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8a Climber of the decade
  2009-11-28 00:00:00    
Within 2 weeks, 8a has been visible on the Internet for 10 years. This is a provisonal Climber of the decade list, please comment. 1. Chris Sharma USA First Ascent Pioneer 2. David Graham USA Combined 8a ranking leader for like 7 years 3. Patxi Usobiaga ESP The best comp climber of the decade, 8a route ranking leader 4. Yuji Hirayama JPN Competition, Sport, Boulder and Big wall 5. Josune Bereziartu ESP 9a's and Bigwall 6. Kilian Fischhuber AUT Best Competition Boulderer 7. Dani Andrada ESP FA Legend around Lleida 8. Fred Nicole SWI Boulder Pioneer 9. Tomas Mrazek CZE Continuous in both comp and rock 10. Martina Cufar SLO Continuous in both comp and rock 11. Steve McClure GBR, 12. Muriel Sarkany BEL, 13. Sandrine Levet FRA 14. Ramon Puigblanque ESP, 15. Dai Koyamada JPN 16. Toni Lamprecht 17. Natalija Gros 18. Alexandre Chabot 19. Christian Bindhammer ITA, 20. Jerome Meyer FRA
OffLine Eivind
  2009-11-27 22:11:46    
I see no notice of Ondra, which is good. Because we've probably only seen the beginning of things to happen in the next decade! :-)

I don't have that much knowledge of celebrities, but I think Alexander and Thomas Huber is doing lots of cool stuff. For freeing hard routes on legendary El Capitan, Ulvetanna in Antarctica and on the classic Trango Tower in Pakistan. Climbing isn't all about bouldering and sport, don't forget where it all comes from.
OffLine Iggi Moore
  2009-11-27 22:43:25    
Chris Sharma for showing us what can be done :D
OffLine Jens Larssen
  2009-11-27 23:04:54    
@ Eivind: I agree if we have made a list about rock climbers, Alex would have made the list, but we base this list it on sport climbing and bouldering. You can get extra "points" for doing everything like Hirayama and Bereziartu but the base in not mountains.
OffLine smejkall
  2009-11-27 23:25:50    
Hi Jens,
why is Adam missing?


OffLine User Deactivated
  2009-11-27 23:56:07    
Alex Chabot should be considered the best competition climber
in this decade no one had more world cup event wins and world cups wins

Champion de France 1999 - 2001 - 2002 - 2003 - 2004 - 2005 - 2006
Champion d’Europe 2000 - 2002
Coupe du Monde 2001 - 2002 - 2003
(21 victoires d’étapes de Coupe du Monde)

Master de Shenzhen en Chine 2002 - 2007
Master d’Arco 2002 - 2003 – 2004
Master de Serre Chevalier 2004
Master de Dima 2005
OffLine Herman
  2009-11-28 01:13:04    
While it is very hard to pick the best competition climber. I finfd it strange that 8a has declared Patxi as the best.

For sure the World cups titles are the best measurement.
Chabot has ended 2-1-1-1-2-5-0-0-0-0
Patxi 0-0-67-4-5-6-1-1-4-2
Mrazek 23-3-2-6-1-8-3-2-16
And Kilian has ended 16-11-4-4-2-1-2-2-1-1
Using this measurement you might argue between kilian and chabot, but the rest?

But more importantly 8a has claimed chabot as best competition climber ever on 2 occasions:

I wonder what made them change their mind.
OffLine User Deactivated
  2009-11-28 02:30:56    

2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009
Jerome Meyer
7 - 1 - 3 - 1 - 3 - 2 - 1 - 10 - 23 - 0
18 - 11 - 4 - 8 - 2 - 1 - 2 - 1 - 1 - 1
OffLine Dan Cannaday
  2009-11-28 06:14:03    
Using your own criteria of excelling in bouldering and sport climbing I think the discussion quickly narrows down to Sharma and Graham for excelling and pushing the boundaries in both disciplines consistently for 10 years. BUT if Yuji gets a shout out (and I think rightfully so) how can you ignore Tommy Caldwell - sport 9a+ FA, boulder 8B and numerous big wall free climbing FA's of 8b and harder, and the first repeat of The Nose since Lynn Hill told the boys "it goes". 
OffLine Alon Gurman
  2009-11-28 06:55:30    
I think there is no doubt that Sharma has done more that anyone. plus his movies get me psyched
OffLine Michiel Hennevelt
  2009-11-28 08:13:53    
OMG YES! Where is Tommy Caldwell?? He is a fucking legend.
OffLine Noah
  2009-11-28 08:29:00    
Tommy Caldwell really should be top 3.  he has done amazing first ascents of bouldering (overhang and slab and compression,) sport, big wall,  all at the highest levels  AND HE HAS ONLY 9 FINGERS.  He has only gotten better since his accident and is an inspiration to us all.  His mind is as STRONG as they come. Chris Fred Tommy Dave Matt Wilder Hubers Yuji Nalle Killian Paxti Adam Daniel Paul R. Alex Honold Dani Lyn Hill Thomosina Pidgeon Tim Doyle Toni L. IMHO
OffLine Jens Larssen
  2009-11-28 10:04:39    
@ Frederico & Herman: You could say that Alex Chabot has a better World Cup statistics compared to Patxi. However, Patxi has won the world champion and he has gotten three silvers. Alex Chabot has just one bronze. For me, with Patxi's last title, he is the best lead competitor for the last ten years. If the french federation had not forbidden him to compete, Alex would probably have had the best stats. @ smejkal: We are measuring the last 10 years. @ Noah: Calwell has been included but of course it is not a matter of having 9 fingers or 11. But please explain why he should be Top-3. For me, including also the comp scene Hirayama has a much better track record. You are also mentioning many guys who were 7 - 13 years when this decade begun.
OffLine User Deactivated
  2009-11-28 10:37:31    
And Beth Rodden? incredibly hard trad first ascents... unrepeted by anyone.
OffLine Jens Larssen
  2009-11-28 10:49:31    
Beth has been added, but what is her track record the last 10 year?
OffLine User Deactivated
  2009-11-28 12:57:31    
2002: Phoenix (5.13a, first female onsight) in Yosemite Valley. [ 2 ] 2002: Grand Illusion (5.13c, onsight, first female ascent) at Sugarloaf, California. 2003: West Buttress (5.13c, FFA with Tommy Caldwell) on El
Capitan, Yosemite Valley. All pitches were redpointed at different
times; no continuous free ascent done yet. [ 8 ] 2005: Anaconda (5.13b/c, first female free ascent) at Lumpy Ridge, Rocky Mountain National Park , Colorado. [ 9 ] 2005: Grand Wall (5.13b, Free Ascent) multi-pitch at Squamish , B.C. Canada. 2005: The Optimist (5.14b, FA /FFA) in Smith Rock State Park . 2005: The Nose (VI 5.13, 3rd/4th Free Ascent with Tommy Caldwell)  2008: Meltdown (ungraded, thought 5.14c, FA), Upper Cascade
Falls, Yosemite Valley, California. She worked the 70-foot crack for
most of the winter before redpointing, placing all protection on the
redpoint ascent. Source: wikipedia I think there is no competition for best female trad climber (at least that i know of).
OffLine Jens Larssen
  2009-11-28 13:24:38    
Thanks...I agree that she is the best trad climber. As the list is based on sport climbing and bouldering, it is hard to put her in Top-10.
OffLine Graeme Alderson
  2009-11-28 13:35:41    
Best competition boulderer of the last 10 years? Easy - Sandrinne 5 World Cup titles in 7 years (then stopped doing bouldering). No one else has got 5 titles, plus WCH gold and ECH gold. Best competition climber of the last 10 years? Again Sandrinne . 5 WC titles. Plus 3 medals at WCH (1 gold, 1 silver, 1 bronze) including a gold and a bronze in different disciplines at the same WCH. Plus 2 medals in ECH. 20 golds in World Cups, 15 in boulder, 5 in lead including a double gold at Edinburgh in 2003. Patxi has only won 5 golds in World Cups (the first in Edinburgh, remember Edinburgh Herman?), Sandrinne has matched that in her second discipline. Sandrinne is the only climber to regularly podium in 2 different disciplines. In 2003 she won the boulder title and was 2nd in lead. (Where is she now?) And what about Angie, 4 WC titles plus 2 WCH titles. BTW "Best" is an opinion. 5 titles is a fact.
OffLine Marc Giol
  2009-11-28 13:52:14    
ramon julian only ¿¿¿¿15????  he was world champion and  made the frist ascent of alex huber project (La Rambla (9a+)... he has done many 9a+'s and 9a's -.- the list should be this 1.- Chris Sharma ( to made Fa of jumbo love(9b), redpoint la Rambla, and other hard routes... aolso he redpoints 8C & 8B+ boulders 2.- Adam Ondra ( he make the all that has maked the top climbers in few years. 3.-Patxi Usobiaga 4.- Yuji Hirayama  5.-Kilian Fischhuber 6.- Ramon Julian Puigblanque ( FA and redpoints la rambla and other many 9a+ and 9a routes... aolso he was  wrold champion in 2006, and  win many Arco rock Masters) 7.-Josune Bereziartu (feamle that has done many 9a's ans 8c+... she aolso made dificult big walls. ... ... ... ... 19.-Alex Huber( who can say that "I can do 7c in bigwall , traditional style, and over 6000m of altitude? Huber can for freeing the "eternal flame" of wolfgang gullich this year, and made a 8b+ (komunnist) in free solo and FA free solos in other hard routes in bigwalls.  srry for my poor english
OffLine Jens Larssen
  2009-11-28 14:00:50    
@ Graeme: I agree that Sandrine is the best competition climber the last 10 years. I have added Angela also but she was only 14 when the decade begun.
OffLine Graeme Alderson
  2009-11-28 14:03:48    
So why do you say " Patxi Usobiaga ESP The best comp climber of the decade"
OffLine Jens Larssen
  2009-11-28 14:08:08    
It says Lead climber of the decade!
OffLine Graeme Alderson
  2009-11-28 14:13:56    
You have changed the front page. That is not very honest. And Angie has a better record than Patxi anyway. 4 WC titles and 2 WCH golds.
OffLine Mike Smith
  2009-11-28 14:23:24    
@It says Lead climber of the decade!

In that case the english climber called James McHaffie perhaps the best onsight traditional climber in the world.

First to free climb 8c+ slab pitch on the big-wall project in Madagascar’s Tsaranoro Massif. Climbs E9 very fast. Onsights regularly E7's.

First alpine route: Voie Petit 8b on the Grand Capucin (3838m) in the Mont Blanc.

He doesn't have an 8a scorecard nor boasts about what he climbs.
OffLine Jens Larssen
  2009-11-28 14:31:58    
@ Graeme: The original news is always seen at the top of the forum. As it could be mis-understood from the beginning it is of course very good to change it. It is honest to always show the original news. I will change it to male as this was the original meaning, thanks :-) @ Mike: We are talking the 8a Climber of the year, meaning that we base the rankings on sport and bouldering. I am sure that James McHaffie would be higher up in an onsight trad climber of the decade.
OffLine Vanlu
  2009-11-28 14:45:07    

as lider of the crowd

and then there is the rest of the common herd...

PD: Keep Ondra for the next climber of the millenium
OffLine Mike Smith
  2009-11-28 14:47:16    
Thanks Jens. That is clearer.

Could you make that clearer in your headlines, best sport climber of the year/decade, best boulderer of the year/decade, best competition climber of the year/decade.

Otherwise it is disrespectul and not very brave and humble to many climbers in the world who do the alpine, trad, big wall etc.

Keep up the great work.
OffLine Jens Larssen
  2009-11-28 15:00:42    
Thanks...the headline says 8a Climber of the decade. It is a working document and in the 8a yearbook, we will make that it is easy understandable as you suggest. @ Vanlu: I would have voted Fred Top-3 if we would have based our list on 95-05.
OffLine User Deactivated
  2009-11-28 15:16:55    
It would be less questionable if the list wasn't numbered and ordered alphabetically is not fair for any climber to be listed in ranking positions for things done in 10 years period in different disciplines of climbing as Routes, bouldering, competition, Male and Female...

You say WCH are more important than WC's a WC is composed of several events sometimes with a higher level than a WCH because of team quotas...

Alexandre Chabot was unbeatable for 3 years in a row by a large margin compared to other climbers

Fred Nicole established the first 8C and after that i didn't kept sending hard stuff 8C's and 8B+

Why should Dani Andrada be ranked above Fred Nicole? or Yuji be so high ranked if you dont count on trad climbing and he didnt had great competition results since 2000
You could stay 10 years building up this list and it will never be fair

My sugestion is take out the rank and sort them alphabetically is the only way...
OffLine Jens Larssen
  2009-11-28 15:32:46    
I agree that such a list will never be fair. One alternative is always to mention the guys in an alfabetic order but if we rank top-20, there will of course be plenty of gus knocking on a door. The best way to be fair is to do nothing :-) If we just different in your suggested categories, Hirayama would not be high up in the list. I do not think this is fair :-) Maybe be only rank the top-10 and then goes by alfabetical order but then it is not fair to the #11. I agree that it is more important to win the overall WC title than just winning the World Champion.
Dani has put up more hard routes than any other person in the world. He has probably put up 3 times as many as the runner-up. This is something we also would like to include in the list.
OffLine Joseba Saiz
  2009-11-28 16:23:06    
Where is Iker Pou???
- 9a repoint (sport climbing)
- 8b+ on sight (sport climbing)
- 8b+ redpoint (bouldering) - 8c+/9a redpoint (big wall)
OffLine BananaMan
  2009-11-28 18:15:16    
Fred Rouhling?
OffLine Jens Larssen
  2009-11-28 18:34:49    
They have been added...thanks.
OffLine Pascal Heger
  2009-11-28 18:43:44    
wow.. next to this, we should also vote for the best climber of the world, best climber of the universe, best European climber, Best American climber, best Asian Climber, best climber of the century, best climber of all time, best solo climber, best sports climber, best freeclimber, best aid climber, best boulderer, most inspirational climber, etc. cut the crap and lets go climbing. Best climber in the world is the one with the most fun.. Nice quote of Alex Lowe. perhaps he should get a reward.
OffLine Jens Larssen
  2009-11-28 19:06:30    
When 8a publishes Climber of the year lists etc, it creates awareness for the community of who are the best. This credit is of course very good for the climbers when their sponsor contract is set up.
OffLine John Meget
  2009-11-28 22:16:12    
Graeme's position that Sandrinne is the best competition climber of the decade shows why we need to separate men from women.  Would Sandrinne have won any competitions, if she had been climbing against the men?  By lumping men and women together, you are saying that someone who likely would not have qualified for the men's finals is the best comp climber of all. 
OffLine Mike Smith
  2009-11-28 23:32:48    
@Jens: When 8a publishes Climber of the year lists etc, it creates awareness for the community of who are the best. This credit is of course very good for the climbers when their sponsor contract is set up.

Please do not tell people to poo under rocks at the cliffs like you did last year in your 8a book.

That is very bad and creates access problems and is very unhealthy and does not look good.

No one wants poo under rocks at the cliff.

Please take access more seriously. Not just words.
OffLine Mike Smith
  2009-11-28 23:34:12    

That was very bad.
OffLine Tye Watkins
  2009-11-29 03:40:23    
Indeed, it is not fair to put men and women in the same category. They simply do not play on the same field (yet) when it comes to hard climbing. I would personally vote for Sharma. I don't really think there has been anything done in the last decade that can compare to his completion of Realization. It is probably the single most influential climb in the climbing "scene."
OffLine Jens Larssen
  2009-11-29 10:39:00    
@ Mike: 8a dedicated the inside back cover to Access, which was also supported by the Access Fund. The Access Fund did not have any problems on what 8a wrote and I have never before heard any complaint. It seems you have misunderstood what we say. "Please do not tell people to poo under rocks at the cliffs like you did last year in your 8a book." We are saying that should walk away and then put rocks on top of your poo. This is just an example that most of the criticism is actually based of misunderstandings!
OffLine Mike Smith
  2009-11-29 11:26:13    
@ Jens: The Access Fund did not have any problems on what 8a wrote

Good morning Jens. I hope today sees you well.

I am good friends with Joe Sambataro — Access Director of the American Access Fund. I will check with him about this message on your beautiful year book.

I think your message, "walk away and then put rocks on top of your poo" could cause misunderstanding.

The improper disposal of human waste at our cliffs worldwide is a major cause of access problems.

Better to say..

- Go toilet at nearest town before you go climbing.
- If there is a portable toilet at the cliff use it
- As a last resort, if you need to poo, walk well away from the cliff, dig a small hole, poo, then bury it.

That is less open to misunderstandings.

I will be in touch as regards investment at your beautiful website but this week I am busy in meetings with Marco Scolaris and Reindert Lenselink and the IFSC as regards investments to fund climbing as an Olympic sport.

Best regards and keep up your great life work.
OffLine Lorenz Ulmer
  2009-12-01 19:22:29    
What about Nalle? Best boulderer ever...
OffLine Jens Larssen
  2009-12-01 21:21:06    
Nalle was just 13 when the decade started. If we were to calculate just the last 5 years, he would have been up there on the list.
OffLine Petr Pavlicek
  2009-12-25 17:41:07    
Nalle is great, but definitely not the best ever! At least not yet. Adam is already now quite clearly stronger in bouldering, and he is NOT bouldering specialist. But he is really just somewhere else than the rest of the world as well as in competitions and rocks (together with Chris). I know very good what I write. But anyway, I would not dare to say that Adam is the best boulderer ever... I would decide between Fred? Dave?? Adam very soon, after he gets a time and chance to try the hardest boulders in "human" conditions, not like last week in Swiss?
OnLine Hank Sato
  2009-12-27 01:15:28    
Climbing has become so versatile during the past decade that I personally feet is is a bit nonesense to determine climber of the decade.  This is like deternining who the best ball game player in the past decade including baseball (outdoor sport climb), football (bouldering), soccer (trad climbing), basketball (alpine climbing), cricket (World Cup Competition Events) and so on.   But, I would not deny this idea. If we are to determnine one person, though, I personlly think the person who gave most influence in the climbing community should have been awarded.
OffLine roberto trenkschalter
  2009-12-27 11:45:52    
when you put climbers like nalle, dai, or even toni lamprecht on the should also mention bernd zangerl.
he was the first who repeated DREAMTIME....(he is the only one who did like fred nicole !!! ) all other people afterwards climbed dreamtime with the "hook".
BERND was already boulderer of the year in 2003, (CLIMBING MAGAZINE ) for his first ascents. He climbed seven 8C boulder problems ( ....and i know that some of them are 8b+ now...after all those years ) BUT he is still the only one ( ..and many people tried :-) ) who repeated FROM THE DIRT......and he made the 2nd ascent of ENTLINGE ......BERND and his friends opened places like MAGIC WOOD ( and i think bernd opend most of the problems there) ...which are bouldering hot spots now. .....and he made one of the best BOULDERING MOVIES, and opend some if the best lines in, at least he should be mentioned ?????
OffLine Jens Larssen
  2009-12-27 14:05:42    
Thanks...he has been added.
OffLine Tom Thudium
  2009-12-29 14:34:36    
ahh and if you add one of the bindhammers its ok But as italian guys????? Why you make this ranking? you could maybe take the 10 hardest routes in the last 10 years on everyones scorcard and make a 'real' ranking so even I would know how important I am in this decade (maybe position 127942?)Yeahh.  I guess you would trust this ranking if your hero chris sharma would have a scorcard. And yes I am bored.
OffLine Jens Larssen
  2009-12-29 18:40:36    
Christian Bindhammer is already in the list.

In every sport you have list like this. Why can we not have it in climbing also?

We can make a list based on the hardest route but such a redpoint list I guess is of less interest.

That would be to rank the 100m sprinters based on their Top-10 times.
OffLine Tom Thudium
  2009-12-31 13:53:51    
Yeah than I say it more obvious if you don't understand: Christian Bindhammer is from Germany and NOT italy. and yes I would rank 100m sprinters maybe even on their one personal best time at least I guess every sprinter has one (in comparisson to a score card)