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Almost everyone thinks they have great technique  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."

 
 
Box Therapy 8C+ FA by Daniel Woods  (2) Facebook
 

 
 
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 .

 
 
Male climber of 2018?  Facebook
 


 
 
David Lama makes solo FA of 6 907 m Lunag Ri  Facebook
 

 
 
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."

 
 
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  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
 

 
 
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."

 
 
Adam Ondra America roadtrip Vlog #7  Facebook
 

 
 
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."

 
 
Female Best Bouldering Ticklist  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

 
 
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."

 
 
4 Days in the Darkness-Hülloch  Facebook
 

 
 
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.

 
 
Female most impressive sport climbing tick list  (2) 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

 
 
Hips Don't lie 8B+ by Lindinger  Facebook
 

 
 
Bleau's story 48 min in French  Facebook
 

 
 
Southern Smoke 8c+ by Margo Hayes  (6) Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureMargo Hayes reports on her Insta that she one month ago did Southern Smoke 8c+ in Red River Gorge. During the same trip the 20 year old did Golden Ticket 8c+ and probably some more great routes. (c) Jan Novak

I had a wonderful time visiting The Red for the first time in a while! I met up with friends from France and was able to spend some time climbing with my dad. He’s always my favorite partner. I wanted to try a some classics and some routes that looked intriguing to me. I climbed the Golden Ticket and Southern Smoke in 5 tries each.”

Including the two 9a+ classics from last year as well as a 9a and other 8c+', Margo must be a contender for having the most impressive ticklist in the world. The only two girls that challenges her are Angy Eiter and Anak Verhoeven.

 
 
9a FA by Thomas Dauser in Ulassai  Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureThomas Dauser has done his third 9a through the FA of Il gusto della liberta in Ulassai. (c) Klaas Willems

"So happy!! It was a long way to the top of this dream line. In total, split over two stays, I spent around 10 days working on it, checking out the moves, making link-ups, and finally sending it in perfect evening conditions. I did my first 8c now already 5 years ago and then my first 9a one year ago. My main focus is on climbing outdoors, a lot in Frankenjura. But the last few years I did more specific training as well.

 
 
Practical breathing tips  Facebook
 

There are several ways on how breathing can improve your climbing and here are some examples. You should try it out or even take some Yoga breathing lessons in order to best use your breathing while climbing.

1. Breath before you set of = Increase focus and concentration
2. Less nervous by thinking of how you breath
3. Get more alert/stronger by hyper ventilation (fast breathing)
4. Improved resting by slow, long and deep breathing
5. A focus on breathing will make you more relaxed while climbing

Just close your eyes and focus on breathing and notice what happens in your body and soul and you are half way there.

 
 
Kai Lightner aiming for Tokyo 2020  (1) Facebook
 

 
 
Leonidio third most popular in 2018  Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureDuring the last 12 months, 7 298 ascents have been recorded in Leonido making it the third most zlagged in the world after Frankenjura and Kalymnos. Actually, 50 % of the total recorded ascents in Leonidio have beed added just the last year. Kind of remarkable that it is more popular than Rodellar, Arco and Railay Beach together. The second most trendy crag to visit is Kyparissi like 1.5 hour south of Leonidio.

The good news is that both these crags situated like 3 hours south of Athens are climbable also during the winter. Here you can buy the guide-book which also comes in an App.

 
 
La Sportiva Legends  Facebook
 

 
 
Sharma's routes are the greatest  Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureLooking in the 8a database trying to identify who has made the FAs of the most popular and highest ranked hard core routes, Chris Sharma sticks out.

2.8 Papichulo 9a+ in Oliana
2.2 Mind Control 8c (8c+) in Oliana
2.1 Era Vella 9a (8c+) in Margalef
2.0 Biographie 9a+ in Céüse

In fact, almost all Chris hardest routes have later been hailed and recommended. Here are some examples of some with few repeats;
First round first minute 9b, El Bon Combat 9a+ (9b/+), Fight or Flight 9b, Es Pontas 9b . (c) Chris Insta with 455 000 followers.

 
 
Fabelita 8c by Molly Thompson Smith  Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureMolly Thompson Smith, #7 in the Lead WC 2017 and #11 in the World Championship, has been on a climbing trip in Spain together with Jan Hojer. In Siurana she did Kale Borraka 8b+ and in Santa Linya she did Fabelita 8c. Jan's best was Open Your Mind 8c+ in Santa Linya.

So how come so few comps this year and what is the 2019 and Olympic plan?
I ruptured 3 pulleys in my ring finger at the end of Dec last year and had to have surgery in the New Year. Took me a while to get back to climbing, and especially at a decent level so wasn't able to do any comps until World Champs. Next year I plan to do all the lead WCs and some bouldering ones.

I'll try for the Olympics, hopefully I can enter all the events I need to next year but we don't know what the selection criteria is yet and I've got a lot of catching up to do anyways!

 
 
Larcher and Zangerl doing 1 300 m 8a+ on Eiger's north face  Facebook
 

 
 
El Bon Combat 9a+ (9b/+) by Jakob Schubert  (18) Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureJakob Schubert reports on Insta that he has done the second ascent of Chris Sharma's El Bon Combat in Cova de l'ocell giving it a personal grade of hard 9a+.

"I know it's easy to not think about it and just take the grade of the first ascensionist which in this case is 9b/+ but I feel the responsibility to have more thoughts about it. For me it felt easier from the first day I tried it and I would guess it is a hard 9a+. Curious what others will think."

Jakob has been one of the leading competition climbers in the World the last ten years and this year he was the Lead as well as the Combined World Champion, beside winning the Lead World Cup. The 27 year old Austrian has previuosly done three 9b's, seven 9a+' and two 8C boulders.

El Bon Combat is located just 40 min oustide Barcelona and it was bolted by Martí Iglesias Galobart. It is 25 meters and the really spectacular route is made up by a mixture of sand stone and conglomerate. The difficulty is based on several 8A Boulder problems connected with poor rests. (c) Javi Pec

 
 
Lack of hardcore onsights and flashes  Facebook
 

During the last years, we have seen a great progress when it comes to redpoint grades for both male, female, youngsters and oldies. Strangely enough, when it comes to route onsights it seems the level is decreasing beside Adam Ondra. Nowadays, it is very seldom we hear about 8c's respectively 8a+' being onsighted by male and female. In comparison, Ondra has done 84 onsights 8c and harder.

In bouldering, we saw some progress up to 8B and even 8B+ some years ago but last year, almost none did flash an 8B. Kind of strange as there exist videos of most of the hard 8B out there and also that there are many more to choose from compared to five years ago. Among the male, James Webb sticks out with 19 8B boulders flash.

When the 8a scorecard was set up in 2000, we choose to award onsights very high in order to motivate more onsights. Maybe it is time to increase the bonus and also report more high class onsight? Remember that it might not be a coincidence that Adam Ondra had a focus on onsights being a teenager. In general, many coaches and trainers say that it is better to build a wide onsight pyramid instead of just redpointing a personal best.

 
 
Honnold's 1 000 m solo from the filming crew perspective  Facebook
 

 
 
Growth plate fractures at risk for the advanced kids  Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureOver the years, doctor and coaches have warned for an increased number of growth plate fractures and 8a has often informed about the problem. Here is a Eric Hörst article from 2017 and here is one by Volker and Isabelle Schöffl from this spring.

Sadly and very unfortunate we have just lately heard many more stories preventing some advanced kids to stop climbing. The fracture often appears during the year of the highest growth velocity for the youngsters focusing to much on power in the gym. It seems most coaches are aware of the problem but this seems not to be the case for the parents and kids.

Two coaches have recently reached out to 8a asking us to write another warning article as they see an increase risk for more fractures that actually could mean the kids are forced to totally stop climbing.

Campus board and repeativey working on the same bouldering moves are the worst thing. In fact, all type of intensive finger training should be avoided during the year when the youngster grow the most. Remember that Adam Ondra being a teenager his focus was onsight, technic and endurance.

 
 
Amazing video of Ondra high up on The Salathe Wall  (12) Facebook
 

Adam Ondra during the end of his onsight attempt of The Salathe Wall in Yosemite, where he fell on an 8a+ trad pitch.

 
 
Pure Imagination 8c+ by Matilda Söderlund  Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureMatilda Söderlund reports on Insta that she has done Pure Imaginaation 8c+ in Red River Gorge. Andy Wickstrom

In 2012, Matilda was #6 in the World Championship and later she focused on getting a Master degree in Business Administration. This year she is back with four routes 8c and harder.

So, so happy that I managed to keep it together and send it on the very last day! I was very close about a week earlier and then it got super cold (too cold for me to be able to climb on the crimps of Pure Imagination haha). Then we got one day with perfect conditions and I was able to send it I learnt a lot and enjoyed the process of projecting and all of the mental challenges & mind games that it includes.

Pure Imagination is an amazing line (bolted by Kenny Baker), a lot of nice crimps and fun sequences. Can’t wait to come back to the Red for more climbing!”

 
 
Gancho perfecto 9a (+) by Felipe Camargo  Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureFelipe Camargo, who previously has done one 9a+ and one 8C, has repeated Chris Sharma's 9a Gancho Perfecto in Margalef. Although it was put up ten years ago it only has had five repeats, out of which everyone calling it hard. The Brazilian with 66 000 followers on Insta suggests an upgrade to 9a+. (c) Anva Creative

"I tried it for basically 2 months now! But the second month, the end of the route was totally wet! So I just trained in the gym here at Sharma climbing and climbed a lot on the bottom! Now it dried and i did it :) I have two weeks left in Spain and I think I will focus on Bon Combat. I dunno if I can do it but I want to get close and comeback to it. It is amazing."

 
 
Which skill do you lack the most?  Facebook
 


 
 
What is a pumped forearm and how to avoid it?  Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureWhat is a pumped forearm and how to avoid it? presents the theory and some practical tips;
- A pulsating or tickling gripping technique
- Hands up and squeezing
- Running - Dilution and Purification of lactic acid

 
 
Casavino 8B+ by Gabri Moroni  Facebook
 

 
 
One crisp day in Font  Facebook
 

 
 
Muriel Sarkany doing Era Vella 9a (8c+)  Facebook
 

Muriel Sarkany, who in between 1997 and 2004 won the Lead WC 5 times and the remaining 3 years she was runner-up, did Era Vella 9a (8c+) in 2017 when she was 43 years old. The video was just released.

 
 
Six 8c+ in RRG by Hannes Puman  (2) Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureHannes Puman, #4 in the Euro Championship in 2017, has had an amazing trip to Red River Gorge doing six 8c+'. On the picture by Kristoffer Klev he is doing Pure Imagination but the best one was Golden Ticket.

Wow! So how do you like RRG and which was the best route and what about going for a 9a?
I like the Red, it's a nice place with a lot of cool routes. The general style is quite basic and the grades are often soft. My favorite route that I have climbed is The tube, the line is beautiful, the holds are nice and it climbs very well. When I did the madness cave in one day I onsighted two 8b+ but I haven't done any harder onsights than that.

I think there are two 9a's here but both of them look bad so I don't want to try them. In total i have done over 40 routes 8a and harder (guidebook grades). Grades and climbing 9a are not so important for me. Although it would have been awesome to do Biographie and Action Directe.

 
 
Off the wagon low 8C+ by Shawn Raboutou  (15) Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureOff the Wagon in Valle Bavona is an iconic boulder due to the one meter cross over move where you face outwards. It was put up bu Nalle Hukkataival as an 8C but later everyone who has praised it calls it 8B+, video. Now Giuliano Cameroni reports on Insta that Shawn Raboutou has done the low start, 8C+.

Just some days ago, Shawn did Foundations Edge 8C and prior to that he made the FA of L’Oeuvre in Bouddha crag saying it is either 8c+ or 9a. In retro perspective being in the best shape of his life it seems and also always being modest with grading, it just might be a very hard 9a :)

 
 
Golden Ticket 8c+ by Melissa Le Nevé  Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureMelissa Le Nevé, one of the leading competition boulderers in between 2010 and 2016 who also have done 8B+, has done her fourth 8c+, Golden Ticket in Red River Gorge.

On her Insta, "I think I haven’t been happier yet to climb a line! Back in 2012, I was very impressed by the line and even more when I saw @adam.ondra onsighting it (which was one of my most inspiring experience in climbing)."

Back then it was considered 9a but Ondra he actually down graded it after his onsight. Melissa used a bathang on her send and Jan Novak got it as she practiced it.

 
 
 
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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