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Dani Andrada, 4.015 routes and boulders 8A or harder  (2) Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureClick to Enlarge PictureDani Andrada is undoubtedly the climber with the most quanty hard climbs under his belt, whether boulder problems or routes. He is also known for his bolting labour but over all for his fanaticism being 43 years old. Recently he reached +4,000 routes/boulders and we had a chat with him.

With so many hard climbs in your notebooks, have you considered reaching a number?
I've reached to 4,015 wich I've bolted about 760 8a or harder. I don't know how many are FA's as it doesn't bother me. I would like to reach to 5,000 if I don't die to get it, but overall I would like to climb quality things although every day gets harder and harder. This season I would like to reach to the 1,000 bolted routes as now I'm at 789. Some years I've put up 60 routes and some others 15. For me bolting new lines is the most important thing for the community.

You mentioned us that nowadays people only think about the numbers instead of being more experienced..
Yes. I think that most of the climbers, overall young ones, which are at their best, they only think about the numbers and forget the climbing in itself. Try every hard route is in fashion and not to making more volume of routes and get experienced with it. I come from an older generation where before climbing 8a I climbed 7c+ on sight. To me maximum grade in a day and on sights come together. In the end what differentiates a good climber from the bad is the speed to climb things with more or less tries. Experienced climbers in 8a maximum are much better climbers than other who just have climbed a few 9a's. There are climbers that when they do their first 9a clamor for it as a great achievement. I have climbed 70 routes 9a or harder and still having doubts with some grades. In the end, climbing is not about just trying hard climbs, it's trying to climb in different types of rock and styles.

Do you have something to do in short term that you haven't done berore?
Climb and travel as much as I can due there're almost no routes left at home (laughs). Go mad bolting new lines and overall climb 8c on sight, which is something I never did. American Hustler for example in Oliana or some. I have many possibilities to do something like that cause is about get endurance. I would also like to do 8C (pure boulder problem I mean, not a traverse) but I guess it's harder, cause the older you get the harder is get strength. Also back to La Pedriza this winter to the slabs and try the freed routes by Mulero up to 8c with cams and nuts. The downside of all this is that I am a nonconformist, and I want to be everywhere trying everything at once. ©Talo Martín

VBlog #3 Ondra in America  (3) Facebook

Energica Cosmica 9a+ FA by Ale Zeni  (3) Facebook

Click to Enlarge Picture"Energia Cosmica is the name of the route that I had bolted one year ago in the Bilico’s crag in the Canali valley (Dolomites). This place is simply wonderful and is near my home in the mountains. The approach is one hour and twenty minutes but all the routes are amazing and is perfect if you like slab climbing. Now the crag have seven routes from 8a to 9a+.

My favorite climbing style is the slab and Energia Cosmica is my hardest slab route ever, a lot more difficult than Bain de Sang 9a and Bimba luna 9a/+ that I had done in 2017 in few attempts. For this route I did somthing like 60 attempts and 20 days on the route and I think that could be my first 9a+. I hope that one day someone try to do the first repetition. I’m very happy to have completed this challenge, the perfect slab in the perfect place with the perfect rock!"

Rise 9a+ FA by Sachi Amma  (1) Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureSachi Amma stopped competing after he won the World Cup in 2014. Next year he reached his goal to do ten routes 9a or harder. Then in 2016 he stopped doing hard routes. ""I can not find any value to be a better person by comparing myself with other climbers. That is why I stopped competing and climbing hard routes. Why do I need to be better than the others?" Changing horizon interview.

Now he rises again but no grade on his Insta so we had to beg for it. In total he has now done eleven 9a+ and two 9b's.

"This route is in Shirakabe Face area, 30m long almost vertical with 16 bolts. I bolted original line this April but it was too difficult for me. So I made a connection to the route “Akirameruna” (No Surrender, from Kenji Iiyama 7c+). Original part is 7 bolts, about 20 moves of hard 8b+ then you directly go to a 4 moves 8A+ before continuing into “Akirameruna”. Crux move is from two micro crimps to far under cling. The wall is vertical so you need to be strong on your finger and sensitive for the movement.

I started working from ground from middle of October but kept falling at the crux move. After about 25days of working on it, I finally stuck that move on beautiful sunny, cold and windy day in this November 15th. It was beautiful days with Autumn leaves.

In Japanese, Kanji, Climb(登) and Rise(昇) are same pronunciation. We normally use Climb(登) for climbing. But I found that if you are really into the climbing, you are out of control by yourself. I think it is not climb but rise. This route taught me this. I would love to finish the original line in near future. So many things to climb in Japan!"

Chromosome X 9a (8c+) by Alexander Rohr  (10) Facebook

Alexander Rohr, who previously has done four 9a, has done Chromosome X in Charmey giving it a personal grade of 8c+. "Unfortunately fell in the last hard move in my second go and again in try 3 and 4 yesterday..... 2 degrees is just too cold! Did it first try today.... Never 9a but a good route and a cool resistant style on small holds..."

In regards the two different sequences to the right by FA Pirmin Bertle and first repeater Illya Bakhmet-Smolenskyi used to the left, Alexander found a method in between. He also says that Chromosome Y, which Adam Ondra flashed, feels harder.

The Anthem 8A+ by Karoline Sinnhuber  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureKaroline Sinnhuber, who previously has done four 8B's, has done her tenth 8A+ The Anthem in Zillertal, in just three sessions. "After falling from the lip last week I finally did it! Quick ascent today, thank god I don‘t have to hike up there again hahaha."

"@my next plans: Not sure yet. I‘ll definitely be in Ticino again after xmas for 11 days. @comps: Definitely trying to climb as many boulder worldcups as possible depending on how it goes I‘ll decide what 2020 brings."

In the very last World Cup boulder this year she was #8 in Munich.

Magic Line 8c+ trad by Lonnie Kauk  (5) Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureRock & Ice report that Lonnie Kauk has once again repeated his father's Magic Line in Yosemite, upgrading it to 8c+ as he placed all gear on lead.

Ron Kauk did the first ascent in 1996 and Lonnie did the first repeat in 2016, both with preplaced gear, i.e. pink point. (c) Lonnie's Insta.

The logic with the upgrade is basically that it is harder to climb a trad route placing the gear also because sometimes some of the holds are blocked. Back in the days when sport climbing was created, you were also supposed to place the quick draws on lead and as a matter of a fact, until like 15 years ago, this was for many the way to go for onsights. One of the reason why a trad 8c+ is considered as harder than a sport 8c+ is because of this.

Until now, no 9a trad route has been established and there exist only a couple 8c+ in the world, out of which two in Yosemite, including Beth Rodden's Meltdown.

Illya and Pirmin comments the 9a?  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureClick to Enlarge PictureWe have previously reported that Illya Bakhmet-Smolenskyi has done the first repeat of Pirmin Bertle's Chromosome X in Chamery becoming the youngest person to have climbed 9a. "My first try of the grade. Perfect route. My beta is totally different from Pirmins."

Illya has also presented a video describing graphically how their two betas deviated. Pirmin has checked the video and is very impressed saying Illyas (160 cm) lower new sequence to the right is harder but the upper one to the left is easier.

- Chromosome X (soft 9a) is kind of an elimination and that is why we took it out of the topo. Using Illyas holds and sequences are possibly as hard as the original one and a very impressive ascent. We will see what future taller repeaters think of the grade if you keep left all the time?

The 13 year old has been very open with how he did and says he can not suggest a grade of his beta due to lack of experience of these grades.

- This trip was full of surprises. I did not expect this crag to be so beautiful and diverse. I also did not expect the routes and even parts of the routes to be so different by types of climbing. Based on this, I don’t understand why that area is still not popular because, in addition to everything that is mentioned above, there is huge amount of fabulous hiking tracks and landscapes. In addition to, there is a big range of grades, which is acceptable for family vacations.

Speaking of the route, it astonished me. Although I could do every move in the lower part, (using Pirmins beta), I couldn't combine it. Quite the same situation happened with the upper part.One move I could not do. So that is the reason why I made a totally different beta.

L'isola che non c'è 9a by David Firnenburg  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureDavid Firnenburg has done the second ascent of Fred Nicole's boulder route L'isola che non c'è 9a in Amden from 2009 after some eight days of work. (c) Lars Scharl

"Fred didn’t give it a grade, just said it lies somewhere around the 9th french grade. David proposes 9a for a powerful Fb 8A boulder (so called “Cavernicole”) at the start, a Fb 7th graded traverse into a horizontal rest on a mini jug with heel-toe cam followed by a long and powerful Fb 8A+ boulder with spectacular swing and feet forward sequence at the very end. You sit start on crash pads and finish with a rope approx. 10 meters above the ground." More comments on Insta.

Spicy Dumpling 9a by Jonathan Siegrist  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureJonathan Siegrist has done his 29th 9a, Spicy Dumpling in Yangshuo. "Fickle boulder problem to an amazing endurance finish without good rest. Finding acceptable conditions is still the crux!" (c) Tara Kerzner

In the 8a ranking game, Jonathan is #4 also including Jumbo Love 9b.

Vblog #1 from Ondra's America trip  Facebook

A maze of death 8A+ by Katie Lamb  (4) Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureKatie "Lamb" Ledecky has done her third 8A+, A maze of death in Bishop which just took her three sessions. "Very technical movement on bad feet. The hardest part is figuring out the foot beta."

The 21 year old has been climbing since she was 8 years old and being a teenager she did win the nationals a few times. Her next goal is to do Mandala.

Ondra's Just Do It 8c+ onsight story  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureAdam Ondra has described his onsight of Just Do It 8c+ at Smith Rocks with a great picture of Bernardo Gimenez. Good news is that they also got it on video.

"It was freaking windy, but I was hoping that down at the base it would be less windy than up in the pass from where it is really nice to check the route. I was trying to convince myself by seeing the no quickdraws moving in the lower bit (well, those quickdraws are in vertical wall so it is clear they were not moving so much). At base it was too obvious that it was freaking windy. But I just set off." Full story at his Insta.

Classified 9a by David Firnenburg  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureDavid Firnenburg, #3 in the Combined World Championship in 2016, has done Classified 9a in Frankenjura. Pic from his Insta from last month when he did another 9a.

"Riding the sending wave after winning lead nationals. Feeling fit after Southern France and some training back in the gym. Nice fingery route on pockets and crimps with dynamic move to saving hold in the end. 9a in my opinion. Let's keep the ball rolling..."

Adam Ondra onsights Just Do It 8c+  (14) Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureAdam Ondra reports on Insta that he has onsighted the iconic Just Do it 8c+ at Smith Rocks. It was bolted in 1989 by Alan Watts and JB Tribout did the FA in 1992. The 40m line with 18 bolts starts almost vertical with technical climbing on whitish rock. The second half on near to purple rock is slightly overhanging with the crux at the top where many have taken 15 meters falls.

Adam has previously onsighted three 9a's, 19 8c+' and 61 8c's. No other climber has onsighted more than a dozen 8c and harder.

Johnny Dawes (54) back to 8b+  (5) Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureBritish legend Johnny Dawes is back on the game after a long process of efforts. A year ago he did Abuela Carmen 8a in La Pedriza, Spain. That day he tried on a top rope Inuït 8b+ just for fun and fixed it as a goal for the next season. The last week he tried first to check the moves and sent it on his second go. More info on his Insta. ©Talo Martin

Known as the developer of the dynamic climbing, in 1985 he bolted Meltdown 9a slab. In 1986 he fell in the last bolt due to a hold broke in the last hard moves (video of 1986 trying the route with Jerry Moffat). Meltdown was FA'd by James McHaffie in 2012 and recently repeated by Ignacio Mulero in 2018.

Chromosome X 9a by Illya Bakhmet-Smolenskyi (13)  (10) Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureIllya Bakhmet-Smolenskyi, who did his first 8c when he was 11 years old, has done his first 9a, Chromosome X in Charmey. "Perfect route. My beta is totally different from Pirmins."

Adam Ondra was 13 years, nine months and six days when he did his first 9a. Illya was five days younger, setting a new world record. Ashima Shiraishi did her first 9a two weeks before she turned 14. More info to come!

Assassin 9a #106 by Adam Ondra  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureAdam Ondra has done Drew Ruana's Assassin 9a in Smith Rocks which he did second go. "2nd ascent, crazy route with different sections and good rests in between." (c) Martin Kanurek

In total total, the 25 year old has now recorded 172 routes 9a to 9c. Interesting insights on his Insta from Smith Rocks. "I love visiting new climbing places and I have been looking forward to this place so much! It is basically birthplace of America's sport climbing." He also met and give credits to Alan Watts, the pioneer of sport climbing in USA who in the early days got a lot of criticism." Video - Pioneering Smith Rocks.

Corrida 8c by Jessica Pilz  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureJessica Pilz, the world Lead Champion, has had some nice days in Osp/Misja Pec where she has onsighted Ptičja perspektiva 8a+ and on her second go she did Corrida 8c. In the 8a ranking game, the 21 year old is #3.

Three years ago she did her first 8c+ and based on her great progress the last year, it will be interesting to see how far she can push it this winter before going full into the Olympic mode in 2019. More info to come.

Sharma Mont-Rebei Summer 2018  Facebook


Kleopatra 8a, Alabalık/
Maria Amzaroiu (f)

oys are back in town
Kat Gentry

Please add info of the
climb, your ascent and
the area
Frederico Gonçalves

Boulder: Abrigo de Ferr
o V12/8a+
Marketa Janosova

Stargate 7c, San Vito L
o Capo
Bram Honorez

willenberg dach 8A, chi
Jamie Leland

Public Enemy 7c+, Super
stition Mountains
Katrin Gründler

roof warrior
Gus Carter

Melted Softscream, Mita
ke, Japan
Andrew conroy

Please add info of the
climb, your ascent and
the area
Nicholas Allan

Please add info of the
climb, your ascent and
the area
Bram Honorez

souvenir 8A/+ Chironic
Gus Carter

Mullentino V6/7A
Bram Honorez

La persistencia de la m
emoria 8A+, chironico
Leo Skinner

rich skinner - sansa 7c
Kathrin Ziegler

Goldener Mittelweg
Leo Skinner

leo skinner - corridors
of power 7c+
Markus Adamaszek

TEC-B6-L6, Fb 6a bloc,
Search & Add Ascents
Editorial by 8a Founder and Editor-in-Chief Jens Larssen including also Analyses, Reviews, Training, Polls and Opinions etc.
Calrin Curtis aiming for Tokyo 2020  Facebook
Click to Enlarge PictureCalrin Curtis from South Africa is a full time lawyer that has great chances to be the male African representative in the Olympics. The 24 year old who trains six times a week plans to stop working in six months and then only focus on climbing and the Olympics. In the last world championship he was #72 out of 87, with 9.05 in Speed as his best result and the only African competitor.

"I started climbing at my school when I was 16. I competed in the world youth Championships in Imst in 2011 and Singapore in 2012 and was the highest placed African Athlete at both events.

I plan to head overseas to climb and gain as much training and experience as I can until my money runs out. I would love to go to Innsbruck and train and also try and find sponsorships to help extend my trip as long as possible. Perhaps this article could help:)

I don't have too much structure to my training at the moment but I train all 3 disciplines equally. I'm looking forward to learning new training structures when I go overseas."
JOB OPPORTUNITY for UX / UI Designers  Facebook
Click to Enlarge Picture8a and Vertical-Life are hiring: We’re looking for motivated User Experience / User Interface Designers for mobile and web projects!

If you love climbing as well as designing user experiences, this could be your chance to combine your greatest passions. You will be joining our highly motivated team of climbers, business strategists, product managers, designers, engineers, and merchandisers. You will be working on user experience strategies for our existing apps and websites, and for new projects from the ground up. Get in touch to receive detailed information about the job.

Send your application, CV and portfolio to: careers@vertical-life.info
Olympic prediction  (1) Facebook
The qualification to Tokyo 2020 will start in just six months and here is the 8a prediction of the final ranking.

1. Tomoa Narasaki JPN - Miho Nonaka JPN
2. Adam Ondra CZE - Janja Garnbret SLO
3. Jakob Schubert AUT - Jessica Pilz AUT
4. Yoshiyuki Ogata JPN - Akiyo Noguchi JPN
5. Stefano Ghisolfi ITA - Stasa Geijo SER
6. Jernej Kruder SLO - Jain Kim KOR

It should be noted that max two from each country is allowed to participate so here are some Japanese names with almost equal chances to get a spot and also become Top-6: Meichi Narasaki, Kai Harada, Kokoro Fujii, Keita Dohi, Futaba Ito, Mei Kotake.
La Cabane au Canada 9a by Katherin Choong  Facebook
Parking/Access fee, credit and # to keep landowners secure and happy  Facebook
The climbing community should be grateful to all landowners out there but it is seldom we can show our appreciation. Instead, sometimes a fraction of the climbers misbehave and make the landowners want to close down the crag. In some crags, the local club has agreed with the landowner to put up a box where you voluntary could pay a parking fee. Often this does not work especially as we do not bring cash so often and because such fee is anonymous.

Lysekils climbing club, on the west coast in Sweden, has made an agreement with two landowners, who has invited climbers to park on their property, to set up signs including a mobile number to pay a voluntary parking fee of Euro 2. While you pay the 2 Euros you can also include a personal message saying - Thank you! Have a nice day.

Getting two such messages per day during the summer will increase the chances of keeping the landowner secure and happy with the cars and climbing on his ground. Their visitors is not just anonymous but appreciating individuals from different countries. Another way to may the landowners happy could also be to just # your Insta with the crag name. Imagine how fun it could be to check this out for the land owners as well as making him proud.
Halls & Walls in Nürnberg 23-24/11  Facebook
Click to Enlarge PictureThe German Alpine Club organize Halls & Walls in Nürnberg 23-24/11 including 15 lectures and product presentations focusing indoor climbing. In total there are more than 120 exhibitors listed out of which many are producing climbing holds. On Friday there is also a party and on Saturday after work bouldering and a World Cup simulation.
"Caving" anchors should not be placed on routes  (2) Facebook
Click to Enlarge PictureBased on an incident where the webbing of a quickdraw was cut after six sideway falls, the normal hanger was replaced with a Raumer "caving" anchor, see picture. The idea was to move out the quick draw so that the webbing should have less contact with the sharp granite just below the hanger.

Although such hanger can be used in a top anchor, creating less rope drag as the quick draw or the screw carabiner get perpendicular, this hanger is not designed for dynamic load. Further more, it is important that the load stays downwards. The "caving" hanger could put the quick draw in a bad position which can lead to ruptures, i.e. carabiner breakage.

Emanuele Pellizzari, who is selling Kinobi bolts etc since 15 years, explains the risk which also Raumer, the manufacture of the bolt, have confirmed.

"That hanger is not meant for climbing falls. It is meant for static load with a clear direction of force. In fact it keeps the biner perpendicular to the route, like in belays/rappels. It should be removed and replaced with a regular hanger. This is a typical case of mis-use by the equipper."​

What is your best advice if the local club do not want to chop the bolt and drill a new hole? What about replacing the having hanger with an anchor with two rings?
Talk to climbers with bad access behavior  Facebook
Click to Enlarge PictureHere is the 12 year old 8a Access flyers with advices including some specific instructions from The Access Fund in regards Human Waste.

As the climbing community is growing bigger, the number of access problems are increasing and although almost everyone behave respectful, it just takes some misbehaving to irritate the landowners etc. Spreading information and creating awareness are important but what is crucial is to actually talk directly to the climbers misbehaving. One way of making this easier, is to post signs at the crags meaning we only have to refer to something "official" while talking to the climbers with bad access behavior.
Access/Parking problems in Osp/Misja Pec  Facebook
Click to Enlarge PictureOsp/Misja Pec in Slovenia is #17 in the 8a crag data base with 25 871 ascents. During many years there have been access issues also related to parking although a new bigger was opened.

"Since the day it was opened we are witnessing illegal camping and disrespectful behavior from some members of our climbing tribe."

More info on the specific rules etc to follow on their website as well on Insta.
8.57 by Miho Nonaka in Speed  (3) Facebook
Miho Nonaka, who won the Bouldering World Cup in 2018, set a new Speed PB in the Asian Championship at 8.57. As a matter of a fact, three times she did go below nine seconds which can be compared to Janja Garnbet and Akiyo Noguchi who has never gone under 10 seconds in an IFSC event. Among the male, Keita Dohi was fastest at 7.18.

Winners of the Combined event were Meichi Narasaki and Akiyo Noguchi. Interesting was also that Bouldering specialist Kokoro Fujii won in Lead.

Michał Kajca
Voyage Selon Gulivier 7a+ 2xA0 350m, Grand Capucin, Alps

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