NEWS

Estado Critico 9a by Giorgio Tomatis (17)

Saturday, 9 January

Estado Critico 9a by Giorgio Tomatis (17)

Giorgio Tomatis has done his fourth 9a, Estado Critico in Siurana after some 15 days projecting over two trips. In regards, Covid-19 Tomatis says he had to do tests before and after returning back home to Italy. Also during his stay, they made precautions.

"I had started trying this route on Christmas holidays last year with my friend Marcello Bombardi who had already done it a few years ago. This year thankfully the climatic conditions were a little better and I managed to close it after about 15 attempts. I think it's the most beautiful route I've ever done.

I think the helmet is a very important thing because a bad fall could lead to serious damage if you hit your head somewhere something that with the helmet would not involve any risk, I will certainly always continue to use it because safety is first and a good helmet does not compromise the performance. "

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Martina Demmel breakthrough of the year 2020

Friday, 8 January

Martina Demmel breakthrough of the year 2020

Martina Demmel did 202 routes 8a and harder in 2020, out of which 31 onsights. Add to that 254 onsights of the seventh grade. In the 8a Top-50 onsight game she was #1 ahead of all male. In spite of only climbing indoors when it is too cold or too wet, she also did her debut in the Lead WC, where she made it to the semi. Amazingly, the 19-year-old started to climb at age 16! (c) Christian Seitz

"Hard to say where this progress comes from but probably climbing on lots of different routes in every kind of style and giving every route an onsight try at first maybe helped me the most. My route reading skills improved a lot but why it was exactly this year I simply don't know but spending lots of time at my local crags this spring without a time limit really lowered the pressure ;).

Lots of plans in my mind but first of all, I hope that everyone stays safe and healthy and that we hope will be able to travel more again without any restrictions. Climbing wise, I really want to improve even more on my mental side, test myself in some harder stuff, try to convert my weaknesses into my strength and to climb on lots of different routes!😊☀️💃

I haven't had a trainer but now in the national team I'm probably starting to work with one a little bit but in general. I'm more the person who tries to learn by her own and doesn't really likes a structured plan f.e.😉

I'm also planning to take part in a few more comps as this is such a nice motivation boost climbing in front of a hopefully big crowd and to fully be able to perform in one moment💥! Dreaming about getting the chance to take part in a few more world cups which is turning more into reality as I just made it into the national team😊 And to always do only what I love😍"

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Female 9b+ is getting closer

EDITORIAL

Friday, 8 January

Female 9b+ is getting closer

Last year, three female did a 9b; Laura Rogora, Angela Eiter and Julia Chanourdie. Interesting is that all three did it quite fast if we compare to how long time the male often invest doing personal best ascents. At the same time only Stefano Ghisilfo and Alex Megos climbed harder making these three female ties at #3 in 2020. Most probably, we would have seen at least female 9b+' if they would have invested so much time and effort, including replica training etc, as the top male.

Dave Graham could not stop talking about how impressive it was to see Laura Rogora doing Ali Hulk sit extension total 9b in Rodellar this July. It was almost 30 degrees and she did not use proper knee pads and she did it in just five sessions, Video. Imagine if she had worked a harder variation for several trips, using proper knee pads with rubber and having trained exclusively for that roof back home with replicas, just like Adam Ondra. Probably, she would most certainly already having done 9b+ and possibly even a 9c. Graham has said he thinks there exist such a variation with a much harder bouldering start. (c) Marco Iacono

"We also asked Stefano Ghisolfi if he thinks 9b+ could be possible for Laura?
Yes, I think so, if she finds one that fits her style and height. The problem is that now there aren't a lot of 9b+ so there is not a lot of choices. In the future with more routes, she could find one (or more) 9b+ with her style and for sure she can do it.

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EDITORIAL

Thursday, 7 January

Rock climbers will increase: Access and Safety in focus

With Covid-19 and all the restrictions in place in 2021, we will probably see more climbers than ever in the local crags. Many unexperienced gym climbers and families will try rock climbing as soon as the crags are warm enough. This will most probably create new access challenges as well as put safety in focus. A couple of weeks ago, the biggest Swedish newspaper said, via a doctor, that rock climbing should be avoided in order to reduce pressure on the hospitals.

In any case, getting outdoors doing physical and mentally challenging activities is a very good activity for the population. This means, experienced climbers should pay more attention in regards access and safety meeting all these beginners outdoors this spring. Solo climbing as well as doing scary trad climbs or high ball bouldering should stop. Gyms and instructors could have introduction courses on how to act outdoors. Furthermore, it might be wise to add some extra bolts on many of the dangerous old-school bolted easier routes? Other options could be to develop super easy very low boulders as well as put easy access top anchors on new 10- meters routes graded 2 - 4.

At the same time, it will be hard to keep the interest going for all the hard training competition teenager groups. Here there is a great opportunity to introduce these keen climbers to open up new boulders and possibly as well finding new routes to develop. Creating a broader rock climbing interest will make them mentally stronger during upcoming comps later. A failure is not such a big thing as they can take advantage of all their hard training also outdoors.

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Thursday, 7 January

Sean "Steezy" Bailey 8B to 8C/+

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Estado Critico 9a by Štěpán Volf

Wednesday, 6 January

Estado Critico 9a by Štěpán Volf

Štěpán Volf has done his first 9a, Estado Critico in Siurana. The route is famous for Alex Megos onsight back in 2013. The picture is from a no-hands rest after having climbed the first 7c section. He stayed there for a minute and interestingly he had to take the knee pad off higher up in order to have the full flexibility bending his knee sitting while doing a move.

"Estado was a big challenge for me. For the past 3 years, I've been almost exclusively been bouldering, or done short bouldery routes, because the feeling of trying something for more time than three days was driving me crazy. I was really impatient. This year I've decided to change that and I wanted to choose the most challenging route for me (endurance based).

After five days of trying I knew that every attempt could be the ONE, but then the weather changed a lot. Strong freezing wind was making not the best conditions for climbing. So I've spent about two weeks of falling basically in the same move over and over again because my fingers were freezing really fast in these conditions, which started to effect my mindset. Fortunately, I've put myself together and climbed the route on the second day after the conditions improved. I was so happy so I even cried a bit. Funny thing is, that after my ascent it actually started to snow!"

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How to keep warm during the winter?

EDITORIAL

Wednesday, 6 January

How to keep warm during the winter?

The best conditions are normally said to be around zero degrees and sunny or a couple degrees warmer with no sun. On the other hand, cold fingers will not make you climb anything. The best tips on how to keep warm taking advantage of the prime conditions are actually to wear Vertic sleeves or something similar to keep your forearms warms. The blood from your heart is 37 degrees warm and the best way to keep this temperature until it reaches the non-protected fingers is by having an extra layer all the way to the wrist.

Here are more tips on how to keep warm, other than wearing a lot of clothing and being active while resting, especially doing the windmill.

1. Warm-up at home
2. Put your gloves and shoes inside your clothing
3. Use a bigger pair of shoes so you can wear socks
4. An electric or chemical heater that can be put in your chalk bag

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Tuesday, 5 January

Bouldering in Chamonix

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EDITORIAL

Tuesday, 5 January

Sessions, tries and time ethics

Onsight and Flash are the most impressive ascents as they explain a climb was done in the first try. A 2nd Go ascent means that for routes you did it after having worked it to the top once. In other words, you possibly spend 5 - 20 minutes trying different beta to find the best solutions. In regards to boulders, there is no clear definition of what second go means and it is not so often used beside when somebody actually does it on their second attempt directly after having failed to flash it. Quick boulder ascents are more often reported to have been done within 10 minutes or so.

Ascents can also be reported to have been done during a certain number of sessions, i.e. projecting a climb for one or several hours. It should be mentioned that whenever talking about how long time it took to do a climb, also the time spent on the shared part should be included. If you first do the stand start of a 7A boulder, you can never claim to have flashed the sit start of it. If you first did a 7c after several sessions and then later did another 7c exit of it during your first session, in reality also the second 7c took several sessions to do. The same thinking relates to that you should not claim an onsight or flash if you have benefitted from climbing part of the climbs before.

In the 8a Ethics and Practice, we have, however, said that you can claim an onsight or flash, "When the shared part of the climb is more than a full grade lower, i.e. a 6c start is divided into two 7c+'s." There are furthermore examples when climbers and the media have reported about semi-onsight when let us say, somebody onsighted an 8c which shared a 7c+ sequence in the start.

Remember there are no fixed set of rules or referees in climbing like in all other sports. It is the climbing community that has created the "rules" and as a matter of a fact, they sometimes change. At the beginning of the sport climbing era, you were supposed to place your own quickdraws in order to claim an onsight. Some say you are not allowed to touch the holds on a boulder you can reach from the ground and then call it a flash meanwhile others think you can do so and then actually onsight a boulder.

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Great community progress 9a+ and harder

EDITORIAL

Tuesday, 5 January

Great community progress 9a+ and harder

4sport.ua has put together some interesting 9a+ to 9c diagrams showing that the climbers are getting better. Although the Covid-19 restrictions, 2020 is, in fact, yet another new record year. Until 2013, there were only max eleven different climbers who had done 9a+ and harder annually. Since then, the progress has been dramatic and last year there were 43 different climbers. In total, these 43 climbers made 63 ascents 9a+ and harder.

In the individual statistics, Adam Ondra has done 67 followed by Seb Bouin 23, Chris Sharma and Alex Megos 22. Fifth on that list is Stefano Ghisolfi with 21 ascents 9a+ and harder.

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