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Cheerleader 8B+ by Israel Olcina (43)  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureIsrael Olcina (43) has done the second accent of Beto Rocasolano's Cheerleader 8B+ in Castillo de Bayuela, Spain. It is his second 8B+. Israel is a respected climber having been one of the first Spanish climbers to climb 8A in the late 90's. © Inés Tostado

"How has been the process on Cheerleader?
I had seen it when Beto did it in march. I was amazed with the line and I couldn't get it out my mind back then. I stopped trying it at the end of the season and without the first move due to a index injury and I back to it end of november. The problem climbs an overhang to a roof and the section is a 7-8 moves where the first three are the hardest.

Female climber of 2018?  (3) Facebook

Male climber of 2018?  Facebook

Three 8a's by Cathy Wagner (53)  Facebook

Cathy Wagner has added another three 8a's to her ticklist out of which one in Virignin and two in Blavet. This means that the 53 year old has done 64 routes 8a to 8b in 2018. In total, Cathy has done 699 routes 8a to 8b which just might be most in the world among the female.

Kintsugi 8C by Keenan Takahashi  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureKeenan Takahashi reports on Insta that he has done Nalle Hukkataival's Kintsugi 8C in Red Rocks.

"Possibly the best boulder I’ve ever done... exhilarated, adrenalized, and psyched beyond belief!!!" (c) Killa Kev

This was Mr "Ario's" second 8C in 2018 when he also has done 5 8B+ and 16 8B's out of which two flashes.

Three 8c+ by David Firnenburg  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureDavid Firnenburg, #3 in the Combined World Championship in 2016, has done three 8c+; La ley innata and Llamps i trons in Margalef and Jungle Speed in Siurana. "Escaping the wetness in Margalef. Some years ago I couldn't even do the gaston move. Today less than 2 hours (5 tries). Ascend with head lamp in the darkness. 8c+ for me although a hold broke (as far as I know)."

"My thoughts on my Olympic ambition: Well, I want to qualify for the Games in 2020 and I specifically train the combined format for it. Next year 2019 is going to be a tough season of selection. Only the best athletes and the ones who can perform at the right time in comps will make it. I am confident of myself that I have the mental and physical strengths and abilities to make it to Tokyo. I am a good allrounder, never specialized on one certain discipline in the past. I commit to hard gym training this winter with a well balanced mix of rock climbing besides as well to be well prepared for the first World Cups in April/May 2019.

Though, the biggest focus is on the World Champs in Toyko because that's the first chance to get the ticket to the Games in Toyko. If you already make it there you won't have the pressure throughout the whole season and can better and earlier focus on your trainings for the "real" games in 2020. I am curious how next season will go for me and how I'll handle the stresses and strains of a very packed schedule. I put all in and give my best. That's all I can do. And in the end I have a clear result if it was enough or not. Overall I see it as a great challenge and an occasion to get better in my personal climbing. And that's the most important thing for me. 2019 is going to be exciting!"

Atonement 8c by Babsi Zangerl  (1) Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureBabsi Zangerl reports on Insta that she has done Jonathan Siegrist's Atonement 8c in VRG in just five tries. (c) Andy Earl The next plan is skiing and training back home in the Alpes together with her partner Jacopo Larcher who's hardest tick in USA was Necessary Evil 8c+.

Our main goal was to climb on the Nose but winter came in too early....so we moved east too VRG....we climbed there for about 10 days....a lot of cool routes from easy to hard...maybe one of the best limestone areas in the US ... The climbing is perfect there, but I wished there wouldn't be the highway right next to it which is pretty annoying.”

Pure Dreaming by Reffo Silvio  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureReffo Silvio, who previoulsy has done two 9a+ has done his 12th 9a, Pure Dreaming in Arco. " I have tried the route just few times in the last three months because of the bad weather. Today, after a very fast warm up, I have quickly send Pure Dreaming. My first 9a like a father!!! I hope for more hard routes in the next months!!"

Almost everyone thinks they have great technique  (4) Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureFor the third time, we have run the Poll, "What skill do you lack the most?". As for the 2013, 2015 and 2018 poll, only some 8 % pick Technique. In practice, the results have been more or less the same, beside the 2015 poll, where Finger strength got 31 %, instead of 26 % in both 2013 and 2018. Further more, Flexibility have increased in importance during the three polls and is now ranked #3.

As Flexibility is kind of easy to improve and is something you can train back home, this increase is kind of strange. Possibly it relates to the frequently published pics of celebs like Adam Ondra in extreme positions. One of his trainers Klaus Isele has previously on 8a said;

"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."

Bone Tomahawk 9a (+) by Ben Spannuth and Matty Hong  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureClick to Enlarge PictureMatty Hong and Ben Spannuth have done the third and fourth ascent of Joe Kinder's Bone Tomahawk in Fynn Cave both suggesting a personal grade of 9a. First Matty did it, (c) Jon Cardwell and a couple later Matty was shooting pictures of Ben doing it.

Fortunadrago 8B by Giorgia Tesio (18)  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureGiorgia Tesio, who just won the Italian Bouldering Championship, reports on Insta that she has done her first 8B, Fortunadrago in Varazze.

The 18 year old did her first 8a six years ago and it was actually a flash. Later she has been an active competition climbers having won three Euro Championships.

"I don’t exactly know how it was possible to top it in a day and an half of tries: when I tried it for the first time it seemed quite impossible for me, until I found out a new beta which fit perfectly for me: using the heel hooks in both of the two hard sections makes it less about strength and allows me to stick the hard move every time.

So the second day I knew I could do it, and I was so excited and anxious that I almost missed the opportunity to get my first 8b done, but fortunately I had my friends there to support me!

It seems that every in the last two years I ends my projects faster than before, such as it happened for Hyena, this means that I have to try something harder! So in 2019 I’ll look for new projects on rock, maybe near home so I can try them even during comp season; but next year is very important for me because it is my last year in young competitions! So I’ll try my best for making this year memorable, challenging my self in World Cup as well." (c) Fabio Fin

Interview to Pol Roca about La Teoría del Todo 8C (8B+) and an 8C FA  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureSpanish Pol Roca has done La Teoría del Todo in Albarracín suggesting a personal grade of 8B+. The boulder was put up by Beto Rocasolano as an 8C+ and Rubén Díaz repeated it suggesting it as 8C. Last week Pol also put up Boulder Blaster 8C FA in La Comarca. (c) Francis Guillén

It is your first 8C, how many sessions on it? Can you compare with others?
Yes, it is my first 8C. I found it two years ago but I didn't try it in 7 months due to an injury. It took me around 30-40 days. I can compare it with others 8B+ FA that I've done and Boulder Blaster is harder... but I think it's really hard to compare with others because the style is really hard to find.

Do you think it could be one of the hardest problems in Spain?
I don't think so cause it hasn't many moves but it is pure strength and without doubt is the hardest move I've ever tried.

Which is your next goal?
I have some problems to try and I can't say one specifically but there's one in La Comarca, not very aesthetic line but easy to see. Is the link up of an 8 moves 8B and an 8 moves 8B+. That will be the next hard line in La Comarca .

Bone Tomahawk 9a (+) by Ben Spannuth and Matty Hong  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureMatty Hong and Ben Spannuth have done the third and fourth ascent of Joe Kinder's Bone Tomahawk in Fynn Cave both suggesting a personal grade of 9a. First Matty did it, (c) Jon Cardwell and a couple later Matty was shooting pictures of Ben doing it.

This is how Kinder describes his route, "Crux in the beginning, very resistant with bizarre to-hooks and roof tricks. Then very continuous, muscly, and athletic. It’s not so finger intensive as it is full body intensive. It’s like being in the boxing ring and fighting to the end of utter fatigue.

Then there is an extension. I’ve done all moves and believe it’s an additional 9 bolts of 8c+. It will be significantly difficult. No rests after the glory jug on Bone T. Seems loco to me but has me very excited to see what my old ass can do on it. I’m heading down there tomorrow to try a bit. So excited."

Three 8c+ by Stefano Carnati  (1) Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureStefano Carnati, who did Biographie 9a+ this autumn, has had eight very productive days doing three 8c+. First the FA of Vortex in Gajum which he has tried for few days during the last four years, see picture. More info on his Insta.

Then he traveled to Spain and did A Muerte in Siurana and La Ley Innata in Margalef. "Nemesis is over!! 3AM alarm clock made its work! Spent several days last year and it drove me crazy. Today sent straight after a warm-up go."

Stefano Ghisolfi 9b+ and Olympic interview  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureIn between day #8 and day #30, Stefano Ghisolfi did not see any physical progress on Perfecto Mundo 9b+ in Margalef as he kept falling on the same move.

"I just felt a slow progress on sensations and feelings on the route. I improved on the first part to make it perfect. I did visualization when I was home and try to reproduce the feelings. I trained my legs too because in the rest before the hard section I had to push with my left leg to stay in the position. The process has been very complicated and frustrating, during this year I had a lot of emotions, motivation and sometimes I thought to give up, but I never did. "

Stefano won the Italian Speed Championship in 2010 with 7.96 so he has actually not started any Speed training yet. He has deliberately postponed it in order to reduce the months with almost only focusing on indoor training prior to Tokyo 2020.

"My plan was to stay in Spain for a month until end of December, bit I did the route at the second day of the trip, so now I have one more month to train. Now I can focus on Olympics 100%. I will continue with some rock project but closer to home, while I can train boulder and speed. Living in Arco will help my outdoor climbing. But maybe not big projects before the Olympics. During 2019, I will do all Lead WCs and maybe 3 or 4 bouldering and Speed WCs."

Three 8A+ by Michaela Kiersch  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureMichaela Kiersch has had a great trip to Hueco Tanks where she quickly did three 8A+; Rumble in the jungle, Tequila Sunrise and Phantom Limb (c) Brandon Fox - The Foxes Photography In the Combined ranking game, Michaela is #1 among the female and #13 among the male.

"I went into this trip with no objectives other than to have fun and enjoy my climbing. The weather has been perfect and I’ve been with amazing friends. Couldn’t have been a better trip! Usually I do have plans, but this trip was more for my mental health and enjoyment than for sending super hard projects. My plan for the winter is to train, get stronger, and enjoy the holidays with my family. 2019 is still open ended for me, I really need to start thinking of some good new year resolutions."

Hypothèse assis 8C+ FA by Charles Albert barefoot  (9) Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureCharles Albert, the famous Font barefoot boulderer, has made the FA of yet another 8C+, Hypothèse assis. It adds two moves to the 7C+ stand start. "It’s just another hard boulder, it’s not very beautiful and it’s chipped. I did it because it was dry. It took me three quick sessions and a long one. I don’t think it’s easier or harder with shoes the next project is another hard boulder.”

Charles climbs barefoot and he has established and repeated several 8C's and done the Fa of La Revolutionnaire 8C+. The pic by Neil Hart is from an 8B+ in Font.

9a+/b FA by Seb Bouin  Facebook

Perfecto Mundo 9b+ by Stefano Ghisolfi  (2) Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureStefano Ghisolfi, #2 in the Lead World Cup the last two years, reports on his Insta that he has repeated Alex Megos Perfecto Mundo 9b+ in Margalef which originally Chris Sharma bolted. (c) Javi Pec

"I spent 32 days here at the crag, falling many times at the same move, but this time I grabbed for the first time that pinch and it felt unreal..."

Terre de sienne 8B by Isabelle Faus  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureIsabelle Faus has done Fred Nicole's Terre de Sienne 8B in Hueco Tanks. "hard dead point.. was trying the bump method for the first couple days... then started trying to go straight up to it and did it that sesh, didn't split any tips!!"

Originally it was given 8C, but then Dave Graham came and called it 8B/+. Some continued to grade it 8B+ but now it seems the consensus is 8B. Isabelle, who often gives personal downgrades, has recorded 16 8B's and two 8B+, making her tick list one of the most impressive by a female. In the 8A ranking game, Isabelle is #1.

Oriane Bertone (f)

Oriane Bertone Wow Prow
"Death camp into stomp
omp blues" 8a+ flash
Gonçalo "Gongas" Coutinho

"Manuel Fruto do Mel" -
6a - Atlântida
Katrin Gründler

Please add info of the
climb, your ascent and
the area
Leo Skinner

rich skinner - sansa 7c
Sebastian Maya

Momento es un boulder d
e los más bonitos de Mi
neral, un super clásico
que no te puedes perde
Marcelo Hugo

Durepox (7b+) - Gruta,
Caxias do Sul.
Frederico Gonçalves

Boulder: Abrigo de Ferr
o V12/8a+
Leo Skinner

leo skinner - the groov
e 7c+
Marketa Janosova

Stargate 7c, San Vito L
o Capo

Babycat 7b au Goupil à
Markus Adamaszek

El pan canario, Fb 7a b
loc, Albarracín
Andreas Hanisch

Kirk Windstein Stand 7c
+, Cresciano
Miska Izakovicova

Please add info of the
climb, your ascent and
the area
Oriane Bertone (f)

Saint Joseph
Bram Honorez

el varano, 7C+ Albarra
Mike Gabl

Sami in "Les aneaux de
saturne" 7b / Quinson /
Gus Carter

Melted Softscream, Mita
ke, Japan
Katrin Gründler

roof warrior
Search & Add Ascents
Editorial by 8a Founder and Editor-in-Chief Jens Larssen including also Analyses, Reviews, Training, Polls and Opinions etc.
Daily Training Plans through the VL App  Facebook
In the Vertical-Life training App you can choose from 10 different "daily plans". Once you have entered your your gym and level, as well as type of focus on your training, the App will direct you to do specific routes and boulders in the Vertical-Life connected gyms. Here you can invite your gym. It also tells you when to rest and after the session you will report back and say how tired you were and the system will adjust until your next session.

In the future, you will be able to create longer training plans with a focus on a certain ambition during your next trip etc.
More rock climbers needed to save the planet  (21) Facebook
Click to Enlarge PictureOutdoor climbing has a very small impact on the environment in comparison to other sports where you almost always need to build and maintain an arena. Bouldering and DWS are quite unique and fulfills best the Tyroldeclaration, "We strive to leave no trace". Trad climbers leave environmental trace due to all cams and nuts needed meanwhile sport climbers need less gear but bolts.

Moving out people from practicing sports indoor into rock climbing outdoors will in the long run mean less impact on the environment, as less arenas are constructed and required.

Getting exposed to the outdoor makes it possibly the former arena sport-persons will develop into ambassadors for the planet's nature. They might also personally reduce their environmental impact and possibly adapt to the low budget/less impact outdoor climber style.

By strengthen the local community, which in reality means that more boulders and routes graded 3 - 5 should be developed, the number of rock climbers will increase. More climbs in your neighborhood will also mean travelling will be reduced.

Disclaimer - Surely, more climbers could to some extent have a negative impact for the local climbing community in regards respectful behavior and access etc. However, in regards saving the planet, each arena person we could get out in the nature becoming an eco-ambassador the better on a global perspective.

The Access Fund is working hard and just published - Climbing Areas Loved to Death and clearly this has a lot to do with access education. We do all need to interact on the scene...not just posting negative comments in forums.
Kids comps should be focus on challenges instead of competitiveness  Facebook
Kids sports are becoming less competitive in Sweden. You are not supposed to say who won a tournament in football or say who won the league before they are around 11 years. Instead it is all about including and let everyone "compete" in as many matches etc as possible. Further more, parents and even coaches are not supposed to interfere shouting out tactical instructions. It is believed that a focus on playing rather than being competitive is better for the kids even in team sports.

Climbing being an individual sports, clearly the winning and failure focus could create even more negative pressure. Further more, coaches and parents instructing the kids in a too detailed way replace the fun playing challenge focus, with only aiming for winning. Possibly we should set up competition formats without finals or with finals for everyone. As it stands, often the gyms just copy the IFSC format and just let the Top-6, or so, 10 year old's challenge themselves in the final with great exposure.

Sure many young kids like and can deal with the pressure in a competition but what is not fair is that if you are not among the best, you are not allowed to challenge yourself on all climbs.
The Big Island 8C by Nico Pelorson  Facebook
Gyms should grade also 6-8 m routes  (6) Facebook
One big downside with climbing the 12 - 18 m long gym routes, slightly progressively harder, is that most of us get so pumped that we need to rest at least 15 min. In other words, you seldom climb more than 100 m during your normal session.

If you instead would divide your training on 6 - 8 m routes you would only need to rest a couple min in between and you could end up with double as much training. Further more, such training could be defined as power-endurance training which normally is the strength we are all looking for outdoors.

Surely, it is just up to you and me to stop midways up the route but it is not so easy to be the first to implement such training in the gym. In general, it is the hardest routes in the gym that gets the less traffic but possibly the 7c might just be 7a up to 7 meters etc.

From the kids and the beginners perspective, it is just very natural that before you start climbing the 12 m routes, you progress meter by meter.
Ondra Vlog #8 onsight attempt on To bolt or not to be 8b+  Facebook
Living Legend Neil Gresham  Facebook
Adam Ondra America roadtrip Vlog #7  Facebook
Female Best Bouldering Ticklist  (1) Facebook
Here is a draft of which female have the most impressive bouldering tick list. Please comment to add names or change the ranking.

1. Alex Puccio USA
2. Ashima Shiraishi USA
3. Isabelle Faus USA
4. Anna Stöhr AUT
5. Karoline Sinnhuber AUT

6. Oriane Bertone FRA
7. Megan Mascarenas USA
8. Shauna Coxsey GBR
9. Alizee Dufraisse FRA
0. Nina Williams USA
Mile Heyden GER
Female most impressive sport climbing tick list  (9) Facebook
Here is a draft of which female have the most impressive sport climbing tick list. Please comment to add names or change the ranking.

1. Margo Hayes USA
2. Angy Eiter AUT
3. Anak Verhoeven BEL
4. Josune Bereziartu ESP
5. Julia Chanourdie FRA

6. Ashima Shiraishi USA
7. Allizée Dufraisse FRA
8. Charlotte Durif FRA
9. Janja Garnbret SLO
0. Michaela Kiersch USA, Laura Rogora ITA, Mar Alvararez, Janja Garnbret, Muriel Sarkany, Barbara Zangerl, Plorence Pinet, Katherine Choong

Stefan Bednar
Posolstvo priamo z podsvetia 8b, Turniska

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