Domen Škofic does Valhalla (9a) sans knee pads

13 September 2023

Domen Škofic, the overall WC winner in 2016, has sent the 65 meters long Valhalla (9a) in Flatanger. The Slovenian has previously done 21 routes 9a's and harder including ali hulk (sit start extension) (9b) and amazingly he has never used knee pads. "I just haven’t got used to climbing with knee pads and at the same time, I find it a nice challenge to send stuff with the least equipment possible…I feel more free in the wall without knee pads 🤷🏻‍♂️."

Adam Ondra comments on his Instagram post, where he mentioned he did it with just one rope and no kneepads. "Wow no kneepads is 9a+ for sure👏" Two hardcore Norweigian climbers also confirm saying it is 9a+ or even 9b without kneepads.

Can you tell us more about the ascent?
I had a very short trip last year with very bad weather but I almost sent it second go after doing Odin's Eye (8c+), which took me more than 8 tries (because I always slipped on the wet underclings). This year I came without expectations because I haven’t climbed the whole summer… I tried it for 3 days this time to get back into the right betas and shape. Yesterday I sent it the first go which was unexpected, to be honest 😅.

How much did you rest in all the obvious kneebars and what about rope drag climbing with only one rope?
It was ok because I skipped a lot of draws 😅. I have done only one kneebar for a minute and that’s it. For other rests I used only old school style hanging on the arms and a lot of heelhooks 😅.

Why have you not climbed the whole summer? How did you prepare for the trip?
I have been working on renovations at my house. I have climbed two times a month for an hour or two just to move my body a little to not get too rusty. Before coming here I did two weeks of proper training… the important thing is just to be excited I guess 😄.

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