NEWS

EDITORIAL

Wednesday, 9 June

How to make WC boulders more enjoyable

Although in general the route setting in Salt Lake City was good, the boulders in the second final were too hard for the males (4 Tops) and too easy for the females (17 Tops). Sometimes hard boulders with few tops can be exciting to watch, but when even Routesetting reports said he went to bed when he saw that also the third boulder started with a traverse, something is wrong.

The reasons why competition boulders so often start with a traverse is that the route setters normally put the starting holds at 2 meters and then they are not allowed to put the top hold higher than 4.5 meters. As the starting holds are often big volumes, and as the walls are normally not that steep, climbers (at least tall males) could jump to the top jug standing on the starting holds if it was not for the traverse [BLEV DETTA RÄTT?]. Below are some proposed solutions to make the route setters' job easier, including more straight-up moves and fewer traverses, which may create a better show and spread out the field's results.

Steeper walls needed
OK, one vertical slab is ok but then the remaining walls should be spread out 20-60 degrees overhanging.

Lower starting holds
Place the starting holds max 1.5 meters up. Skip the running starts with the starting holds at 3 meters! Put the mattresses 0.5 meters out from the wall and let the climbers start sitting is the extreme solution to create more moves. Recessed/inset starting holds
By using smaller recessed/inset starting holds in the wall, the climbers will not take as much advantage of the starting holds as when big volumes are used for the start.

No foothold as the top (matching) hold
Having a climber celebrating the top by hanging on it is more fun, rather than matching a foothold top, also for the spectators. Matching a foothold is not a natural part of climbing.

More moves in the official rules
"The average number of handholds per boulder in any round should be between four (4) and eight (8)", says the official IFSC rule. The dilemma is that you can have six handholds in a boulder, but in practice, there are only two coordination moves to the top. Add to the rule that there must be at least three moves to the top.

Two zones instead of one
It will be more fun and action for climbers and spectators if one more zone is added. This will reduce the anticlimax when (in particular youth) competitors score zero zones, and it will generally spread out the field.

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Pornographie 9a by Nao Monchois

Wednesday, 9 June

Pornographie 9a by Nao Monchois

Nao Monchois, who last year was #8 in the Briancon WC, has done his second 9a in Céüse, Pornographie. "It is a super nice endurance route in the mythical Biography sector. Quite short, 20m, and intense, it’s a perfect test for comp climbers 😊 I first tried the route for three days one month ago with a little finger tweak, and absolutely no chance to send it. So I came back to Céüse right after the French national team selection comp to decompress, and also retry this route. After a dozen tries and a big fight, It finally went down 😊"

So how was the selection?
The selection went pretty good. I’ll participate in Innsbruck, Chamonix and Briancon WC’s for sure and I don’t know yet for the second part of the season!

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EDITORIAL

Tuesday, 8 June

Ondra - Old school grades and the evolution of climbing shoes?

Adam Ondra has written an interesting article where he discusses - How much do we owe the evolution of climbing shoes?

"From my experience, a steep route of a certain grade from 30 years ago feels very similar to a steep modern route of the same grade. But a vertical route from 30 years ago often feels sandbagged compared to a vertical route which was put up recently. It is quite rare that some of these old-school routes get upgraded. I do not want to suggest that we should re-grade (upgrade) basically all the routes in places like Buoux, but I want to suggest there might be one more reason why these routes feel so freaking hard."

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Just two fix 9a/+ FA by Pierre Le Cerf

Tuesday, 8 June

Just two fix 9a/+ FA by Pierre Le Cerf

Pierre Le Cerf, who previously has done six 9a’s and Punt X 9A+, has done the FA of Just two fix 9a/+ in Gorges du Loup. It is an 8b+ extension, bolted by Cedric Lo Piccolo, to Just on fix 8c+. (c) Sam Bié

"Between two competitions, two workouts and two stretches, I make my first FA! The route consists of some 70 moves on a very beautiful 32m panel. Four sessions of drying the holds and doing move by move, impossible to make a real try due to some wet holds by movement in the track, impossible to put a test because of some wet holds. Then the first dry day I send on my first go. During my send, my body directed my brain and not my brain which directed my body, I was a spectator of this rise... very surprising emotions, state of mind and thoughts during the sequence that signaled me to have the slightest fatigue... the flow? I don't think so but it was not far;). In any case, it is a great gift that this route has offered me."

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Aequilibrium Series: light and fast mountaineering by La Sportiva

EDITORIAL

Tuesday, 8 June

Aequilibrium Series: light and fast mountaineering by La Sportiva

Balance is the state that makes it possible to control the position and movement of the body in space, a harmonic synthesis between opposite and opposite forces. In the world of technical mountain footwear, the search for the balance between apparently contrasting needs such as comfort and technicality, but also lightweight and durability, is the basis of the daily challenges of a research and development department such as that of La Sportiva, a leading company in the sector of technical mountaineering footwear and clothing since 1928, when the first products that came out of the then small workshop of the shoemaker Narciso Delladio were precisely mountain footwear and boots. The Trentino company has come a long way since then, anticipating and developing the trends of mountains enthusiasts with innovative, game changing products. For summer 2021 La Sportiva launches a totally new line of mountaineering footwear: Aequilibrium Series.

The name of the series itself is a declaration of intent: to perfectly combine the comfort, technicality, lightweight and durability required by modern mountaineering that makes “light & fast” imperative. Aequilibrium was created for use on alpine terrain, for quick and light day trips, for technical passages on stony ground and mixed terrain, and is designed to accompany the mountaineer on the entire route from home to the top thanks to an unprecedented, comfortable fit.

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Grand Illusion 8C+ by Daniel Woods

Monday, 7 June

Grand Illusion 8C+ by Daniel Woods

Daniel Woods reports on Insta that he has done the third ascent of Nathaniel Coleman's Grand Illusion 8C+ at Little Cottonwood Canyon. Sean Bailey, who won the last WC in SLC, did the second ascent calling it 9a+/b. Daniel, who has won one WC and twice been runner-up, has done 30+ boulders 8C to 9A, meaning he is #1 with a big margin measuring tick lists.

How was the process taking it down and how many sessions were needed?
Mmm, think I put in around 22 sessions on this thing. I first tried it last year with Jimmy and Sean Bailey. Sean cruised it on his 3rd day (kids got mad resistance). I kept falling on the last move then the snow came.

This year I came back for 5 days in April but it was too cold to link it (hands would numb out). I returned back middle of may with warmer temps and continued to fall on the last move. Finally, was able to stick it and send. The climb is borderline a route. 21 moves to the final jug. There is no rest. Some of the coolest granite features that I have climbed on.

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EDITORIAL

Sunday, 6 June

Domen Škofic presentation

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Little Baby Cheeses 9a FA in Tom O'Halloran

Sunday, 6 June

Little Baby Cheeses 9a FA in Tom O'Halloran

Tom O'Halloran, the Oceania Olympic representative, who last week made a 9a FA in Nowra (interview), has done one more, Little Baby Cheeses. Last year he projected it for ten days and this year it went down after just two days. On Insta he comments, "This one felt insanely good! An absolutely mega pitch of climbing straight through the guts of the cave to the very top."

It seems you are in the best shape of your life :)?
It would seem that way. I spent a lot of days in this last year and kept falling at the tough bouldery crux.

Is this an independent line of the other FA you just did?
The line is completely independent of Cheesecake, though you can climb Cheesecake into the main hard middle 15m of this to get something even harder. I’m psyched to try linking the two together! But there are a few other things I’m psyched on too.

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Anak Verhoeven stops competing

EDITORIAL

Sunday, 6 June

Anak Verhoeven stops competing

Anak Verhoeven, one of the best female Lead competition climbers from 2013 - 2018, says on Insta that she will stop competing. The Belgian did win three World Cups and was runner-up seven times, mainly behind Janja Garnbret. In 2017, she did her first 9a and in total, she has done 10 routes 8c+/9a and harder which is second-most in the world.

How do you plan the next year and what are your goals?
I want to try to be a full-time professional climber. My goals for the coming years are to push my limits in sport climbing and discover other types of outdoor climbing as well. This year I want to be able to climb hard again in the fall. And in the meantime, I’ll be expanding my skills on rock and keep training.

Any specific plans or routes you want to try?
I don’t have any specific plans at the moment as far as destinations and routes. I’m on the lookout for projects, but the current travel restrictions definitely make it difficult to go anywhere anytime. I guess I’ll be mostly trying routes in France since that’s not too far away. I’m excited about that!

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Chris Sharma made the FA of Biographie in Céüse in 2001 as one of the very first 9a+ in the world. It has been repeated 20+ times and in 2017, Margo Hayes at age 19, did the first and only female ascent.

Saturday, 5 June

Margo Hayes documentary sending Biographie 9a+

Chris Sharma made the FA of Biographie in Céüse in 2001 as one of the very first 9a+ in the world. It has been repeated 20+ times and in 2017, Margo Hayes at age 19, did the first and only female ascent.

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