NEWS

Two 8A+' by Natalia Grossman (19)

Tuesday, 5 January

Two 8A+' by Natalia Grossman (19)

Natalia Grossman has done Burnt 8A+ and Wet Dream 8A+ during a one week trip to Red Rock. More pics on her Insta. In the 8a Top-50 ascents ranking game, the 19-year-old is #3.

For the last five years, Natalia has been training and hanging out together with Brooke Raboutou. Mellow just published their summer video "For the first eight months of the year like four times a week but then once school started we didn’t train together because we were living in different states. Brooke has been the best climbing partner I could ever ask for. She always believes in me and motivates me to be the best climber I can be!"

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Stretching is the most productive training

EDITORIAL

Monday, 4 January

Stretching is the most productive training

Many of us have trained 10+ hours a week for several years. This means you are rather close to your muscular maximum performance. At the same time, only minutes are spent on stretching, suggesting that you relatively easy can make good progress here. The best climber in the world, Adam Ondra is probably also the most flexible out of all male top climbers, which is a result of having stretched several hours a week since he was a teenager, pictured. The Japanese, who have developed to the best competition climbers in the world, are known for stretching a couple of hours a day.

Here is what Klaus Isele, MSc D.O. Physiotherapeutic and Osteopath and who has been the trainer for the Austria National Climbing Team and Adam Ondra, told us in 2018. "What I still monitor is that some climbers believe that it is enough to stretch for 40 seconds in order to get “longer” = forget it. You need to hold a stretching position for two minutes (I often recommend three times the same position with that holding time). That works! To really gain length you have to repeat it every day. Your results will be visible after approximately 14 days. Afterwards depending on what you want to achieve keep going. If you’ve forgotten to stretch one day, you are thrown back for about four days, especially at the beginning. The so-called hysteresis phenomenon is the base of this if you want you can say that it is the “supercompensation” of stretching.

Conclusion: There is no wrong or right stretching, it just depends on what you wanna achieve with it. If you prepare yourself for climbing it might be sufficient for you to stretch for 30 seconds. But if you are really interested in gaining length in some muscular areas then you need to work on every section for two minutes in every stretching position."

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The Big Island 8C by Nicolas Collin

Monday, 4 January

The Big Island 8C by Nicolas Collin

Nicolas Collin, who was #2 in Lead in Moscow last months, has done The Big Island 8C in Fontainebleau. In total, it took him nine sessions but that was also because of bad weather and conditions during his Christmas holiday. (c) Nicolas Vancayzeele

"The weather was not so good so it was hard to climb on the boulder but we took those sessions with bad weather as a training. Every session I was doing better on the boulder so there were any real downs in the process😅 I knew that it was my last day in Fontainebleau today so I had a little pressure to send it😀"

Amazingly, his previous boulder best was 8A so the Belgian must have set some new kind of record jumping four grades.

"I didn't climb so much outdoor before as I was much more in the competition and studies. Now I take little more time to climb outdoor but it's still not so much The only boulder I climb during this trip was the Big Island. It was a big project."

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EDITORIAL

Sunday, 3 January

Redpointing and onsighting can be counter productive

The most limiting factor for the majority of climbers is that when the uncertainty kicks in, you actually give up, trying the full 100 %. Dani Andrada has made a trademark about, "A Muerte", i.e. To the Death. Most climbers would immediately gain two or three grades on onsight if they had the mentality to walk the fine line and push as hard as the best.

The dilemma is that going A Muerte is mainly about which personality you have and it is very hard to make any big gains after having left your teens. In other words, we do not want kids going into the long-term redpointing game as this might cause almost irrecuperable damage to their future onsight possibilities.

Furthermore, the more you say - Take! and hang as you are projecting your route, the less you learn how to climb, A Muerte! In the short run, it is often smarter to hang, rest and work the route rather than to give it all and fall super pumped just under the anchor. At the same time, developing as the best climber you can be, means most probably that you should try to get as much A Muerte! experience as possible. This you will need once you are setting also a new personal redpoint best and climb out of your comfort zone.

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Saturday, 2 January

D1 8c and two 8b+ OS by Adam Ondra

Adam Ondra has onsighted two 8b+ in Grotte de l'ours; Bleu and Les Massey Ferguson. "World's first 8b+ onsight by Elie Chevieux in 1995! I do not think it had been onsighted again." Two days later he opened 2021 by onsighted D1 in Blavet. "Clipping the draws. Felt pretty soft to me, but I don't my level at the moment."

Ondra is the superior best redpoint climber in the year but what is not so well known is that he is much more dominant in onsight. In total, the 27-year-old has onsighted 88 routes 8c and harder including three 9a's. The runner up in this list is Alex Megos with some ten 8c and harder onsights. It should be noted that Adam actually was the first to onsight a 9a but this did not make it to the history books as he downgraded is it as he also has done with several other hard insights.

Noteworthy is also that as a matter of a fact, the general onsight level of the best climbers has gone down the last years, especially for the male. Jorge Diaz-Rullo is #2 in the 8a annual onsight ranking game and he has onsighted his first two 8c's in 2020.

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Friday, 1 January

Power of now 8C by Luca Rinaldi

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Witchcraft 8C FA by Nicolai Užnik

Friday, 1 January

Witchcraft 8C FA by Nicolai Užnik

Nicolai Užnik, who won a Bouldering Euro Youth Cup in 2019, has done the FA of Witchcraft 8C in Villach and he has a video on Insta.

"Actually this boulder has been a project for many years but after nobody could find a way to climb it, it was kind of forgotten. At the beginning of this year, a friend of mine told me about this line and asked me if I wanted to try it, so I started working on it. After a few sessions, I got quite close for the first time but then a key hold broke off which made the second and third move even harder. Since then I struggled to even do those two single moves and a few days ago when I finally sent it, it was actually also the first time I even stuck the single moves after the hold broke off. I wasn‘t sure if it was possible for me to climb it, so I really surprised myself when I did. I never worked so long on a boulder before, which makes this whole process even more special for me."

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Sleepwalker 8C+ by Nathan Williams

Thursday, 31 December

Sleepwalker 8C+ by Nathan Williams

Nathan Williams, who have just done two 8B+' has done Sleepwalker in Red Rocks. Jimmy Webb FA video. Later also Daniel Woods, Nalle Hukkataival and Drew Ruana have repeated it making it the second most repeated 8C+ in the world, after Creature of the black lagoon with seven ascents. (c) Alton Richardsson

"This boulder just suited me very well, and with every session, I felt stronger and stronger on the underclings. 10 sessions this season and around 5 or 6 last season. I think I fell going to the sloper from the bottom almost 30 times before I stuck it on point."

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Supercrackinette 9a+ by Cedric Lachat

Thursday, 31 December

Supercrackinette 9a+ by Cedric Lachat

Fanatic Climbing reports that Cedric Lachat has done his eight 9a+, Super Crackinette in St Léger. He projected it for some 14 days which includes broking his pulley some years ago. During the December the 36-year-old has worked it intensively. (c) Hugo Vincent

Noteworthy is that Cedric was one of the best lead competition climbers in the world in between 2001 to 2013. He has won one European Championship as well as two World Cups. The best result in a World Championship is #3. Furthermore, he has done many of the world's hardest multi-pitches. In other words, Cedric should be considered as one of the best climbers in the world during the last 20 years.

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The Story of 3 Worlds 8B+? and ...4 Worlds 9A?

EDITORIAL

Thursday, 31 December

The Story of 3 Worlds 8B+? and ...4 Worlds 9A?

Dave Graham put up The Story of 2 Worlds in Cresciano in 2005 as, "The new 8C standard" in order to stop grade inflation. It actually did, although UKC called it 8C+, when Dai Koyamada did the first repeat in 2010. Then in 2011, UKC said Dai's "wasn't legitimate" and in 2012, he flew in again from Japan and did it from a lower start calling that variation 8C+. (Later Graham said Dai had originally started correctly.)

By the use of knee pads and shoes with better toe-hooking possibilities as well as going to the left instead of the right finishing the roof, some started to say it was a "soft" 8C. Then in 2018, Sebastian Cotting did it from the Koyamada's 8C+ lower start suggesting that it is closer to 8B+, video.

Chatting with Dave he says he also thinks that in a world with rubber on the knees and the toes, it is like this creates the third story that could make it possibly 8B+. "This is a normal evolution for an old problem with features like this. People say it is much easier obviously but I'm not sure as I haven't done it with the kneepads or with new shoes." The picture is from back in 2005 where we can see Dave shoes had poor toe-hooking possibilities.

Now it seems like there also exist a potential Story of 4 Worlds 9A? " There is a very long section starting on the left that adds probably 8B+ or 8C to join with The story of two worlds!! Surprised no one tries this more!"

In general, he thinks furthermore, "You can see many hard problems with lots of fast repetitions are done because of beta changes and knee pads etc, but seldom the grades are commented. We don't see much downgrading anymore, only confirmations, in boulders at least. It will change again with another generation I assume."

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