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Why I graded Silence 9c  Facebook
 

 
 
Moscow highlights  Facebook
 

 
 
How competition climbing evolved  Facebook
 

1985 1st official competition, Bardonecchia: Stefan Glowacz wins
1986 Arco: Patrick Edlinger and Catherine Destivelle in front of 10 000 spectators and seven TV channels
1987 1st Arco Rock Master: Lynn Hill & Glowacz
1988 World series: Jerry Mofatt
1989 1st World Cup, Leeds: Moffat and Erbesfield
1991 1st World Champion, Frankfurt: Francois Legrand & Susi Good
1992 1st Youth Championships, Basel: Sarkany, Bibik, Petit etc
1999 1st Bouldering WC: Christian Core and Stéphanie Bodet
2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo

 
 
The Japanese boulder domination increases  (11) Facebook
 

From the World Cup rankings we can see the total Japanese male domination, six in Top-13 and 8 in Top-17. Among the female, two in the Top-3. In regards the world ranking, based on the last 12 months, 9 male Japaneses among Top-15. It must be very few sports that have seen such an extreme domination from one country.

Runner-up, is the very small country Slovenia with just 2 million inhabitants, with two in Top-7 among both male and female.

Based on that the next two World Cups are in China followed by one in Tokyo, most likely, we will see an even stronger Japanese domination in the ranking lists coming up. Last year, Japan participated with 41 athletes in Tokyo but this year they will be allowed to compete with 47.

 
 
Slovenia and Japan shared the podiums  (9) Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureExcellent route setting also in the final in Moscow where it was thrilling to the very last try. Janja Garbret had to flash and so she did, winning on count back over Miho Nonaka. Also last starter in the final, Jongwon Chon had the chance to secure the victory but could not reach the top, and ended #4. As you can see below, Slovenia and Japan shared the podiums equally.

1. Janja Garnbret SLO 44:7/5 - Tomoa Narasaki JPN 44
2. Miho Nonaka JPN 44:7/5 - Jernej Kruder SLO 34:5
3. Akiyo Noguchi JPN 34 Gregor Vezonik SLO 34:6
Complete results

Noteworthy is also that Vezonik was #51 in Meiringen last week. Eddie Fowke from The Circuit Climbing and the IFSC official photographer, who has captured almost all World Cups the last five years, was very impressed of the whole competition and the final show.

"Very good comp. Too many dyno's in finals though. Super well run, the Russian's put on a great show and put a huge effort into everything going right."

In Speed, Yoshiyuki Ogata was best of the top ranked boulderers being #43 with 7.90. Among the female, Miho Nonaka was #44 with 10.51.

 
 
Extraordinary great semifinals in Moscow  Facebook
 

Five of the female semifinalist in Meiringen made it to the final also in Moscow and the one missing, Sandra Lettner, did not participate. Among the male, four are the same as in the last event. Japan and Slovenia got three in total to the final and the Japanese domination continues with four male in Top-10 and three female in Top-8. Complete results

All boulders were topped out and in fact, based on the top out percentage, it seems they were all of similar difficulty. This is very seldom the case and the route setting also in terms of style and variation were extraordinary great.

 
 
Moscow finals 16.45 Euro Time  Facebook
 

 
 
Great female qually with no sensations  Facebook
 

There were no big sensations in the female qualification in Moscow and the Top-4 ranked were finalists in Meiringen. In general, very good route setting and although five girls topped all five problems, three boulders were good enough to make it to the semi tomorrow. Complete results

 
 
8 male Japaneses to Top-20 semi  (14) Facebook
 

Great qualification round where all the ten boulders were topped in Moscow. Japan continue their strong domination in the Bouldering World Cup with eight guys qualifying to the Top-20 semifinal. Winners of the two groups were Gabri Moroni and Jongwon Chon. Jakob Schubert and Jan Hojer were the big surprises not making the semi final. Other sensational results were Gabri Moroni moving from #27 in Meiringen to #1 in Moscow, Alex Khazanov from #57 to #3 and Martin Stranik from #73 to 9. Complete results

 
 
118 male 100 female to start in Moscow  Facebook
 

The Bouldering World Cup is booming and there are 118 male in the starting list for the qualification starting 07.30, Euro time, Saturday morning. The female begin 15.00 with 100 female participating.

On Sunday there will be live-streaming from the semi starting 08.00. The finals start 17.00 with the female and around 18.30 with the male. Live results

 
 
8c by Matilda Söderlund  (5) Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureMatilda Söderlund, one of the leading female climbers in 2012, before she begun her University studies, is back in the game with the FFA of Golden for a moment 8c in Welcome Springs. With her MBA degree her plan is actually to work with climbing in the future. (c) Sophie Odelberg

"Golden was my big goal for the spring. This was actually my first experience of projecting a route and the first trip I have done with the aim and focus of just climbing one specific route. Definitely an awesome and developing experience - and an emotional rollercoaster. Sent the route on the very last day of my trip, epic! So happy! One of the best routes I have ever done." Instagram

 
 
Alexey Rubtsov speaks out  (4) Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureInnsbruck 2018 has published a very interesting interview with Alexey Rubtsov who won the World Champion in 2009 after just having trained bouldering for three years. His big focus is the Olympics and last year he tried Lead and was #17 without any training. Here are some of the lonely wolf's straight forward messages.

"The brain is the most important part in climbing. Maybe not in speed (laughs), but in bouldering for sure.

In Europe, every coach thinks that he's the smartest one and his system is the best. They are authoritarian. But they should understand that they know nothing and start their education from zero. I can't tell you what I do, because that is my secret. Laughs.

You need to widen your repertoire to improve, not focusing on small things, but on the big picture... It is better for me to be alone.

You could maybe remove the bonus, even. You can do the boulder, or you can't. Bouldering is good. One bonus, two bonuses, ten bonuses, ... what is that? It's not Bouldering."

 
 
Caro Ciavaldini climbs The Quarrymen E8 7a (~8a trad)  (13) Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureCaroline Ciavaldini reports on Instagram that she has climbed the FFA of The Quarrymen E8 7a in Twll Mawr, Wales. This 4 pitches route was put up by legend Johnny Dawes in 1986, and it is one of the most iconic routes in the world with the extraordinary Groove Pitch (on the picture). © Neil Hart

"“THAT IS NUTS" What on earth made me come up with: “I want to do The Quarryman”? Well… It seemed impossible so…"

 
 
Ingo Filzwieser - Volumes and brain instead of crimpers  (33) Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureIngo Filzwieser, the previous national coach of Austria who still is the personal trainer of Sandra Lettner (16) #4 in Meiringen, has a saying. "My motto is that you can not train like the last winner... you have to train like the next winner."

When he became an Austria coach seven years ago he analysed the types of holds used and it was like 65 % crimps. This can be compared with 2017, with some 5 % crimps and like 80 % volumes.

"Part of the reason for this might be that it was getting more difficult for the route setters to check the right level for the male. I saw Sharafutdinov (superior #1 in 2013) doing a pull up with 65 kilo extra weight. Today, there is very little benefit of such strength, instead bouldering has become a coordination sport, giving chances for the route setters to actually do the problems.

You need to be very smart and also tactically skillful. Most boulderer have different shoes they choice from, in order to adapt to different steepness and types of holds. Coming into the boulder, you need to immediately get a plan and then start executing within seconds to not loose time. You can not just start trying hard. Sometimes I see competitors start brushing the holds before they start which actually will make them just loose time.

Doing and filming simulation is very important. Later you as a coach can actually give feedback on why they rested so many seconds and how many attempts they did etc. It will become more of a mind game in the future and this was one part how Kilian (Fischhuber) won 22 World Cups. He was also, and still is, physically really strong but he always solved the problem first in his head.

In general I like this as it also becomes a better and more injury free sport for the youngsters. It is also good that it becomes more of a team sport as it is a constant process of learning technical and tactical skill from each other. I was quite amazed seeing Narasaki and Noguchi closely following what the others did, in a training camp in Innsbruck, even on yoga classes. You could feel that they really cared about each other.

It is also important for the kids to finish school, have other interests and reducing the time they spend on social media. I agree on what recently have been pointed out on 8a that the trainers should have an holistic approach.

 
 
Steve McClure (46) at his limit doing Rainman 9b  (4) Facebook
 

 
 
Multi-discipline success recipe for Jernej Kruder  Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureJernej Kruder, #2 in the WCH in 2014 and who has been an active competition climbers for 15 years, won his first World Cup in Meiringen. Interesting is that the Slovenian is mainly climbing and training outdoors doing all disciplines from DWS, trad and Big Walls and that goes also for his WC preparation. As a matter of a fact, the 27 year old should be a contender to be the best multi-discipline climber in the world, together with Adam Ondra, as of today. And he is going for the Olympics. "No preparations yet. Too soon for that :)"

His Insta from 2018 confirms that he likes all types of climbing including bolting up new routes. The week before Meiringen he had two projecting days on a 9a, see the picture by krimp.si. The last months he has posted from several comps, 8b+ trad, 8b+ MP and 8B boulder.

It was all about the weather, so it's hard to say how many days outdoor exactly. There were also some selection trainings and competitions too. But for sure it was more than 50% outdoors."

 
 
2.19.44 - The Speed record of the Nose  Facebook
 

In October 2017, Brad Gobright and Jim Reynolds set a new speed record on the 900 meters the Nose at 2.19.44, on their eleventh attempt . Looking at the great video you can see that they almost simu climbed everything and that they in reality did climb probably more like 1 100 meters due to all traverses etc. The FA in 1958 took 45 days and nowadays, normally 3-4 days is used to reach the summit.


Two Nineteen Forty Four from Tristan Greszko on Vimeo.

 
 
Patrick Matros - Lifestyle climbing trainer  (5) Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PicturePatrick Matros, a professor for sport and educational science and one of of Alex Megos mentors, shares his view on training, in regards Olympics and that the youngsters are at risk. The 44 year old has learnt the hard way and has now a more holistic playful climbing lifestyle approach. Read more and follow him and his counterpart Dicki Korb through, Gimmekraft, Instagram and Facebook.

"I started climbing 25 years ago and we all had this strange training approach, copied from other sport disciplines: In winter season we did a lot of pull-ups, front-lever and campus-boarding first phase was more for hypertrophy and after that we went for maximum power. It was normal, that it took minimum one month to get used to rockclimbing again when outdoor season started. Nowadays I am happy to finish this stage injury free and improved with my knowledge of training in climbing.

One risk with the Olympics is that we will see climbers training much more
intense and structured at early age and this will have a huge impact on kids and youngsters approach to sportclimbing and bouldering. In the last years I recognize more and more that kids are playing less, as the coaches and parents put more pressure on them in early years. Instead they focus way too much on short term and performance oriented goals like gaining strength with intensive bouldering on tiny holds or making too much strength exercises. Often it is all about climb harder and harder as fast as possible.

I have a 6 year old daughter and it breaks my heart when I see coaches and parents pushing young kids too much and I am sure we will see more injuries e.g. an increase in epiphyseal (growth plate) injuries. Our approach is different: We have actually had the opposite focus with a more holistic, long time and task oriented approach when it comes to training Alex Megos.

The fun to make climbing moves and do the sport is the core! This means that only the intrinsic part of motivation with a playful approach is able to give you the energy for a long (life) time motivation. And which sport fits better to this idea than climbing? You have so much variations and disciplines, you can climb outdoor and indoor and you can travel around the world to fantastic places! Should you sacrifice a lot of that just for saying that your son or daughter or athlete was able to get some good comp results and then got injured or dropped out because of monotonously training regimes?

I think competition can be nice and it can enrich a climbing career, but especially with kids and young adults it is not all around focusing just on the next comp result and it should never be! Of course, some kids and youngsters like to compete and have fun doing it and it is okay for them to have performance oriented goals beside the task oriented ones. But as parents or a trainer you should never forget, that climbing is more than that: it is a lifestyle and a great way to learn about life and have adventures in beautiful areas of the planet. So don’t put too much extrinsic pressure on them. And be careful, as this often happens in a very subtle way!"

 
 
8B+ in Font by Jan De Smit (43)  (1) Facebook
 

Jan De Smit has done his first 8B+ Mécanique élémentaire in Fontainebleau. It should be noted that last year was his best, being 42 years old, doing two 8B's.

"Even after thirty years of climbing I am still learning. Climbing hard over forty is difficult but not impossible, if you are mindful in your training/climbing then age does not have to be a limiting factor. After a complete biceps rupture last year I thought I might have to lower my expectations but with good surgery and smart training I can now do everything like before. Feeling proud to have done one of the best lines in Font."

 
 
Kruder and Nonaka win spectacular show  Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureJernej Kruder started first of seven finalists and set the bar on extraordinary boulder which all where topped. Boulder two, which he did, including a dynamic quintupleside ways might be one of the most spectacular IFSC boulder as it later was done static as well with a triple double dyno. The Slovenian multi-discipline climber, who prepared himself last weekend by projecting a 9a, is known for his topping celebration face which we got to see often. (c) Eddie Fowke

Among the female, the boulders were a little bit to easy as we saw three girls topping out all four boulders with Miho Nonaka winning topping out in only five attempts.

1. Miho Nonaka JPN 44 (5) - Jernej Kruder SLO 34
2. Janja Garnbret SLO 44 (7) - Tomoa Narasaki JPN 24 (3)
3. Akiyo Noguchi JPN 44 (9) - Alexei Rubtsov RUS 24 (5)
4. Sandra Lettner AUT 34 - Jakob Schubert AUT 23
5. Fanny Gibert FRA (33) - Tomoaki Takata JPN 13
6. Shauna Coxsey GBR -(23) Jongwon Chon KOR 7. Manu Cornu FRA
Complete results

 
Dante Quartermain

Please add info of the
climb, your ascent and
the area
 
Christian Winklmair

Big XXL 7a, Mallorca
 
Eric Hörst

Eric Horst on the first
ascent of "Born on the
4th of July" (5.12a/b)
, Tyrrell Crag, Ten Sle
ep, WY.
 
Andreas Hanisch

La vira 8a, Tenerife
 
Eric Hörst

Cameron Horst sending T
hanatopsis (8c).
 
Fabian Gomiz Lopez

Aren de hembras 8a ferr
ari
 
Furkan Akkaya

Olympos Games 8b, Geyik
Bayiri
 
Bram Honorez

souvenir 8A/+ Chironic
o
 
Mike Kimmel

Attempting "Good Day Ba
d Day" 8A. Moab.
 
Jamie Leland

Public Enemy 7c+, Super
stition Mountains
 
Mike Gabl

Samanta in "sweet dream
s are made of this" 6c
- San Vito Lo Capo
 
Michaela Izakovicova

Please add info of the
climb, your ascent and
the area
 
Chuck Odette

Bulletproof Monk, China
Cave, Utah
 
Christian Bortz

Bread Loaf Factory (V10
/7C+)
 
Javier Iniesta

Batman (sit start) 7c+,
Teresa de cofrentes
 
Gus Carter

Planet of the Apes V7/7
A+
 
Andreas Hanisch

Jungle Book stand 7c+,
Cresciano
 
Matthias Meilick

Bouldering in Löschteic
h near by Aktienbruch
 
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Nicholas Allan - Please add info of the climb, your ascent and the area
Click to Enlarge Picture
Selected Top List ->
Editorial by 8a Founder and Editor-in-Chief Jens Larssen including also Analyses, Reviews, Training, Polls and Opinions etc.
Speed Climbing Moscow - all about false starts and falls  Facebook
The start of the Speed World Cup in Moscow put the light on the problem with false start, falls and very little excitement. Out of the 16 female runs, only 2-3 can be said to have great excitement.The biggest problem is the false starts which we actually did see in five cases for the female and four times for the male. What about just adding 0.5 seconds or so for a false start and have them run again?

Climbing is getting into the Olympics and what a big anticlimax if there will be a false start in the finals. Female result board which is actually pretty comic, in spite of Anouck Jaubert's tied world record at 7.32.
 
Ryan Air flies to Kos again  Facebook
Ryan Air will start flying again from Berlin and Dusseldorf 3 + 3 times a week starting in June until late October. Some years ago, they had some 30 weekly flights from seven airports in Europe but the last years, everything was cancelled.
 
The First Global Summit in the Indoor Climbing Industry  Facebook
Click to Enlarge PictureADVERTORIAL - Walltopia, the biggest climbing wall manufacturer, will be hosting the first edition of a major global gathering in the climbing gym industry – the World Indoor Climbing Summit (WICS) 7-9/6 in Sofia. The event will be the first global conference and exhibition entirely focused on the business aspect of indoor climbing. Gym owners and industry leaders from 28 different countries will gather to share experience, discuss hot topics and talk about the future of indoor climbing.

The conference will feature a series of panels, during which visitors can share their views on everything from getting loans to the latest trends in climbing gym design. Aside from the conference, WICS will host an exhibition area where manufacturers and suppliers from the industry can showcase their latest products, and meet potential clients/partners.

The conference’s entire schedule and list of confirmed speakers and exhibitors can be found on the event’s official website.
 
The final format is boring  (7) Facebook
Reino Horak, former Swedish National coach who now works as the National coach for Norway, shares his somewhat boring experience looking at the 3.5 hours boulder finals in Moscow. He has previously possibly seen a dozen boulder finals in the front row but this was the first time way back with the spectators.

- Within an hour, many around me started to get bored during all these one minute breaks in between tries. After two hours even myself started to loose interest as it was just too many dead moments. Normally, when I am in the front row, you can observe so many details and feel the pulse, breathing and the adrenaline from the climb.

Sitting just 50 meters away, I must say, after three hours, all these dead moments with long waiting in between attempts, the format need to be speeded up giving more excitement for the spectators. Around me I actually saw people almost fell a sleep in their chairs.

The simple solution is to just the female and male compete at the same time but personally, I would like to go for the solution as pointed out in the 11 point system format with three climbers rotating at the first three boulders.
 
Era Vella should officially be called 8c+  (38) Facebook
Click to Enlarge PictureEra Vella is a stunning 45 m line in Margalef that was put up by Chris Sharma in 2010. He called it a soft 9a and the FA was actually done during a warming-up try. Quickly it become the most repeated 9a in the world and based on several comments and personal best, 8a started saying it might be 8c+. In 2015, Jonathan Siegrist did it and said was like an 8c and 8a started to report it as 9a (8c+). Later also Magnus Midtbö and Seb Bouin reported it as 8c+.

Interesting is that since Midtbö's ascent in 2015 (c) João Giacchin , only four more guys have done it included Alex Megos last week. Previously, it had been done five times every year. In the big databases it is in fact not considered 9a any longer and that goes also for the Vertical-Life app based and published in cooperation on Dani Andrada guidebook.

During the last few years, we have seen some popular hard core routes in the Lleida area beeing down graded in order to fit with the international level. Probably, we will see more down gradings in the area, as a chain reaction, as others that are already contenders of being down graded, now need to be compared with Era Vella being 8c+, although hard for it's grade.

Grades are the number one criteria for the media selecting and reporting ascents. Since 2002, 8a has in order to present the most accurate, sometimes commented the grade. In practice, it is not average consensus that change gradings. Instead, it is more like in the Emperor's clothing, somebody speaks out and then later repeaters follow.

It should me mentioned that 8a thinks it is just natural that most climbers do not bother giving personal grades and instead focus on just the beauty of the route. On the other hand, the climbing community should be thankful towards the guys sharing their personal view as otherwise we would all climb 9a and we would not understand how hard and give appropriate credit for the first guys doing 9a's more than 25 years ago.
 
Zangerl and Larcher trad on bolts up to 8c  Facebook
 
Moscow prediction  Facebook
The easiest way to predict the Bouldering WC in Moscow, which starts on Saturday, would of course be to just copy the Meiringen results. Another possibility is to calculate the finalist based on the total result from the qually and the semifinal, from the two groups respectively. Beside that, we should look out for the Japaneses and especially Kokoro Fujii. Bear in mind also that the Japaneses are the only team that go all in also in Speed where the qualification is just right before the Bouldering final.

1. Yuji Fuyiwaki JPN 78 (7 Tops and 8 zones)
2. Aleksei Rubtsov RUS/Tomoa Narasaki JPN 67

1. Jakob Schubert AUT 89
2. Tomoaki Nakati JPN 79
3. Jongwon Chon KOR 78

1. Akiyo Noguchi JPN 79
2. Janja Garnbret SLO 78
3. Stasa Gejo STB 58

1. Miho Nonaka JPN/Sandra Lettner AUT 69
3. Fanny Gibert FRA/Jessica Pilz AUT 58
 
Rule change for starting in Bouldering  (2) Facebook
IFSC has published some 2018 rule changes with the most important is how to start in Bouldering.

"The competitor must pass through a stable position before moving.

In practice this means you can not just tap your foot against a starting hold before moving. Instead you need to place the foot there and remain in a "stable position" which might be 0.5 seconds or so. If you just tap the hold, the referee should stop the climber.
 
Worse friction for the semi winner  (28) Facebook
Click to Enlarge PictureInnsbruck 2018 has published an interesting Meiringen analyses talking about technical skill adapting to different types of challenges, carried out by Udo Neuman. As the route setters will be the same in the WCH in Innsbruck 2018, important lessons have to be learnt. Udo also points out the problem with the conditions deteriorating which in practice means that the better result you had in the semi, the worse friction you will get in the final.

On the first problem, that can be seen in the picture, the first three guys did it at the same time the four last guys, and higher ranked in the semi, failed.

"Once someone has slipped off a foothold twice, the risk of slipping again increases dramatically. This also had a big influence on the result in Meiringen." Video of last man out, Jakob Schubert, slipping from that big yellow hold.

Udo also says, "It can only be hoped that a more level playing field will be made available in the future.". IFSC comp stats since 2007, confirms that the semi winner seldom actually wins the final and this is especially true for the WCHs. Other reasons for this is of course, the increased pressure starting last out, having heard that other guys topped and also that plastic holds and the whole arena get slightly heated up from the first to the last climber.
 
Olympic time intervals and starting order  Facebook
The document published below did include some info that was not correct when it comes to the Time in between the disciplines in the Olympics. Here are the official 2018 rules which we also have confirmed with IFSC.

"The Qualification round of the Combined event shall be organised such that:
15.1.5.1 Each competitor shall have a minimum [30] minutes recovery period between their last attempt in the Speed competition and the start of their attempts in the Boulder competition following; and
15.1.5.2 Each competitor shall have a minimum [120] minutes recovery period between their last attempt in the Boulder competition and the start of their attempt in the Lead competition following. where each of the Qualification and Final rounds will combine competitions in the Speed discipline, the Boulder discipline and Lead discipline in that order."

15.1.6 The Final round of the Combined event shall be organised such that:
15.1.6.1 Each competitor shall have a minimum [15] minutes recovery period between their last attempt in the Speed competition and the start of their attempts in the Boulder competition following; and
15.1.6.2 Each competitor shall have a minimum [15] minutes recovery period between their last attempt in the Boulder competition and the start of their attempt in the Lead competition following.

When it comes to starting order, the highest ranked competitor should start last in all three disciplines. In the finals, the highest ranked, after each discipline, should start last.

In practice this means that there could be an advantage to qualify to the Olympics as #20 as this means you will start first with fresh holds in Bouldering and the contrary applies for the #1 qualified. The starting order is based on the Seeding, i.e. who qualify first and in which position.

During the final, the ranking in bouldering might be most important as a better result will give you longer resting time before Lead. IFSC has stipulated a min of 15 min rest in between disciplines, and if so, the highest ranked climber could remain with instead 40 - 60 min rest.

Another consequence is that a poor result in Speed during the final might not be so bad as this means, you will save more energy skipping two Speed runs, starting first in Bouldering and getting longer rest before Lead. Imagine Adam Ondra, could be last in Speed, starting first in Bouldering which he wins, will give him the longest rest before Lead.

It should be mentioned that we have commented the min 15 minutes rule with IFSC and they have answered that it is just a minimum and that there probably will be longer time in between the disciplines during the final. One problem to face is also when to do the route reading which in itself is like a 10 min procedure. It will be rather complicated to do all route reading before starting the Speed event. On the other hand, it is probably the broadcaster who will decide what type of interval in between the disciplines is best for the million television audience.
 

Arne van Wees
MISS KGB, 7a, 95.2

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