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Pedra, Paper, Tisora 8c+ by Angie Scarth-Johnson (14)  Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureAngie Scarth-Johnson, who did her first 8c+ at age 12, has done her second, Pedra, Paper, Tisora in Margalef. The Australian is home-schooled and will spend six weeks in Spain this spring as she also has done before.

"It took me a couple of days but I was on it last year. I had an finger injury and was unable to send it due to that. So I’m super glad I could finish it off this year."

 
 
Competition and Friction  Facebook
 

Mic Rathke has published some concern in regards competition fairness in bouldering in Routesetter anonymous. 8a has talked about this issue for twelve years as it seems more favorable to be #6 in the semi, meaning that you start first with better friction in the final.

"Competitions should be fair, but we (the climbing community) face an issue with fairness. Our issue at hand mostly deals with slopers, they get full of chalk, bodily fluids, skin, and most of all the original friction wears away like sandpaper. The difficulty (grade or rating) of a climb gets harder in the matter of one session. This is an issue for the later people that climb on the same holds in the same competition.

Our current resolution is a brush and chalk, however this does not resolve the issue of replacing the original grip of a hold. With the Olympics coming up, how can we resolve this issue before 2020?"


It should be noted that in the Olympics, there will be eight to the final, meaning the friction problem will be a bigger issue in Tokyo.

 
 
The Kingdom 8C (B+) by Daniel Woods  (2) Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureDaniel Woods reports on Insta that he has done Carlo Traversi’s The Kingdom 8C (B+) in Brione. Daniel has previously done 28 boulders 8C and harder which means he is #1 in that ranking. In the 8a ranking game, the 29 year old is #2 after Jimmy Webb. (c) Stefan Kuerzi

 
 
Battle Cat 8c (+) by Gabriela Vrablikova  Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureGabriela Vrablikova has done her first 8c (+), Battle Cat in Frankenjura in just six tries. Interesting the 28 year old Czech has only tried one 8c before so we are again talking about a late bloomer.

"I work as a physiotherapist so we had to plan it with my new coach, Petr Klofáč very carefully. We are working more complex in more areas - not just physical training, but mental training, regeneration and food. Training my mind helped a lot as well and of course Battle Cat is beautiful route so I really enjoyed climbing it! Now I am gonna enjoy some hot chocolate.

My next project is to find some sponsors for my dream project - one hard multipitch in Ratikon and I have never been to Spain so I want to go there this year and climb something harder."

 
 
Keen Roof 8B by Frances Bensley  Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureFrances Bensley has done her second 8B, Keen Roof in Peak District, in just three sessions. (c) Jonathan Bean

Interesting is that Frances did her first 8A only 18 months ago so wee are talking a late bloomer as she started climbing almost 20 years ago at age 7.

"I realized that all of the hardest things I had climbed had only taken a few sessions or a session to do. I had a goal of climbing 8b+ and 8A last year and managed that. At that point maybe I started to realize that in my own style I might be able to climb harder, but just need to find the right problems. Additionally I have made a lot more effort this year to try and identify and work on my climbing weaknesses. I am sure this has helped my climbing overall.

I have never had any structure to my training before January - I climbed a couple times a week and I tried hard, either climbing general blocs or a fun board session, but there was never a plan, very little finger boarding (I would occasionally pull onto a finger board maybe a few times a month but with no consistency) and I didn't matter if I only climbed once a week or three times a week.

I recently approached Dave Mason and I now have a weekly training plan to follow - its hard work for me because structure is something I struggle with, but it's also good and I'm feeling quite strong."

 
 
Black Mamba 8c trad roof by the Wide Boyz  Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureClick to Enlarge PicturePete Whittaker and Tom Randall, one of the best crack climbers out there, have made another hard first ascent in the Utah desert, Black Mamba 8c which may be their hardest roof crack yet. Whittaker describes the first ascents: (c) Talo Martin

"The route is like a mining tunnel, you walk to the back and start in a crouched position with a head torch on and can’t believe you now have to climb the same distance you just walked…but completely upside down.

Nevertheless, it’s as much about being tactical as it is about having the strength and endurance to be able to climb it. It required a head torch lit start, 3 hand jam glove changes, a rope tie mid pitch and toilet roll cushioning for tricep protection. It usually ends up that we use these bizarre tactics because we’re so focused on the climbing we forget to bring the more conventional tools to the crag, i.e. elbow pads or proper lanterns.

There are 4 distinct cruxes. 2 are finger jamming, 1 is thin hands and the final redpoint crux comes as a heart breaking last move; rounding the lip of the finishing off width. The key beta here was to make sure that the nose of the roof sat in the indentation below your sternum. Any lower with your torso and you’d unfortunately come up short every time.

The final off width in general is a little fighter. On its own it is a struggle, but with the continuous upside-down climbing beforehand, it’s a real world of dread when you finally get there on the big redpoint. If the route stopped before this, the whole thing would be like a beef sandwich - reasonably meaty. In totality, it’s that final 9 inch section that really makes it a full Sunday roast."

 
 
Mamichula 9b by Seb Bouin  (1) Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureSeb Bouin has done his second 9b and the first repeat of Adam Ondra’s Mamichula in Oliana. Including also nine 9a+, the French is getting closer to the Top-5 best tick list. (c) Jan Novak

I had the best belayer possible for this route, my super Mami (mom). Last trip, on the last days, I felt on the last move before the rest. I am happy to finish the job! I have to say that I used kneepad for this route. It's my hardest route on the paper.
Yet maybe not in the reality . I am psyched to see some climbers in my latest mega lines in France (French Chilam Balam and "la côte d'usure").

 
 
El Dorado 9a by Jesús Muñoz Chuchi  Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureJesús Muñoz Chuchi has done his first 9a, El Dorado in La Pedriza after some 20 days of projecting. His previous best was an 8c FA in 2015 but when it comes to bouldering he did an 8B+ last year. (c) Talo Martin

"El Dorado is a route of few movements and although it can be categorized as a boulder, it also requires having a good rpower endurance to be able to send it.The first six movements, from my point of view, will go around 8B. The next section is very athletic, but somehow simpler, around 7c. Finally we reach the final step that is a long dyno. In isolation, only this final movement is like a 7C. Then there is a section of three meters on a much easier slab that does not add any difficulty.

I have had to adapt my training by increasing the days of resistance training and maximum strength since the route demands both qualities.
" More info on his Insta

 
 
IFSC/IOC Olympic movement meeting  Facebook
 

Last week, IFSC had invited important stakeholders from the media, brands, gyms and experts to discuss the Olympic movement together with three representatives from IOC. You would think that this would mean three 60+ male but instead IOC did show up with three female 35-40 years old. Interesting is that in the end 8a was the only media present.

We did get explained how the bidding process for Tokyo and Paris have been taking place. In short, it seems IOC told IFSC that you can come with an application and you have best chances for being approved with one set of medal in Tokyo and possibly two sets in Paris.

From a general perspective, the indoor boom was discussed and the risk for getting climbing into the Olympics as well as if IFSC should take any stand in regards outdoor, ethics and the environment. The big change in competition format and IFSC competitions were also discussed and if it could be possible to qualify to the World Cups by getting points first in local and later regional competitions. There were not enough time to discuss how to make competition climbing more understandable and how to minimize the risk for strange thing to happen. However, 8a was asked to send in our thoughts.

 
 
Kruder wins great show for Slovenia again  (23) Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureJernej Kruder qualified last so he started first in the final where he executed them almost perfectly, doing them all in just eight attempts. He was third into the last boulder which he did first go saying, he thought it was too easy. Later nobody come even close. The big sensation was 15 year old Rei Kawamata who qualified to the final as #2. Last year he won the Youth WCh in Moscow and he also did his first 8B+.

1. Jernej Kruder 44* SLO (c) Eddie Fowke
2. Adam Ondra 34 CZE
3. Yushiyuki Ogata 33 JPN
4. Anze Peharc 23 SLO
5. Rei Kawamata 13 JPN
6. Vadim Timonov 13 RUS
Complete results
* 8a presents the results as points by just skipping the Z and t from the normal scoring.

 
 
Ondra Road to Tokyo #9 - Winning in Meiringen  Facebook
 

 
 
From too hard in the semi to too easy in the final  (3) Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureIt seems the route setters, based on the few number of tops in the semi, made some late changes, resulting in too easy boulders in the final. All the podium topped all four boulders and Janja Garnbret won by doing them all first go. Noteworthy is that Slovenia, with just 2 million inhabitants, was superior by getting two golds and another two in the finals.

1. Janja Garnbret 44* SLO Eddie Fowke
2. Shauna Coxsey 44 GBR
3. Fanny Gibert 44 FRA
4. Lucka Rakovec 34 SLO
5. Jessica Pilz 34 AUT
6. Futaba Ito 33 JPN
Complete results
* In order to make it more understandable 8a has started to take out the T and z and just present the score with points.

 
 
Way too hard female semi setting  (2) Facebook
 

The commentators in Moscow said that they did not think the route setters over cocked the female boulders they in a good way challenged the very best. I totally disagree. The purpose of the qualification and the semi final is not to create a nice challenge for the best climber. It is about getting the Top-20 and the Top-6 in a nice show for the spectators. Further more, these rounds should be fair for the athletes.

Route setting is super hard and it is amazing how often they are spot on. However, there will always be situation when the boulders were too hard. The best way to make them fun to watch and fair for the athletes is to add one more zone.

 
 
Moscow finals 17.30 Euro time  (5) Facebook
 

 
 
Moscow semi 10.00 - Sunday  Facebook
 

 
 
Ondra superior and 3 zones made female final in Moscow  Facebook
 

In possibly, the hardest ever boulder semifinal, Futabo Ito qualified to the final by just getting three zones. Shauna Coxey and Janja Garnbret were the only ones topping out two boulders. Complete results

Among the male, Adam Ondra started first and topped out all four quite easily. In the end, Rei Kawamata was runner up with 2T4z as was the score for the Top-7 so the number of attempts made the cut. Interesting was that we saw possibly 30 attempts where the climbers touched the top but failed. All in all, 17 made four zones and all 20 made three zones.

 
 
Two 7C+' by Patti Wohner (45)  (4) Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PicturePatti Wohner, who did two 8A's being 41 years old, is back on track after a muscle injury and has done two 7C+, 3D and Slow Dance in Bishop.

"I struggled with "stiff muscles" for about a year and a half, trying to figure out what was going on. I ended up with pretty bad scapular winging in January which prevented me from climbing at all. Finally I started seeing a shoulder specialist, Jessi Delong in Bishop and she fixed me right up. I'm so grateful to her and I'm excited about getting outside again now that my muscles work again!

I was having issues for about a year and a half where my muscles would not loosen up. I climbed as best I could at a lower level during that time. Its been about a month now that I've been feeling better and steadily getting stronger."


Three months ago Patti released her first adventure novel Desert Dirtbag, where we can follow a gym climber who dreams climbing hard Hueco Tanks.

 
 
7 Japanese to the semi and Schubert fails again  Facebook
 

Jernej Kruder and Rei Sugimoto won their respective group in Moscow. In total, Japan got seven into the semi Top-20 and they participated with just eight guys as the Narasaki brothers skipped Moscow. Other than that, Russia and France got three into the semi. Once again Jakob Schubert, Gregor Vezonik and Sean McColl did not make it to the semi as in Meiringen. Interesting is also that Adam Ondra was #10 in his group very close to have missed the semi. Complete results

 
 
Graceland 8B+ by Christof Rauch  Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureChristof Rauch, who has done more than 500 boulders 8A to 8C the last five years although working full time, has done Graceland 8B+ in Allgäu. This was his fourth 8B+ the last four weeks and in 2019 he has done 42 boulders 8A and harder, including two 8C's.

"Finally! Thought I could do it quicker, took me 4 sessions to put it down but had some bad luck last session. Pretty hard shouldermove, my left shoulder (slightly injured since a few years) hurted after every session but I wanted to link those rad moves sooo bad!"

 
 
Five onsights by Garnbret in Moscow  (1) Facebook
 

The Boulder World Cup in Moscow has just started and Janja Garnbret walked away with a clean score onsighing all five boulders. (Normally the word flash is used for doing a boulder first try in competitions but in reality it is an onsight as no beta was given to the athletes.)

Fanny Gibert won the second group and Austria got five semi-finalist, Jain Kim failed to make the semi again as in Meiringen. Complete results

 
 
Moscow Speed Finals  Facebook
 

 
 
Arco Rock Star 2019 - Photo contest  Facebook
 

 
 
Mickael Mawem could get a medal if he qualifies  Facebook
 

Mickael Mawem is currently totally superior among the non-Speed specialists. In Bouldering he is #16 in the world ranking. As the Combined score is done through calculation, the winner of a discipline in the qualification in Tokyo is guaranteed to make it to the Top-8 final. Well in the final, placing #4 in bouldering and winning Speed, Mickael is most likely getting a medal.

The twist in this story is that it is probably harder for Mickael to actually qualify to the Olympics rather then to get a medal. The reason for this is that beeing the fastest among the non-Speed specialist is not so much worth during the qualifying process. Mickael was #23 in Moscow and possibly ten of these guys will compete in at least two Boulder and Lead events.

This means he would get a multiplication factor of #11 at the same time most of his competitors for Tokyo will get a factor of 15 to 33. Thus, the Speed importance is only critical when all the Speed specialists have been taken out from the result list, which will happen in Tokyo.

 
 
Mawem brothers 5.699 and 6.344  (2) Facebook
 

Bassa Mawem won the Speed qualification in Moscow at 5.699 where seven did sub six seconds, which is a new record. However, most interesting in regards Tokyo 2029 was his brother Mickael doing 6.344. Other than that, Keita Dohi did 6.831 and Manuel Cornu 6.900 among the non-Speed specialist. Complete results

Among the female, Iuliia Kaplina was superior with 7.464. The fastest time by the non-Speed specialists were Elena Krasovskaia with 9.051 and Petra Klingler with 9.539. The biggest improvement in comparison to last year was done by Janja Garnbret with 10.050. Noteworthy is that some of the big names continue to struggle with mid 11 seconds like; Shauna Coxsey and Fanny Gibert.

 
 
The Story... 8C by Keenan Takahashi  Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureIsabelle Faus reports on Insta that Keenan Takahashi has done The Story of Two World’s 8C in Cresciano.

 
 
8B+ by Zou who started climbing in 2014 at age 26  (1) Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureZhanan Zou, a.k.a. Bruce, has climbed Ty Landman’s Midnight Express 8B+ in Boulder Canyon, potentially becoming the first Chinese climber to climb the grade. Previously he had done two 8B's. Bruce started climbing at age 26 after moving from China to Boulder, Colorado in 2014. A week before the ascent of Midnight Express he successfully defended his PhD thesis in Mechanical Engineering. He wants to continue to pursue his research, and hopes to develop boulders in China, to open up a new level of climbing for Chinese climbers. Video finishing with screaming louder than Ondra and Sharma together :) (c) Cesar Valencia

 
 
Does climbing make kids smarter?  Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureTwo weeks ago I read an article saying Kids skiing gets smarter. The explanation is physical activity but also learning how to concentrate and improved coordination etc. Personally I would say that possibly it also relates to all the decisions the skiing kids have to do going down the slope.

During the years I have been chatting with dozens of kids 12 - 15 years climbing very hard and almost always I have been shocked about how smart and mature they seem. It could just be that all the problem solving situation they have faced they have developed their brain making them much smarter and mentally stronger, which could be part of the reason why they climb at the same level as the adults?

Yesterday in an IFSC meeting in Lausanne, I met Charlotte Durif and we discussed the subject. In 2005, Charlotte Durif (15) was the best female onsight climber ever and she was at that time even among the best male. We sent her some questions in French and our translator Jones Belhaj, big brother to Said, told us that he had never come across a 15 year old expressing her self in such a mature and advanced way -

"He had to simplify some of her equilibristic words and sentences in order to make them understandable for everyone."

Charlotte, five times Youth World Champion, won the Euro Championship being 15 years old and she is the first female to have onsighted an 8c. In 2011, she became the second women to do a 9a. In 2017, she got her PhD and got attributed the grade of Doctor in Chemistry and Physical Chemistry of Materials! Currently she is based in Salt Lake City working as an consultant to IFSC focusing on the Olympic movement.

 
 
La danse des Balrogs original 8A+ by Marine Thevenet  Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureMarine Thevenet, #7 in the Boulder World Cup in 2014, reports on Insta that she has done Fred Nicole's La danse des Balrogs original 8A+ in Branson, in just three sessions. In total she has now done 27 boulders 8A to 8B and her goal is to do 30 before turning in few months. (c) Clément Lechaptois

"I prefer to spend my week-ends discovering boulders instead of climbing gym or during competitions. But it doesn't mean that I stopped climbing or training!"

 
 
Narasaki's and Noguchi skip Moscow and no Speed for Ondra in Moscow  Facebook
 

From the Moscow starting list we can see that the Narasaki brothers and Akiyo Noguchi will not participate. Further more, all top guys but Adam Ondra will do Speed.

Interesting that three of the Top-2 in Meiringen seem to think that "less could be more" in the very long 2019 season ahead of them. The Narasaki brothers and Noguchi are back in track for Chongqing 27/4 doing both disciplines but Ondra has not yet signed up for any Speed World Cup.

 
 
Best Climbing Shoes - 2019?  Facebook
 


 
 
Digulian and Mitchel FFAs El Salto big wall  Facebook
 

 
 
Kalymnos Festival 2018 - Documentory  Facebook
 

 
 
Best Crash Pad 2019  Facebook
 


 
 
Ground Zero 9a by Giuseppe Nolasco  (1) Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureGiuseppe Nolasco has done his first 9a, Ground Zero in Tetto di Sarre after projecting it for 19 weekends since 2011. The last winter he trained very hard for it. (c) Gianluca Bosonin

"I tried Ground Zero for the first time in 2011, I directly had good vibes and actually after a few weekends I fell off the last hold when I couldn't clip the chain. For years I didn't try it again, just one short session in 2017 and a more attempt in 2018. After a great winter training, finally on 7 April I sent my first 9a, first ascended by Alberto Gnerro."

 
 
Booka Booka Booka 8B by Zander Waller (15) in one session  Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureZander Waller, #7 in both Lead and Bouldering in the last YWCH, has done his first 8B, Booka Booka Booka in Moe's Valley.

Super happy to have sent Booka in one session, I think it may be soft but I'm not sure; I haven't really tried any other v13s. The big move was hard for me but on the send everything lined up perfectly and I managed to stick it. I think I need to start trying more hard boulders soon.

I'm focused on comps after the end of my trip, next stop is tuck fest DWS, then the Come and Send It Fest, and Youth Sport Nationals. After that I will be training for youth world's in Arco.”

 
 
Bain de Sang 9a by Samuel Ometz  (1) Facebook
 

Samuel Ometz has done Bain de Sang 9a in St Loup which Fred Nicole put up in 1993. "Soft Very interesting route! Felt desperate at first, 2 days to figure out the moves and another 2 to send. Hard to grade."

 
 
Meiringen Finals  Facebook
 

 
 
Grampians and Arapiles #2  Facebook
 


Grampians and Arapiles Pt.II Ironmanfilms from Ironmanfilms on Vimeo.

 
 
Robinson - How to film climbing  Facebook
 

 
 
Mackenzie from #4 to #6 due to incorrect start  Facebook
 

After the final, the IFSC results did show that 16 year old Oceanina Mackenzie was #4. Then the french team made a protest saying she did an incorrect start at problem three, which was approved, meaning she lost her zone and dropped to #6.

If Oceanina would have stopped trying after she got her zone, she would have been given at least one more try after the competition.

One problem with such late calls is that in theory, a person like Oceanina could have topped the boulder and possibly advanced to the podium. Judges make mistake and if such situation will happen in Tokyo in could mean an anticlimax. Would if saying that any protest must be handed in within five minutes and then automatically an aster-ix (*) would be shown next to the result.

It is super strange for everyone involved that the current ranking is changed after the medal ceremony and after the live-streaming is stopped.

 
 
From Dirt... 8C and the FA of Ephyra 8C+ by James Webb  Facebook
 

 
 
Four sessions in a day - Ondra Road to Tokyo #8  (1) Facebook
 

 
 
Meiringen analysis  Facebook
 

 
 
Ondra cruises the jamming boulder  Facebook
 

 
 
Kyparissi Festival 10-12 May  Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge Picture"If you have not been to Kyparissi yet, this is your chance: the extraordinary cliffs, exemplary hospitality, and intimate beauty of this little gem of a village in the southeast Peloponnese are ready to be experienced—or re-experienced—during its 2nd climbing festival over the weekend of May 10-12th, 2019.

Even though Kyparissi is surrounded by beautiful cliffs, it didn’t break into the climbing scene until fairly recently. Some routes had been bolted previously at sector Watermill, but methodical equipping of well-bolted routes and crags started in 2015, thanks to the Climb Kyparissi project under the supervision of our own Aris Theodoropoulos."
More info and a inspirational video.

 
 
Garnbret #1 and Noguchi #2 ahead again  (9) Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureExcellent route setting also for the female where Janja Garnbret had a bad start on the first boulder where she got a cut and bleeding a lot. Then in normal but amazing Janja style she finished the rest in six attempts. Runner up was Akiyo Noguchi who needed three more tries. Shauna Coxey, back from some injuries, was third and as a matter of a fact, she was tied with Janja after the first three boulders. Sixth was 16 year old, Oceania Mackenzie from Australia who just did her second World Cup. Interestingly, last year she did 9.69 in Speed and in all her three Lead WC, she made semi. In other words, her is a new name with a great possibility for making it to Tokyo. (c) Eddie Fowke

1. Janja Garnbret 34 (6)
2. Akiyo Noguchi 34 (9)
3. Shauna Coxsey 23
4. Fanny Gibert 12
5. Petra Klingler 11
6. Oceanina Mackenzie 10
Complete results

 
 
Absolute perfect Ondra jamming ending  (17) Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureThe last boulder had a jamming section that none of the first five finalist could do what so ever. Adam Ondra, starting last as he won the semifinal, had to do the jam and get a zone to secure the win. He squeezes in his left hand and it get stuck so well so he drops the right hand and waves to the crowd celebrating him. One more jam and he continues with ease and create the perfect ending as well as start of the Boulder World Cup. The coming week, the Japanese and the rest of the gang will have to do some old school jamming training. (c) Eddie Fowke

1. Adam Ondra 44 (4T4z)
2. Tomoa Narasaki 33
3. Rei Sugimoto 23
4. Kokoro Fujii 13 (3,5 attempts)
5. Jongwon Chon 13 (3,8)
6. Tomoaki Takata 11
Complete results

 
 
Era Vella 9a (8c+) by Mathieu Pauwels  Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureMathieu Pauwels has done his second 9a, Era Vella in Margalef after some five weeks of projecting. (c) Julien VDV

"The first time I tried it was in company of my idol Muriel Sarkany. At first, Era Vella was not a goal for me. I just tried it and I realized that I had some facilities in the movements. The only problem for me, the 45/50 meters to climb but in all sincerity it was not my first objective. I had just done my first 9a (Punt'X) and I was looking for a new project. I am finally free and happy to add this pearl to my notebook cross. A big thank you to all the people who followed me in this project!"

 
 
Ondra, Garnbret and Noguchi ahead - Final 19.00  (11) Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureJapan had seven male in the semifinal and all in Top-10, together with #1 Adam Ondra, #5 Jongwon Chon and #7 Aleksey Rubtsov and Jongwon Chon. (c) Eddie Fowke

Updated live results

 
 
Trice 8A+ by Jim Holloway in 1975 most ahead of his time?  Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureLooking at the first climb of each grade list, Jim Holloway's Trice in Flagstaff from 1975 sticks out being the most ahead of it's time as it is considered 8A+ today.
Totally amazingly, it took 32 years before it got it's first repeat by Carlo Traversi in 2007. Now it is one of the most repeated in the 8a data base with 32 ascents!

Jim, born in 1954, started climbing at age sixteen. The 193 cm was one of the first boulderers to devote more than a few hours to creating a particular problem. In 1975 he put up Meathook in Horsetooth Reservoir as the world's first 8A, after some 20 days projecting. He was so serious with his training so he used some wooden rungs at home like a mini campus board. Later the same year he ade the FA of Trice 8A. (c) Pat Ament, who sends his portrait.

"Calm, clear, caring, and unselfish, the thin, six-foot-six Jim Holloway climbed for his own pleasure and not to make himself look tall through making small the virtues of others. One spiteful remark heard back then in Holloway days on Flagstaff Mountain was that he eliminated all the difficulty with his tremendous reach. In fact, he and his graceful form were out of reach. He climbed for the right reasons, to experience the creativity, to be with friends, or to be alone, to know the solitude and beauty."

 
 
 
Bombero de la Roca 7a+ in Sant Llorenç del Munt  Facebook
 

 
 
9a+ and 9a FAs by Adam Ondra  (1) Facebook
 

Adam Ondra reports on Instagram that he has done two impressive FAs in Camaiore; La Terza Eta 9a which he did in four tries and Naturalmente 9a+.

"One of the best routes I can imagine. Slightly overhanging wall, tiny crimps, undercuts, shitty feet, resistant, bullet-proof rock. Tried for two days three weeks ago, now it went down after checking the moves. Rather high-end 9a+ I would say."

The level is going up in 2017 and Ondra is leading the pack. During four days, the 23 year old has done two 9b's, two 9a+' and two 9a's. It will be interesting to follow the progression during 2017.

 
 
Pau Contreras en Wonder boy (8b) FA, Sant Llorenç del Munt  Facebook
 

 
 
Rescat Emocional (7b+), Sant Llorenç del Munt  Facebook
 

 
 
8c+ trad by Ethan Pringle  (10) Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureEthan Pringle reports on Facebook that he has done the FA of Black Beards Tears 8c+ at the Promontory protecting the 40 meters by 15 cams and one stopper. For the history books, this is the second 8c+ trad ascent - first was Beth Rodden's Meltown.

- This is definitely one of, if not the coolest and most unique FAs I've ever done in my life! I'd fantasized about how this fabled crack climb might look and feel for weeks before I saw it at the start of the month. When I first laid eyes on it, my jaw hit the floor.

On September 2nd I rapped in and installed an anchor right below the very top of the wall. I knew as soon as I saw the line up close that it was going to have some bad ass climbing on it and it did not disappoint. After 10 days of the usual kind of hard work and of course a fair amount of blood, sweat, a few tears right there at the end, I nabbed the red point.

 
 
Hungry Monkeys in Railay  Facebook
 


Hungry Monkeys from Ironmanfilms on Vimeo.

 
 
Domen Skofic from Slovenia wins in Chamonix  (6) Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureDomen Skofic won in great style in Chamonix continuing his nice progress trend. As a junior, he was the best in the world and in the last three World Cups the 22-year-old has been improving every year being 9 - 5 - 4. Domen is also the #2 in the 8a ranking game after Adam Ondra. (c) Eddie Fowke

1. Domen Skofic SLO 51
2. Stefano Ghisolfi ITA 48+
3. Jakob Schubert 48
4. Gauthier Supper FRA 48
5. Roman Desgranges FRA 47
Complete results

 
 
9a+ FA in Flatanger and two 8b+ (c) onsights  (8) Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureAdam Ondra is back in Flatanger where he has made yet another great FA, 120 degrees 9a+. "Absolutely crazy inverted roof boulderproblem after having done the first part of Elden Inuti."

In fact, Flatanger is the crag in the world with most hard routes and Adam has been one of the pioneers having put up six routes in between 9a+ and 9b+. During the last week, Adam has also onsighted two 8b+' and one 8a+ and that is measured by his personal grades. (c) Erik Massih - It never gets darker than this during the summer nights in Flatanger.

 
 
Close to 6 000 crags in the database  Facebook
 

In total, there are close to 4 million ascents in the 8a database and there is a Tick List available for almost 6 000 crags. You can add more crags to the database in a link at the top where you add routes and boulders.

The crag with most ascents is Fontainebleau with 104 000, followed by Kalymnos with 98 000.

 
 
Jon Cardwell has done Biographie 9a+: Interview!  (4) Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureJon Cardwell, who did his first 9a in 2008, has done his long-term project, Biographie 9a+ in Céüse. It was bolted in 1989 by Jean-Christophe Lafaille and Chris Sharma made the FA in 2001. Biographie has seen 13 ascents to date, which makes it the most repeated 9a+ in the world. (c) Carlo Traversi

Check out Jon's comments for his nicest journey that took ten years and included 75 tries.

- Climbing means so many different things to me. It's an outlet for self expression, a vehicle to travel the worth with and experience incredible places. It's also a wise teacher that holds you accountable for every action from your footprint at fragile crags to your preparation for meaningful climbs. More than anything, it's just fun!"

 
 
8C after driving 7 000 km by Tamás Zupán  (17) Facebook
 

Tamás Zupán has set a new record of dedication by doing his second 8C, Zunami in Saalachtal, driving 7 000 kilometers to reach his goal.

- I was there with my friend in the middle of March and I climbed some boulders in the lower sector and I tried Gizmo 8B, which is a variant of Zunami. I live 600 km far from Saalachtal and I could travel there only on Wednesdays because of my work. I woke up at 4:30 a.m., started my journey from home at 5 a.m. and I came in Saalachtal at 11 a.m. I climbed until 2 p.m. and I arrived at 8 p.m. I climbed ’Gizmo’ on the second trip and finally I could manage ’Zunami’ on my 6th trip.

The first move is incredible complex because in the same time you should move separately your all limbs when make the crossing movement, after it is really crimpy, overhanging and that’s why I really liked it.

 
 
8b onsight by Laura Rogora (14) and one more today  Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureLaura Rogora, who just did her first 9a, has onsighted Batuka 8b in Margalef and she put up all the draws by herself. Batuka has been recorded 57 times in the data base, all with 8b and only two guys have onsighted it before.

- The route is divided in two sections with a very good rest in the middle. The first four bolt are hard and I thought to fall every move. The second part is easier but there is another hard move. Today was the first day of the trip. In this week I would like to visit new crags: Santa Linya, Rodellar...

Today the 14-year-old onsighted Codigo Norte, an 8b in Santa Linya. "I'm staying here just for one week so I think I will climb only onsight."

 
 
Anak Verhoeven (19) makes the FA of Ma belle ma muse 9a  (1) Facebook
 

Anak Verhoeven, who was #4 in the Lead World Cup last year, has done her second 9a, the FA of Me belle ma muse in Romeyer.



Just later, it was repeated by Jean-Elie Crestin-Billet and here is his video. Jean-Elie actually called it an 8c+/9a.

 
 
Kajsa Rosén (18) - A new star in the making  (3) Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureKajsa Rosén, who did her first 8c and flashed an 8b+ last week, has done Mind Control 8c (+) and onsighted T-1 Full Equipe in Oliana. There is only a handful of female who have onsighted at this level before. "What to do next? Still suprising myself here in Oliana."

Last year, the 18-year-old was #9 and #10 in the last two Lead World Cups she did.

Loic Timmermans, who is still ahead of Kajsa with one 9a, reachead out to 8a with a nice reflection.

"Kasja is crushing all the routes she's trying like nothing. I was even more impressed when she told me she did Mind control without getting pumped. I think she has a good attitude to. Not taking things too seriously, just climbing and see what happens.

 
 
Two 8c (+) OS and a 9a+/b by Adam Ondra  (2) Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureAdam Ondra has had a great weekend. First he did the FA of Vicious Circle 9a+/b in Osp/Misja Pec, which he bolted last year. (c) Luka Fonda

"Left start into Sanski par. Bouldery and short 8c+ into the most of the Sanski par 9a (without first six moves). I would say two 8c+'s with a bad rest in between. Super powerful and resistant climbing.

The next stop was Medveja, a new secret zone in Croatia. It was one of the best days of climbing ever as I onsighted two 8c's ('The Core' is considered 8c+ by those few, who repeated the route) and the first ascent of 'More', 9a. World record maybe? Haha.

Most of the routes are slightly overhanging, crimpy on super solid rock with a minimum of Sika and in general fitting my style pretty well.

The last day I tried a project in Pandora, a different zone in Istria, which is definitely pretty hard in the region of 9b or more. Something like 20m of bouldering in the roof. Definitely a lot of rock around there worth returning for."

 
 
8B (+) flash by James Webb again  (2) Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureJames Webb has traveled to Finland to take part in Sisu Masters with an amazing line up including Daniel Woods and Dave Graham but also to try Nalle Hukkataival's Boulders. First they had to crush some ice on the top of the Globalist in Sipoo and then James just flashed it and gave it a personal grade of 8B. The best flash boulderer in the world has now flashed 13 8B Boulders, four out of which were originally graded 8B+. (c) Nico Backström

"Absolutely incredible boulder from Nalle that I've wanted to climb on for so long. Perfect rock, amazing movement. One of the best!"

Next up could be Hukkataival's famous Sisu or Lappnor Project that the Fin has been trying for six respectively four years speculating that it could become the next level.

 
 
8b+ flash and a 8c by Kajsa Rosén (18)  (3) Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureSimon Carter, a professional climbing photographer for 25 years, reports on Facebook:

"I've seen a lot of really impressive climbing over all the time I've spent at Oliana over the years... and add to that today's jaw-dropping sends by 18 year-old Swedish climber Kajsa Rosen. First up she hiked Fisheye (8c) first shot (after only working it twice yesterday), for her first of the grade, and THEN casually flashed Los Humildes pa Casa (8b+) soon after (pictured). Kajsa Rosen; a name to watch out for for sure!"

Simon is spot-on as the young Swede has had an extreme development over the last few years. In the past year, she was #9 and #10 in the last two Lead World Cups she did.

So how much beta did you get and do you still plan to get yourself a station wagon and hit the road?
I saw a french guy climbing it and he told me about a knee bar. I heard some screaming from below but it was very windy. My plan is to do some comps and some rock climbing and have fun. I graduate this year so hopefully I will have some more time for climbing.

 
 
8C by Ashima Shiraishi (14)  (21) Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureReel Rock Film Tour comes with the amazing news that Ashima Shiraishi has made the first repeat of Dai Koyamada's spectacular Horizon 8C, in Hiei, Japan. The 14-year-old worked on the 30 move long roof problem in December and now she has done it on her third day, which means she is the first female and the youngest climber ever to have reached 8C. Here you can find Dai's comment on his FA including a picture where you see that it is almost a horizontal roof.

- "No doubt the Super Project was the hardest problem I’'ve ever done and that probably means it’s a V16 (8C+). However, I’'m not quite sure because I don’t have enough references to compare with. I would be able to fully understand what V15 (8C) is like exactly if I did more than fifty or so of them, but my accomplishments don’t even come close to that."

Based on Ashima's Route and Boulder ticklist, she has been the world's best female rock climber since she was 12 years old. Among the male, she is currently in the Top-20 including also having done two 9a's last autumn. How many 14-year-old girls are able to compete with the best male in any sport? (c) Brett Lowell

 
 
8C by Ryuichi Murai incl amazing 240 spin  (3) Facebook
 

Ryuichi Murai , who two weeks ago did two 8B+, has done Dai Koyamada's Babel 8C in Shiobara. "This problem links Catharsis(8B+) to Hydra(8B) via Uma(8B+). About 30 moves that include various moves made me enjoy myself."

Totally amazing! Watch that mind-boggling sequence where the 167 cm tall spins 240 degrees with his foot. How is it even possible to find such solution :)

 
 
Laura Rogora (14) does her first 9a  (3) Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureLaura Rogora has become the first Italian female to do a 9a by Grandi Gesti in Sperlonga, which is a 20 meter long roof link up. Last year the 14-year-old won both Lead and Boulder Italian Championships and to make the story even more amazing, she mainly just trains in a Bouldering gym. She is #1 in the 8a ranking game. (c) Stefano Michelin/UP-Climbing

- It took me about 15-20 tries in one month and half. I went to Sperlonga seven times. I didn't do a specific training for this route because my purpose is training for competition. Now I need going to train hard for competition especially for the world youth championship in China in November. Surely I will continue to climb on the rock. I planned a trip to Spain in April I think I will climb on sight.

 
 
Mowgli repeats his 8B+ (C) twice after just a short warm up  (6) Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureCharles Albert, who did the FA of the L'Alchimiste left exit last week, considered to be harder than the 8C right exit, did it today twice. (c) Neil Hart did get it on video both times.

"He is so strong he made it look like a 6A. I picked him up at one o'clock and we did a very quick 7B that took two tries and we drove to the L'alchimiste. He just pulled on and fell three times on the crux then sent it, then climbed it again so we could get another angle.

It is easier for him bare foot because he can hook his toes into the side pulls better. Definitely a new level!"

 
 
Women are catching up in the Santa Linya caves  (4) Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureSome ten years ago, several men - notably Dani Andrada, Patxi Usobiaga and Chris Sharma - broke through to the next grading level establishing several 9a's and 9a+'s in Santa Linya. As of 2016, however, it seems that progress has become stagnant with Chris Sharma's two 9b FAs representing the highest attainable level.

Women, in the mean time, have caught up, in 2010 Angela Eiter did the first female 8c in Santa Linya. Quickly thereafter other women have followed suit with ten other females having completed climbs ranging from 8c to 9a(+) over the last two years. Complete stats. In this great picture captured by Luka Fonda, Janja Garnbret (16) flashes La Fabelita 8c.

If the trend continues, it is only a matter of time before women are on par with men in Santa Linya. While impossible to know for certain, one of the reasons behind such phenomenal progress for women may lie in the nature of the climbing in the cave where technical skill and endurance are of vital importance. That, and the fact that these ten women - and the many who will follow - are testaments of climbing strength and power.

 
 
Charles Albert interview  (2) Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureFanatic Climbing has made an interview with Charles Albert, who did an 8C yesterday, giving it a personal grade of 8B+. The interesting fact is that the 18-year-old seldom trains indoor and the only training he does beside Bouldering is stretching. (c) Neil Hart

"Yesterday I was climbing alone without pads and luckily I met Kevin Thibaut and Mounir (strong but low profile Font locals) who were trying it. I joined them and I managed to send it on my first real session trying the left version. Regarding the grade, I would say for me it’s not harder than “Gecko assis”, the 8B+ I did barefoot last year… I also tried the sit start of “Alchimiste” which adds an easy but beautiful move but doesn’t change the difficulty. I have not done the sit-start version but will come back and try sending the whole thing because it makes the line even more beautiful !"

 
 
"A 14-year-old girl redefines rock climbing"  (6) Facebook
 

BBC has made an interview with Ashima Shiraishi, where, among other things, she says her goal is to break records held by her male counterparts. The 14-year-old claims to be the only female to have done a 9a+ (Direct open your mind R1 in Santa Linya) and the youngest person to have reached that grade.

It should be noticed that the route was originally a 9a until some holds broke and it was speculated that it might be a 9a+. Later Edu Marin repeated it saying it is still a 9a. The first woman to claim having done a 9a+ route was Josune Bereziartu (route: Bimbaluna), which has been subject of being downgraded.

 
 
8c+ (9a) by Thilo Jeldrik Schröter (20)  (1) Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureThilo Jeldrik Schröter, who just turned 20, has been a successful boulderer for many years including being #4 in a Youth Euro Championship. Now he has been in Siurana for some weeks and it actually turns out that he has a great talent for routes as he just increased his personal best from 8b to 8c+, respectively, a possible 9a - Jungle Speed. (c) Tina Johnsen Hafsaas

"I worked the route for five days. The route is built up with a boulder in the beginning that could be something like 8A+, leading you into a rest. From there it's about 8a+ technical face climbing to the top, which for me was the redpoint crux as I fell there three times before nailing. Not many people that are able to do the start fall in the top, so I guess a route is never over before it's over for a boulderer, even though the individual moves feel easy."

 
 
9b again by Jakob Schubert  (1) Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureJakob Schubert reports on Facebook with a great picture by © Elias Holzknecht/ WOODSLAVE productions,

"LA PLANTA DE SHIVA! After the biggest fight of my life I managed to clip the anchor of this amazing 9b in Villanueva del Rosario. 2nd Ascent after Adam Ondra. Super happy and proud to have send this one, my hardest route so far. Time for fiesta!"

Jakob has been the best male lead competition climber in the world since 2010 and in 2011 he won seven events straight. He also won overall in 2014 and last year he was #3. The Austrian is the fourth climber after Ondra, Sharma and Andrada to have done two 9b's. Here is a new Podcast.

"The process was actually rather special and I learned a lot about trying something that hard. The first few days on the route were pretty frustrating and I felt like I'm not strong enough for this route. I think it's the hardest route I have ever tried and because the rock is so special on the 9b part it's very difficult to find the right beta and can take a lot of time.
I kind of gave up on the route and climbed some easier ones for some days, but since it didn't get out of my head, I returned with more motivation and a better mindset and suddenly made a lot of progress. The send was epic, I almost fell at the second to last move and fought super hard to reach the last hold. Really happy and proud of this one.

2016 I will only do the Lead season (+BWC in Innsbruck) mostly because I want to have more time to climb outside until spring. I will fly to Hueco for 3 weeks beginning of February and after we have a 10 day training camp with the national team in Fontainebleau and in Andalusia. After that I'm not sure about my plans yet, but I really want to go back to Flatanger since it's such an amazing place and I would really love to try 'Move'.

 
 
Second 8c flash and an 8b OS by Janja Garnbret (16)  Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureLuka Fonda comes with another superb picture of Janja Garnbret, who flashed her second 8c yesterday in Santa Linya, La Fabelita. The 16-year-old got the beta from Mina Markovic, who belayed her and explained the moves. The Slovenian onsighted also one 8a+ and La Ruta del Sol 8b.
Having been in Top-3 in all the three World Cups and #2 in the Euro Championship last year, Janja is #6 in the 8a Climber of the year list, where her Slovenian teammates, Mina and Domen Skofic are #2 and #9 accordingly.

 
 
9a for Markovic and 8c flash for Garnbret  (24) Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureDomen Škofic comes with amazing news on Facebook, "Special day for our crew today!!! Both @miiiinam (Mina Markovic) and @janja_garnbret made history today by doing a 9a (Fabela pa la enmienda) and 8c flash! (Rollito Sharma extension) Congrats girls, you're outstanding and a huge inspiration!"

Mina won the Lead World Cup this year and Janja (16) was #7 but she participated in only three events, making the podium in all of them. In the European Championships she was #2. All of them come from Slovenia, which is one of the leading Climbing nations although it has just about two million residents. In the 8a Climber of the year list, Mina is #2, Domen #8 and Janja #12. More info to come. (c) Luka Fonda

 
 
8B+ in 30 min by Ashima Shiraishi (14)  (23) Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureAshima Shiraishi (14) comes with amazing news on Facebook, (c) Ikuko Serata

"Santa Claus gave me the best Christmas present ever🎁! I sent Phenomena V14 (8b+) in Hinokage, Miyazaki!!! This was the 2nd ascent after @dai_koyamada and the first female ascent!! I once again surprised myself by sending it after about 30 MINUTES of working on it!!!"

This was the 14-year-old's second 8B+ and one of the quickest 8B+ ascents in the history of bouldering. Adam Ondra and Daniel Woods are the only ones who have flashed an 8B+. In the 8a ranking game, Ashima is #2 in bouldering but if we take in consideration both routes and boulders, Ashima has been #1 in the world since she was 12 years old.

 
 
8B again by Ashima Shiraishi (14)  (36) Facebook
 

Ashima Shiraishi reported on Instagram that she had sent Terre de Sienne during her first day in Hueco Tanks. It was set up by Fred Nicole as a hard 8B+ but now it is considered an 8B. She also made a quick ascent of Diaphanous Sea 8A.

The 14-year-old sent one 8B+ boulder previously (UKC reports four) and one 9a+ sport route. In fact, Ashima has had the most impressive combined female tick list for the last two years. It should be noted, originally both of these great boulders had a higher grade, however, we are reporting the consensus 8a grade.

 
 
9b by Pirmin Bertle  (44) Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PicturePirmin Bertle has done the FA Meoise 9b in Charmey after 50 days of working on it and 150 tries, it was the last try the last day before leaving to Buenos Aires with his family for nine months! On the 30th March 2012, The German did two 9a's, Chromosome Y and X in 75 minutes, video. Meoise is a link up which actually goes straight up through two 8B cruxes.

Previously in 2015, he did one 8C+ and one 9a+. His 9b blog story is just amazing and here topo for Charmey and Jansegg.

 
 
8C+ and 9a+ FA by Pirmin Bertle and one even harder  (21) Facebook
 

Pirmin Bertle, who has done six 9a's, did yesterday do his hardest route ever, which made him share the news that in April he did a 8C+ FA, Drop a line in Couisimbert and that he in August did the FA of Des scènes bizzarres dans la mine d'or 9a+ in Jansegg, video. Last week, he also did the FA of Mediomalomania 8C in Lindental, "but the hardest thing in my life I sent yesterday."

Interesting is that he did not climb at all during the first six months of 2014 due to having caught bone mark edema. Then he just climbed very easily for some months until he started to work only on the 8C+ boulder. Interesting is also that he only trains five hours a week and never indoors. More info on his blog and on 8a tomorrow. :)

Drop a line 8C+ at Cousimbert, the real video from Pirmin Bertle on Vimeo.

 
 
Ondra wins in Kranj and gets the overall title  (4) Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureAdam Ondra, the double world champion from last year, won in Kranj meaning that he got another overall victory. His first Lead overall he got in his debut season 2009, being 16 years old. Including being #3 in the Bouldering WC as well as being #2 in both the Lead and Boulder European Championship, 2015 is also his best competition season ever.

Overall WC ranking - Kranj results
458 Adam Ondra CZE
400 Gauthier Supper FRA
396 Jakob Schubert AUT
376 Domen Skofic SLO
354 Romain Desgranges FRA

 
 
8B+ by Ashima Shiraishi (14) again  (16) Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureAshima Shiraishi reports on Facebook that she has done 8A, 8A+ and 8B+ all in one day. This confirms that she is the best female climber out there, although being just 14 years old. Photo: @leibav

- V11, V12 and V14 in a DAY! Holy CRAP!!!!!! I had the best day climbing today!!!! It's been a while since I climbed on some REAL ROCK!!!! Started off the day by sending Worthless V11 then Wetness the Fatness V12 pretty quickly! Later on, I decided to give Nuclear War V14 a try and managed to send it!!!! Nuclear War hasn't seen a 2nd ascent in 9 years (when Matt Bosley did it). Psyched to have gotten the 2nd and 1st Female Ascent! Stay tuned for some video

 
 
Low prices at EPIC TV Shop  Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureEPIC TV is the biggest video climbing media and their webshop is growing with low prices, and that includes the biggest brands.

Solution (in the picture) is Euro 109 including free shipping. In fact, once you become a member you get 5 euro for free and then 10% lower prices. This means that new members pay euro 93.50 for Solution and then you get a 5 euro coupon.

You can also buy ropes for under 100 euro, a Mammut harness for 45 euro, a Grigri for 69 euro and even get a quick draw from Climbing Technology for Euro 6.95! And do not forget that the prices are 10% lower for members. It seems, pretty much all brands are at sale there so check it out and start saving some money.

 
 
9a's FA and 8c's onsight and ethics by Adam Ondra  (2) Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureAdam Ondra has added another 20 climbsand some interesting comments to his scorecard including 1 670 ascents, from his recent trips to Flatanger and Arco. The hardcore hightlights were two 9a's FA in Flatanger, Brunhilde low start and Witchhammer. "A new line bolted by Adam Pustelnik...Really fun climbing, different sections with rests in between, never easy. Flatanger at its best."

The double world champion from 2014 visited also Hell, some two hours south from Flatanger by the Trondheim airport, where, among other things, he did the last project giving it 8c+ based on an interesting ethical comment. "The climbing is 8c, but clipping the 2nd bolt adds the grade."

The film producer Petr Pavlíček was with Adam and says Adam had also bolted some new lines one out of which includes the biggest dyno ever and it comes after a 9a route. Adam Ondra story of Change 9b+ from 2012.

 
 
First 9a by Erik Grandelius after reading a book  (2) Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureErik Grandelius seems to be in the best shape of his life, having onsighed two 8b's and done his first 9a, Cabane au Canada in Rawyl.

"We spent two weeks in Switzerland. The first day I realized that I was in good shape as I surprised myself by falling at the chains on the onsight of Paradis Articifiel 8c. We stayed another two days in Rawyl but then it became to warm (even though it is at 2000 meters) so we went to Gastlosen for a week. When we came back I sent the Cabane au Canada the first day on the second try.

Altogether I made six tries over three days. I feel that I have reached a deeper focus in my climbing, especially the last four days of the trip I dwelved into an almost meditative state as soon as a tied in, even on warm-ups. During the trip a was reading "Das Glasperlenspiel" by Herman Hesse and it made a great impression on my climbing. The great spiritual and intellectual discipline and the strong organization in the fictional Kastilien became an inspiration for me. I also feel that climbing hard in the alps also requires a great deal of organization and discipline as you have to time the weather, the resting, the nutrition and mental state perfectly.

 
 
Ammagamma 8B flash by James Webb  Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureJames Webb has flashed his 11th 8B, Ammagamma in Grampians, which was put up by Klem Loskot in 1999 as an 8B+.

"Despite the unstable weather we're making it happen down here in OZ. The climbing style and rock quality has definitely exceeded my expectations. Yesterday was a perfect day and I took advantage by flashing the mega classic 'Ammagamma' 8B. I've been wanting to climb this one for as long as I can remember and it feels amazing just to climb on it. @matt_fultz also took it down!"

In total, James has recorded 88 flashes 8A and harder and without all his personal gradings, it would be over 100. The runner-up in the flash category is Daniel Woods who has flashed some 65 boulders 8A and harder, out of which five are 8B's.

 
 
8a and 8a+ onsight by Kajsa Rosén (18)  Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureMoon Climbing reports that Kajsa Rosen from Sweden, who got the bronze in the Youth World's last year, has had an amazing onsight day in Voralpsee in Switzerland.

Beside onsighting Alaska kid 8a and Mordillo 8a+, she fell at the top of it's 8b extension. On Friday, the 18 year old is going to compete in the Imst Lead WC. (c) Stefan Ösund

- I did not go all in for the move as I did not think 8b onsight was possible. Kind of a stupid failure and I was not so happy. The 8a+ part was actually not so hard for me. I spent like 30 minutes on it.

 
 
Adam Ondra redpoints Three Degrees of Separation and suggests 9a+  (1) Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureAdam Ondra has made the second ascent of Three Degrees of Separation, a route Chris Sharma put up in 2007 as a 9a. In an old Planetmountain interview it was listed by Adam among "The Routes I Cannot Climb!"

"Three massive dynos into perfect jugs is something that is very rare on rock, especially in the middle of a route. I tried it for four days in 2010, but was actually never able to do the crux dyno, not even as a single move, although I was very close."

"You have to be able to do that dyno easily as a single move, because the 20 meters of 8c (5.14b) below really pump you out. Well, dynos aren't my cup of tea, I don't have the pure explosive power to perform them, but at least I can take advantage of my height. In any case, the fact that it remains unrepeated despite many attempts indicates that this one could easily be upgraded..."


After the ascent, Adam told UKC

"It is just too specific to grade, and I know for big dynoers like Jan [Hojer] the dyno is not that hard, but to get there fresh is quite a different story. To me it felt like the hardest route in Céüse, but that doesn't mean that it is definitely at least 9a+, because it doesn't fit me that well, but my suggestion is 9a+ and we will see." © Pierre Délas/Kairn

 
 
59 000 members and 3.5 million ascents  Facebook
 

Yesterday, the 59 000th 8a member signed up and in total there are now more than 3.5 million ascents in the data base that will help you to find the best crags and routes in the world. We are working on a totally new design that will be presented on Thursday both for the 8a community as well as on the Outdoor trade fair in Friedrichshafen.

 
 
8B by Jan de Smit (41) in Rocklands  (2) Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureJan de Smit, who started climbing in 1990 and was the Belgian Champion in 2013, is in his best shape ever, being 41 years old.

In the last week he has done 13 boulders 7C+ and harder including Mooiste Meisie 8B which was originally an 8B+. It is also interesting that he 185 cm tall has given personal grades for most of the hardest ones, including calling his flash of Stalker on the horizon, which was set up as an 8A, an 7B/+. Blogspot including great videos.

- Above all comments and grades, Rocklands has the most amazing boulders you will ever climb, anywhere.

Progression at 40+ involves more discipline and commitment. As you age the impact of sleep deprivation, malnutrition and over training can be deeply detrimental to your improvement. Over the years i have become more engaged in training and coaching, gathering information and experience I felt the need to bundle all this information in an effort to create a giant database filled with relevant information about training for climbing. All of this work resulted in the creation of Steelfingers.be , a free website with training tips and exercises for climbers.

 
 
Portrait of Jakob Kronberger (14) after his first 9a  Facebook
 

Here you have the link to Jakob Kronberger's very impressive scorecard.

A portrait of Jakob Kronberger from Wild Country on Vimeo.

 
 
8c (+) 2:Go by Ashima Shiraishi (14)  (1) Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureAshima Shiraishi has done Nordic Flower 8c (+) in Flatanger on her second go, which was put up as an 9a. From Instagram: "It was nice to take a break from my wet/hard project and to climb this 160ft beast!" She is talking about Thor's hammer 9a+.

The 14 year old has previously this year done one 9a+ and one 9a and actually, she has had the most impressive female tick list in the world for two years now. © Henning Wang/MadSkillz Media comments, "I have never seen a female climbing so naturally and making hard moves looks so easy. Her endurance is just amazing apart from her power.

 
 
9a by Jakob Kronberger (14)  Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureJakob Kronberger has done Klem Loskot's Intermezzo XY gelöst 9a in Plombergstein. Last year, when he did his first 8c+ at the same crag, he said: "I would like to climb Intermezzo. If I can't do it this year, I already know what to expect in 2015!"
Alhough he is just 14 years old, Jakob is already 179 cm tall. More info to come. The youngest to have reached 9a are Ashima Shiraishi and Adam Ondra who were both 13 years old at the time. © Salzburg.com

 
 
Ben Moon, almost 49, does Rainshadow 9a  (9) Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureBen Moon, who turns 49 next week, reports on Twitter@

"Just climbed my 2nd 9a 25 years after my 1st. Rainshadow 4th ascent. FXXXXXX psyched!!!"

His first was Hubble at Raven Tor which he originally graded 8c+ back in 1990. Ben is mostly known for short powerful routes and for boulders, while Rainshadow, put up by Steve McClure and repeated by Adam Ondra and Jordan Buys, is a power-endurance monster route.

Steve has previously said, "Rainshadow is a truly brilliant route, perhaps my best, on the best UK sport cliff.

 
 
8C(B+) in few tries by Adam Ondra  (1) Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureAdam Ondra has spent some time in the Rocky Mountains National Park together with other boulder WC athletes. There, Adam needed just a few attempts to repeat White Noise 8C (B+) and flashed Bear toss 8B. © Chad Greedy (Instagram)

The double world champion from 2014, was #3 in the Boulder WC last weekend in Toronto. In the forthcoming WC stage in Vail (Colorado) he will compete together with 132 participants, which is about 50% more than last year.

 
 
Seb Bouin does Chilam Balam 9b  (10) Facebook
 

Seb Bouin, who has done several 9a and also 9a+', has done the third ascent of Bernabe Fernandez Chilam Balam 9b from 2003. Originally it was graded 9b+ which created a lot of controvercy and in 2011, Adam Ondra (Video) did the 80 meter super steep route and suggested 9b.

 
 
Ethan Pringle does Jumbo Love 9b  (17) Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureDPM Climbing has the full story of Ethan Pringle making the first repeat of Chris Sharma's 80 metre long Jumbo Love 9b in Clark Mountain. Ethan had been projecting Jumbo Love since 2007 and here is a great video from 2013. © RV Project - Walker Emerson

In 2000, Ethan took the silver in the Youth World Championship and his best result out of seven Lead and Boulder WC's is #16. On rock he has done a handful of 9as and Biographie 9a+ in 2007, when he was the #1 in the 8a Combined ranking game thanks to three 8B+ boulders he also climbed that year.

Previously only six climbers have done 9b or harder (excluding boulder routes) out of which Adam Ondra and Chris Sharma with 12 and 8 are the only ones to have done more than one.

"WOW!!! Yesterday I climbed my ultimate lifetime dream route, the most bad-ass sport climb I’ve ever laid eyes on, Chris Sharma 's ‪#‎JumboLove‬! WOW. I can’t believe it’s over. I say that half in a literal sense because when I sent it, it was almost like an out of body experience that I can barley remember happening. My story on Jumbo Love spanned over eight years and involved every emotion I can think of: awe, excitement, love, admiration, longing, apathy, fear, frustration, anger, resignation, acceptance, and eventually, MOTHERFUCKEN GLORY!!!

 
 
Jonathan Siegrist does Era Vella 9a (8c) on his third try  (75) Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureJonathan Siegrist blogs about having sent Era Vella in Margalef on his third try. Chris Sharma made the FA in 2010 as a warm up and said it might be a soft 9a. Howwever, Jstar says many 8c's are much harder. He also says that the hardest sequence is like a 7A+ boulder problem.

"I climbed Era Vella and I had a lot of fun doing it. Grades are there to offer a foundation for difficulty but the more I climb the more I realize the plasticity of grading. I could comment on how I feel that Era is easy and make a list of routes graded 8c that are much harder and blah blah blah but what I'm after is not a grade, it is an experience. So never mind all that."

It should be mentioned that, over the years, 8a has received many comments like this by climbers who have done Era Vella but who wanted to remain anonymous. By checking the stats and all personal records including quick sends of Era Vella, 8c+ is probably a more correct grade for this world class 45m route.

Climbers should focus on the beauty of the climbs and "never mind all that (grades)", as Jstar explains in his blog and leave the grade to the media who are trying to report as correct news (grades) as possible.

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