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Alex Khazanov bouldering in Magic Wood  Facebook
 

alex khazanov bouldering in magic wood from Alex khazanov on Vimeo.

 
 
Urko Carmona tries to flash an 8a with one leg  Facebook
 

a day in Piscineta from klaas willems on Vimeo.

 
 
Don't Panic - The hand of God is back again  Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureLars Gillberg has tested the new Panic quickdraw from Kong. "Conclusion: As handy for a climber to have in her rack, as it is for a skydiver to have a reserve parachute.

All football fans will remember the quarterfinal from the World Cup in 1986. The match is legendary for one reason only: Argentinian striker Diego Maradona beats english goalkeeper Peter Shilton in the air, and scores a spectacular goal.

How could this happen? Diminutive Diego against a keeper that can use his hands? Slow motion pictures solves the mystery: Maradona uses his hand to "head" the ball into the net.
The little magician (169 cm) comes up with this legendary explanation after the match: "It was the hand of God".

This incident came back to me as I was using the new quickdraw (Panic) from Kong. The thing with this piece of gear, is that it is almost 40 centimeters long, it's mid section is stiff – and it's top carabiner can be locked in an open position. Kongs express is the end of the era where short climbers could complain that they were not able to clip the bolts from the same holds as the average climber uses.

With this gear you gain an extra 30 cm, which in many cases makes a decisive difference. The Kong quickdraw offers a thank-god-escape in situations where you feel that the runout is already too long. It also simplifies the job of stick clipping the first bolt, in cases where this is necessary to avoid potentially serious injuries.

 
 
The "Down Grader" Knee Pad  Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureSend Climbing hand mades their Down Grader knee pad and it is of very high quality with all the good features: Streches with your leg, breathability through neoprene, sticky neoprene and it is very easy to put on.

Martina Mali did step up several grades this year and after having done Chris Sharma's Rumble in the Jungle 8A+ with several good knee bars she down graded it one or two grades.

"I bought the Send kneepad, not because I thought it is the best but just because I wanted to support local community (which I think it is really important), and after a year of using the Send downgrader kneepad, I wouldn't trade it for any other, it really is the best and truly lives up to its name--The Downgrader.

 
 
La Sportiva Clothing in 2014  Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureLuca Mich gives us the great story that La Sportiva will start selling climbing clothes in 2014. "We will have 24 different styles per man and 27 for woman plus all the colour version. A total of 170 pieces considering the colour versions. The collection pay homage to the heritage of La Sportiva with details and graphics that recall to the '70's, years where La Sportiva introduced the first climbing shoes. Colours and look are vintage and some graphic of t-shirt are dedicated to the old climbing models.

All the pants are realized with Cordura fabric and are also stretch to facilitate movements of the climbers and to last for years. The essence of the collection is the technical and at the same time "lifestyle" vocation: it is dedicated to people who want to use the climbing clothing also for daily use, go to the office, go to the bar ecc. It is for the climbing society. The collection is structured in 5 segments: t-shirts and tops, hoodies, jackets, short pants and long pants, both suitable for gym or outdoor use.

 
 
Ashima Shiraishi (12) bouldering in Colorado  (4) Facebook
 

12-year-old, Ashima Shiraishi has been the leading female climber for the last year. No other woman, in the history, has a more impressive tick list including several 8B's, an 8A flash and 8c+ routes.

 
 
8a (+) OS by Jenya Kazbekova (17)  Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureJenya Kazbekova has onsighted El Corrdeor de la muerte 8a (+) in Rodellar and during the same week she also onsighted four 7c+. The 17 year old, who is #3 in the ranking game did her first 8b+ when she was 13 years old and the same year she won the youth world championship.

Her father Serik has won World Cups both in Lead and Bouldering and her mother Nataliya Perlova, has a silver and a bronze in Bouldering World Championships. Family interview from 2011. The picture by Anna Piunova is from that interview.

 
 
Mina Leslie-Wujastyk: Rocklands Part Two  Facebook
 

 
 
Lost in North America: Ep. 5 - 7a+ to 8a+ in Bishop  Facebook
 

 
 
Finisterre - Bouldering in North Western Spain  Facebook
 

Finisterre - Bouldering on a Shrinking Globe | Trailer from davsck on Vimeo.

 
 
Bouldering is AWESOME  (1) Facebook
 

 
 
Mind Control 8c (+) and the delicate grade dilemma  Facebook
 

Mind Control put up by Chris Sharma in Oliana in 2009 as an 8c+ is probably one of the best hard routes on the planet and all 17 repeaters on 8a have given it 3 stars. As the high quality route has been done by at least six female, been onsighted by Adam Ondra and flashed by Silvio Reffo, it is probably the most reported route in the 8a news the last three years.

At the same time, Mind Control is really a delicate example of difficult it is for the climbers and the media to relate to the grade? First of all, grades are very important for the media as this our #1 criteria on how to select which ascents to present. Secondly, grades are and should Not be as important for the climbers who should of course focus on quality.

"Everybody knows it's only 8c...but nobody will ever downgrade it :-P", was the comment by Gabri Moroni 18 months ago but the first guy who actually gave it 8c, was Silvio Reffo when he flashed it this February. Today, their personal gradings have more or less been accepted and in the 2014 Lleida topo it will most likely be 8c.

To use the old 8c+ topo grade (maybe marking it as "soft") is of course the easiest way if you do not really care about the grade, you find it very hard to grade or you are afraid to offend a friend with a personal down grade.

On the other hand, the climbing community should be thankful for the maybe 20 % who dare to share a different grade opinion, as climbing, in fact, also is a sport measured by it's grades.

For some reason, nobody would criticize the the topo author down grading Mind control to 8c but when 8a.nu does the same, some guys go crazy. We are living in the internet world and it seems a bit old-school to wait three years for the next topo for correcting grades.

Surely, these things should be based on a mathematical formula as in fact only 20 % or so give personal grades meaning that in the end it is anyhow up to the topo producer. The info from the other 80 %, who at the most prefer to only call some as "soft", is equally valuable.

The delicate grade dilemma is that 8a has to, due to criticism, wait for the next topo until we can write reliable grades in our news. Would it not be better if the "topo" grades also sometimes could be given by using the 3 million ascent 8a database? If so, the climbers could more focus on the quality and the beauty and we would have less grade controversies?

 
 
The North Face Kalymnos Festival  Facebook
 


 
 
Anam Cara 8B+ by Fabian Buhl  Facebook
 

 
 
Megos doing The Wheel of Life 8C  (7) Facebook
 

 
 
Megos in Grampians  Facebook
 

Alexander Megos Grampians from Powerhouse on Vimeo.

 
 
150 % increase on the Italian page  Facebook
 

Since Paolo Bertolotto started to help us out translating the global news into italian, the traffic has increased 150 %. During the last week, the italian page was visited by 2 094 unique computers.

The biggest country specific page is Spain, which during the last week 4 438 unique visitors did 35 746 visits.

We are always looking for more guys that can help us out with translating and writing articles etc. Please contact jens@8a.nu

 
 
Gryon - Swiss Sport Climbing Secret via Epic TV in association with 8a  Facebook
 

 
 
Innovation: Lock anchor wire gates with a tube  Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureEmanuele Pellizzari who has been in the business for 20+ years and now also sells bolts and anchors have come up with an interesting innovation making anchors with wire carabiners safer. He simply puts a tube on it locking the gate.

"Best case belay anchor should have two carabiners. A simple solution for single wire gate anchors, costing virtually nothing is to place a tube on the wire gate (cost 0,03 Euro). Pull it up, you "free" the locking system", pulling it down, you lock the gate (see picture).

You only need to choose the right diameter, not too tight, not way too loose. For dummies (real dummies): If you pull the tube too early, you prevent the gate to close, lowering the strenght of the carabiner by 60%. First close the gate, then pull the tube down so it goes OVER the nose of the carabiner."


Emanuele also says that a wire gate is normally better as normal gate anchor carabiners collect dust and in the end the gate will stiffen making it impossible to be completely closed. Further more, you can not look it with his suggested tube innovation.

 
 
Mexico bouldering  Facebook
 

LA GRAN METRALLA DEL PUTZMEISTER & NAZGUL from greenandshiny on Vimeo.

 
 
8C FA by Dave Graham again  (4) Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureDave Graham has opend his sixth 8C, Foundation's Edge in Fionnay which is twenty moves long coming out a steep cave. There exists a potential low start almost as hard creating a possible 8C+ or even 9A.

"Took down the big rig yesterday in Fionnay. Amazing experience!!! Huge thanks to @yvesburri for the spot and the photo!! This tricky devil has evaded me for YEARS!!" (c) Instagram @yvesburri

 
 
Chris Sharma climbing in Australia  (2) Facebook
 

 
 
Swedish Bouldering: Kjugekull  Facebook
 

 
 
Trailer "RAW"  Facebook
 

 
 
WC Lead after 6 out of 8 events  Facebook
 

Here is the ranking and points based on the Top-5 results out of six World Cups.

1. Sachi Amma 460 - Jain Kim 460
2. Jakob Schubert 380 - Mina Markovic 460
3. Ramon J Puigblanque 340 - Momoka Oda 326
4. Hyunbin Min 266 - Magdalena Röck 277
5. Romain Desgranges 256 - Helene Janicot 269

The remaining two events take place in Valence and Kranj in November. In practice, Jan and Mina have already secured their Top-2 position overall. It can be noted that less than 20 athletes have participated in at least five events.

Overall, Mina has won 14 World Cups and been second in 16, meaning she is one of the best WC lead climbers in the history. In anoher category, Jakob is the best WC climber in 2013 since he was #2 in Bouldering.

 
 
Lead WC in China  Facebook
 

1. Sacchi Amma 44+ : Mina Markovic 38+
2. Sean McColl 43+ : Jain Kim 38+
3. Jakob Schubert 41+ : Magdalena Röck 34+
Complete results

Sachi has won three events and been second in two and the same goes for both Mina and Jain.

 
 
Sasha Digiulian discusses MyID  Facebook
 

 
 
Above the Knee Amputee Climbing 7C  Facebook
 

 
 
50 % topped out in WC Lead qually  Facebook
 

In the qualification of the Lead World Cup in Wujiang in China, 50 % of the attempts ended in a Top. In total, there were 19 female and 22 male competing and we saw 41 Tops. Complete results

The final is live now.

 
 
New indoor walls are often to high  Facebook
 

The most fun thing with indoor climbing is the long onsights getting really pumped fighting to clip the anchors at 15+ m. The bummer is of course that than you need like 30 min to be fully recovered and, as it is so fun to climb, you try again after 10 minutes, destroying your forearms completely

If you get to much lactic acid in your fore arms during a session most of us will wake up the next morning being in less good shape.

Since the higher gyms started to pop up in Scandinavia, we have seen few new guys getting well above the 7a level, if we exclude the kids, who can not get pumped. Instead, almost all new dedicated youngsters have made their progress in bouldering.

It just might be that the most guys actually benefit from only climb 10 m, taking a short break and then continue again. Nicki Horak, the trainer behind wonder kid Hannes Puman who won the European Junior Champion this summer has a focus on interval instead of just hanging around on the wall.

Here is his 15 minutes program that for sure seems to be more effective compared to hang around with pumped forearms.

1. Lead 1.5 minutes almost at your limit
2. Top rope the same climb for one minute, seven times
3. Rest one minute in between each attempt

 
 
The Climber's Culture - Leif  Facebook
 

The Climber's Culture - Leif from Gregory Packs on Vimeo.

 
 
Review: Bouldering Essentials  Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureDavid Flannagan is the author of Bouldering Essentials, "The complete guide to bouldering" and that is more or less what it is. It covers all the basic to advanced training and the focus is defining and describing everything. You can more or less start anywhere and start reading/learning.

The only thing, more or less, which is not detailed covered is ethics and grades. Although many nice pictures, it would have even easier to read if there were plenty more pictures explaining what the text say like for the glossary.

All-in-all, a good book for the ones who want an informative bouldering book that will make you understand everything the advanced boulderers are talking about during a bouldering session or trip.

 
 
My Limit  Facebook
 

Il mio Confine (My Limit) from OpenCircle on Vimeo.

 
 
Philippe Ribiere portrait  Facebook
 

Philippe Ribiere PRO CLIMBER from neil hart on Vimeo.

 
 
Angy Eiter retires from the comps  (1) Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureRestjug has made an interview with Angy Eiter who has retired from the competition scene with the best ever stats: 4 times World Champion, 26 World Cups. During the end of 2004 and the beginning of 2007, she won 18 out of 22 WC's.

She won the last WC, the last World Championship and the last Euro Championship she entered. She has done two 8c+.

"When I climbed outside during the competition season, it was to get motivation. Sometimes you are so fed up with the structured training indoors that you just want to get out.

Unluckily, you can’t do that too much, because that you lose some fitness needed for competitions, so you have to stay in the gym. But for me, climbing on rock is not just focusing on the grades and the difficulty. It is more about being there with friends and completing projects I like regardless of the grade, focusing together on something.

 
 
The contradiction between route and boulder variations  Facebook
 

Why is it that climbers in general are skeptical when it comes to establishing short routes, link-ups, first anchors and tight lines when we see much worse examples in bouldering which get nice credits.

I mean, even the 8c+ anchor of Biography, like 30 m up, was taken out once the full 9a+ was established. Several years ago, I suggested that we should add first anchors also for high quality easier routes, but most disagreed.

In bouldering there are sometimes three different start positions with three different names and grades. I mean we talk about adding 2-3 moves giving it yet another new grade and the same goes for adding different tops.

I should also underline that I think it is just great to add or eliminate moves to make my personal challenge and training more interesting. But giving it a new name and grade seems not relevant especially as, sometimes, the same guys says it is bad ethics adding a 10 m link up etc.

 
 
Boulder moved to Portland for a day  Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureLast Saturday some 350 competitors flocked to The Circuit Bouldering Gym for the 3rd annual Portland Boulder Rally. With a $10k cash purse on the line, the field was stacked and the battle was fierced but in a friendly atmosphere typical of the NW. 5 h video from the live-streaming including interviews with all top climbers and complete finals coverage with commentary by Brian Runnells and Max Zolotukhin.

1. Alex Puccio - James Webb
2. Angie Payne - Carlo Traversi
3. Nina Williams/Alex Johnson - Jon Cardwell/Paul Robinson

During the three hours qually, the Top-5 out of 139 boulders scored and in the final it was more like the IFSC WC format.

Chloe Mandell, Event Director, "The event was everything we were hoping for and more! We were so stoked to celebrate the bouldering community with everyone and really push the limits of a single day indoor comp. Next year's PBR is going to be insane!"

 
 
IFSC Boulder Comp summary 2013  Facebook
 

 
 
8A+ FA by Dorothea Karalus  Facebook
 

 
 
"Moroni told the truth. It is time to apologize..."  Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureThe rumour, spread by Desnivel, saying that both Enzo Oddo and Gabri Moroni were responsible for bolt chopping actions in Brazil was wrong. (c) Eliseu Frechou

Enzo Oddo has now written a blog describing why he chopped the bolts from the crack showing no regrets. Already three weeks ago Moroni told 8a that, "he was not even at the scene when it happened", which was communicated through the 8a forum.

Also the Brazilian climbing federation has officially accused both Oddo and Moroni for the chopping but the saddest thing is all personal attacks and threats both have received in different forums and also on Facebook.

The last post in the 8a forum ends with, "Moroni told the truth. It is time to apologize..."

The 8a standpoint:
1. You should not bolt perfect cracks especially if they are located on trad crags.
2. You should not chop bolts from established routes. There are much better ways to communicate the message in a friendly tone avoiding more controversies in the climbing community.
3. Please show more respect in the forums and do not spread rumours.

 
 
First 8c+ by Eva López (42)  (2) Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureEva López the famous trainer and inventer of the Transgression hangboard, has done her first 8c+, Potemkin in Cuenca which she has bolted. (c) Javipec

Already in 1999, she did her first 8b and being 35 she did her first 8c. Here is her trainingblog. More info to come of this remarkable effort that once again shows the uniqueness of climbing when it comes to age and performance for a physical sport.

"We bolted the route in 2008, but apart from some weeks in 2011-12 I couldn't work it seriously until this summer.
For me, Potemkin at first seemed to have some hard moves, but what allows you to do it is developing lots of endurance. The style is typical for hard routes in Cuenca: steep, long moves, scarce footholds and lots of sika to make up for the awful rock.

 
 
Edelrid's 8.9 mm Swift - Extreame sport climbing rope  Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureEdelrid has been producing ropes for 150 years and in 1853 they invented the kermantel rope which revolutionised the climbing world and in 1964, they developed the first dynamic rope.

In 2013, their 8.6 mm Corbie won the Gold award at Friedrichshafen and their 6.9 mm Flycatcher is the skinniest and lightest twin rope in the world. Their second most extreme sport climbing rope is Swift at 8.9 mm which you can order up to 200 m length.

In the beginning it is scary just to tie in and before taking my first fall I did confirm the 8.9 mm sign on Grigri2. Climbing wise it is of course more convenient and the weight difference from an ordinary rope is 15 % but measuring rope drag high up there clipping the last bolts, the difference is of course much more.

The 8.9 mm Swift has all three Edelrid Shields; Thermo, Dry and Pro, guaranteeing the highest quality. Edelrid is also the first rope manufacturer who has gotten the environmental Blue Design label. The one questioned draw back is of course durability. How much shorter is the life span compared to a less extreme rope?

Edelrid actually says that the Swift is, "Not suitable for working routes or top roping, meaning in fact that this is your rope for your onsight trip or for the final redpoint. OK, I am not the guy taking most or the longest falls instead I have used it for my top rope sessions and I have not seen any unusual bad signs of wear compared the normal rope. So for me, the only draw back is in fact the price, as it is one of the more costly Edelrid ropes, but maybe that is what you need for a personal grade record?

 
 
Reflexions from TNF Kalymnos Festival  Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureHaving been together and talking with most of the the athletes during TNA Kalymnos Festival, here are some general positive reflections. (c) John Koullias

1. Almost no competition feeling. Everyone is sharing beta and cheering each other. They are like kids in the kindergarten.

2. Most planes or hopes to also do multi-pitch climbing in 2014. It seems part of the game is to try as many different disciplines of climbing as possible.

3. Several have plans to travel and open up new crags like Melissa Le Neve who is next going to Turkey for the 2014 Petzl Roc Trip, Klemen Becan who goes to Jordan in december and James Pearson/Caroline Ciavaldini who do it all the time.

4. Most do not follow any training program during summer and most also said they during the last years have been training less structured during winter. Anyhow, campus boarding is something many have on their scheme.

5. Many said that they do not plan or prioritize competitions but that they most likely will do some WCs in 2014. Only Anna Stöhr planned to do them all and Johanna Ernst will stop completely.

6. Most of the grade suggestions given by the route setting team were considered as sand bags so we saw several upgrades.

7. Caroline Ciavaldini, who won, used headlamp during the warming up to be able to take advantage of the best conditions when the second day started at 08.00.

8. The media professionality are at the highest level and sending Sasha DiGulian some follow up questions during the night, you get the answers, typed in her iPhone, before breakfast the next morning. Alex Megos did a very good job in the live-streaming interview.

 
 
Swedish gym skips grades with +  Facebook
 

In most gyms around the world, boulders are not graded instead only colors are used to separate difficulty and often only around 5 colors are used. This has of course been done as it is very hard to give accurate grades and also to take out that focus.

Now Klätterlabbet in Göteborg has taken out the + in the grades to get closer to the thoughts on how to deal with difficulty in bouldering. I think this is just a very good idea and it goes in line what 8a has been saying for several years. I bet it will not take long until most gyms around the globe have skipped the +. In the long run this will have a geat impact also on rock as the importance of using detailed gradings by the community will be greatly reduced. What a nice future and it will be so much easier and better for the media as quality can have greater importance when selecting what news to report.

 
 
The Climber's Culture - Teaser  Facebook
 

Climbing is a lifestyle just like other "lifestyle sports". It gives us all meaning to our lives in so many ways. We are a tribe with ethics, style, vernacular, and many other attributes that creates a climber's culture. All of us have a different approach to the world of rock climbing, but we are all share that one thing in common. Enjoy a short 6 part series of The Climber's Culture.

The Climber's Culture - Teaser from Gregory Packs on Vimeo.

 
 
Wave bolt solves most bolting problems  Facebook
 

 
 
Mammut climbing gear presentation  Facebook
 

 
 
Just 24 male and 20 female in China Lead WC  (1) Facebook
 

The starting list for the Lead World Cup this weekend in China shows only 44 participants. Japan sends 10, China 8, Austria 7 and France 4 guys. No other country has more than two competitors listed.

Although the number of climbers and the indoor gyms have increased very much the last few years, the number of participaters is decreasing. It seems we in 2013, will get a lower number of climbers taking part in at least all but one events since the WC started in 1991. The general global trend on a national perspective is more or less the same.

One reason is of course that the comps is spread around the world but what is it more that can be done to increase the interest. I mean, if it not would have been for the great live streaming and 8a, the media coverage would have been almost none.

The best possible explenation I can come up with is in fact that the best guys are to good. What should be done?

 
 
The best headlamp out there: X-Sun from Mammut  Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureBattery max 40 h
Range max 200 m
Lumen max 950
Weight 130/270 g

The specifi- cations for the Mammut X-Sun suggest that it is the best head lamp out there. The light is so strong that the guys you meet while running or cycling will complain until you use the weakest out of three modes. It actually also have a fourth, emergency boost mode including a function to prevent accidential switching on.

More info at Mammut. The price is around Euro 250

 
 
Sean Mc Coll killing the 24h du Mur D'oloron  Facebook
 

The 2013 edition of the 24h du Mur has been a huge success again, with great climbing, amazing after (in the meanwhile ?!) party and more than 4000 spectators coming visit the Oloron wall during the comp.
Sean Mc Coll dominance was obvious, even with very strong concurrent like Felix Neumarker and Kevin Aglae. Just think about qualifying with 2x8a+ onsight, an 8b onsight, an 8b flash and an 8c flash... and then falling with the final jug of another 8c (onsight), all under 30 hours...
Mathilde Becera won the woman comp over Alizée Dufraisse. While both of the girls topped the final route, Mathilde qualified with a better scorecard.
Watch the comp wrap-up with nice words from Dani Andrada !

 
 
 
9a by Daniel Jung  (2) Facebook
 

Daniel Jung reports that he did Inga, 9a in Gorges du Loup in October.

 
 
7th 8A by David Kompatscher (18)  Facebook
 

David Kompatscher has done seven 8A boulders during the last ten weeks. His personal best being 17 years old was 7B!

 
 
Progress by Ulrike Bromberger (42)  Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureUlrike Bromberger (42) who started climbing in 1991 is climbing better than ever as she the last two months have done two 8a's and three 7c+'. The last eight years she has made nice progress climbing some three times a week.

"I do not have a recipe, but in fact, I still see progress in my climbing career. I am happy. Let's wait an see if this was the summit. Keep going, have fun."

 
 
8B+ (C) and much more by Anthony Gullsten (19)  Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureAnthony Gullsten has added ten boulders 8A and harder including Bernd Zangerl's Anam Cara in Silvretta for which he gives a personal grade of 8B+.

"Amazing day! It was minus degrees outside so the friction was perfect. Did the moves pretty fast and then sent on my fourth go from the beginning. Cool movement and sequence but a bit sharp."

The 19 year old fin has had a very strong progress the latest years and during the last 12 months he has done 73 boulders 8A and harder. He is 37 in the 8a game but without all his personal gradings, he would have been #3. Andy was #14 in the Boulder World Champion having done his preperation in Rocklands. Interview is coming up.

 
 
8a+ MP flash by Roland Hemetzberger  Facebook
 

Roland Hemetzberger has flashed the 170m De Hoabuchane, 8a+ in Lofer Alm. Fabian Hagenauer (17) gave all the valuable beta sothe most difficult part was actually walking down in the forest, 2.5 h instead of 0.5 h, as they forgot their headlamps. More info at their blog.

 
 
8b+ MP by Riccardo Scarian  Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureRiccardo Scarian (43) established last month Shakti which is 200m 8b+ on Eagles Peak. "It is, put simply, a jewel, up splendid rock, offering climbing with varied from steep overhang to technical slabs, above an impressive voice in a wild yet at the same time relaxing environment."
Full story

Riccardo born 1968 has previously put up several multi pitches and he is kind of a late bloomer having done many 8c+ and harder almost 40 years old. (c) Giampaolo Corona

 
 
8A by Brooke Raboutou (10) and other Team ABC Kids  (4) Facebook
 

Robyn Erbesfield-Raboutou has been with her Team ABC Kids in Hueco Tanks. Brooke Raboutou (10) who did her first 8b route being 9 year old has done her first 8A, Une Pointe de Bleau dans un Hueco. Big brother Shawn (13) did it second go and Megan Mascarenas (14) flashed it.

Click and scroll down to see an article about the amazing ABC Kids. Read about their Philosophy and Objectives etc.

 
 
8b Bigwall by Sonnie Trotter  Facebook
 

Planetmountain reports that Sonnie Trotter has done the first repeat of Leo Holding's 500m The Prophet, 8bR in Yosemite. Sonnie comments the three day ascent.

"I think it was the most savage and satisfying rock climb of my life. One of the hardest routes I have ever done. My first El Cap route ever. And I’m glad it’s over."

 
 
Five 8B's by Robin Mjelle  Facebook
 

Robin Mjelle has added five 8B's to his impressive list of hard boulders in Switzerland. In total he has done 17 8B boulders so the norwegian should be close to move into the 8B+ region. Streppenwolf video

 
 
9a by Jakob Schubert  Facebook
 

Jakob Schubert did also take the one hour drive down to Misja Pec where he did Martin Krpan, 9a. "Very soft for it's grade. 4th try this day, but tried it 2 years ago... nice after after party in misja pec! :)"

The next weekend the competition season ends in Barcelona and then the 20 year old will try some of the harder routes around Lleida. In April he did Papichulo, 9a+ in Oliana.

 
 
8b by Hannah Midtbø  (1) Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureHannah Midtbø has done her fourth 8b in 2011, Santa Linya in Santa Linya.

"Classic route! A crux on it's own to clip the anchor. Went through the moves a few times, then did it second redpoint attempt."

In 2008, being 18 year old, Hannah was #3 in the Euro Boulder Championship. Last year, she did two 8A's. In the game, Hannah is #13.

Magnus Midtbø who has done several 9a - 9b and who was #4 in the world champion this year, is Hannah's two year older brother.

 
 
8b+ OS revenge for Ramonet and Edu  Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureRamón Julian Puigblanque was only #11 in Kranj as he was timed out in the semi and Edu Marin was #17.

Instead of the finals on Sunday they drove down to Misja Pec where they both onsighted Millenium, 8b+ which they both said was pretty easy.

In 2009, Edu onsighted three 8c's and in 2006, he won a Lead WC. The double world champion, Ramonet has onsighted an 8c+ this year. (c) Heiko Wilhelm

 
 
8B+ by Ondøej Nevìlík  Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureOndøej Nevìlík has done Toni Lamprecht's classic The Dagger, 8B+ in Cresciano which Dave Graham added a sit start to in 2005, creating The Story of Two worlds, 8C.

"A dream comes true! In my head ever since I saw it 4years ago. My style, feet first all the way... only 4 full climbing days so no rest, 4 days on: 3 days on The Dagger and last day a 7C OS, 8A+ (Video), 8A with no skin, wish could stay longer, now back to reality:(" (c) Ramil Schneider

 
 
9a+ by Adam Taylor  (1) Facebook
 

DPM reports that Adam Taylor has done the first ascent of Southern Smoke direct, 9a+ in Red River Gorge. The direct version adds an 8B boulder start to the 8c+ route. Adam who previously has established one 8c+, that got upgraded to 9a, has worked the 9a+ route for two years. Some days ago, he finished with 60 pull-ups after having done the 8c+ version.

 
 
4th 8a+ by Philipp Gaßner (11)  Facebook
 

Philipp Gaßner (10) has done his fourth 8a+ in Frankenjura, SMS. Video of doing 8a+ being 10 years old.

 
 
8A by Stefanie Mathar again  Facebook
 

Stefanie Mathar has done her second 8A, Beefy Gecko in Bishop. Last year she did her first 7C (+) and this year she has already done six 7C+ and two 8A's putting her as #7 in the Game.

 
 
Two 8c+ by Ben Spannuth in USA  Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureBen Spannuth who had a personal best of 8b+ before he went to Spain in august, where he stepped up to 9a, has done two 8c+ in Red River Gorge.

He graduated in May and trained harder than ever during the summer which seems to have paid of reaching a new level. The 8c+' he did within 45 minutes and he has also onsighted two 8a+ etc putting him as #7 in the Game.

 
 
Gu is on fire  (2) Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureGuntram Jörg has added Sur le fil, 8B+ in Switz making it 17 boulders 8B and harder during the last two months. "Again second Ascent of a Fred Nicole Masterpiece. This boulders need to be tried more they are amazing, same quality than in Ticino!!!"

Here Gu comments his extreme progress,...I felt that I have my body under control at a new level...(c) Baboonmaster.com

 
 
8B FA by Stefan Rasmussen (40)  (6) Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureStefan Rasmussen the man behind almost all hard core bouldering around Västervik has opened Gypsy heart, 8B.

"I took a chance, drove one hour and it turned out to be perfect conditions with four degrees. Many youngsters opt for warmer conditions so I mainly climb alone. I have another 20 hard boulders in the area for this winter season." Video (c) Dominik Hadwiger

 
 
8A by Mirko Caballero (10)  (11) Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureMirko Caballero has had a great trip to Hueco Tanks where he among other things did his first 8A, Schwerer Gustov. "I love bouldering, but started to rope climb as well in 2011. I train in the Gym, but just to get strong. My passion is climbing outdoors meeting new people and climbing with them.

 
 
8C by Sean McColl before Lead WC  (2) Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureSean McColl who was second in the last Lead WC has prepared for the Kranj WC this weekend only by bouldering in Switzerland. Yesterday he did Big Paw, 8C in Chironico to his long list the last week.

"This is my hardest boulder to date and the line is majestic! I found the the boulder fit me very well, although the short person beta was very hard. I had great conditions and I'm in the best shape of my life. A very successful Switzerland bouldering trip!

I have a rest day today, then tomorrow I'll try to finish "The Dagger", then maybe one more day of climbing, or maybe two rest days before the WC."

 
 
9a FA by Manu Romain  Facebook
 

Manu Romain reports that he has done the FA of a 9a which is a link-up of a 8c+, 8a and 8b on La Roche de Rame. In the 2011 Lead WC, Manu is #4 and the lasts years he was, #7 and #6. Since 2009, his worst result of 22 WC's was #12"

 
 
8A+ and 8A by Conny Matthes  Facebook
 

Conny Matthes has had a great day in Frankenjura having done Rothauttraverse, 8A+ and Billiardtraverse, 8A.

 
 
Chelsea Rude blogs Journey vs Result  Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureChelsea Rude who earlier this year was #17 and #11 in a Boulder and Lead WC in USA, has written a nice blog about the mental journey she took to do Ixeia, 8b+ in Rodellar which 8a reported some weeks ago.

"I sat and looked at the scenery, I paid attention to the birds flying in the sky, how the sun somehow always managed to make everything in Spain look orange, all the rock that surrounded me, and I also listened to all of the other people in the area climbing a’muerte. I realized that at that moment I couldn’t be in a better location or position."

 
 
8B+ by Sean McColl in 1.5 hours  (2) Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureSean McColl, who was #2 in the last Lead WC, has changed arena and prepars for the next Lead WC by 10 days bouldering in Switzerland. "I don't think I'll lose any endurance while here as I'm only here for 2 weeks. I'll maybe gain some power and a nice break from training 4 days a week on platic!" (c) C.Loury/Planetgrimpe

During the first day he has done five classic 7C+ to 8A+ and New Base Line, 8B+. "Took me 1.5 hours on my second day after trying it for 15 minutes on the first day. I found the problem fit my style very well and I've always wanted to try it. I'm so happy that it came together so fast and thanks to Daniel, Paul and Courtney for the encouragement!"

 
 
7C+ by Isabelle Faus (18)  Facebook
 

Isabelle Faus has done Tres de las Quintas, 7C+ in Chattanooga.

 
 
Gu sends again, again and again...  (3) Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureGuntram Jörg has done his 14th 8B and harder the last 2 months by doing Phase 2, 8B+ in Sustenpass.

"Physical & mental warring, felt about 6 times at the last move before i stuck it. Really cold day with rain everywhere around us! Quite lucky... Swiss is having so many nice areas outside of Ticino. Many rocks left to be climbed!"

 
 
9a FA by Cedric Lachat  Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureNina Caprez reports that her boyfriend Cedric Lachat has done an extension to Speed in Voralpsee for which he proposes 9a. (c) Stefan Schlumpf

Speed was put up in 1995 by Beat Kammerlander as an 8c+ "but anywhere else would be graded 9a". It does not end at the top so Cedric continued up the 8b extension of Lucy to the left.

"So often he felt because his foot were slipping or other stupid things. Also it was really hard to memorize all the foot holds in this 30m line. Every hold looks kind of similar and the fact that he tried once per year, he forgot everything! that's Cedric!;-)"

 
 
9a by Felix Knaub (19)  Facebook
 

UKC reports that Felix Knaub has done the ultra classic Action Direct, 9a in Frankenjura which Wolfgang Güllich put up in 1991. Felix did his first 9a when he was 17 year old, Matador also in Frankenjura.

 
 
8B again by Guntram Jörg  (1) Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureGuntram Jörg has done his ninth 8B in a month, Bourguignon in Murgtal. "Sec. Ascent, First established by Fred Nicole. Mega compression climb all the way up. One of the best, Fred was also there and told me some beta and i crushed it before it got dark, took me about half an hour but its 4 shure a hard one!" Gu comments his extreme progress lately.

 
 
New 8c, 18 pitches on Madagascar  (5) Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureUpdate: The news seems to be based on some misunderstanding since they actually just did the pitches up to 7c. The rest they aided. Planetmountain reports that Martin Schindele, Lukas Binder, Philipp Hofmann and Tobias Baur in August have established Dreams of Youth on Tsaranoro Atsimo which is a 700m, 18 pitches including one 8c and three 8b+'s. (c) Kletterzene

Last October, Adam Ondra established Mora Mora 8c 700 m and repeated a 600m 8b and a 380m 8c in the same spectacular area.

 
 
Caldwell twitter from snowy El Cap  Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureTommy Caldwell twitters from his El Cap 30 pitches project where he already has spent a week with his wife.

"That was a intense one today on pitch 12. First I pulled a few pitons and took big falls. Then I broke a few footholds. Five tries later I finally had the new sequence through the bottom worked out. Then I fell at the very end... Twice. Temps never got above freezing. Eight tries in all and no send. The good news is that I am feeling strong. This one just wasn't in the cards for me today."

 
 
8c+ by Dylan Barks (16)  Facebook
 

Dylan Barks has jumped two grades and done Joe Kinder's Southern smoke 8c+ in Red River Gorge. In the -95 ranking game he is #7.

 
 
8a+ OS by Ievgeniia Kazbekova (15)  (1) Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureIevgeniia Kazbekova has onsighted Super Priapos 8a+ and Fun de Chichunne 8a at Kalymnos. In 2010, she won the Youth worlds and she did her first 8b+ being 13 years old.

Her mother Nataliya has a silver and bronze in the Boulder World Championship. Her father Serik was #2 in the Boulder WC in 1999 and in the world championship in 2005, he was #4 in bouldering and #7 in Lead. (c) Anna Piunova Gallery

 
 
Speed bouldering by Gu  Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureGuntram Jörg continues his rampage in Switzerland and during three days he did five 8A+ and three 8B in Sustenpass and the amazing thing is that he did each one in less than 15 minutes.

"Probably this days have been the last possible climbing days before the snow is coming. The conditions have been perfect." (c) Martin Keller

 
 
8A+ flash by Guillaume Glairon-Mondet  Facebook
 

Guillaume Glairon-Mondet has had a good week where he first did two 8B's in Font, then he flashed La Pelle, 8A+ in Cresciano and he also was #2 in IMS Cup after Ondra but ahead of Fischhuber.

 
 
9a FA by Gabri Moroni in China  (1) Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureGabri Moroni has done the FA of Coup de Bambou, 9a in Getu Valley and he is #7 in the game. "Great experience trying it with the international homies Enzo,Dave,Mickey,Jon,Gé!! Sent on my last day in China!" China blog and video by Gabri.

This was the fifth 9a for the very active boulder WC climber who got the bronze in the Euro Championship being 17 year old. In 2008 he was #4 and in 2009 he was #3 in the Boulder WC. (c) Beau Kahler

 
 
8c for the 40m Century Crack roof  (16) Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureOne month ago Pete Whittaker and Tom Randall climbed the 40 meter Century Crack in pink point style meaning the gear was pre placed. It was aided in 2001 and then 9a climber Stevie Haston started to project it calling it Century crack and estimated it to be 9a or harder.

No grade was suggested but after they had done several of the hardest cracks in USA in the weeks that followed they suggested 8c. From Wideboyz.blogspot.com, ""As many people know, Pete and I spent 2 years slogging our guts out in a crack cellar underneath my house.

We trained so specifically for Century Crack – we had an almost exact replica of the whole route and we trained....and trained.... and trained.... We did over 17,000ft of Century Crack climbing in 2 years, which equates to having already climbed it 42 times each!"

 
 
Five 8a's Cathy Wagner (46)  Facebook
 

Cathy Wagner has during the last month done four 8a's and Je hais les gosses, 8a+ in Briançonnais. During the last year the 46 year old has done 17 routes 8a or harder.

 
 
7C+ by Anne Gray (49)  Facebook
 

Anne Gray has done Air tronic, 7C+ at Plex. "Now that put a smile on my face." When she was 42, she did her first 8A out of three and in December she turns 50.

 
 
Caldwell attempting the world hardest? MP  (4) Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureTommy Caldwell is right now up on El Cap trying to do the Dawn Wall - Mescalito project which he has worked with Kevin Jorgeson since 2007. The project goes up on the blankest sector of El Capitain and includes some 30 pitches out of which seven pitches around 8c .

Kevin injured his ankle two weeks ago so Tommy is up there with his wife. Old videos and her Twitter reports by Tommy. Climbing presenteda 35 page uncut interview last year. (c) "Working through pitch 10 this morning. Hope to send tonight!!"

 
 
8b OS by David Firnenburg (16)  (1) Facebook
 

David Firnenburg has during a couple of days in Osp/Misja Pec onsighted Bitka s stalaktiti 8b, one 8a+ and two 8a's. In the ranking game the 17 year old is #15.

 
 
8c+ by Ruben Firnenburg (14)  Facebook
 

Ruben Firnenburg has done Sympathy for the Devil, 8c+ in Frankenjura which is a, "Nice combination of "Queel dich du Sauu" and "Black is basic", mainly crimps."

 
 
8c FA MP by Dani Andrada  Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PicturePetzl reports from their very succesfull Roc trip in Getu China that Dani Andrada has made the first ascent of Corazon de Ensueno, 8c. (c) Sam Biè

Dani who is the who has put up mo´st hard core routes in the world, says, "This is definitely the best climb I have ever created." First he spent 11 days of setting up the eight pitches 7c+ to 8c and then he worked the route for three days.

 
 
7th 8b by Tito Traversa (10)  Facebook
 

Tito Traversa has done his seventh 8b, Sarsifal in Tetto di Sarre. His first 8b (+) he did when he was 9 year old.

 
 
8c+ by Jolly Lamberti (46)  Facebook
 

Planetmountain reports that Jolly Lamberti has done the first repeat of Debolezza e disonore, 8c+ at Grotti which was opened by Fabrizio Peri. Jolly (46) is a training guru from Italy who currently is projecting a 9a+.

 
 
8B+ by Alban Besnier  Facebook
 

Alban Besnier has made a nice personal best doing the first repetition of Julien Nadiras Le Clash, 8B+ in Rioupéroux. Video

 
 
8A+ by Therese Johansen  (2) Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureTherese Johansen reports on her blog that she has done Pura Vida, 8A+ in Magic Wood in snowy conditions. "Must have been tailor made for me... YES I love to crimp!!!(and hate heel hooking)." It was put up by Bernd Zangerl in 2003 as an 8B and this was the fourth female ascent.

 
 
Michi Wohlleben 17 MP in Morocco  Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureMichael Wohlleben gives us a story from Taghia Valley in Morocco. "After A few easy routes I met Toni Arbones (chief of Camping in Siurana) he told me that he bolted a route together with the big Legend Kurt Albert."

3 hours approach and then the 17 pitches, Antro.po.cene up to 8a, which Toni opened last month and then Michi made the first repeat - Very nice video.

 
 
8b+ by Kristina Ondra  (2) Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureChechclimbing reports that Kristina Ondra has done her first 8b+, Kudlanka at Moravsky Kras. Newsworthy is also that the her father has done his first 8a although he has been climbing for more than 25 years. So if his son also is a late bloomer, Adam will do 9c+ at his age. (c) Pepe Piechowicz

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