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Ask the 8a Coach #9: How to get better lock-off power?  Facebook

How to train my biceps in a fun way to get as good lock-off power as the boys? Just doing pull-ups is dead boring!
Yuji Hirayama once told me that one of his best training exercises was simply to lock-off and count to five on every move also on easier Routes or Boulders. You can actually make it a game with your friends when Bouldering indoors. However, do not overdo it the first few times in order not to get an elbow injury.

Adam Ondra interview: Training, Comps and Rock  Facebook

Rainshadow 9a by William Bosi (17)  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureWilliam Bosi, who was #3 in the European Youth Championship last year, has done his first 9a, Rainshadow in Malham. "Super psyched and in shock after possibly my best every day climbing." Video of the the nice crux..

- Basically Rainshadow is by far the hardest route I've ever done and one of the best. It is probably the most inspiring line at Malham and one of the most in Britain. It climbs through the steepest and longest part of the Malham roof and its pretty much in the middle of the cove as well. This was the first route I've ever spent more than 2 days on so I really got a feel for the projecting side of climbing but I'm not sure I'm convinced.

This route was my main ambition for this year so now I'm keen just to go to lots of crags and try I lots of hard routes. The main ones I have in mind are Hubble and Hunger 9a. I'm also hoping to get some good results in the youth competitions this year.

8A+ by Malgorzata Rudzinska  (1) Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureMalgorzata Rudzinska, a former Speed climber from Poland, who has achieved two Top-8 positions in Youth World Championship, has done her first 8A+, Amores Perros in Borzęta. It is especially impressive since there is no good climbing wall in her area (it was closed down in 2014) and there is four hour drive to any good rock.
(c) Gajewski-foto

2020: 9-year-olds will do 8b's and they'll progress to 9a being 13  Facebook

During the last few years, we have seen an extreme grade progress in children's performance. What used to create a headline some five years ago, i.e. a 13-year-old doing an 8b+ is not so special any longer. If this trend continues, we will have 9-year-old doing 8b's by 2020 and then they will progress to 9a being 13 years old.

The two most famous wonder-kids are of course Adam Ondra and Ashima Shiraishi but in few years, there might be a handful that can copy them or even climb harder. The rationale is of course that today there is possibly 10 times more kids climbing compared to 2000, when Adam Ondra was seven years old. In the long run, climbing will be recognized as the sport where small girls perform at high male senior standard.

Chonqing WC Final -  Facebook

Smart Festival at Melloblocco presented by Vertical-Life  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureFrom 5 to 8 May, the Bouldering world will meet again in Val Masino, northern Italy for the legendary Melloblocco. This year, there’s a new open fun contest, which features the Vertical-Life Climbing App. Everybody is welcome to take part and discover different Masterpiece Climbing Circuits throughout the valley.

Climbers can use their smartphones, download the Vertical-Life climbing app, check out the special Melloblocco Event guide and benefit from live social features. The guide provides topos, access maps and gives the possibility to mark sent boulders with a ‚Zlag‘. All the live results are displayed at the Melloblocco Center and on Vertical-Life website. The real time ascents are also visible in the Zlagfeed and in the local hero ranking in the app. In order to be able to synchronize offline Zlags, the organizers provide wifi-hotspots at the Melloblocco Center and throughout the valley.

There are four difficulty levels and different rankings for male and female. It is possible to register for the individual and team score. Also, the more difficult money blocs for pros are visible in the app with topos and access info.

Climbers can register for the event online or on-site and receive their free access code with the starter package at the Melloblocco registration desk.

Semi final China World Cup  Facebook

Dabbing ethics?  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureDabbing normally means that a boulderer has touched the ground or the spotter in a swing. The general ethics says that a dab means an invalid ascent no matter how small such dab was. The problem is of course that if we start to say that minimalistic dabs are OK, it is impossible to draw the line.

In theory, also the chalk bag may dab sometimes it could make a difference also meaning that such dab should be considered as an invalid ascent. However, if get deeper into the case, a hand or a chalk bag that touches the ground during chalking, like in the picture, or even a friend holding up a chalk bag is should not normally invalid the ascent, although such situations should be avoided.

Surely, the purest ethics should only be used for the ascents that make headlines. If you, as a spotter, make a mistake by which your friend just slightly dabs you during a swing for a 6A personal best, just keep smiling. If it is an 8A, you might instead say that you do not know and claim that it is up to the climber to make the call.

Boulder World Cup after 3 events  Facebook

1. Alexey Rubtsov RUS 177 - Shauna Coxsey GBR 300
2. Rustam Gelmanov RUS 165 - Melissa Le Neve FRA 203
3. Kokoro Fujii JPN 155 - Miho Nonaka JPN 153
4. Jan Hojer GER 152 - Akiyo Noguchi JPN 147
5. Tomoa Narasaki JPN 138 - Fanny Gibert FRA 131
Complete results.

Practice of the wild 8C and 2 8B's in Magic Wood for Dave MacLeod (37)  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureDave MacLeod has had a couple of very good days in Magic Wood climbing Practice of the wild 8C. He also repeated Steppenwolf 8B in 3 tries and made a quick ascent of Dark Sakai 8B.

A couple of weeks earlier he climbed Shallow Water to Riverbed 8B+. Click here for his blog with a video.

Dave should be considered to be one of the best overall climbers in the world having been on the cutting edge in trad, winter and ice climbing. auther having publish two training books and here is his 8C story which includes dropping six kilos.

Coxsey wins fourth WC straight and Narasaki gains his first victory  (1) Facebook

Shauna Coxey won her fourth WC event straight, including also having won the last year. Last week in Japan she won both the semi and the final rounds. Last year she was #2 overall after Akiyo Noguchi, who was the runner-up in China. Among the male, Tomoa Narasaki got his first victory, having been #18 and #15 in the two first events.
Complete results.

8A+ in Poland by Malgorzata Rudzinska  Facebook

Bouldering in Adamov - Poland  Facebook

Five Ten upgrades their Quantum  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureThe upgraded Quantum is a bit wider and the heel is a bit higher so now it fits my foot perfectly. At the same time, the heal is softer so I can belay standing with half the foot outside the shoe. After the first day I thought they were too big as they were just too comfortable but after ten days, they have not stretched at all and as they are stiffer they are about to become my new favorite shoe for standing on micro-edges. Possibly, it could also relate to the fact that they are relatively pointy instead of rounded. At the same time, they have the fastest lacing I have ever tried, where it is good enough just to pull at the ends of the laces. More info here.

Extreme rock collapse in Brazil starts after 53 seconds  Facebook

Fontainebleau - A Bit of Beta  Facebook

Fontainebleau - A Bit of Beta from David Mason on Vimeo.

Youth World Champion Filip Schenk and his trainer on a classical MP in South Tyrol  Facebook

Climbing in South Tyrol // Traumpfeiler, Val Gardena // Filip Schenk & Stefan Stuflesser from Vertical Life on Vimeo.

Adam Ondra tries 9a+ flash and Sharma says he has 9c, 9c+, 10a ability  (5) Facebook

Hypnotized minds upgraded to 8C+ and Woods working on a link-up with an 8A start  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureDaniel Woods put up Hypnotized minds as an 8C in 2010. Already in 2012, 8a started to say that It is time to step up/Upgrade to 8C+, using Hypnotized minds as an example. The upgrade suggestion was based on the fact that some of top guys had tried it with no success.

Some 15 years ago, 8a said (since we wanted to present as correct news as possible) that many Boulder grades outside Font were deflated. Complaints were put forward saying that it was only the repeaters who can suggest downgrading or upgrading, in regards to Hypnotized minds.

The simple reason why 8a was able to predict grades so well is the Grading theory we have followed since 2000.

"Rating is based on individual subject suggestions - and confirmed by facts and results by the climbing community." Sure feelings and opinions are important but in the long run, the success ratio for the community is a better measurement. Later we have precised it even more with the Time Comparison scale.

It should be mentioned that when we talked to Daniel Woods some years ago, he said that Hypnotized minds could surely be an 8C+, which many of his friends speculated in but he wanted to be absolutely sure before suggesting the new standard grade.

There are many more 8C's that should be upgraded as the community has clearly taken huge steps since the first 8C was established some 15 years ago. Within a couple of years, we should have the first 9A and one contender might be Woods's new link-up project.

Hard slabs in Fontainebleau  Facebook

Bouldering in the Santa Monica Mountains  Facebook

Papichulo 9a+ by Said Belhaj  (1) Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureSaid Belhaj has finished his longest project ever and done his first 9a+, Chris Sharma's Papichulo in Oliana. Full story on Said's website. (c) Walker Emerson

- I don’t think I’ve ever had a route this dialed and rarely had to fight so hard. At the headwall, after the hardest sections, I knew that I could do it if I just didn’t hesitate. And if the 1st section is my anti style, up there I was in my element climbing a muerte. This is what I’ve done and trained for all my life: go fast, go 100%, let go of anxiety and totally tune in with the freedom of moving on rock. There is always a kind of magical feeling when you suddenly succeed with something you kept on failing on before.

If I would to pick a route based on the grade (a phenomenon that I’ve noticed: people climbing grades, not routes), ”Papi” would probably be pretty low on the list. The whole first section is harder the shorter you are and I’m terrible on resistance on small holds. A steep route in a cave would’ve been more in line with ”what I’m good at”. But climbing has never been about that: we climb to challenge our selves, it has never been about making climbing easy. Climb routes that we find beautiful and some of them talk louder to us than others.

Record in the number 9a's and harder during the last year  Facebook

During the last 12 months, a total of 103 ascents of 9a and harder have been recorded in the 8a database, 20 out of which are 9a+'s and there are 5 9b's. In comparison with previous years, this is an almost 20% increase. In total, the number of 9a ascents and harder done in the world is believed to be at least 150 last year.

The first 9a's were Action Direct and Hubble, which, during the four last years, have been repeated three times in total. One might speculate that one reason why these old school routes are so seldom repeated is that they are in fact harder for modern climbers?

Adam Ondra on Stoking the fire 9b  Facebook

The best route for Adam Ondra in Catalunya. Check those knee-drops...

40+ local ladies climb 6000 peaks in Andes  Facebook

Sixth 8A by Oriane Bertone (11)  Facebook

Ask the 8a coach #8: How long to rest between attempts?  Facebook

How long should I rest in between attempts depending of different type of routes?
One of the things that Adam Ondra is famous for is taking very long rests, sometimes more than 60 minutes, so that could be a guideline. If we are talking about short routes where you did fall after just a minute of climbing, you could actually try again after just some minutes. However, in general, you should rest longer than you think, which might also relate to the desire of climbing. If you feel like you are fresh after 30 minutes and you are eager to climb, add some 50% and you will just get more psyched. Stretching is perfect for killing time in between burns.

9a by Michael Gunsilius  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureMichael Gunsilius has done his first 9a, Frontman Deluxe in Allgäu, which was opened by Christian Bindhammer in 2009.

-I tried the route the first time three years ago with a good friend of mine, Fabian Buhl. It felt pretty tough back then. The following Season I made a couple of nice linkups and noticed some progress on this project, but the time was limited as I started working for a consulting company during 2015. I then tried the route again more often in fall 2015, mainly on weekends when commuting home.

Unfortunately, the year ended without success, but I was super psyched and motivated to master this climb and started strict training during winter. After a few tries in spring I felt I had the needed preparation for this route. A good time management and a supportive boss helped me freeing up some hours during the last two weeks to do a a couple of tries. The conditions were good last Sunday and I was lucky enough to finish this amazing piece of rock. I really enjoyed to do this climb together with Fabian.

Webb unlocks new beta of Hukkataival's hardest project  Facebook

Ask the 8a coach #7: How to optimize recovering rests?  Facebook

I do not know where to rest and I normally do not feel that I recover when resting. How to optimize recovering rests?
This is of course very personal and it depends on each route. If we are talking about real shake-outs, try to get into a yoga meditation mode where you can count your breathing. Chalking up should be done in slow motion. Try to create your bubble. If you are very pumped sometimes you actually need to rest with your arms above your head or just skip the rest if you are close to the anchor.

Mayan Smith-Gobat completing Riders on the Storm #4  Facebook

Mayan Smith-Gobat completing Riders on the Storm #3  Facebook

Wild landscapes of Norway  (2) Facebook

Kazo Final Highligt  Facebook

Cullen siblings tearing it up  Facebook

Dru Mack sends Southern Smoke 8c+  Facebook

Ruben Firnenburg projecting Seleccio Natural 9a  Facebook

Adam Ondra does the FA of a 9a+/b in Misja Pec  Facebook

Can a chipped route get 3 stars?  Facebook

8a and its members have been working actively against chipping by marking it in the scorecard for many years. Adam Ondra is one of the most active ones with some 59 routes marked as, "Poor / Mainly Chipped". It seems that chipping routes has become much less common lately, which is just great.

Another way of reducing the risk that first ascentionists would start chipping again could be to mark the routes as chipped in topos and also stop giving stars to such routes? Sure a nice crossover move is often pretty cool but to manufacture such sequence and then say it is such a nice 3-star route is passing the wrong message.

Kazo Final  Facebook

Alex Megos does 20+ boulders 8A and harder in Sweden  (1) Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureAlex Megos has had some extremely productive days in Sweden. First he established the hardest graded problem in Sweden, Jon Assis 8B/+ in Focksta and did a handful of 8A's and harder. The last 2.5 days he has spent in Västervik where he has been amazed of the high quality of rock. In Västervik, he did 16 boulders 8A and harder including five 8B's. (c) Daniela Ebler Launched!  (16) Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureWe're thrilled to announce that the private beta for our new scorecard has been launched!

The first 500 users on the mailing list got access today and we're expanding to more users soon. If you would like to get a beta invite, head over to the Beta website and sign up for the newsletter!

First new features:
- Full responsive redesign
-- Designed for all devices ranging form mobile phones to desktop computers
- New scorecard layout
- New trend graph
-- Stacked linegraph showing different types of ascents
-- It is now possible to switch between points and number of ascents
- Less page refreshes when using the scorecard
- Less advertisements results and a more friendly user experience

Stranik missed the semi isolation  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureMartin Stranik, who was #2 in the first WC, did not notice when the isolation for the semi started and was disqualified as he was four minutes late.

"Sometimes shit happens...I was late in isolation for 4 minutes, come at 8.04, and all my thinks were just about that i am soooo stupid! I was just looking on provisional program and thought that there is no change for semis isolation time, because nothing was mentioned on meeting ....but provisional has changed..shit shit shit, I am sorry for all of you and now very angry on myself and sad."

Rustam Gelmanov wins in Kazo  (4) Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureRustam Gelmanov, WC winner in 2012, won the great event in Kazo with excellent route setting and commentary. The big sensation was that the 20-year-old Michael Piccolruaz, who was #45 in the first event, got the silver after being #17 in the qually and second last into the semifinal. Interesting is also that nobody from the Top-8 in the first event made it to the final in Kazo.

1. Rustam Gelmanov RUS 3t3 4b4
2. Michael Piccolruaz ITA 2t2 4b8
3. Kokoro Fujii JAP 2t4 3b6
Complete results

Shauna Coxsey superior in Kazo  Facebook

Shauna Coxsey, who won the first WC two weeks ago, won all three rounds in Kazo and in the final she was so superior that she has already secured the title after three problems. Melissa Le Neve was the runner-up as she was also in the first event and in total she has been #2, four times.

1. Shauna Coxsey GBR 4t7 4b7
2. Melissa Le Neve FRA 2t2 4b5
3. Miho Nonaka JAP 2t3 4b6
Complete results

Ondra might boycott the Olympics with the suggested Combined format  Facebook

Previously, Chris Sharma has said that the Combined format suggested by IFSC for the Olympics "is a big shame".

Five Ten Quantum presented by Thomas Huber  Facebook

Kraft talks with Jerry Moffat  Facebook

Kraft Talk with Jerry_Moffatt: ”Power is a quality thing.“ from cafekraft on Vimeo.

Mofatt and Moon old school training for 8c+  Facebook

Gimme Kraft History Channel: Ben Moon & Jerry Moffatt training for 8c+ from cafekraft on Vimeo.

8b+ by Mirko Caballero (12)  (4) Facebook

Mirko Caballero has done his fifth 8b+, Scarface in Smith Rocks. "Yea! So psyched to send this rig! Great powerful climbing leads to a hard sequence over the lip and then fun scary run-out face climbing to the top! Good 'ole Smiffy classic!" In the Combined Ranking Game the 12 year old is #1 for youngsters up to 19 years old!

Favresse' hardest crack in Norway  (13) Facebook

Click to Enlarge PicturePlanet Mountain reports that Nicolas Favresse has opened The Recovery Drink in Jössingfjord - Norway, giving it no grade but saying it is his hardest crack ever, so it should be at least 8c. Nicolas comments that some gear was pre-placed in order to make it easier to clean the 35 m overhanging crack after falls.

I have finally sent my long term king line crack project in Norway last Wednesday! I feel so happy and complete;) It's for sure one of the coolest line I have ever climbed and the hardest crack I have ever redpointed. (c) Jean-Louis Wertz

7C+ flash by Alexandra Ladurner  Facebook

Alexandra Ladurner has made a very impressive flash of Dark dog 7C+ in Zillertal which no other 8a member has flashed, included several top guys. "Totally unexpected. Maybe completely my style...great day!

9a by Mateusz Haladaj  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureMateusz Haladaj has done Ciudad de dios which is his fourth 9a in Santa Linya the last 12 months and he is #5 in the ranking game.

"So happy! My desired and hardest project so far. Solid grade considering there are two 8c+ sections in a row, feels closer to 9a+… Very thanks to all the nice people I’ve met in the cave for a great atmosphere and support. Hasta proxima amigos!

8b by Maggie Smith-Odette (43)  Facebook

Maggie Smith-Odette has done her first 8b, Faithless in Coliseum which is very impressive as she started to climb when she was 29 years old and now is 43.
"FFA. hardest thing i've ever done. nothing better than a route that pumps the shit out of you before you get to the hard moves! ***

Two 8B's and two 8c+'s by Alfons Dornauer (19)  Facebook

Alfons Dornauer is in great shape having, the last week, done two 8B boulders in Zillertal and yesterday he did Reality Check 8c+ in Schleier Wasserfall. In the combined ranking game, the 19 year old is #8.

Today he added The Source 8c+ in Zillertal to his impressive Tick list. "3rd go this year, had to brush the route at first, soo dirty!!! Conditions were perfect! One of the most stunning lines in the valley! MASTERPIECE!!!

8B+ FA by Daniel Woods  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureDaniel Woods has made yet another high quality hard core test piece by The Purge 8B+ in Elkland. The 23-year-old is #1 in the ranking game which he has been for more or less for the last five years.

"Dave and I found this prow a while back and Dave gave it a try before departing to Europe. He told me it was really good, so I decided to pay it a visit and became obsessed over the movement. The full package line! Crux iron cross from left hand micro crimp to right hand slopery arête leads you into a desperate hand flip into a left hand underclin, followed by compression climbing, The topout is not easy either. I resorted to a night session to get better temps. One of my favorite lines.

Another 9a by Alexander Megos  (10) Facebook

Click to Enlarge reports that Alexander has done Pantera 9a on his third go. An interview with his trainer, Patrick Matros, is coming up.

Regarding Markus Bock, who has put up 13 out of the 15 9a's in Frankenjura, Pantera is the #12 hardest. Alexander has previously done the two hardest during this spring. ©

Corona 9a+ by Alexander Megos  (27) Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureAlexander Megos has repeated Corona 9a+ which FA (2006) Markus Bock ranks #1 hardest in Frankenjura. "It was a nice route. I liked it a lot.", says Alexander. Adam Ondra made the first repeat in 2009.

Two months ago, the 19 years old made the first 9a onsight, Estato Critico and a second go ascent of La Rambla 9a+. Training article by Megos trainer for five years. (c) Ignacio Sandoval Buron reports that he needed 10 tries over a total of three days spread out over six months and that he did it actually twice in order to get some nice pictures.

Rainshadow 9a by Jordan Buys  (2) Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureJordan Buys jumps two grades by doing his first 9a, Rainshadow in Malham which was set up by Steve McClure. "Best climbing day of my life so far!!!" (c) CAC.

Steve comments, "A great effort. Jordan has really put the time and effort in, and totally deserves to get the ascent. He's been trying it a lot and was shut down last year by a terribly wet season with awful conditions. I’m really glad that at last a Brit has climbed one of my 9’s – hopefully more will follow, there are another 6 or so out there! Rainshadow is a truly brilliant route, perhaps my best, on the best UK sport cliff.

Era Vella 9a by Michaël Fuselier  (10) Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureMichaël Fuselier has done Chris Sharma's Era Vella in Margalef, the high class and most repeated 9a in the world. It was Mikaels first 9a for the French who has been a succesful competiton climber who a dozen times have made it into the finals in the Lead World Cup. Here his blog in French with pictures. (c) Ignacio Sandoval Buron

8b+ sport route on trad gear by James Pearson  (6) Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureJames Pearson has done the first repeat by A Denti Stretti 8b+ at La Balma, 18 years after the FA by Allesandro Manini and he did not use his bolts!

First James made an onsight attempt taking a gigantic fall from the final boulder, 2/3 down the route.

More info at James blog. " It’s funny how you can sometimes make your best performance when you least expect it, when you feel tired, or weak, or just don’t care any more." (c) Riky Felderer

9a+ FA by Alexander Megos  (1) Facebook

Alexander Megos has opened Classified 9a+ in Frankenjura. It was bolted by Carsten Seidel some ten years ago and later Christian Bindhammer rebolted it and made it an open project. Last month the 19-year old onsighted Estado Critico 9a and did La Rambla 9a+ second go in Siurana.

In total, Alexander spent three days on the 20 m project and regarding the grade he uses the 9a+ estimation that was given by both Bindhammer and Markus Bock. More info at

Mind Control 8c (+) by Barbara Raudner (40)  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureBarbara Raudner has done Mind Control 8c (+) in Oliana which was put up by Chris Sharma. "For me Mind Control is the most beautiful route I have ever tried. I am very grateful to have had the opportunity to climb such a fantastic line in that international spot in Oliana.

Thanks to all the nice people with who we spend a really great time there. Thanks for all the „venga, venga“!! Hope to see you all again!! Vamos!!"
full story at her website (c) Claudiaziegler

First 8b+ by Kristin Yurdin (42)  (1) Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureDPM has a nice story of Kristin Yurdin who after nearly twenty years of climbing, has done her first 8b+, Chemical Ali at Smith Rock.

The 42 year old, has been projecting it for three years but she has had limited time as she runs the climbing friendly restaurant Terrebonne Depot with up to 60 hours work.

Part of the success this year was weighted pull-ups after climbing, doing three sets of three pull-ups with 19 kg. Her husband describes also a crucial part of Kristin’s training program as finger-boarding, tread-walling, cutting stuff, grilling things, lifting heavy French fry baskets and carrying cases of wine up 12-foot ladders. Photo: Ian Yurdin

8b again by the Hörst brothers 10 & 12  (11) Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureCameron Hörst (12) has done True Love in Red River Gorge which was his seventh 8b and harder send. "Really small holds and way reachy for my size. I agree with Mike Doyle, this is harder than God's Own Stone!"

The day after, little brother Jonathan (10) did Swingline 8b. "Great route; very complex-- it took me seven tries." Last month, the little brother did God's Own Stone which goes at 8b+ in the latest topo.

Here is a recent training article focusing on kids progress, made by their father Eric. Eric has sold more than 300 000 climbing training books and has been climbing for more than 35 yeras but when it comes to climbing hard, his sons are now 2-3 grades ahead.

8a+ trad on bolts by Caroline Ciavaldini  (1) Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureCaroline Ciavaldini blogs about her trad send of the bolted Grazie Ricky 8a+ in Cadarese. "It is a bastion of trad in the Italian Alps and a place of battles between pro-bolts and Trad-addicts. I must say that this granite cliff cut with perfect cracks fits quite well to placing friends!

In short, I was scared to death, but jumped into the route with one thing in my head: in Trad, being scared doesn’t help at all. If you know where to place the protection, you just have to focus on the climb and place your gear quickly and well! Easier said than done you would tell me? Oh no, when I do Trad, there is a little "click", I go into robot mode. Once my decision taken, I climb, and even though I'm afraid somewhere inside of me, it does not interfere with my climbing. Quite a magical moment!

'Estato Crítico', 9a by André Neres  (1) Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureAndré Neres (pic© Ignacio Sandoval Burón) has done his first 9a, Estado Critico in Siurana. "Epic journey for me. Proud to be able to deal with the time pressure... It was a team sending, for sure, thanks to all involved! :)"

What are your thoughts from the amazing 9a onsight by Alexander Megos? "Well, I think Alex OS was just astonishing. It wasn't "just" an 9a onsight, it's a really hard OS. I mean the route is not the best one for OS. It's technical and demanding in many aspects, a quite intense boulder problem and after power resistance where there are no good holds, you can't just stop and watch carefully what to do.

9a FA by Chris Zehani (38)  (5) Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureChris Zehani has done his fourth 9a FA, Riders on the storm in Cevennes. "Such a wonderful line very diverse in difficulty, holds and overhangs. To summarize
: the perfect line (hard, beautiful and natural)."
Read full comment. By looking at the trend diagram we can clearly see that the 38 year old is improving year by year.

8b+ (c) onsight by Evgeniya Malamid  (3) Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureEvgeniya Malamid has onsighted Los Humildes pa Casa 8b+ in Oliana. "It was just the last route of the day and I wasn't going to onsight it."

It was set up as an 8c which some still think it is although the start is changed. The are less than a handful female that have onsighted 8b+ before including an 8c by Charlotte Durif.

The last year Evgeniya was #9 in the Lead World Cup. "This year I'm going to compete in the World Cup and the European Championship, now climbing on rocks is for pleasure and for training before the season!" (c) Heiko Wilhelm

8a and 7c+ OS by Mirko Caballero (12)  (1) Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureMirko Cabalero has done his third 8a onsight, Big Burly in Red River Gorge and the 12 year old is #2 in the junior combined ranking. " It feels good to be back on the rock after my broken finger.

I started climbing very early as my parents are climbers too. 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.

8b+ OS and more by Sachi Amma  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureSachi Amma, who did Era Vella 9a last week, has continued showing great form onsighting Migrayana Profundo 8b+ in Siurana. The Lead World Cup winner 2012 has also done Coma Sent Pere 8c+ second go and some other impressive sends in Siurana. The picture by Eddie Gianelloni is from the 8b+ onsight.

8c+ onsight by Magnus Midtbö in Rodellar  (10) Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureMagnus Midtbö finished a six week trip in Spain, where most of the time was spent projecting a wet 9b, by doing an epic onsight by Cosi van tutte, 8c+ in Rodellar. There are only four other guys who have onsighted at this level including Alexander Megos recent 9a.

The adventure to reach the crag included 200 m swimming in 10 degrees water against the stream. "After getting to the other side, I could only wait for the boat to come with my warm clothes, hoping that this was it, and that there would be no more swimming. Luckily there wasn’t, but on several occasions we had to walk up the river with water above our waists." Check out the amazing full story including more great pics by Henning Wang

In 2011, Magnus was #4 in the world championship and he is also #4 in the 8a ranking game.

To Bolt or Not to Be 8b+ by Drew Ruana (13)  (1) Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureRudy Ruana reports through Facebook that his son Drew Ruana has done the classic To Bolt or Not to Be 8b+ in Smith Rocks. This was the fifth 8b+ by the 13 year old who did the first one year ago.

To Bolt is the first American 8b+ and it was put up by Jean-Baptiste Tribout in 1986 at the time when bolting was rather controversial. It is known to be very technical and mentally challenging being 37 m long, dead vertical and no rests.

"It was supposed to be a work session. Ian Yurdin encouraged him up...talking him up to the next "good" hold. Drew probably has 20 tries spread over a year total. Pretty grueling route for him. Its not his favorite style of climbing, " says the prod father and the pic was taken by mother Christine.

Dan Mirsky checks in with an 8c+ FA  (1) Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureDan Mirsky has done the FA of Solid Gold 8c+ in Cathedral. "So pscyched about this route that I started an 8a account :) It is 'the line' for sure. In my opinion the straightest, most direct and most difficult way to climb Golden, It cuts out all the big rests and tackles the whole cave.

I am 30 years old and am currently living and traveling and climbing in the US with my girlfriend katy dannenberg in an airstream trailer. We spent this winter season down in Southern Utah living in the desert and climbing at the VRG and Cathedral. Before that I was living in CO. I have been climbing for 11 years. I have been a serious sport climber since 2006, I have lived near and spent lots of time climbing in Rifle and have travelled in the US fairly extensively."
Interview at DPM (c) Dave Pegg/Wolverinepublishing

Late blooming in climbing  Facebook

In most other physical sports, you reach your peak performance in between the age of 25 - 30. In rock climbing we do not yet know when you can expect to be in the best shape of your life but it seems to be not before you are 35 - 40. However, there are many 40+ who keep progressing and it just might be that if you continue to train as hard and intensive as being a youngster, some can continue to peak until they are 50 years.

Would it not be nice if Chris Sharma did his first 9c+ when he has turned 50 :)

Era Vella 9a by Sachi Amma  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureSachi Amma has done Era Vella 9a in Margalef on his sixth try. Last year, Sachi won the Leas World Cup. (c) Eddie Gianelloni

Supernova 9a 2:Go by Said Belhaj  (2) Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureSaid Belhaj blogs about an unexpected 2:Go send of Supernova in Vadiello which was his fifth 9a.

"I had planned at least 3 weeks on the route so hopefully it would turn out ok in the end. As my shape felt so bad I instead worked the route VERY well, planning to attack once I felt a bit better.

This was for the me a new step in red-pointing, climbing so perfectly was definitely the key to success. No expectations another. I thought this route would take ages (when dogging the routes before the burn the crux had felt harder than ever) but sometimes unexpected things happen

Jungle Speed 9a by Geir Söderin  (2) Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureGeir Söderin has after an 18 day long battle done his first 9a, Jungle Speed in Siurana. "You can say what you want about grades but sometimes they can be extremely important :) Check his blog in Swedish.

Geir's continuous progress is something that can motivate and inspire other guys who did not reach the "wonderkid" categorisation. In 2006, he did his first 8b being 20 years old and then he has progressed one grade every two years. Geir has been climbing since he was 3 years old and always been #1 for his age in Sweden.

What is your advice for continuous long term progress?
The most important thing is to continue to push you out of the comfort zone. This is of course something that is not easy follow and some more practical advice is to boulder more. For me the best training is through indoor bouldering. 18 months ago, I set my 9a goal. Last summer I tried some 9a's and this spring I have spent a month here trying different ones. Hopefully I can do one more as I plan to stay around in my car another month.

Hukkataival does Bügeleisen 8B+  (15) Facebook

Nalle Hukkataival reports on Facebook that he has done the third ascent of Klem Loskot's Bügeleisen 8B+ in Malatal from 2001. Video from the ascent by Dominik Preis.

"Just topped out Bügeleisen!!!! YESSSSSS!!! Probably the most epic battle I've ever had with any boulder! Conditions ranged from bad to utter shit and I got sick for several days.. So HAPPY I managed to pull it off at the very last moment!!!!!

8B by Samuel Ometz (17)  Facebook

Samuel Ometz has done his sixth 8B and harder the last month by General Dissaray 8B in Brione. "Hard. Powerful. So happy to do that one! some of the best moves". The 17 year old has quickly moved to #10 in the ranking game.

8b+ by Moritz Perwitzschky (13)  Facebook

Moritz Perwitzschky has done his first 8b+ Speed Baby in Margalef. During the last two weeks he has also done three 8b's. In 2013, he has also done his first 8A boulder traverse.

8a+ OS by Mikel Linacisoro (12) and Àlex Hernández (14)  Facebook

Another two Spaniard kids have reached the 8a+ onsight mark. Mikel Linacisoro has onsighted Las Clochas de Targa in Chulila and Àlex Hernández has onsighted Mon Dieu in Oliana as well as redpointed T1 Full Equip 8c. Both kids have had an extreme progress the last year and are part of the new big kids generation setting new standards ever year.

Kai Lightner (13) does Southern Smoke 8c+: UPDATE  (2) Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureDPM reports that Kai Lightner has done Southern Smoke 8c+ in Red River Gorge. Over the past month, Kai and his mother have taken two trips to RRG and one to NRG and in total done three 8b+.

The grade progress for the kids has exploded during the last year and there are now at least a handful youngsters at the same level as Adam Ondra was, just turning teenager. The youngest person who has done an 8c+ is Ashima Shiraishi (11) also by Southern Smoke.

Profile video of the also very succesful 13 year old competition climber. (c) Elodie Sarocco who has published a nice gallery on her FB page.

8B+ FA by James Webb  Facebook

James Webb has had a very productive trip in Switzerland that finshed of in the best possible way by doing the FA of La Rustica 8B+ in Valle Bavona.

"One of the coolest projects i've ever climbed. Big thanks to Carlo for showing me this thing. Climbed it basically on my last day, last literal try. Couldn't ask for a better finish to my trip. Back to the USA tuesday.

Fabelita 8c by Muriel Sarkany (38)  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureMuriel Sarkany has done Fabelita 8c in Santa Linya and she did on her last try on her last day during a one week trip. The 38 year old has had a nice progress on the rock since she stopped competing in 2010.

In total she has won 17 World Cups. Five times she won Overall and in 2003 she was the World Champion. During her competition career she was for most of the time fully sponsored by the Belgian sport committee.

"Now I'm working as E9 representant for Benelux ;-) It's a nice job because it's great clothes. I don't know yet what I'm gone do exactly in the next months except trying new projects and have fun on rocks.

8c Fish Eye by Anak Verhoeven (16)  (39) Facebook

Click to Enlarge reports that Anak Verhoeven has done her first 8c, Fish Eye in Oliana. Anak started to climb when she was four and the last three years she won the Euro Youth Cup and last year she was #22 in the world champion.

A Muerte 9a (8c+) by Felix Neumärker  Facebook

Felix Neumärker who recently did La Rambla 9a+ in Siurana has done A Muerte for which he gives a personal grade of 8c+. He did the same thing for Chocolate Caliente suggesting 8c. During the last two seven weeks, Felix has done seven 8c+ to 9a+ in Siurana.

9a and 8c+ FA by Ramonet  Facebook

Ramón Julian Puigblanque has put up La Parada de los Monstruos 9a in Montanejos and El noi de Manlleu 8c+ in Montserrat. During the last three years Ramonet has been the #1 climber in the world performing on both rock and in competitions.

8A+ flash by Domen Škofic (18)  (14) Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureDomen Škofic has flashed Ganymede Takeover 8A+ in Cresciano and fell on the last move on The Dagger 8B (+), before he did it on his third try. "I would belief that The Dagger is 8A+ if somebody would say that." The 18 year old also did Confessions 8B (+) in ten tries over 45 minutes.

Last year, Domen won all five Euro Youth Cups and made it to the finals once in the WC. In 2013, he plans to do all the WC's and also the bouldering in Log Dragomer. In the 8a Combined Juior Game, he is a superior #1.

9a again by Mateusz Haladaj  (1) Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureMateusz Haladaj has done his seventh 9a, Direct Open your mind in Santa Linya and he goes to #6 in the ranking game. (c) Maciek Lesser Gajewski

"Finally done, SO HAPPY!!! The hardest route of mine, personal grade 9a/+. Not my style. So good, has every type of movement, simply great sort of climbing. Took me more than one year, over 200 tries, had an accident on it… Big thing. Thanks for all the friends for support and never ending belay

8C FA "The Kingdom" gets Traversi to #1 in the game  (9) Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureCarlo Traversi has done his fifth 8C during the last six months by setting up The Kingdom in Brione.

"The long standing Vecchio left project. Many days of work. Hardest 5 moves I've ever linked together and it's perfectly my style. Shouldery moves, high feet, and very tense climbing. Last day in Swiss and couldn't be more psyched to finally piece this one together.

It was all caught on video for the new film that I have been working on called "Heritage" which documents my experiences and climbs in Swiss over the last 6 months. Should be available in the next few months.

8c by Johanna Ernst  Facebook

Johanna Ernst, the World Cup winner 2008 (being 16) and in 2009 she won the WC again and also become the world champion, has done Fish Eye 8c in Oliana on her 3 Go. Last year she did her first 8c+ and she was #3 in the WC.

Megos does La Rambla 9a+ and A Muerte 9a both 2nd Go  (17) Facebook

Click to Enlarge Picture19 year old Alexander is about to take climbing into a new era and yesterday he did La Rambla 9a+ in Siurana on his second go. Dani Fuertes reports that apparently he fell just two moves before the easier finish on his flash attempt, getting beta from Felix Neumärker. Alexander also did A Muerte 9a, 2nd go.

It should be noted that this was the first 9a+ 2nd go, and three days ago he did the first 9a onsight ever.

8c+ by Piotr Schab (16)  Facebook

Piotr Schab has done Coma Sant Pere 8c+ in Margalef. The 16 year old is #8 in the ranking game and he has previously done three 8c+ and Era Vella 9a.

8B flash by Niccolò Ceria (19)  (1) Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureNiccolò Ceria has had a good start on his trip to Västervik where he in almost freezing conditions flashed The Hourglas SDS 8B. "Nice moment! Used the logical sit start with undercling and the lower sidepull for the left. In this way, everyone can start from the sit, although it adds a move to the original one. really cool line, I'm not sure about the grade, it could be an hard 8A+ or lower-end 8B. hard to say on the flash attempt."

Nico also did do two 8A's out of which one he says was "basically a flash" as it shares an easy top out of a 7A he had done earlier. It should be noted that all grades given by Nico is one or two grades lower than the original ones.

8B+ during the night by Chris Webb Parsons  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureChris Webb Parsons has done Dandelion Mind 8B+ in Peak District and it was a mini adventure. "Amazing night session.
We headed off on an adventure, walked through 1 meter deep snow with head torches and abseiled into the crag to find it dry ;) 3 sessions off effort and I managed to climb this amazing problem at 11pm. Unbelievable good climbing, one of the best. Off to work on an oil rig for 1 month now so good timing."
(c) Panda Fenemore

Hörst kids progress  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureEric Hörst, auther of eight climbing training books with a sales over 300 000 and father of two sons 10 & 12 who both have done a 8b (+) gives us some insight and we are preparing a full interview.

"There’s emerging research that there’s a “skill window” between the age of 8 and 12 during which kids can best develop motor skills, wire the brain, and—perhaps most important—influence genetic traits, such as muscle fiber type, enzyme and hormone production for speed and strength, etc. Doing the right things during this brief window, in terms of training and experience, appears to be a huge factor in shaping the future adult athlete. (Once the window closes you can never catch up.)

8c onsight by Adam Ondra  (5) Facebook

Adam Ondra has been on a rainy trip to Andalucia where he could only climb one day out of two weeks on his new ultimate project. Instead he made the FA of Tres Satelites 8c+ and onsighted Into the Wild 8c in Jaen. On his way back, he found his new 9b project in Catalunya also wet.

8b+ onsight by Geir Söderin  (60) Facebook

Geir Söderin has onsighted Los Humildes pa Casa 8b+ in Oliana and it was just after he redpointed T1 Full Equip. On his swedish blog he writes that he one month earlier onsighted half of the 48 m which is an 7c. The 8a ethic recommendations suggest that it is an onsight when the shared part is one full grade lower and it is a yellow card if the shared part would have been 8a.


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