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Interklemezzo 9a FA by Adam Ondra  Facebook

Adam Ondra has done the FA of Interklemezzo 9a in Kanjon Tjesno. This was his 163 route 9a and harder out of which he did his first 12 years ago when he was 13.

"Amazing wall in Bosnia close to Banja Luka. It was bolted by Peter Schwamberger and during two days at Chill&Drill Fest I made the first ascent. First pitch is 8b+, then hard boulderproblem into technical finish. More projects waiting." More info on his Insta

Hazel Grace 8C (B+) by Moroni and Hukkataival  (1) Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureGabriele Moroni, who won the Boulder WC in Japan in June, has done the second repeat of Hazel Grace in Gottardo suggesting a personal 8B+ grade. Nalle Hukkataival reported on Insta that he did the first repeat just four days ago.

This is at least the fourth time Moroni suggested a down grade for an 8C including Highlander last month. In total the Italian has 21 boulders 8B+ and two 8C's recorded on his scorecard but it could at least have been six 8C's.

Moroni has been an active IFSC competition climber since 2002, when he won the Youth World Championship. In 2004, being just 16 years old he was #3 in the European Championship in Bouldering. In 2009, he was #3 overall and then he did not make any finals until two times in 2018, out of which one he won, see picture.

Two 8a+' by Cathy Wagner (53)  (2) Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureCathy Wagner has added two more 8a+' and three 8a's to her impressive scorecard the last two weeks. In total the 53 year old has done 687 routes 8a and harder out of which one third second go. During the last 12 months she has done 70 routes 8a to 8b. She has previously said that one laziness but also explanation for her sending so much is that she skips warming up and go right on it.

Cathy started climbing being 21 yers old back in 1985 and did her first 8a in 1994 and her first 8b when she was 35. You might wonder how hard she would be capable of if she started projecting a route for some months, instead of just doing multiple rather quick sends of routes up to 8b.

Biographie 9a+ by Stefano Carnati  (4) Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureStefano Carnati , who did his first 9a+ when he was 17 years old, has done Biographie 9a+ in Céüse. This was actually the 17 ascent of Chris Sharma's mega-classic from 2001 which makes it actually the third most repeated 9a+ in the world after Papichulo (18) and La Rambla (23). (c) Don Mason

" I started working on it last July and in September I was able to climb the first part a few times. Back on it this year in May, feelings were much better, but most of the times I struggled to find good conditions. Yesterday everything was perfect: with a strong wind blowing, I felt physically good, my mindset was calm and relaxed! I could not lose one of the very last chances to send it this year! And it all went in the right way!" More comments by Stefano.

Nordic Plumber 8c by Katherine Choong  (7) Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureKatherine Choong, #17 in the Lead WCH in Innsbruck in spite of almost only training on rock, has done Nordic Plumber 8c in Flatanger. In the 8a ranking game, she is #2.

"Unfortunately, the day of the semis in Innsbruck, I woke up really sick. Stomach and head ache (I even vomit :-( ), my hole body was sore. But at the end, I was able to fight in the route and I'm pretty happy with my performance considering the circumstances. I ended 17th.

Then we flew directly to Flatanger. This crag was on my list for a longtime and I have to admit that my mind was blown by the landscape and the impressive cave.

To get used to the very steep roof, I first tried the first pitch of Nordic Flower (8b/+). I was so impressed by the super long line of Nordic Plumber that shares the same start as Nordic Flower that I could not resist to try it : almost 60 meters of dynamics moves, underclings, toe and heel hooks above the head on a perfect granit rock with a high red-point crux at the very very top on a slopey rail, where I fell on my second day. To exhausted to try again, I clipped the chains the day after in a good fight and hard mental game. Everthing I love ;)"
(c) Esteban Lahoz

Miho Nonaka and Jernej Kruder Adidas Rockstars  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureAlex Puccio and Miho Nonaka, (c) Vladek Zumr, were the only ones to do all four boulders in the semi and they did it both in five tries. Keita Watabe won by flashing all four and in total, eight topped all problems. Three Japanese to the final and the World Champion Kai Harada #7.

In the final, Miho and Alex were in the lead from the start and in the super final Puccio takes and early fall but on the fourth move they are anyhow neck and neck on the fourth move until Puccio falls and Miho cruises to the buzzer.

Among the male, Jernej Kruder and Jongwon Chon were also in the lead the whole way. In the super final, they started dancing and the clock is ticking. After a butt bump they speed climbing to the top with Jernej some few seconds ahead... and more dancing on top...

Ekaterina Kipriianova and Tomoaki Takata got the bronzes. Complete results Finals video

Incubator 8A+ (B) flash revenge by Alex Khazanov  Facebook

Alex Khazanov who has won one Boulder World Cup in 2018 got his revenge after being #50 in Innsbruck WCH by flashing Incubator 8A+ (B). Video on Facebook.

"Probably not hard enough to be a proper 8B, but still a good frustration power flash straight after not making semis in the world championship. Felt like i had to escape to the rocks for the evening. Looks like my physical shape is not bad."

Baratzadeh/Kruder and Gejo win Adidas Rockstars qually  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureGholaamali Baratzadeh, #21 in the WCH in Innsbruck, and Jernej Kruder flashed all four boulders in the Adidas Rockstars qualification. Most of the big names from Innsbruck did take part and a total of 19 did do all four boulders.

Among the female, Stasa Gejo was #1 with three flashes and the first to not make it to the semi did not do any top. Also Miho Nonaka, Petra Klingerl from the WCH final made it to the semi. Complete results © Christian Waldegger

On Saturday the semi, Top-20 + 3 wild cards, will be live-streamed 11.00 following IFSC rules. The Top-6 kick-out final starts 20.15 where only the Top-3 remains after the two first boulders. Then these battle for the two spots into the super final starting 22.20 on two identical boulders. If there are ties, achieved holds will separate. In the super final, the fastest that hit the buzzer on the top wins.

Baratzadeh: "It was a great way to celebrate my birthday flashing all the boulders, maybe my best day climbing so far. This is the second year that I’m the best in the qualification; the problems were easier than in the WCH, but I still think it was hard to flash all four of them. So I’m really happy to have made it. I will try to keep my performance up for tomorrow at the semifinal and maybe the final!"

Valhalla 9a/+ by Edu Marin  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureEdu Marin reports on Insta that he has done Adam Ondra's Valhalla 9a/+ in Flatanger. "It has been very important for me to carry out this route after suffering a serious accident falling to the ground from 4 meters. It has been a whole process to maintain the motivation and form during the days of recovery, a whole learning." (c) Esteban Lahoz

Edu has previously done some 15 routes 9a to 9a+ and 8c onsights. The Spaniard has also done MPs up to 8c, boulders up to 8B+ and he won the World Cup in Chamonix in 2006.

Pari 8b+ (c) by Max Bertone (11)  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureMax Bertone has done Pari in Ouaki (video) giving it a personal grade of 8b+ just like his 13 year old sister Oriane. She has done 27 boulders 8A to 8B (+). Max has done three, the first one being eight years old. (c) Antoine Veillard from an 8b Max did this summer.

Nordic Plumber 8c by Mina Leslie-Wujastyk  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureMina Leslie-Wujastyk has done Nordic Plumber 8a in Flatanger and her story is really great. (c) Esteban Lahoz

The plan was to go bouldering for two weeks around Trondheim with her partner David Mason. Once realizing Flatanger was so close, she wanted to check it out and do some easier less steep routes but Maria Sandbu inspired her by doing Nordic Flower 8b+. In short, with rainy days that made David do his first sport route ever, Mina was full on the 50 meter super steep Nordic Plumber but no success. After returning back home for a wedding, another ten days Flatanger trip was booked and she sent it on her second last day. Video of the finishing rail.

Gancho perfecto 9a by Piotr Schab  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PicturePiotr Schab has done his 16th 9a, Gancho perfecto in Margalef. In the 8a ranking game, the Pole is #2 after Adam Ondra also including four 9a+' just the last five months. (c) Lena Drapella

"Wow I’ve been dreaming about this route since I saw the „Progression” movie for the first time. Came very close in my 5th try, then fall another few times in the very last moves to finally send it with ease."

Sever the Wicked Hand, second 9a by Moritz Welt (17)  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureMoritz Welt has done his second 9a, Sever the Wicked Hand in Frankenjura. "Three sessions, rather low end 9a imo, but so beautiful! 8A boulder problem into 15m of hard endurance climbing with only one bad rest."

In total the 17 year old has done 235 routes 8a+ and harder and 44 boulders 8A and harder. In the 8a Combined ranking game the young German is #3 after Adam Ondra and Daniel Woods. (c) Manuel Welt

Thor's Hammer 9a (+) in Flatanger by Josh Cornah  (1) Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureJosh Cornah has done the 60 meter Thor's Hammer 9a (+) in Flatanger. (c) Henning Wang who the day after did Nordic Plumber 8c.

"It took about two months of effort. A lot of mental effort, especially for the the top half which I punted off of two times. Once from the very top. Eventually I found a key bit of beta in the last week of my trip, which helped a lot. Also the bottom seeps a lot, varying day to day. It never dried completely but some days it was un-climbable for me.

Then conditions cleared up and I got through the bottom twice, once I was so nervous and climbed terribly, punting off the last move. Then I got my shit together and next day on I enjoyed the climbing a lot more and sent. After not having much motivation before leaving NZ it was kind of what I needed to get my shit together and my mental game."

Rich Marcus 8c by Matilda Söderlund in Sweden  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureMatilda Söderlund has had a great day in Niemisel in the northern part of Sweden when she did one 8b+ and Rich Marcus 8c. (c) Tor Johnsson

"The best place I’ve climbed at in Sweden. 28 m of superb granite, the routes are super high quality - just amazing! It is truly a little gem and the community of climbers up there is fantastic. The style suits me very well, slightly overhanging and quite a lot of small holds."

In 2012, Matilda was #6 in the World Championship as well as onsighted three 8b's. Later she focused on taking a Master in Business Administration. Since two years she is a full time climber again. Next is a DWS competition in Mallorca and possibly Red River Gorge in October. Follow her on Insta.

New Base Line, second 8B+ by Mile Heyden  (1) Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureMile Heyden has done her second 8B+, New Base Line in Magic Wood. (c) Matti Stanik

"Falling 3 times at the final jug of this incredibly breathtaking line was one of the most frustrating thing I've ever experienced in bouldering but persistence paid off :)

Topping it out with some wet holds was a combination of felicity and heart attack! This line is really one of the most beautiful lines and I'm just super happy, thankful and satisfied to finish this one! More comments and pictures on her Insta.

Schubert winner of a great Combined World Championship  (16) Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureThe male Combined final begun with the big favorite in Speed, Tomoa Narasaki making a false start in the very first race against Jakob Schubert. In the end, Jan Hojer took a controlled victory of Jakob Scubert.

Bouldering got a spectacular start when Narasaki skipped the first zone and instead made a huge diagonal dyno. Later also Schubert and Ondra skipped holds but the record was set by Hojer skipping three holds on Boulder three. Unfortunately everyone flashed the last boulder but apart from that the difficulty level was OK.

Starting last out in Lead was Schubert and once he passed Hojer's score he had secured the gold and the commentators were looking for a Hollywood ending with the Innsbruk son becoming the first to top out. Instead Ondra got his revenge winning by five moves over the Austrain securing his Combined silver.

Overall it was an over three hours packed intense show which the athletes seemed to like. Happy faces all over with the athletes cooperating as usual in every discipline. The race for the Olympic medals that will be handed out in 23 months. (c) Vladek Zumr

Janja Garnbret Combined World Champion  (8) Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureJanja Garnbret started with being #5 in Speed where we saw two false starts, resulting in Petra Klingler being #3, after just having climbed one route. Sol Sa, who did not do the boulder final giving her more rest and better skin, was #2.

In Bouldering, Janja was superior doing all four again dynamic coordination boulders. Sol had her hand on two tops but fell to the ground. With 30 seconds left on the last boulder she was fifth in the ranking but with a spectacular she did it and advanced to runner-up.

In Lead, almost all girls were fighting with taped fingers and blood on their finger tips. Jessica Pilz topped and now the pressure was once again on Janja having to climb faster. As in Lead she stopped before the final move but she executed and was ranked #1.

Now the pressure was on Sol Sa, who had to beat Jessica's time to win overall but she fell low but anyhow ended #2 in the Combined after Janja but before Jessica. Complete results
(c) Vladek Zumr

Female Combined Final 11.00  (5) Facebook

Kai Harada excels in great spectacular show  (14) Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureClick to Enlarge PictureKai Harada, who was #3 in the Youth World Championship last month, showed to the best both on the tricky slab as well as the powerful and technical cordination boulders. It was a touching moment when he fell on his knee after he flashed the last boulder and once he looked up on the cheering crowd, we could all see him crying and then covering and wiping his eyes with the T-shirt.

Runner-ups, and equally happy, was the crowd pleasers Jongwon Chon and Gregor Vezonik. It seems there are no rivalry among the best, instead they are all a big happy family and that includes also the coaches.

1. Kai Harada JPN 44 - Also qually Combined winner
2. Jongwon Chon KOR 34 9:10
3. Gregor Vezonik SLO 34 9:17
4. Keita Watabe JPN 24
5. Kokoro Fujii JPN 22
6. Nathan Philips GBR 12
Complete results (c) Vladek Zumr

Katrin Gründler

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Gus Carter

Melted Softscream, Mita
ke, Japan
Miska Izakovicova

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Ricardo Costa

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Fabian Gomiz Lopez

El manso (sit) 7B ville
Katrin Gründler

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Bram Honorez

La persistencia de la m
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Jamie Leland

Public Enemy 7c+, Super
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Incze Ábel

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Christian Welkhammer

Hard of Gold (fb7c+/8a)
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Frederico Gonçalves

Boulder: Abrigo de Ferr
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Oriane Bertone (f)

Saint Joseph
Jon Shen

Flofo Grunewald on Fata
Morgana (8a).
Leo Skinner

leo skinner - corridors
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Stefan Billmeier

Bamboozalled, V7 Laos/T
hakhek - a perfect bloc
, wonderful line, solid
Bram Honorez

willenberg dach 8A, chi
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Oriane Bertone : Boven
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Editorial by 8a Founder and Editor-in-Chief Jens Larssen including also Analyses, Reviews, Training, Polls and Opinions etc.
8B+ by David Mason in the best style possible  Facebook
Click to Enlarge PictureDavid Mason has done the first boulder ascent of Mortal Immortal 8B+ on Sean's Roof and it is a great community story showing every style has it's merit. "Floodgate into Sean's Roof, 23 moves in total with the top out. One of the best in the UK in my opinion, shame about the location but handy for pad carrying. 15 sessions over 2 months." Video - I do like to be beside the roadside.

Originally Jerry Moffat did the FA in 1995 of the stand start Sean's Roof 8c including three bolts. Later Mark Leach skipped the rope and as there were no crash pads it was even called the hardest "solo" in the world.

In 2010, Dan Varian and Ned Feehally then climbed the stand start above pads and thought 8A+ was appropriate. Last month, Dawid Skoczylas added a sitstart and did the FA of Mortal Immortal 8c+ which later also Alex Barrow repeated.

"They both climbed it as a micro route but for me it was a boulder and I had even brushed up the end, making it possible to top out instead of dropping off at the jug.

Grade wise it is definitely the toughest battle a problem has given me and took double the amount of sessions that I have put into anything else. For me it feels like 8A into 8A+ with the redpoint crux being right at the end. I think the movement mostly suits me but the number of moves certainly doesn't ;) Thanks to everyone who spotted, listened to my ramblings about it and cheered me on."
Adias Rockstars - Great interactive community show  Facebook
Click to Enlarge PictureJongwon Chon and Jernej Kruder are two of the most entertaining profiles in the bouldering circuit. The "brothers" created a great show in the super final in the Adidas Rockstars and it actually looked like runner up, getting Euro 3 000, was at least as happy as his big dancing brother getting Euro 4 000 in prize money.

Many of the invited actually say that this is the most fun competition of the all year and it is always 3 500 and full house. What we can learn from this and also other invitational bouldering events is that the format is not so important. Some sometimes complain about time restrictions and fairness etc but it seems the athletes do not bother as long as there are spectacular problems and intense interaction with the spectators and "brothers and sisters".

"Yesterday was crazy night. I enjoyed a lot @adidasrockstars 2018 Final I think I did well last night isn’t it?! :) Only me did it all top final round also I did all top semi and qualification round !! and I’m sooo happy made super final with my brother @kruderjernej.

We promise before competition see you in front of super final boulders and we made it!!"
Super Finals - Male  Facebook
Super Finals - Female  Facebook
Competition and Outdoor synergy is individual  Facebook
Although competition climbing, especially in Bouldering with all parkour and slabs on volumes, is getting further away from outdoors there seem to be synergy in between the two disciplines for most. Jernej Kruder, the Boulder World Cup winner 2018, is the best example. The Slovenian is rather going outside doing all disciplines rather then training indoors.

In reality it is actually very hard to understand how doing trad routes and multi-pitches could help Kruder to win the Bouldering WC often on side-way dynos on volumes. One possible explanation is that it is about the mental game and to be obsessed about pushing 100 % no matter the challenge. Possibly Kruder would not have won the WC in 2018 if he only had trained bouldering indoors as he would have been bored, stopping giving 100 %.

On the other hand, the successful recipe for the young Japanese team seems to be hopping around in different bouldering gyms in Tokyo and almost never go outdoors.

The great conclusion is that there seems to be totally different patterns available to become #1 and this is something trainers should be aware of. Another interesting point is that almost all the best climbers, out there, have had a successful World Cup competition career. David Graham, Barbara Zangerl, Jonathan Siegrist and James Webb are some of the exceptions of the WC competition and outdoor synergy.
Christof Rauch has a nice day in Silvapark  Facebook
Delicate Japanese selection for Tokyo 2020  (4) Facebook
A total of 20 male and 20 female will participate in the Combined Sport Climbing in Tokyo 2020. 1 + 1 is guaranteed the Host Nation and 1 + 1 Tripartite Commission. There is also a maximum of 2 athletes per nation.

Qualification events are listed in hierarchical order
6 - Top ranked on the Combined World Champion in Tokyo 2019
1 - Overall World Cup Winner (OWC) 2019
6 - Qualifying event in Toulouse for Top-20 from OWC 2019
5 - Continental Championship 2020

In practice this means that the highest ranked male and female Japanese in the Combined World Champion in Tokyo will get the only qualification spot for Japan. Later the remaining team, can only hope to be the chosen one. There is no guarantee to qualify even if he/she win all events, after being second Japanese in the Combined World Champion.

If the, especially male, Japanese domination will continue it is likely that all non-Japanese Top-20 in the Combined World Cup will make it to Tokyo even if they are dead last in the Qualification event.

However, it might be that no athletes from Japan and another countries that did fill their quota in the WCH in Tokyo, will be allowed to compete in Toulouse. This means that it might be good enough to be Top-25 in the OWC in order to be allowed to do the qualifying event.

The result in the Combined World Cup is based on multiplication on your two best relative ranked result in all three disciplines. In other words, this means that there are almost no chance what so ever for the Speed specialists to make it happen. Further more, countries with high ranked Speed climbers can let they participate also in two Lead and one Boulder WC. Later based on the calculation result, they can decide to let that Speed specialist be included in the Combined relative ranking, if other athletes from their country benefit from it.
How many tops are ideal in a bouldering final?  (8) Facebook
Click to Enlarge PictureDuring the World Championship in Innsbruck we could see that the number of tops the six finalist completed did vary a lot. Further more, it seems like there is no guideline from IFSC to the route setters how many tops to opt for. The number of preferred tops in the climbing community seems to vary as some think five tops as in the female final is perfect, meanwhile other prefers how it was in the male final, i.e. 15 tops.

Here is a diagram showing the 10 - 14 tops are ideal and that it is better with 24 tops rather then 0 tops. How do you think the optimal curve, # of tops versus target achievement in %, in general, should look like?
Japan dominated as a team in Innsbruck  (26) Facebook
Austria got three golds and a bronze by Jakob Schubert and Jessica Pilz in the World Championship in Innsbruck. Slovenia did get two golds, one silver by Janja Garnbret and a bronze by Gregor Vezonik. However, based on the IFSC National Team ranking, Japan was superior and their result is just a continuation of their positive trend for several years. In lead, the male Japanese did get their best result ever.

Japan Team Statistics
Bouldering: Male 4 Top-7 : Female 2 Top-5
Lead: Male 4 Top-13 : 2 Top-8
Combined: Male 4 Top-8 : Female 3 Top-7

In the male Combined, Japan was allowed to participate with seven athletes who all were Top-31. Among the female, all their three competitors were Top-8. Imagine the Combined results if Japan had been allowed to participate with ten male and female. It should be noted that in Tokyo every nation is just allowed to participate with 2 male and 2 female.

Noteworthy is also that in the Bouldering World male ranking, there are ten Japanese in the Top-21.
8 Combined finalists, more excitement and reduced time  Facebook
The Combined Finals in Innsbruck were a success although they lasted around 300 minutes out of which only 20 + 90 + 40 = 150 min was climbing action.

Here is a solution for reducing and evening out the disciplines' time and still increase to 8 competitors which is crucial attracting more broad casting nations.

Speed: 25 min instead of 20 min
False start count as fall and everyone does two qualification rounds which will avoid potential anti-climax due to falls and false starts. Unfairness if the ranked #1 in Speed will meet ranked #2 will be avoided. The fastest four go to semifinal.

Boulder: 60 min instead of 90 min
Rotating start of the first three boulders = 36 min. The Top-4 advances to final boulder with reversed starting order after a 10 min break. This will increase action time and minimize dead moments when the athletes rest as well as increase final boulder excitement.

Lead: 50 min instead of 40 min

Reduced and even out time, 25 + 60 + 50 = 135 min, incl. extra 10 min break, instead of 150 in Innsbruck
More competitors/nations competing will increase global interest
No anti-climax risk and more fair in Speed
More action on first 3 boulders as well as excitement on final boulder

It should be noted that keeping 6 finalists, the time consumption in bouldering could be 40 min instead of the 90 min in Innsbruck.

Tom Ball
Right-Hand Man 8a, Cheddar

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