Drew Ruana, 21, is about to set a new standard

Friday, 9 October

Daniel Woods is the best boulderer in the world having done some 30 8C's and a handful 8C+' since 2008. However, comparing annual tick lists, Daniel or any other boulder, are not close to what Drew Ruana has done during the last 12 months; 3 8C+', 9 8C's and 20 8B+'. Amazingly, last October he had only done one 8B+ and he was still doing World Cups in Japan trying to make it to Tokyo. Then there was the the Covid-19 lockdown and in September he started Chemical engineering at Colorado School of Mines. (c) Alton Richardsson from Drew's Insta, where you can find many videos of his hardest sends.

How was this amazing progress possible?
I don’t know, I think it’s just the way I pick climbs. I like to build a base before trying a hard hard project and then it makes climbing feel easier. An 8C now feels like 8B+ did in February. I don’t train at all right now, I feel way physically weaker than I was before. Just better at linking stuff together. I also went vegetarian in July , and that’s when I started sending a lot of stuff fast haha. (His father says, "He was so stressed out on the World Cup and was miserable. I think climbing outside with friends and in nature has really rejuvenated him.")

Which has been the hardest boulder and the most beautiful you have done? Echalo 8C (+) was the hardest of the recent ones. It took me nine days. (Most beautiful) Probably White noise or Dicktopia (8C's).

What is next? There’s probably 15 other 8B+ to 8C+ boulders I got really close on but never sent too 🤷‍♂️. There’s also a few more 8C and 8C+ boulders around here I wanna do but I’m not sure yet gotta see what looks cool.

How much how you been climbing outdoors lately?
4-5x a week. My normal amount. I just go by myself to whatever I’m psyched on or I get one friend to come with. But I have to be focused to get al my school done.

It should be mentioned that Drew was #13 in the Combined World Championsip last year, missing to qualify to Tokyo by one spot. Later the 21-year-old skipped the last chance to qualify in the Continental. During the years, Drew has made the headlines some 20 times mainly as a route climber. His first appearance was in 2012 when he as age 12 did his first 8b+. Being 16-years-old he did his first 9a. Here is an 84 minutes podcast with Thundercling from September and here is one from May with The Nugget.

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