteria when you give FA grades?
I compare the route with other routes I climbed, with the same style, and I compare my shape too. Then I also consider the time I spent on it.

For example, I'm trying a project now, I think it is 9a+, because I already tried it for eight days. It is of similar style to Jungle Boogie in Céüse and probably the same difficulty. The 9a+ that I did, I always worked between two to ten days.

(c) Vertical Eye - Matteo Pavana. Time Comparison Grading Theory by 8a

 
 
Webb, Takahashi and Heal in Switzerland  Facebook
 


Switzerland, Part One from Kevin Takashi Smith on Vimeo.

 
 
Ondra's Miura XX are now available  Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureAdam Ondra reports on his Instagram that the prototype shoes he has been using for doing two 9b+', the Miura XX, are now out in the shops. "For years, I have been climbing in these modified Miura's, making first ascent of Change and La Dura dura with them. Now, they are not secret anymore @patxiusobiaga_pucseries was the only other person that possessed them), go and try them. (c) Javi Pec

 
 
Dickson first 7C+ amputee documentary  Facebook
 

 
 
Brit-Vid Trailer  Facebook
 


Brit-Vid Trailer from Dimorphic on Vimeo.

 
 
14th 8B and 32nd 8A+ flash by James Webb  Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureJames Webb, the #1 flash boulderer in the world, has done it again with Blinded by the light 8B in Brione. In total, James has now flashed 14 boulders 8B and, as a matter of a fact, four stands as 8B+ in the topo.

Yesterday, he also added two 8A+ flashes to his scorecard in Magic Woods; Jack's broken heart and Riders on the storm which most think is 8B. It total he has now done 32 boulders 8A+ so in fact, he is quite superior in the flash style. (c) Eddie Fowke

 
 
9a (+) and 9a's by Kamil Ferenc  Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureKamil Ferenc has been climbing very hard under the radar for some years, including seven 9a's and harder, but finally he agreed to come out commenting his latest 9a's. (c) Kasia Berbeka

"My favorite country is Spain where I climbed most of my top routes – like Seleccio Anal last week. This is my 7th route of nine grade, my best OS is 8b+.
I tried both Seleccio Anal and Natural for the first time in February this year but unfortunately I didn't finish them then.

After a month of intensive training mixed with good rests I came back to Santa Linya to finish what I started. First day of April’s trip I tried Seleccio Natural – I felt my training give the result feeling stronger - quite surprised I send it second go that day. It was a good sign, as both routes have common start, Natural ends more easily.

Second day was similar, after warm up I did one try to remind all moves and send Seleccio Anal second go on that day. The route was downgraded from 9a+ to 9a/a+ in Feb by my team colleague Piotr Schab. I don’t feel that experienced with the grade, tried only Papichulo out of 9a+ but I found Seleccio Anal easier. Anyway the route fits me perfectly, very much my style of climbing and I am really glad to send it.

Hope will be able to jump to next level soon. This year will be exciting, I plan to take part in two editions of World Cup, than visit Flatanger and spend Autumn in United States."

 
 
8B wrestling by Michiel Nieuwenhuijsen  Facebook
 


Wrestling with an Alligator 8b. Maltatal from Michiel on Vimeo.

 
 
The multi-discipline superiority of Adam Ondra is unique and it is not about physical strengths  (32) Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureAdam Ondra won the Lead World Cup in 2009, onsighted seven 8c's and flashed three 8B's, and has since been the 8a Climber of the year. In 2010, being 17 years old, he won the Boulder World Cup, did his first two 8C boulders and put up two 8c multi-pitches in Madagascar.

In practice, it has been like this for nine straight years. Whatever the Czech has been focused on, he has delivered even if he has gone for the extremes like doing the Dawn Wall just two months after he won the Lead World World Championship and was runner up in bouldering.

Although, possibly most well-known for his three 9b+' and 15 9b's, the category, the 24 year old is most superior in should be onsight. In fact, he was the first to onsight a 9a graded route but for which he gave a personal down grade. In total, he has, with his tough personal grading, onsighted 15 8c+' and three 9a's. No other has onsighted more than one 8c+ or one 9a.

What makes Ondra a unique athlete is that he performs at the highest level on everything from few moves explosive ultra power, via 20 min endurance climbing to an ultra marathon 8 days up on the Dawn Wall. Have you ever heard about a 60 meter runner performing also in an ultra marathon?

Here is an article from 2009 which tries to explain why Adam is superior more form a technical, tactical and mental point of view. Another possible explanation is his flexibility. He is well-known his knee-drops but at the same time he can sit higher up on his foot like no other.

Adam often says that he is not as strong as the best guys and that he has to climb fast because he has not the best endurance. So the reason why he is unique when it comes to multi-discipline superiority in a physical sport, is mainly related to other aspects of climbing rather than the ability of his muscles.

 
 
8a member and best selling writer Jo Nesbö in Financial Times  Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureJo Nesbö, a best selling crime writer with 33 millions copies world wide, has been portraited in Financial Times. He restarted climbing in 2008 and in five years ago, he posted a thrilling story about a 6a flash on Kalymnos in his comments field on his 8a scorecard with 1 000+ routes.

Being 17 he made his first appearance in the Premier Soccer league in Norway but an injury stopped his professional dreams. He has a Master in Economics and has worked as a stock broker. He is also a singer and musician in Di Derre.

 
 
The last 9a+ FA, Naturalmente, by Adam Ondra  Facebook
 

 
 
8B+ by Dai Koyamada  Facebook
 


dai koyamada’s short movie “ISOLADO” V14 from project_daihold on Vimeo.

 
 
Another major incident in Chongqing  Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureIn the picture we can see also Keita Watabe did the same mistake as Tomoa Narasaki, Alexey Rubtsov and Jongwon Chon to not match on the marked top hold. (Everyone who topped out did misunderstand that the top hold was the small green camouflage hold under his left hand). Anyhow the jury did not bother to discredit Keita's top as they did with Tomoa Narasaki.

Imagine this would have been the Olympics. What would the IOC, 1 000 journalist and millions of viewers would have said as all the four top ranked did not understand how to top out?

Clearly, the IFSC and the rout setters need to address that there can be no misunderstanding in regards how to top out. Further more that the Jury guarantees fair judging among all athletes.

 
 
First 8c+ slab in La Pedriza by Ignacio Mulero  (2) Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureBelmez Face publishes in FB the FA of Territorio Comanche 8c+ in El Hueso, La Pedriza by Ignacio Mulero. The route is a extreme-friction 35m climbing, starting with a section of 7c+ with 'no hands', followed by a bouldery little roof before the never ending upper slab where Mulero was falling over and over again in the last few weeks. Mulero has previously done a few 9a's and 8C boulder, and during the last two winters, he did the hardest slabs to date up to 8b+ and free climbed some old trad routes in the 8b+ range. (C) Talo Martín - Muérdago Films.

After a very long process in which he was losing skin and partners to join him (1h hike), luckily and despite the bad conditions (it was sunny and it needs a cloudy and cold day for the south face climbing), he and his partner woke up very early to be at the crag (07:20), and after a warm up placing the draws for the last time he did it in his first go.

La Pedriza is just 50km from Madrid and with its 3 600 routes and 2 500 boulder problems makes it one of the biggest granite crags in Europe. The route should be one of the hardest slabs in the world considering that there are basically no holds. It is just smears and microscopic crystals that could not be compared to slabs like Tough Enough 8c in Madagascar or Meltdown 9a in Wales where there are 'holds'. An interview to Ignacio Mulero will come soon to 8a.nu.

 
 
8B+ (C) by James Noble and Ned Feehally  Facebook
 

James Noble has made the second repeat of Mike Adam's new Bordello in Earth Quarry giving it a personal down grade to 8B+. Ned Feehally did the first repeat some ten days ago.

"Very nearly broke me (literally), that's the hardest I've pushed my fingers on any problem. Used mikes left hand sidepull crimp sequence on the stand but a slightly easier sequence on the sit hence the personal downgrade. Still the hardest thing I've done."

 
 
Chongqing highlights  (1) Facebook
 

 
 
Midtbö Vlog from winning a comp in Norway  Facebook
 

 
 
Traversi and Condie wins Floclimbing DWS  Facebook
 

Floclimbing, famous for almost closing a three year live-streaming contract with IFSC, has run Tuck Fest DWS. Carlo Traversi and Kyra Condie won the USD 5 000. In order to see this comp live you had to pay a monthly fee of USD 20 as wuld have been the case also for the World Cup streaming.

 
 
Nina Williams sending Ambrosia 8a in Buttermilks  Facebook
 

 
 
Confusing dilemma with the new 4 min rule  Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureTwo weeks ago, I published, "A boulder final can turn into a horror show with the new 4 min rule", explaining that a boulderer might reach the top within the 4 min but might not get an OK. The IFSC rule says that in order to get an OK you should within the max 4 min,

"Controlled the marked finishing hold of the Boulder with both hands."

Ask can be seen on the picture, Alexey Rubtsov is dynoing to the top hold when there are two seconds left but even so he did not get an OK. It took him some three seconds to control the last holds with both hands as, his feet cut loose, to move his left hand, his feet cutting loose again.

Imagine if this had been in the Olympics and he had been one second earlier and most would have believed he made it and then it would have been up to the judge estimating split seconds, in order to give him an OK.

At least, the new 4 min rule must be changed so it is good enough to get to the last hold within the 4 minutes and then you are allowed to establish the controlled position for some seconds.

 
 
Papichulo 9a+ also by Felipe Camargo  Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureFelipe Camargo, who two months ago won 35 000 USD in a Neflix "Ninja Warrior" show, has done his first 9a+, Papichulo in Oliana. Chris Sharma made the FA in 2008 and the Brazilian got it's 17th ascent. (c) Lena Drapella

"I worked the route six weeks last year and seven days this trip. Trained a lot of endurance and tried to set my traverses in the gym with similar amount of hard moves, resistance and boulders. Like 28 moves to the first bad rest, then 12 moves boulder, better rest and then 40 endurance moves to the top. I never worked so hard or wanted anything as bad as I wanted this route!"

 
 
Tom Bolger does Víctimas Pérez 9a  Facebook
 


Tom Bolger - Victima Perez from MadSkillz Media on Vimeo.

 
 
"Why strong fingers matter"  Facebook
 

Eric Hörst, a well known climbing trainer, explains Why strong fingers matters. This article might balance out the Cafe Kraft guys with a focus on almost everything but finger power.

"The bottom line: By increasing your limit strength and advancing your high-end climbing ability, the submaximal level at which you can climb with relative ease and aplomb—and in high volume—is elevated. Therefore, by making a long-term training commitment to getting stronger (and improving your mental and technical game) you may someday find your current maximum climbing level to be “moderate” and achievable in volume."

 
 
First 9a by Gregor Vezonik  Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureGregor Vezonik, who was #31 in the first Boulder WC in 2017 and who has done more than ten 8B boulders, has done his first 9a, Aikula in Burjakove peci which is his local home crag. (c) Rok Klancnik

"The line was bolted 20 years ago by my uncle and Uros Perko got the FA. Then some holds broke and then Domen Skopfic did it two years ago. I tried it for the first time six years ago as a joke. Then a couple of times later. Started working seriously on it three years ago and almost sent it two years ago when I was trying it with Domen. Last year I probably had four sessions on it and this year I did it on my second session. it has been an incredible journey to finally tick it off."

 
 
Ondra makes the highpoint on the way too hard Project  Facebook
 

It was nice to hear the interviews with Adam Ondra and his trainer Patxi Usobiaga and climbing wise Ondra set a new highpoint which some spectacular moves through the roof. However, as the start of the route is very simple, this was not as great show you would have expected, especially since the route must be considered way to hard. Nobody will top it getting the 5 000 Euro. In fact, the Klättercentret has said it might be as hard as 10a and you understand that this is cover up to make sure they do not have to pay out the money.

As the route is supposed to be a challenge for everyone, I find it hard to understand why they have not marked some holds or clip with grades. The idea was great but the route has to be rebuilt with a difficulty that could be possible to reach not just for Ondra.

 
 
Ondra vs the Project  Facebook
 

 
 
Kaplov set new Speed record at 7.46  Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureIuliia Kaplov won the first stage of the Speed World Cup and in the semifinal she set a new Speed record by 7.46. Among the male, Vladislav Deulin won but the fastest time was done by Danyil Boldyrev at 5.62, just 2 split seconds after his world record. It might be that a new auto belay system is part of the reason for the very good times also in general. High light video

Interesting is that no Boulderer, beside Sean McColl, at 8.45, did do any fast time. (c) Eddie Fowke

 
 
Boulder WC after two events  Facebook
 

1. Alexsey Rubtsov 145 - Shauna Coxsey 180
2. Kokoro Fujii 137 - Janja Garnbret 147
3. Jongwon Chon 128 - Stasa Gejo 102
4. Keita Watabe 120 - Miho Nonaka 102
5. Tomoa Narasaki 89 - Petra Klingler 94
Complete results

Interesting is that Japan has four guys within the Top-6. Only Shauna, Stasa and Keita have made it into the finals in both events.

 
 
Convincing victory by Chon and Garnbret in China  (10) Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureJanja Garnbret, the Lead overall winner in 2017, was superior in the Boulder World Cup in Chongqing, winner all three rounds and topping al 13 boulders in a superior style. Runner up was Shauna Coxsey who overall did ten boulders.

Among the male, Jongwon Chon #4 in the Boulder World Cup last year, won both the semifinal and the final and in fact he had to do the final boulder twice as he misunderstood how to top out in his first try.

1. Janja Garnbret SLO 4t11 4b7 - Jongwon Chon KOR 4t6 4b5
2. Shauna Coxsey GBR 3t4 4b5 - Tomoa Narasaki JPN 2t2 3b3
3. Akiyo Noguchi JPN 3t13 4b13 - Aleksei Rubtsov RUS 2t2 3b3
Complete results (c) Eddie Fowke

 
 
Chongqing finals live 18.00 GMT+8  Facebook
 

 
 
Klemen Becan (34) enjoys late blooming  Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureKlemen Becan did 60+ WC before he won in Kranj 2008 being 26 years old. On rock he has also enjoyed late blooming and with three 9a+' the last year. With several 8c onsights he is already among the Top-3 in the world. One was actually 8c+ but has gotten down graded and he has been close on several 8c+'.

"Still my main goal is to onsight 9a hopefully also this will come one day as well, if not I will just enjoy the way until there. I was close to one 9a in Cuenca some time ago.", where he actually placed the quick draws. (c) Anja Becan

How many sessions did you need for La Rambla and how was the process?
I gave it one try 10 years ago and now I was trying it since the beginning of the year. Could maybe have done it faster if I would be focused only on this one, but where is the fun in that? Too many cool routes around here to do only one at the time :)

How can you explain your late progress on comps and rock?
Well I never thought I was a bad competition climber. Yes, I could have a better results but that is another story. Also I think the focus was never a big problem since even if I was "just" climbing I was still "training" more than many people. Not with written program and blindly following someone but with many tests and trying what is best for my body.

Now I still don't have a training plan. It's all in my head and apparently it works. I know enough to train myself

 
 
8c+ by Philipp Gaßner (16)  Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PicturePhilipp Gaßner, who did his first 8c+ when he was 14 years old, has done his second, Pain makes me stronger, every day! in Frankenjura.

"The route fits my style pretty well because it's short and bouldery with pockets. I just needed a few tries to stick the crux move that is a little dyno to a good pocket and to send the whole route.

After my finger injury in 2016 I want to climb outside as much as possible. In summer my plan is to travel to Rocklands and the psyche is already high so let's see."

 
 
8a+ Greenpoint (trad of a bolted route)  Facebook
 

 
 
Fightclub 9b FA by Alex Megos  Facebook
 

 
 
Chongqing qualification overview  Facebook
 

 
 
Sean McColl wins no foot contest  Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureClick to Enlarge PictureYann Corby reports that Sean McColl won the No Foot Contest in Roc en Stock in Strasbourg.

"This year after the first round Sean was third, winning three tests; the campus board, a Parkour on climbing wood balls and the boulder. During this round Louis Giuca made an incredible performance with 14 one arm pull ups, see the picture by © Freddy"

Only two days later, Sean traveled to China and possible the No Foot Contest took to much juice as he missed the semifinal.

 
 
Bouldering in Odenwald  Facebook
 

 
 
Climbing Festival in Costa Rica  Facebook
 

 
 
Japan superior among the male in China  Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureJapan participated with ten male in the Boulder WC in Chongqing in China and all of them were Top-17. In practice this meant that several of the top guys did not make it to the semifinal; McColl, Gelmanov, Sharafutdinov, Stranik, Bonder, Kurder, Skofic and Levier. (c( Eddie Fowke

Now the female do their qualification, follow the digital results. On Sunday there will be live-streaming starting with the semi at 09.30 and the final at 18.00 GMT+8.

 
 
Sergei Shaferov opens a 9a in Russia  Facebook
 


INKORPI from Pavel Isaev on Vimeo.

 
 
Siegrist projects down Pachamama 9a+  Facebook
 

 
 
9b and 9a in a day by Adam Ondra  (6) Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureAdam Ondra publishes on his Instagram that yesterday he did Stefano Ghisolfi's Lapsus 9b in Andonno, Italy. The same day, after two hour driving, he also did Perfect Man 2.0 9a on 2nd go in Castelbianco. (C) Jan Novak

"Lapsus 9b in Andonno gets its second ascent today after @steghiso. Amazing conditions and feeling pretty strong today. It was that good that we drove down to Castelbianco the same afternoon and I did 2nd go ascent of Perfect Man 2.0 9a after @Matteo_gambaro. Planet Mountain has got some comments from Adam.

 
 
New Beginnings - Rocklands, South Africa  Facebook
 

I

'New Beginnings' - Rocklands, South Africa 2016 from Derw Fineron on Vimeo.

 
 
Ondra's advice to the kids - onsight and varied styles  Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureAdam Ondra did his first ever interview with 8a when he was 11 years old, where he said;

"I always try to climb as many routes of the grade OS (now, it is 8b). I usually don't try harder things for a long time. If I see a nice route, no matter the grade or the character, I want to climb it. Cracks too. I aim to climb all types of routes on various types of rocks."

What are the changes you see on the scene in comparison to when you were like 13 years old? What are the advises you could give to the young climbers?

I think the scene of youngsters has changed as there are way more kids
climbing pretty hard. More coaches, more scientific approach, but the
problem for many remain the same - I often see too much pressure from
the coaches and parents (which is even worse), not letting the kids
being more independent in climbing and just having more fun in general.

Kids should be motivated and psyched to climb themselves - if not, they
will probably quit climbing sooner or later. It is important to be ambitious but not focusing too much on the performance. I think kids in general often climb only in certain areas and certain routes, which fit their style and they can push their limits very fast and high.

We know that grades are relative, most importantly for someone being only 130cm. It can be frustrating for the youngsters when they grow up, their bodies changing and they do not make any further progression, or not even maintain the level. I think it is very important to climb everything and everywhere when it comes to sport climbing, mostly onsighting but not all the time, and not onsighting in the usual areas suitable for onsights.

That way one learns the most and you gain the experience to have fun in the future, because you will be capable of climbing well in any style.

 
 
Il manfano 7c, Monte Amiata  Facebook
 

 
 
Ondra talks onsight and then does an 8c (+)  (3) 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+ FA by Loic Zehani (15)  Facebook
 

Loic Zehani, who previously has done three 9a's, has done the FA of Concerto in Orgon, video. In the 8a ranking game, the 15-year-old is #10.

"The route was bolted by Alexandre Serres and Olivier Bert. It is 40 moves without any rest. The first part is kind of a traverse with a lot of little pinches and a lot of feet moving. It is the nicest part and after you go straight."

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

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

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

 
 
8C in Rocklands by Ryuichi Murai  Facebook
 

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

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

 
 
8c+ trad by Ethan Pringle  (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.

 
 
8B+ FA in Malatal by Christof Rauch  Facebook
 

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

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

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

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

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

 
 
Hungry Monkeys in Railay  Facebook
 


Hungry Monkeys from Ironmanfilms on Vimeo.

 
 
8A flash by Megan Mascarenas (18)  Facebook
 

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

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

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

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

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

 
 
Wallstreet 8c by Laura Rogora (15)  Facebook
 

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

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

 
 
8C in Rocklands by Toshi Takeuchi  Facebook
 

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

 
 
Monkey Wedding 8C by Vadim Timonov  Facebook
 

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

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

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

 
 
8B flash by Vadim Timonov  Facebook
 

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

 
 
9a revenge for Stefano Ghisolfi  (2) Facebook
 

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

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

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

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

 
 
Dino Lagni (47) flashes an 8c  Facebook
 

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

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

 
 
Domen Skofic from Slovenia wins in Chamonix  (6) Facebook
 

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

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

 
 
Carole Palmier: a 28 year old rising star  Facebook
 

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

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

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

 
 
9a FA by Adam Ondra in Flatanger again  Facebook
 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 
 
Delirium 8C by David Graham  Facebook
 

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

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

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

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

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

 
 
Papichulo 9a+ by Klemen Becan  (2) Facebook
 

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

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

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


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

 
 
9a FA by Ivaylo Fazata in Bulgaria  Facebook
 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 
 
Pirmin Bertle does a 9a FA in Patagonia  Facebook
 

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

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

 
 
Action Directe 9a by Stefano Carnati (18)  Facebook
 

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

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

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

 
 
8c by Laura Rogora (15)  Facebook
 

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

 
 
8c+ by Rafa Fanega (41)  Facebook
 

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

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

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

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

 
 
8A+ FA again by Isabelle Faus  Facebook
 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 
 
8b again by Cathy Wagner (50)  Facebook
 

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

 
 
First 9a by Maxime Clerc  Facebook
 

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

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

 
 
8A+ by Megan Mascarenas (18)  Facebook
 

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

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

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

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

 
 
Four 8A's for Karo Sinnhuber  (3) Facebook
 

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

 
 
Close to 6 000 crags in the database  Facebook
 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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