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Pearson recommends Zaghouan in Tunisia  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureJames Pearson has been on a exploring trip to Zaghouan in North Eastern Tunisia.

- Up until now, the climbing has been mostly developed by visiting Europeans, but after learning the ropes, the young and motivated local outdoor community have taken over the reigns, and development is continuing at a fast pace. The first guidebook is almost ready to be produced, and will include almost 200 routes split over several crags.

The crags themselves are a very varied bunch, from steep tufa covered caves, to long, technical multi-pitch slabs. Walk-ins range from 5 to 45 minutes, with several of the cliffs even accessible by walking right out of the town. There is a lot of potential for bolting on the existing crags, and even finding whole new ones.

Right now the majority of the routes are in the 6's and low end 7's. There are a few harder routes, mostly equipped by the petzl team, right up to 8c/+ but I don't know if they have all been climbed or just bolted? The rock seemed quite similar to that of Antalya, in that it is a little bit soft and dusty at first, but cleans up great with traffic. Accommodation can range from very cheap hostel style rooms, to luxurious themed hotels. The climbing tourism there is in the very early staged of development, so don't expect anything like Kalymnos of Antalya, but of those looking for a little more adventure, or just somewhere a little quieter, it would make for a fun little trip. More info

Specific training the secret for Jonathan Siegrist  Facebook

Danube Delight-climbing at the Swabian Alb  Facebook

Alb Traum Trailer from Jörg Zeidelhack on Vimeo.

Silvio Reffo does Noia 8c+  Facebook

Flatanger  Facebook

Voilà maintenant deux mois que nous sommes rentrés de notre voyage à Flatanger (Nord-Trondelag, Norvège). En Septembre...

Posted by Carnet Vertical on Friday, November 13, 2015

Beat Kammerlander (56) projecting an 8c MP  Facebook

Northeast bouldering  Facebook

Investing in the Stefan Glowacz Masterpiece  Facebook

Investing in the Stefan Glowacz Masterpiece, "Desert Gold" (5.13a) from Will Mayo on Vimeo.

Two 8B+'s by Felipe Camargo  Facebook

Tazio Gavioli world record holder doing 118 pull-ups  Facebook

Recruit max power in warming up and get better endurance  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureThe more of your muscle fibers you use, the more blood you shoot in circulation. In general, when up to 20% of the muscle fibers are in use, the blood vessels are fully open meaning that you can more or less go on forever. When 50% or more of the fibers are used, the blood vessels are completely shut.

In other words, as you get stronger, using smaller percentage of your fibers, the better your blood circulation gets, i.e. you get better endurance.

If you have low maximum power, especially when it takes long time to recruit maximum power, you will get better endurance by including some maximum moves in your warming up.

In practice, this can mean that instead of using 50% of your muscle fibers during a hard sequence doing your first hard route, you might only use 40% of them. This means that recruiting maximum power on warming up will ensure better blood circulation and thus better endurance.

On the other hand, if you have high and fast maximum power, it might be that a very soft and relaxed warming up will get you better endurance. The reasons of it are that you will not overgrip on the easier sequences, which might hinder your blood circulation. Another way to improve your endurance, might be compressions sleeves, as in the picture.

Celeb party at the Sharma gym on Thursday  Facebook

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8a continues to grow  (5) Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureBased on official Google statistics, 8a has increased by some 6% in both the number of visitors and unique visitors in November compared to last year. Yesterday, we had over 10 500 unique visitors, which is the highest number since last spring.

All the major banner sponsors will continue supporting 8a also in 2016 and Prana has also signed up, including 350 8a Prana T-shirts.

The picture shows the planned new design that we are about to finalize. We are looking for more guys that can help us spell check the database and the news, etc. Just send an email to

Caldwell & Jorgeson set for National Geographic Prize  (1) Facebook

Bouldering in Frankenland  Facebook

Videos and TCG explanation boulder grade deflation  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureDuring the last ten years we have moved from boulder grade inflation to deflation. Based on the original grades, the boulder community has in fact not improved a lot since the beginning of the -00 decade.

The best possible way to explain this could be videos in which climbers help the boulderers to select and make fast ascents. To make The story of 2 (grading) Worlds, Dave Graham's classic test piece from 2005 which stopped the grade inflation, is much easier today due to videos. Some actually thought it was an 8C+ at that time but today it is considered a soft 8C.

Climbers normally use Time Comparison as a grading indication and thus it is logical that videos have created the boulder grade deflation, especially for complicated boulders. When there are just three straight forward crimps with only one sequence, a video does not have much impact of the number of sessions.

Subjective grading and the Time Comparison Grading must always be based on the best sequence. Today, better sequences have been found on The Story of 2 Worlds, which logically explains why it feels easier today. On the other hand, just because you need much less time to repeat a complicated boulder thank to a video, should not effect the grade.

If it took you four sessions, including finding the best sequence, to do an 8B some ten years ago and now you just need two sessions, including checking beta videos, it does not mean that the it should be downgraded. Videos and Time Comparison Grading might be the best way to explain boulder grade deflation.

Luzan Matyas is back on the Action Direct 9a track  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureLuzan Matyas has dedicated almost two years of his climbing life to trying to jump from 8b to Action Direct 9a. This means that just during the last 16 months he did 200 sessions on a replica, including hang board and campus boards sometimes with just one finger moves. Three months ago all was set but as soon as he started trying hard, he injured himself and had to go back home.

Now on his blog, he reports that he is stronger than ever and he plans to have another try in April.

Meltdown 8c+ trad: Possibly the hardest female ascent ever  (29) Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureTom Randall wrote an interesting article in the latest issue of Rock & Ice - World's Hardest Cracks. Out of the Top-10 listed, Tom has done the FA of four and Sonnie Trotter of two.

The most interesting story in the article is this about Beth Rodden's Meltdown 8c+ put at a pedestal much higher than any other trad route in the world. It took Beth five months to do it but in reality she never gave it a grade. At the time, Beth was married to Tommy Caldwell and they both said it was harder than any trad climbs that they had done. Beth did previously the Optimist 8c. Old interview in Climbing and here is one from Crux Crush.

"After a few hours of working the moves, both Pete (Whittaker) and I walked away having done only 10 percent and scratching our heads over how the crux was even possible".

Taking into consideration that when the best trad climbers in the world, such as Sonnie Trotter and Nicolas Favresse, go sport climbing, they often perform two grades harder doing 9a's, Meltdown might be equivalent to a 9a or 9a+ sport route, and possibly the hardest female ascent ever? (c) Corey Rich

Alex Honnold - What really matters!  Facebook

Alexandra Taistra presentation  Facebook

Bouldering in Albarracin  Facebook

Albarracin Capture from 45degrees on Vimeo.

8B+ in India at 4 000 m by Pirmin Bertle  Facebook

Pirmin Bertle in Indias hardest Boulder - Bacteria, 8B+, at 4000m from Pirmin Bertle on Vimeo.

Frankenjura bouldering  Facebook

TCS 2015 Dogpatch Finals: Lamb & Asher win  Facebook

5 000 euro to win in Vertigo Boulder - Lisbon  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureVertigo Boulder Contest 2015, the biggest bouldering competition ever organized in Portugal, will be held in Lisbon on the 28th and 29th of November with 5 000 euro to be shared. More than 400 participants are expected.

The first day is reserved for the seniors but the youngest can also compete and are eligible for granting the prize money. The second day is for the youth and the format for both of the comps are the same as the IFSC youth rules.

Canyon Escalade competition  Facebook

Bloc Work's Orange - Canyon Escalade from Mathieu Elie on Vimeo.

The 9th grade - 150 years of climbing aka the Bible  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureThe 310-page book about the full climbing history by David Chambre could be named the new climbing Bible. Each of the almost A4 size pages are just full of nice stories and great pictures. Having spent about four hours reading it in fascination, I understood that there are many more interesting hours to follow. What a great book!

From the 8a visitor perspective, we get more insight of some of the historical grades, indicating that it might be better to start calling Fred Rouhling's Akira a 9a+. Chris Sharma's Es Pontas was given a 9a+ even if 9b is mostly used for it. In general there are many comments that go in line with what has been saying for many years like Action Directe was originally an 8c+/9a but actually slash grades are not used in the Bible.

It seems that everything is included in the Bible but Flatanger and from my point of view, also Santa Linya, Ashima Shiraishi and Alex Megos' 9a onsight, should have gained greater focus. On the other hand, and the impact it has on the climbing scene is mentioned on almost one page.

"Hence the brilliant but slightly perverse idea of the scorecard, attributing points for each performance and placing climbers in classification enabling them to dream and exploits to improve their position."

All in all, paying 49 Euro including free shipping, seems to be the perfect bargain for a very nice Christmas gift.

Southern Grampians  Facebook

Children: Experience = Knowledge  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureClimbing Technology has presented an interesting analysis of the child approach to climbing from their team manager Paolo Cattaneo.

7 PST LIVESTREAM of Highball 1st Ascent  (1) Facebook

Tucker Webb attempts a highball first ascent in Squamish in his "pursuit of fear through climbing". In a world where technology connects us to people and places in real time, we can now explore areas in 360 video and feel the excitement of watching the possible first ascent while it's happening (like Dawn Wall).

Tucker Webb in Squamish, British Columbia from Chris Christie on Vimeo.

Watch Livestream: 7PM PST in Squamish, Canada

The Story of 2 Worlds 8C by Martin Stráník  Facebook

Martin Stranik, #2 in the Boulder World Championship 2006, said: " I think that it is a soft 8C right now with all the beta there is, but still harder than 8B+. It's interesting how this problem has gone from "hard 8C or even 8C+", via "the benchmark for 8C" to "soft 8C", and difficult to know how much of this change is due to new beta and how much is a widening of the 8C-grade."

9a+ FA by Pirmin Bertle  Facebook

Pirmin Bertle in "Des scènes bizzarres dans la mine d'or", 9a+, in Jansegg from Pirmin Bertle on Vimeo.

All time low behavior in Västervik - Spread Access Awareness To Others  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureClick on the picture to see what 8a highlights when it comes to Parking, Trespassing, Screaming, Camping, Litter and Toilet. The Access Fund has also asked us to give some further info on Human waste. If you have any specific access info add it as a comment or directly in the crag data base.

During the last year, we heard about increasing problems and bad behavior in several boulder areas and last week a new record was set in Västervik.

"He jumped out from a white Volvo, raised his arms, bent backwards arched and did the "helicopter". It was 22.30 and I was on my way home from the stable on a dark dirt road. I called the police as I was afraid that there was a link to the center for girls with self-destructive behavior where I had worked and my mother is the boss."

Even if the youngster was wearing orange underpants, it was clearly a violation towards her integrity and just imagine what would happen if the police had caught the boulderers and it had been presented in the local newspaper. As a direct consequence, the recommended parking has been moved tripling the approach to some 30+ minutes.

The whole climbing community including gyms, federations, and clubs has to start dealing with the increasing number of adrenaline seeking boulderers, especially young, that go outdoors.

Stretching the fastest way to improve  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureAdam Ondra has extreme flexibility for drop knees, high steps and opening his legs. This is actually a part of his success story. If you could sit and rest like Adam does on the picture from Granitgrottan, you might be able to do harder routes!

The training focus in the media and in the gyms seem to be finger strength and endurance. This means that most climbers have actually optimized their strength in these field, meaning it takes a lot of effort to improve.

On the other hand, for the guys who do not stretch, some few hours could improve your flexibility making you climb harder. It just might be that it is 10 times more productive for your performance to spend one hour stretching than do a one hour session on the campus board.

Boulder stagnation and Route progress  Facebook

The boulder trend is growing stronger every year and the number of 8A's recorded in the data base 2015 is a new record, but when it comes to 8B+ ascents, we can see stagnation and for 8C's and harder, the number of ascents is actually decreasing. A possible explanation for this that has been discussed here on 8a before is that there is a boulder grade deflation going on, meaning that some 8B+'s actually deserve to be 8C's etc.

On the other hand, 2015 has been a record year for 9a and harder ascents. My best guess is that close to 50 guys have done a 9a and more than a dozen - 9a+ or harder. As most of these ascents are repeats of routes put up in 2010 or earlier, we cannot say that the grade progress for routes has something to do with route grade deflation.

Tops and Death statistics above 8 000 metres  Facebook

The death statistics of climbing the Top-10 highest mountains in the world make you wonder how some can take the risk. In fact, in the last two years more climbers than ever have died on Mount Everest with and over 200 bodies it is like a cemetery above the level ground. 2012 stats below come from The Economist and Wikipedia.

5 656 tops Mount Everest - 223 dead
306 K2 - 81 dead
283 Kangchenjunga - 40 dead
461 Lhotse - 13 dead
361 Makalu - 31 dead

3 138 Cho Oyu - 44 dead
448 Dhaulagiri - 69 dead
661 Manaslu - 65 dead
335 Nanga Parbat - 68 dead
191 Annapurna - 61 dead

Low price Belay Glasses from Czech republic  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureThe CU belay glasses were introduced to the market nine years ago and lately many cheaper copies have been developed. Belay Glasses comes from the Czech Republic and offers their product for 77 Euros in comparison to the original 119 for the CUs.

Comparing the two different products, having used the same pair CUs for eight years, the new cheaper ones logically do not feel the same although they still do the job, saving my neck from pain equally good, and with excellent visibility too. From a personal point of view, I like the CU's more discrete look, which is much nicer, and also how they fit my nose and head but on the other hand the cheaper ones feel much more robust. CU has solved this by including a solid plastic box and it would be good if Belay Glasses also offered such box.

Overall, the Czech belay glasses seem to be of very good quality but with the current price difference, I still have to recommend the CU. They are made in Germany without almost any reclamation for several years. However, there will be a Christmas sale offering a special price of only Euro 39 for the Czech belay glasses, so it might be worth giving them the chance, even without the plastic box.

Alex Honnold in Angola  Facebook

Bloc & Walls #4 in Copenhagen  Facebook

B&W Cup # 4 / 2015 from Bloctool on Vimeo.

Stohlwond in South Tyrol  Facebook

Climbing in South Tyrol // Stohlwond from Vertical Life on Vimeo.

8C by Martin Stráník  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureMartin Stráník, #2 in the world championship in 2007, seems to be in his best shape ever having done seven boulders 8B and harder in 18 days, including The Story of 2 Worlds 8C.

"5 days, icon of bouldering for me, hard battle with progress, moves and conditions, but luckily last day of the trip temperature allowed me to send this boulder! And good session on Il Trill, must come back! (c) ON_ OFF Productions

Trad climbing in Céüse  Facebook

The Power of Love - his first 8B+, her first 7B and more from the Frankenjura  Facebook

The Power of Love from 45degrees on Vimeo.

Adam Ondra sums up 2015  Facebook

Ashima and Kai portraits  Facebook

Combined only interesting for McColl - Olympic Games?  Facebook

Adam Ondra and Jain Kim won the Combined title. The fact is, however, that Jain did just participate in one Speed event, where she was second last, and in no Boulder event. The only competitor who participated in all three disciplines was Sean McColl, who did 12 out of 18 events. What does this say about the IFSC aim to include all three events in the possible 2020 Olympic Games?

Here are the results from the combined ranking:
1. Adam Ondra 674 - Jain Kim 432
2. Sean McColl 486 - Akiyo Noguchi 421
3. Domen Skofic 407 - Yuka Kobayashi 286

Complete results.

The success story of Walltopia  Facebook

Bloomberg presents "The Bulgarian Duo Leading an Indoor Rock Climbing Revolution. The unlikely story of how two friends created the world’s biggest climbing wall company in Europe’s poorest country."

Climbing Perfect Mexican limestone, Hecho En Mexico trailer  Facebook

Hecho En Mexico from Three Peak Films on Vimeo.

Kranj Lead WC summary  Facebook

Era Vella 9a (8c+) by Magnus Midtbø  (2) Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureMagnus Midtbø, #4 in the World Championships 2011, has done Era Vella in Margalef saying "Best route ever!" and giving it a personal grade of 8c+. The Norweigian has previously recorded 15 routes between 9a and 9b in his scorecard. (c) João Giacchin

"Surprisingly fast in pretty damp conditions yesterday. Maybe the best route ever! Bolted and first ascended by the legend himself, Chris Sharma .Since then new beta was found and to me it feels more like 8c+ now. Grades are not written in stone and it's not science, so for them to be somewhat accurate we should all keep an open mind." Stay updated on his instagram

This is in fact the third popular 9a in the area, which the Norwegian has given a personal grade for. over the years, 8a has received comments from two repeaters confirming what Magnus suggests but they did not want to go public. Last winter, Jonathan Siegrist actually compared Era Vella with some 8c's he had done.

It was in 2010, Chris Sharma opened Era Vella as he was warming up suggesting it to be a soft 9a. Today, the 50 meter long and one of the best hard routes in the world, has been repeated more than 30 times, which makes it by far the most popular 9a in the world.

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  (61) 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.

The Story Of 2 Worlds 8C by Carlo Traversi  (16) Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureCarlo Traversi has ended a three year battle by doing Dave Graham's classic The Story Of 2 Worlds 8C in Cresciano. "My hardest ascent so far and the most I've battled for a send. Mostly a mental battle because today the send felt easy. Such is life. Very excited to move forward now. Projects await."

Dave put it up in 2005 and named it as a statement towards the Swizz grade inflation that actually was stopped due to the 8C proposed grade. It is a sitstart to The Dagger, the most repeated 8B+ which have been subject of being down graded.

The sitstart has created some confusion and the two first repetitors; Robinson and Koyamada, started in different positions compared to the FA. Koyamada later added both a laying start as well as a + to the boulder.

Carlo has created a fourth start by doing a proper sit start to where Paul started crouched, they both added two more hard moves from the left compared to where Graham started. This is where he thought the boulder started three years ago and he wanted to finish this. Regarding the grade he thinks this is the hardest start but it does not effect the grade more than going from Soft to Hard.

2nd 8B by Pol Roca Lopez (17)  Facebook

Pol Roca Lopez has done La Théorie du Chaos 8B in Targassonne and here is the Video. Pol is #3 in the junior ranking game.


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