LATEST NEWS

Tuesday, 15 September

Alex Megos comments his flash of Underground 9a (8c+)

Alex Megos, who has qualified to Tokyo 2021, reports on Insta (with 300K followers) that he has flashed Underground 9a (8c+) in Arco. The super steep roof was put up by Manfred Stuffer in 1998 as an 8c+. After the first repeats, it was upgraded to 9a but lately, some have said 8c+ again. It has now been repeated around 30 times. In total, the 27-year-old has done 87 routes 8c+/9a and harder including the world's first 9a onsight, Estado Critico in Siurana.

He got the beta from Cesar Grosso who has done the neighbouring 9a but still not Underground. "Really impressive!!! He did a perfect climb on flash! Before I climbed it bolt-by-bolt showing and brushing the holds and moves... unbelievable. On the first (and hardest) crux, he almost fell... its hard and more than anything, super complex with hooks, jam, gastons, twist to the right, after to the left... hard to understand even on flash. After that, he was in cruise mode. He climbed it perfect. Now I want to go for it again! 💪😃. I felt many times with the anchor in my face so I was feeling psychologically blocked to do it.

The belayer was his trainer Dicki Korb. "Every move locked totally controlled, it felt like I had the harder job, belaying from the humid/ dark cave 😊" "We also asked Alex about his emotions before, during and after the send?
Before I was not sure if I should go for it. I already climbed an 8c that day and I didn't prepare super well for the flash. Cesar said the biggest problem will be to get through the first crux out of three so I put my focus on that one. Once I passed that crux there were two more to go and with every move, I gained confidence. The second and third crux was a bit weird and with bad feet so I just tried to control the moves as much as possible. After topping I was very relieved that it worked out and that it was good saving the route for some time and not trying it on a previous trip. I'm very grateful for the perfect beta Cesar gave me. It wouldn't have been possible without him.

Also I think that 9a seems a bit over the top. 8c+/9a is more appropriate but it could as well only be 8c+. It's always hard to say if you only tried once.

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Phallus 8A+ by Natalia Grossman (19)

Monday, 14 September

Phallus 8A+ by Natalia Grossman (19)

Natalia Grossman, who has done four 8B's in 2020, has done her tenth 8A+ during the last five months, Phallus in RMNP. "Proud of this one:) My biggest mental battle to date!"

What the #4 in the 8a ranking game is talking about is that she injured her bicep on the first day she tried the sit start forcing her to take some time off. Later when she started bouldering again she did not want to push hard but even so tried it a bit. "Deep down I knew I shouldn’t be trying Phallus so I took a month off from the climb. Yesterday, I finally went back after feeling healthy and strong and sent 1st try!" Full story on her Insta.

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EDITORIAL

Monday, 14 September

Frankenjura bouldering - Alex Megos

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Monday, 14 September

Lulu 9a by Moritz Welt (19)

Moritz Welt has done his sixth 9a during the last 12 months, Lulu in Céüse. Among the teenagers, he is #1 in the 8a ranking game.

"Tried this one straight for the last three weeks, at least about seven sessions or something. Fell a lot of times at the very end. Once even after the last crux in the final slab. Did it on the last day of my trip a few minutes before it started to rain".

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EDITORIAL

Monday, 14 September

Media drives grade inflation - Megos did not flash a 9a!

Alex Megos has said on Insta and to 8a that he thinks Underground is 8c+/9a or even 8c+. It is also listed as 8c+/9a on escalade9 and based on the 8a database, with 24 ascents, you understand that this impressive ascent should not be labeled only with the 9a grade. Anyhow the media says Megos flashed a 9a.

PlanetMountain reports that it was upgraded as C. Bindhammer, Hirayama and Mrazek thought it was either 8c+/9a or 9a. Strangely, in the 8a database, all these three climbers have recorded it as 8c+!

It should be mentioned that there exist several other examples when 8a report a lower grade in comparison to the other biggest climbing media. In other words, it is often the media who want to have the most impressive headlines that are driving grade inflation. Until some 15 years, 8a did often suggest downgrades in order to present more correct grades, which later always were confirmed. However, this stopped around 2005, as we got heavily criticised for it.

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EDITORIAL

Sunday, 13 September

Laura Rogora portrait

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Sunday, 13 September

Sang Neuf 9a by Julia Chanourdie

Julia Chanourdie, who previously has done one 9a+, reports on Insta that has done her second 9a, Sang Neuf in Pierrot Beach. Directly after the send, she tried the extension Sweet Neuf 9a+ and says she will come back once the temperature has dropped. Anak Verhoeven has done the FA of both routes.

Chanourdie was #4 in the Lead World Cup and has since tried to make it to the Olympics and she made it happen in Toulouse where she was #2. Her Speed PB is 8.94 which is one of the best among the non-specialists and here on 8a, she has been predicted to be Top-8 overall in Tokyo, even before she had qualified.

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Edu Marin spent 170+ days in China out of which 50 days of bolting, to put up the hardest MP in the world, Valhalla.

Sunday, 13 September

Valhalla 9a+ MP FA by Edu Marin in China

Edu Marin spent 170+ days in China out of which 50 days of bolting, to put up the hardest MP in the world, Valhalla.

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Sunday, 13 September

Hoffmeister race Hans Florine

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Rayu 8c Mix MP FA by Pou brothers and Cerdá

Saturday, 12 September

Rayu 8c Mix MP FA by Pou brothers and Cerdá

Iker Pou (43) was just recently listed as #3 overall climbers in the world here on 8a. In 2000, he did Action Directe and this summer he did an 8B+ FA as well as two 9a FAs. In between, he has done another 30 routes 8c+/9a up to 9b (+) as well as numerous big walls FAs all over the globe up to 8c. His latest is is the 600 meter Rayu located in Peña Santa with pitches up to 8c. The FA was done together with his brother Eneko and Kico Cerdá after five weeks of hard work.

"The Basque brothers are convinced that, given the exceptional quality of the route, it will become a classic that will be pursued by the best climbers in the world. There have been marathon days of up to 18 consecutive hours ..., we have ended up destroyed..., but we are happy, we have given everything, and when you make an effort 100%, you have a very good taste in your mouth".

In the end, they redpointed the whole route, mainly protected by trad gear, in a 12 h 1/2 non-stop attempt from the ground to the summit. Click on the headline to see a picture gallery. Video teaser.

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