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Chuck Odette's (61) 8b+ FA great story  Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureClick to Enlarge PictureChuck Odette started climbing in 1978 and did his first 7a+ 1989 being 34 years old. Since two years, he is a full time retired climber who is getting a new peak being 61 years old doing the FA of Bulletproof Monk 8b+ in Logan Canyon. (c) Heidi Baxter

"Technically, it's been a 2 year process. My wife (Maggie Odette 8b+ in 2016 being 46) and I have been on the road full time since June of 2015, which helps a lot. We've been living in our little Scamp Trailer for the past 2 years and 2 months! We change location about every 2 or 3 month, following the weather usually. We're able to climb and rest on our schedule rather than climbing just on weekend and training during the week. Full time climbers have it made :) blog.

I really started focusing on this route last year when I bombed out in Maple trying to do a couple of the longer 8b+ routes there. I was very close, but the best I could do was to repeat a couple 8b/8b+ routes last summer. The two routes, Ego Boost (8b/8b+) and Mexican Rodeo (8b/8b+), I had done when I was a much younger 50 year old... HA!

Logan Canyon was essentially my local "home" crag for many years (1994 to 2002) so it made sense to go back to Logan and try something hard there this year. I had put up a new line called Shaolin (8b) in 2014 and linked it to a harder longer endurance finish and called it Golden Child (8b+) also done in 2014. I tried to link Shaolin into another, more direct finish at that time, which is the finish I just did, but I felt like it was too powerful for me to do at my advanced age. It's 7B or 7B+ boulder grade maybe? Hard for old geezers... or so I thought...??? :)

Being away from the route for three years made me think about it more and I felt that it might be possible for me to do if I trained specifically just for that finish. Maggie and I decided to return to Logan Canyon this year so she could do a couple of FFA's or harder 8a+ and 8b grade possibly, and so I could work on linking Shaolin into this much harder finish...

To prepare for this, we spent 6 weeks bouldering in the Priest Draw of Northern Arizona, which is steep pocked limestone (like China Cave) and very powerful movement. We trained hard on our portable tripod back in camp every night after bouldering, three days a week. We did weighted pull ups, gymnastic ring push ups and lots of core training stuff. Power is our weakness, so all we did was work our weakness during that time. On our rest days, we both do a lot of Ashtanga (power) yoga for recovery and opposition muscle strength training. Basically, we were doing active recovery while balancing out our pull muscles to help prevent injury.

When we arrived to climb in China Cave (Logan Canyon) we were both extremely fit for it. I repeated a handful of routes to build a pyramid toward the ultimate goal of sending the new and harder finish to Shaolin. After repeating The Golden Child, during this phase, I knew I was ready to link the harder variation. It took three climbing days (over a five day period) to work out the moves to the new finish. Three more climbing days later (and another five day period) I linked the entire rig for the redpoint. I felt lucky since my physical, mental and emotional states were all at peak performance levels. Coincidentally, my peak performance level corresponded with cooler temps. We had been climbing in 30-32C temps (in the shade!) and on the send day it was only 25C. Sometimes there's a bit of "luck" involved when sending something at your limit!"

 
 
8c+ trad hybrid by Bernd Zangerl after big injury  (3) Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureBernd Zangerl, one of the pioneers of Magic Wood and a leading boulderer some 15 yeras ago, took a very bad fall in 2015. (c) Ray Demski

"I landed hard on my back on my crash pad, followed by a somersault into the forest’s stony ground. Conscious again, I was sitting on my knees looking up at the project five meters above me. There was only little pain in my neck, which I didn’t give much attention to, and I went back home.

The next day I went to a spa, relaxing. I didn’t think the fall was anything serious, until a few days later when the pain became unstintingly severe.
After a MRI, the doctors explained to me that I was very lucky, but I’d badly injured the 5th and 6th vertebra in my neck.

When I woke up a few days later, I couldn’t feel my thumb and index finger anymore. A funky feeling. A few hours later my muscles on my back (terres major and serratus anterior) started vibrating. That was the moment when the brain stopped sending impulses to the muscles. The atrophy started slowly. I didn’t know what was going on. I felt the results eight weeks later back in the gym. I wanted to hold on some jugs, but I couldn’t do it anymore. My arm straightened without any resistance. I totally lost the two most important muscles in climbing, the terres major and serratus anterior!

After a 1,5 year of physio training indoor and specific mental work every day, I was super happy to be outside, to climb on the rock again. Into the Sun (8c+) starts with a six move 8A+ traverse into Fred Nicole's old top rope boulder Murgtal Tag & Nacht 8A+ (where gear is placed) and tops out with a 7b link.

After this injure, it is not the grade which is important to me. It never really was. The way back to bouldering, to climbing, to what I love can not be measured with numbers. Words can't tell how happy I am to be back on the rock. I still have some more projects which I want to climb in future. I am still not as strong as before my accident but I am getting there:-)

 
 
World Cup starts 07:00 on Friday in Munich  Facebook
 

There are 175 male scheduel to compete in the Boulder WC on Friday in Munich. One reason for this is that up to the semi, the event also counts as the European Championship which means more competitor from each European country is allowed. The isolation closes 06:30 and at 07:00, Jongwon Chon and Alexey Rubtsov start competing followed by the lower ranked.

In practice this means that the guys competing for the overall title need to wake up at the latest 04:30 in order to be able to perform maximum power and dynos in full swing at seven o'clock. The last male out will start around 14:30 after having spent eight hours in isolation. At the same time both the temperature and the friction will be worse after 85 guys have put chalk on the holds, in the two groups.

In other words, it might be a higher proportion of the guys starting a couple hours in the competition qualifying to the semi final.

 
 
8B+ by James Squire (19) in Magic Wood  (3) Facebook
 

James Squire has done his first 8B+, The Never Ending Story in Magic Wood. "Did not expect this today! Massive mental battle. 5th session this trip plus a few sessions over the last two years. Such a classic line, can't believe it!"


The Never Ending Story 8B+ from Beastly Squirrel on Vimeo.

 
 
Kalymnos from the air  Facebook
 

 
 
Jakob Schubert does 55 boulders 8A and harder in 17 days  (2) Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureJakob Schubert, who was #3 in the European Lead Championship in the end of June just one week after being #5 in Boulder Cup, later took his first ever WC break and instead went to Rocklands. During 17 days he did over 55 boulders 8A and harder. According to his ticklist we can see that he flashed two 8B's Mooiste Meisie and Madiba which he gave a personal grade of 8A+, five 8A+' and eleven 8A's. In short, this just might be a new record when it comes to a 2.5 weeks tclimbing trip. The next week he will compete in the Boulder WC in Munich. (c) Ingo Filzwieser

 
 
Top-10 Apps for Climbing  Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureFriction Labs has listed the Top-10 Climbing Apps including commenting Pros and Cons and the first mentioned is Vertical-Life

"Vertical Life is the most well-designed app on this list. It’s pleasing to the eye, features inviting color schemes and photos, and is easy to navigate. Its guide topos (i.e. visual representations of the routes on a wall) are beautifully crafted and easy to follow."

 
 
Mitterdorf European Youth Cup  Facebook
 

Heloise Doumont BEL - Stefano Carnati ITA
Sandra Lettner AUT - Andoni Esparta Frade ESP
Camille Pouget FRA - Alberto Gines ESP
Complete results

Interesting is that Spain, that has had poor youth competitions results for many years, was the best nation. In female Youth A, Austria and Slovenia shared the first six positions followed by Laura Rogora from Italy, who was #6 in the Villars World Cup last month. The last few years, Austria has dominated but it seems that some others countries have had great progress.

 
 
8A (+) by Maria Davies Sandbu  Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureMaria Davies Sandbu, who previously has done eleven 8A's, has sent Nightrider Høyre in Lofoten, giving it a personal grade 8A grade.

"Very cool climb on good crimps! The long move in the end was definetely the crux for me. Even though the guidebook says 8A+ I dont think I can claim this to be my first of the grade."

 
 
Sendai Vent for trecking/scrambling and super easy climbing  Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureI have used the new Sendai Vent from Boreal when I have been setting up easy bolted routes this summer and they are perfect. Instead of using climbing shoes that get painful after an hour or so, I use this in between climbing and trecking shoe. The Sendai Vent is a regular lightweight comfortable approach shoe that you in fact also could use during easy climbing warming up.

For some reason, the shoe industry has not fulfilled this in between segment for the new generation of climbers who do not want to invest in climbing shoes doing some scrambling or climbs graded 3 and 4. More info

 
 
8b+ FA by Chuck Odette (61)  (3) Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureChuck Odette continues to progress being 61-years-old doing the FA of Bulletproof Monk in Logan Canyon which was his tenth 8b+. "Linked Shaolin into the Monk finish. soooooo good... sooooo pumpped! still pumped a day latter :)"
Interview follow up to come. (c) Heidi Baxter

 
 
8c by Iva Vejmolová in Flatanger  Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureIva Vejmolová has done her first 8c, Nordic Flower in Flatanger which actually was set up as an 9a. (c) Pavel Blazek

Adam Ondra comments on Instagram,"I cannot be happier to lose the bet. We made a bet who is going the climb the "c" first (8c for her, 9c for me). My sweetheart Iva found Nordic Flower and ticked her first 8c! The most dramatic and emotional belay I have ever had. So proud of her, especially doing it 2nd go of the day in total shit conditions. Let's pick more "c's" in September."

 
 
Chaleboras and his riddles  Facebook
 


Chaleboras and his riddles from George Papageorgiou on Vimeo.

 
 
Hukkataival and Raboutou do 8C (B+)  Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureArjan de Kock reports on Instagram that Nalle Hukkataival and Shawn Raboutou have repeated James Webb's KhoiKhoi in N1 and the interesting thing is that both suggested an upgrade to 8C.

Webb is known for grading hard and also giving personal down grades and here is his comment after the FA in 2014. "Absolutely stunning boulder problem. Potentially one of my proudest first ascents. Perfect compression on just barely there slopers leading up a pristine 20 foot tall boulder. This one sits right off the N1 about 20 kilometers before Worcester. Named it after the original inhabitants in the Cape area called the "khoiKhoi". Absolutely loving this place..."

 
 
Anak Verhoeven presentation  Facebook
 


Anak Verhoeven’s Key to Success - Perseverance from Solid Rock - Climbers for Christ on Vimeo.

 
 
8b+ greenpoint by all-round expert Jernej Kruder  Facebook
 

Jernej Kruder is one of the leading multi-discipline climbers in the world who was #2 in the Boulder World Champion in 2014. Last year he did the DWS Es Pontas 9b and he has also done several hard multi-pitches. In the video he does an old bolted 8b+ on trad gear. Next is the Lead World Cup in Arco, followed by the Boulder World Cup in Munich. Later he will also start training Speed in order to try to qualify to Tokyo 2020.

 
 
Digiulian and Marin make first repeat of 8c MP in Madagascar  (3) Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureClick to Enlarge PictureSasha Digulian and Edu Marin, some of the best multi-discipline climbers in the world, have made the first repeat of the 700 metres Mora Mora 8c in Madagascar. It was bolted ground-up by Francisco Blanco and Toti Valés and in 2010, Adam Ondra made the FA. Full story including more great pics by Francois Lebeau.

Sasha: I am excited to have arrived at a point in my fitness that I could send my hardest big wall climb yet! We each sent every pitch from the ground up and both lead the Crux.

Edu: It has been a tremendous challenge with a very technical style and really small holds. One of the most incredible and beautiful experiences of the last years.

 
 
2nd round of regional's in Brazil  Facebook
 

 
 
Jacopo Larcher in trad project mode  Facebook
 

 
 
8B/+ by Jack Palmieri  Facebook
 


Silk Cut 8B/+ from Jack Palmieri on Vimeo.

 
 
175+ male competitors in Munich  Facebook
 

There are already 287 athletes signed up for the Bouldering World Cup in Munich 18-19/8, out of which 175 male and couning. The deadline is on the 13th.

This is very good news at the same time it means that some guys will have to stay in isolation for possibly eight hours starting from 07.30, without getting any proper meal. At the same time, it could be that the last female will compete until 24:00.

Then the semfinal isolation on Saturday closes at 09:00. Including the additional European separate semifinalist, the last guys out might spend another four hours in isolation. In between the final isolation closes at 17:00, there is also a award semifinal for the European Championships so it just might be that one or two athletes will spend some 10 + 10 hours in the arena before the final starts.

In the future, IFSC need to limit the number of competitors from each country. There are 19 male from Germany and several countries have 6 - 10 guys participating.

 
 
How to grade up to 4c?  Facebook
 

Grades are supposed to reflect how hard it is to redpoint a route with the best optimal beta. At the same time, the grades should assist a beginner who is searching a 4a to warm up on, irrelevant how hard it is to redpoint. Further more, if we are talking kids or guys who try out climbing for the first time, also length, reach and potential pendulum swing etc have impact on the perceived difficulty/grade.

In other words, a 25 meter route climbing a bit diagonal on reachy granite will never be perceived as grade two even if an expert never need to use their hands. On the other hand, a seven meter straight up where you always need your hands to pull, could be graded two.

Nevertheless, in practice, the grading for both the 8a as well as the 4a, are done based on the same idea. The success rate and time invested for the community! The only difference is that, the lower you go down in grades, the more the grade should reflect the onsight and flash difficulty.

 
 
Where the wild things play  Facebook
 

 
 
OHM - A future smashing success  (2) Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureClick to Enlarge PictureMy 19 kg son tried belaying me at 67 kg for the very first time and thanks to the OHM it worked great. Olle was really pleased to have full control and I had to climb up two meters several times so he could lower me down.

- Dad! This is cool. How does it work?
- The OHM in the first bolt assists small belayers by creating friction.
- I want to try again. Now I can work as your belayer when you are drilling.

It should be noted that the official Edelrid manual says,
"Recommended weight difference (lead climber > belayer): 10 - 40 kg Minimum weight belayer: 40 kg".

The OHM is first of all produced to assist lighter belayers when their partner takes a fall. Often in a gym or even outdoors you see smaller belayers attached to some kilos of sand or so. It says that the OHM does not increase the rope drag for the lead climber but when we tested the device on a slab, sometimes it rotated and some ropedrag was created. On steeper terrain we noticed almost no increased ropedrag.

I do think this will be a smashing success especially for families with kids. I will certainly not allow my kid to belay me climbing for several years but in order to get everyone more involved, I will let Olle, under my careful supervision, belay his little brother. I am very sure they will be both very proud and it is very good for them to learn the safety protocol and how to trust each other.

 
 
Join the competition sharing interaction  Facebook
 

It is said that tight cooperation among the Japanese climbers is part of their success. Everyone is participating in the sharing in order to optimize their performance which is also part of the Japanese culture. How the competition climbers cooperates during the observation is also something non-climbers are really fascinated about.

This sharing culture is nice to follow and pick up on the federations Facebook pages. Almost every week, you read about how different nations have had some training sessions or have joined some local competitions.

Another example of this is that four days before the World Cup in Munich, Boulderwelt invites competitors for a pre-comp down in semi mode on four problems. "After the simulation, the route setters will talk you through boulders, explain what their ideas was and give you feedback". It is free of charge and there are still some open space!

 
 
Switzerland bouldering  Facebook
 


Swiss Uncut ! Bouldering Switzerland 2017 from Bloc E centro de escalada on Vimeo.

 
 
Smart different crack training device  Facebook
 

 
 
Euro Boulder Cup in Sofia  Facebook
 

Nicolas Collin BEL - Franziska Sterrer AUT
Leo Favot FRA - Hannah Meul GER
Alberto Lopez ESP - Vanda Michalkova SVK
Complete results

No nation dominated but Germany, who has had several years of not so good results, was the only country with three medals. Nicolas Collin was the only winner who also won the qualification. On an average, the winners of the semifinal ended just as #4. One possible explanation for this is that the semi winner have the worst friction on the holds, as seven climbers have tried them for 35 minutes before they start.

 
 
Second 8b for Alex Totkova (12)  Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureAlex Totkova has done her second 8b Bruce Lee in Dryanovo Monastery. The Bulgarian has been climbing three times a week indoors and during the weekends outdoors with her father, for only four years.

The last two years she has won all the Lead comps she has done in Bulgaria, Petzen, Imst and Arco.

 
 
Zangerl's 8c+ trad comeback after his big fall  Facebook
 

 
 
Gym bouldering as new treatment against depression  Facebook
 

Climbing presents an interesting article in regards how a study has showed how indoor bouldering could help against depression. Some hospitals in Germany have started using bouldering interventions.

"For one, it requires mindfulness, which can break people out of negative thought cycles, which can reinforce depression. Social support is a big part of climbing too, and the sport can also grant an immediate sense of accomplishment upon completing a route or challenging move."

 
 
Tips and tricks for beginners and up  Facebook
 

Are you ready to take that next step and move up a level?
8a Glossary
The ABC of Climbing

 
 
The 8a Ticklist gives you the best climbs in the world  (2) Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureThere are now over 4.4 million star rated ascents in the 8a database. In the Ticklist, the 4 173 biggest crags respectively the 1 744 biggest boulder areas in the world are listed. These lists will guide you to climb the best and and most popular climbs in the world.

You have different search criterias like; Grade, Onsight/Flash Rate and Stars. You can also check who has done the ascents and read their comments.

In the crag Ticklist, you will also find their respectively trend popularity ranking. For each crag you will also find the average onsight percentage as well as star rating. For each crag, you can also find who has done the hardest ascents the last month, which grades and months are most popular.

 
 
8c in Céüse by Laura Rogora (16)  (1) Facebook
 

Laura Rogora reports on Facebook, "Unfortunatly a little injury in my finger stopped me from trying "Biographie". Anyway, Ceuse is full of beautiful lines to climb. Today I sent "Dures Limites" 8c."

In total the 16 year old has done 12 routes 8c to 9a during the last 12 months and she is #1 in the female ranking game as well as in the Age and Gender bonus ranking game.

 
 
Age & Gender Boulder Ranking  Facebook
 

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Age & Gender Route Ranking  Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge Picture

 
 
8b+ again by Chuck Odette (61)  Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureChuck Odette has in July done two 8b's and The Golden Child 8b+ in Logan Canyon. The extraordinary great thing is that Chuck is 61 years old and seems to have a new all time high peak again. His progress started when he did his first 7a+ being 34 years old and ten years later he did his first 8b+.

In the gender and age bonus ranking, the 61 year old is #4. In bouldering, his current best is 7B. "I seem to be aging like a fine wine… the older I get the better I become."

 
 
Ondra's power endurance campus boarding  (6) Facebook
 

 
 
L. Matyas 8B+ pocket power on the Moonboard  Facebook
 


L. Matyas - Pocket Power | 8B+ Moonboard from L. Matyas on Vimeo.

 
 
Babsi Zangerl and Jacopo Larcher do Zodiac 8b MP  Facebook
 

 
 
8C (+) obsession pays off for Toru Nakajima  Facebook
 

Given that FA Paul Robinson originally thought that Lucid Dreaming was an 8C+ and that Alex Megos calls it his hardest, it might be a contender to be upgraded, as Toru Nakajima used three years and 16 sessions.

"I agree with you and Nalle Hikkataival's concept. So I can say "it may be 8C+". If it was given 8C+, I would not say it is 8C. I think grade should be determined under majority rule, so I want know what Paul and Daniel Woods think about it. Anyway I cannot say for certain "it is 8C+"."

Toru who previously has done four 8C's, finishes off by saying, "Now I'm satisfied with my bouldering career, and would like to do trad-climbing or any other things."

 
 
8C FA by Giuliano Cameroni  (2) Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureGiuliano Cameroni has done his fourth 8C through the FA of Hazel grace in Gottardo and the 20 year old is #7 in the ranking game. Next project is to do the logical sit start to it.

"It took me around 6 days to do the first crux move, but luckily I did it only once since I knew exactly what to do on the second part. This summer was the first time I trained in a serious way (with Luca DiBiase) and I visibly see the improvement."

 
 
8b+ again by Chaehyeon Seo (13)  Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureChaehyeon Seo, who last year did her first 8b+, has done one more, The Colinator in Rifle and the 13 year old did it in only three attempts. The years ago, she also created headlines by onsighting an 8a in Kalymnos. Her father Jongkuk is a gym owner and also a successful ice climber UIAA competitor.

"She climbs and trains after she gets out of school. Her training time is about 5hours a day when she does. I make her training plans and I make new climbing problems for her on the spray wall daily.

I would like her to be a climber that truly enjoys climbing. Because of this reason, we go out on fairly long climbing trips every year. This trip is her 4th with me."

 
 
Barbara Zangerl injured at Psicocomp  (3) Facebook
 

During the Psicocomp DWS in Salt Lake City, Barbara Zangerl took a a bad fall while jumping from the 17 meter wall. Although she got a stiff neck and some pain in my upper spine and later a strange feeling in her leg, she continued the DWS comp all the way to the semifinal.

- I pushed myself too hard away from the top during my first jump from the top of the wall. At the very end, just before I hit the water, I had a really bad body position. Under the water I knocked my head in between my knees and my whole spine got forward overstretched. This is the reason for 3 protrusions TH5-7 and my old back injury got inflamed again.

I can start with easy climbing soon! But I have to completely rest until I have no more dragging pain in my leg. I think 2 weeks and then I will start again.

What could be learnt from this? Always try to straighten out your legs and arms with maximum body tension as you hit the water?

Yes that's true all about body tension. Only at the very last second try to be straight with your whole body and don't hold your nose. If you try to be straight too early then it is easier to fall in a side, front or back way and lost the balance. Try to stay open and keep the balance with your arms first and short before you hit the water. Head down, arms on your body and stay stiff and straight with your whole body.

 
 
Biographie 8c+ by Laura Rogora (16) after just four days!  (5) Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureLaura Rogora, who was #6 in both the European Championship and Villars WC, reports on Instagram that she has done the 8c+ part of the legendary Biographie in Céüse. In fact, she skipped the Briancon WC as she was a bit tired from all the comps and wanted to climb on rock.

Video of when the 151 m tall first did the bouldery start, which is due to a broken hold much harder in comparison to when Chris Sharma did the FA of Realization which is her goal.

- The start was the hardest for me. It took me three days to do the boulder. I did all the moves of the second 9a+ part. I tried it for 4 days doing 2-3 tries per day.

Previously the 16 year old has done two 9a's and three 8c+'s, out of one has been suggested to be upgraded to 9a by the first repeater. In other words, the young Italian who mainly trains in a bouldering gym in Rome is currently one of the best female climbers in the world.

 
 
World Cup standings after 3 events  Facebook
 

1. DESGRANGES Romain 255 - GARNBRET Janja 300
2. BOMBARDI Marcello 163 - VERHOEVEN Anak 210
3. KORENAGA Keiichiro148 - KIM Jain 200
4. SKOFIC Domen 142 - PILZ Jessica 153
5. GHISOLFI Stefano 139 - MAROVIC Mina 146
Complete results

 
 
Garnbret win her third straight WC  (18) Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureJanja Garnbret took another great victory in Briancon ahead of Anak Verhoeven and Jain Kim. Out of the 14 World Cups and Championships she has done, the 17 year old has made the podium all but once. Add to that, she is #2 in the Boulder World Cup after having won two events.

It should also be noted that it was almost a perfect separation during the final.
Complete results (c) Eddie Fowke - The Circuit Climbing

 
 
Desgranges win again  (1) Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureRomain Desgranges took his third big victory by winning in Briancon. The French started competing among the seniors 15 years ago but had hard times to get even close to the semifinal. Throughout a steady continous progress he was #3 overall last year and already midways in the season he has taken a big lead overall. Runner up was Sean McColl who previously have hard time performing at his normal podium level.

It should also be noted that there were no ties in the male final so great work from the route setters. Complete results
(c) Eddie Fowke - The Circuit Climbing

 
 
4 know-how things for shoes  (1) Facebook
 

 
 
Jimmy Webb and Kyra Condie win Psicocomp and 5 000 USD  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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