News   Numbers   Year
 
 
The 9a and above list  Facebook
 

1 - Adam Ondra (101)
2 - Ramonet (40)
3 - Alex Megos (38)
4 - Chris Sharma (30)
5 - Dani Andrada (28)
6 - Sachi Amma (20)
7 - Seb Bouin (18)
8 - Markus Bock (16)
10 - Patxi Usogiaba; Enzo Oddo (15), 12 - Gaby Moroni (14), 13 - Matthieu Bouyoud; Dave Graham; Cédric Lachat (13), 16 - Jonathan Siegrist; Dani Woods (12), 20 - Magnus Mitboe; Lukasz Dudek; Stefano Ghisolfi; Steve McClure (11), 23 - Iker Pou; Edu Marin; Domen Skofic (10)
"Rai" has published on the forum this list based on this statistics. It should be mentioned that especially Adam Ondra has given a personal 8c+ grade to many 9a's, meaning that his total number is at least 110 if topo guides had been used as a reference.

 
 
Tom's Rocklands Diary Part I  Facebook
 

 
 
The best climbing destination had its best climbing year ever  (5) Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureFor many years Kalymnos has been the most popular climbing destination in the world especially known for high quality routes, low prices, friendly locals but infamous for queues at the popular sectors. During 2015, the queues have disappeared due to all the new sectors (2 700 routes in the new topo compared to 1 700 before) in combination with less climbers.

The fact that Ryan Air has reduced the number of flights and general uncertainties because of the Greek crisis and refugees passing from Turkey are believed to be the reasons for lower number of climbers. Few times, the climbing rescue team (no severe climbing accidents this year) has assisted stranded refugees that had been just dropped on the cliffs.

When it comes to the business, the locals have had to deal with some money restrictions but in general, there is more of everything for even lower prices. This means more and often cheaper; supermarkets, studios, restaurants, yoga, training courses, taxi, buses and climbing shops. One guy has also started a resoling service, which also buys and sells used gear. The only drawback is that the scooter rentals are only allowed to those having driving licenses with AM.

The best 2016 news is that Ryan Air and more airlines said they would increase the number of flights to Kos and Aegean and might increase their direct 80-seat to Kalymnos to four afternoons every week.

 
 
Sterling 9.2 Aero - Possibly the best (thin) rope on the market  Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureSterling has for a long time been one of the market leaders in the manufacturing of high quality, durable climbing ropes. We tested the new Evolution Aero 9.2 recently. This new rope is an evolution of the Fusion Nano 9.2 where they have changed the core designs and developed the sheath to provide better falls and increased durability. Editor note – the New Nano IX is offered at 9.0 mm.

9.2 mm ropes are normally recommended only to the top climbers who value weight and reduced rope drag over durability. Having used the rope for three months, I must say that this is the most durable thin rope we have ever tested. At the same time it is very soft when it comes to the dynamic elongation.

We have also tested their 9.8 mm biggest seller, the Evolution Velocity, which has proven to be an extremely durable and high quality rope. The Velocity is used by Chris Sharma when he projects and it stands up to all his long falls.

For today’s wide range of sport climbers, these two ropes offer two excellent choices in weight, handling and performance. Interesting is also that Sterling has started to ship ropes with middle marks.

Specs for the 9.2 Aero and 9.8 Velocity
UIAA Falls: 7 & 6
Weight: 56 & 62 g/M
Dynamic Elongation: 33 & 26%
Static Elongation: 7.7 & 8.6 %
Impact Force: 8.5 & 8.8 kN

 
 
8A/+ FA av Stefan Rasmussen  Facebook
 

 
 
The Young Savages by Claudia Ziegler  Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureI want more of The Young Savages by Claudia Ziegler. She has traveled around the world and spent some time with some of the most famous young climbers getting pictures, also in their day-to-day life. It is very nice to get under skin of the athletes but somehow I think she did scratch just to gentle. Maybe it is because I have met many of them and already know some of the stories; Ernst, Ondra, Söderlund, Raboutou, Nonaka, Megos, Shiraishi, Coxsey, Hörst, Le Neve and Skofic.

The coffee table book is very good and I do recommend it but I want more. The youngsters all represent good climbing personalities but what is the back side of being a professional athlete is the somewhat not mentioned thing beside some strict routines by Adam Ondra and Ashima Shiraishi.

Picture says more than words but even so, we do not get much info about their daily life and interest beside climbing and sometimes school. But for a coffee table book, you cannot say you want more.

 
 
Overall before Kranj  (8) Facebook
 

Here is the score counting after five out of six events. In theory, five male and two female can win overall. The scoring in the IFSC ranking differs as they have based their result on all six events.

1. Adam Ondra 358 - Mina Markovic 427
2. Gauthier Supper 357 - Jain Kim 406
3. Jakob Schubert 331 - Jessica Pilz 355
4. Domen Skofic 325 - Anak Verhoeven 330
5. Romain Desgranges 307 - Helene Janicot 251

 
 
Adam Ondra and Jain Kim win in China  (7) Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge Picture1. Adam Ondra - Jain Kim
2. Domen Skofic - Anak Verhoeven
3. Sean McColl - Jessica Pilz
Complete results

 
 
9a FA by Seb Bouin  Facebook
 

A muerte Bilou - l'Integrale from melnacnac on Vimeo.

 
 
7C+ by 10-year-old girl  Facebook
 

 
 
Second last WC in China this weekend  (5) Facebook
 

The sixth out of seven Lead World Cups takes place this weekend in Wujiang, China. Only some 25 competitors outside Asia but all the top ranked are going to participate. Unfortunately there will be no live streaming.

1. Gauthier Supper 357 - Mina Markovic 420
2. Jakob Schubert 327 - Jessica Pilz 345
3. Romain Desgranges 307 - Jain Kim 334
4. Adam Ondra 290 - Anak Verhoeven 290
5. Domen Skofic 282 - Helene Janicot 227

 
 
61 problems in Salazar, near México City  Facebook
 

Salazar trailer from greenandshiny on Vimeo.

 
 
Magnus Midtbö working on Es Pontas 9b  Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureMagnus Midtbö reports on Facebook that he has been trying Chris Sharma's unrepeated route Es Pontas 9b at Mallorca. The only other world class climber who has said he had tried it for a period of time is Ethan Pringle.

"Got a few good dry days on Es Pontas, but not enough to determine whether or not it's possible for me. All I know is that I will be back on the island for more climbing soon.

 
 
Firnenburg brothers do 8a+ MP  Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureDavid and Ruben Firnenburg have done their first multipitch "New Age" (7a, 7c, 8a+, 7a, 7a+) RP at Swiss Rätikon. It is a classic milestone opened by climbing pioneer Beat Kammerlander in 1989. More info on their blog

 
 
Orange Rock Wrestling - South Africa Pt. 1  Facebook
 

Orange Rock Wrestling - South Africa Pt. 1 from Ironman films on Vimeo.

 
 
Aerial climbing  Facebook
 

 
 
8A by Thomasina Pidgeon (39) again  Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureThomasina Pidgeon has done her second 8A this year, Supersupernova in Magic Wood. "Never thought I'd try this but when the forest is wet and everyone else is psyched.... Surprisingly fun."

In total, the 39-year-old has done 37 boulders 8A and harder, the last 8A+ out of which she did when she was 37. In the last four years, she has actively competed in the Boulder World Cup where she got her best result, 29th place this year in Toronto. In the picture by Axel Perschman from 2013, you can see also her daughter helping out with the crashpad.

 
 
Mammut's down from ethically treated geese  Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureMammut has become one of the companies to be a certified Responsible Down Standard products manufacturer. In Outdoor 2015 in Friedrichshafen, RDS was was one of the award winners.

"The Responsible Down Standard allows companies to ensure that the down in their products comes from ethically treated geese. The North Face developed the standard in partnership with Control Union, a respected global certification body, and Textile Exchange for research, writing, and stakeholder review.

70 percent of the down used in Mammut's winter 2015/2016 clothing collection was certified and the objective now is to switch entirely to certified supplies for all down products as early as summer 2016.

 
 
Super dedicated training with Neil Gresham  Facebook
 

 
 
A Gritstone Afternoon  Facebook
 

A Gritstone Afternoon from David Mason on Vimeo.

 
 
8b+/C FA by Koyamada  Facebook
 

 
 
Multi discipline master Jernej Kruder  Facebook
 

Jernej Kruder climbs classics: the Never Ending Story 8B+ and Riverbed 8B in climbing paradise Magic Wood, Switzerland. He did those things on the same trip when he sent an multipich 8b+ Hatori Hanzo, sport route Shaolin 8b+ and was #3 in prestigious competition Adidas Rockstars.

 
 
TNF team explores a new big wall in Siberia  Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureThe North Face climbing team, to which belong among others: Jacopo Larcher, Hans jorg Auer and the Pou brothers, traveled this summer to the remote Chukotka region in Siberia to explore big wall potential there and open new routes. The team opened up eight new routes on the perfect granite walls named “The General”, “The Commander”, and “The Monk”, and also made the first ascent of the mountain. The short film of their adventure in Siberia will be released in April 2016 on thenorthfacejournal.com. (c) Elias Holzknecht

 
 
Janja Garnbret (16) biggest breakthrough 2015  (2) Facebook
 

Janja Garnbret has won every youth comp she has entered and in the two World Cups she tried, she was both times #2. Slovenian coaches have deliberately held her back in order to try not to put any pressure on her. "It is all about having fun!"

 
 
Paul Robinson Australia Part 2 - Wave Swoop 8B+  Facebook
 

Paul Robinson on a few more repeats in Australia including the 3rd ascent of Wave Swoop 8B+.

 
 
Also The North Face to low prices at EPICTV SHOP  Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureEPICTV SHOP continues to develop their webshop and this Verto Micro Vest goes at Euro 126 including free delivery and then you also get some Euro 6 credit for your next buy. If you become an EPICTV member, the prices drop even more.

In general, you can buy outdoor products with at least 15 % discount compared to any other shop. Link to climbing gear at sale

 
 
9a FA by David Lama in Lebanon  (25) Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureLebanon has always been a blank area on the map of sport climbing. But with the help of local climber Jad Khoury, Austrian superstar David Lama has recently changed this and did the first ascent of Baatara Gorge Sinkhole near Tannourine, 75 kilometers north of Beirut.

Due to its surreal landscape with waterfalls, natural arches and a combination of blue and orange rock mixed with green plants, which reminds of the movie ‘Avatar’, David Lama and his supporter, Jad Khoury, agreed on the name Avaatara’ (9a) for the cascade route descending into Mount Lebanon. © Red Bull Media House

David did his first 8a when he was 10 years old and being 16 he won the European Lead Championship and the year later the European Boulder Championship. He is also famous for the FA of the Compressor route on Cerro Torre.

 
 
Verhoeven and Saurwein in Colorado  Facebook
 

 
 
David Lama Avaatara 2015  (4) Facebook
 

 
 
8C by Ichimiya Daisuke  Facebook
 

 
 
Bouldering festival in Siberian National Park Stolby  Facebook
 

 
 
Rodellar Cleanup day  Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureSierra de Guara and the Canyon of Mascún River are visited by all kinds of groups every year. Hikers, canyoneers, trail runners and of course climbers enjoy their attractive locations often not taking enough responsibility for what they leave behind.

The Climbers Association of Rodellar, in collaboration with other institutions and businesses in the area, has decided to organize a cleanup day of the Mascún Canyon, in order to minimize the impact that our activity, as well as other groups’, generate each year, and also to create awareness of the importance of the small gestures that everyone can make to keep this place in the best possible condition.

Therefore we call all climbers, as well as anyone else who feels a special affection for Rodellar and its surroundings, to participate voluntarily on October 11th in this day of maintenance, cleaning and fraternization, and we thank all associates for their support in organizing this event which we hope will continue in the years to come.

 
 
44 days in Magic Woods  Facebook
 

Magic Wood 44 Days 2015 from Fred Nowak on Vimeo.

 
 
Nice 8A in Poland  Facebook
 

Solid Air 8A FA from Robin Müller & Dawid Skoczylas on Vimeo.

 
 
Digulian & Traversi doing a 7c+ on The Eiger  Facebook
 

 
 
Paul Robinson Bouldering in Australia 1/2  Facebook
 

Paul Robinson had a very productive trip to Australia the past season. He managed to climb many of the hard established lines but also had time to develop a new sector with Jimmy Webb and film a section for his new film, Uncharted Lines.

Paul, tell us more about the film project.
The idea all started a few years ago. I have always dreamed of climbing in new remote locations all over the world. Film is my creative outlet and I love working on projects where I can film and climb with my friends. It has been a few years since my last big film project and I hope this one is going to blow people away and be the best yet. We have high hopes for the project and with the crew involved and sponsors backing the film, I cannot wait to see what comes of it!

Where are you planning to climb and film for this project?
We started filming in Australia and then soon after moved to Russia, which proved to shut us out quickly with an epic snow storm. Our next stop is a new area in the South East with Jimmy Webb. From there we will highlight the new zone in Zimbabwe we discovered last season as well as some high altitude bouldering/sport climbing in Argentina and a new bouldering destination in Spain.

When can we expect the film to be done?
This is going to be a big project that requires a lot of time to be at each area at the optimal time of year. The goal now is to be done in about 1.5 years and to premiere the film in Boulder, CO. In the meantime, make sure to check out Uncharted Lines on Instagram for updates.

Check out the first of Paul's two videos of some of his hard repeats in Australia:

 
 
PBR LIVE STREAM 7pm PDT!  Facebook
 



The Portland Boulder Rally LIVE STREAM is up!
Watch the largest single-day competition in the USA.

Qualifying Round Results:
(Running order will be in reverse.)

Men
1. Carlo Traversi
2. Jimmy Webb
3. Tyler Landman
4. Nathaniel Coleman
5. Kai Lightner
6. Dalton Bunker

Women
1. Kyra Condie
2. Angie Payne
3. Meagan Martin
4. Lisa Chulich
5. Alannah Yip
6. Kasia Pietras

 
 
Gritstone Mantelling  Facebook
 

Mother's Ruin at Mother's Pet from David Mason on Vimeo.

 
 
Niky Ceria in Grampians  Facebook
 

 
 
Call To The Wild | EpicTV Drone Film Fest  Facebook
 

 
 
Dyno World Record by Celine Cuypers (16)  (5) Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureDuring the Puurs Worldcup, 16-year-old Celine Cuypers from Belgium broke the world record (220 cm) by 17,5cm, to 237,5 cm. Check her great website with a short video

"Encouraged by Nils and without any preparation, except for practicing some dynamic moves on the boulder at which I am not so good, I decided to give the dyno competition a shot."

The 16-year-old is a previous successful competition climber who has done routes up to 8b+ and onsights up to 8a.

 
 
New Bible on the island  Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureLars Gilberg has used the new Kalymnos guidebook with the free App for a week and he says it is the best topo ever.

"If in need for guidelines in life, some people turn to the Bible. Others go to bed reading the Kalymnos guidebook.

The new edition was presented in Massouri a week ago. So many climbers were gathered at the Wild Sport climbing store that even the Norwegian best selling crime author, Jo Nesbø, was impressed. He just came to Kalymnos to climb after speaking to 4000 of his fans in Athens.

I've spoken to a number of climbers using the new guide during the last week, and so far they have all been full of praise. Considering the number of routes has increased by a 1000 since the last edition, it’s amazing the books size is up only from 340 to 448 pages.

They’re all packed with useful info, presented in a delicate and user-friendly way. In fact, this should be a manual to every club around the world on how to do it. Unfortunately, there are so many guidebooks that are not giving info on essential facts like length of routes or when the sun hits.

Aris Theodoropoulus is the man behind all the kalymnian guidebooks, and also the man behind a big percentage of all the routes on this island with all the biblical references, from the crag Prophitis Andreas to the summit of the Island, Prophitis Ilias. Of those two, I have to admit, I know the latter one best. It is a stunning running destination.

Theodoropoulos himself raises the Q in his intro of the book: Is it sensible to make a printed book in our digital age?
His answer: Many climbers say they love to have a book coz it has a soul that a digital topo does´t provide.
However: This time Theodoropoulos has included a free app for tablets and smartphones for everyone buying the book. Lots of my friends have been using both the book and the app the last week.

One of the smart features with the app is that it will be updated regularly. It also has GPS coordinates for the crags. I don´t have any factual backing for saying this, but I guess the younger generation might feel that the app is all they need, whereas oldies who grew up with paper books and printed newspapers like to own the book.

I’m afraid I belong to the last group. I have been coming to Kalymnos to climb every year since 2001, when Aris convinced me about the richness of rock over a dinner in Tonsai. Now that I’ve been 17 times to Tonsai and 15 to Kalymnos, one of the differences I experience is this one: In Tonsai there is not much left to climb, but in Kalymnos the number of unclimbed routes is increasing from year to year.

Just look at this timeline:
First edition of the guidebook came in year 2000 with 200 routes.
Second one in 2003 with 500 routes.
Third in 2006 with 850 routes.
Forth in 2008 with 1100 routes.
Fifth in 2010 with 1700 routes.
Sixth in 2015 with 2700 routes.

According to the author, this is probably the last time that all routes fits in one book. This time he has left out a few not so popular crags to give place to new ones.

I should probably not finish off this article without touching the issue that a lot of climbers were discussing before the book came - and after: Which routes are downgraded? I have found examples of routes sliding from 7c to 7a+ over the last two guidebooks, but there is also a lot of routes that has been upgraded, som even with two grades. This is a natural process, I guess, not only because some stalactites are breaking, but also because grades are nothing like exact science, just numbers meant to guideline people who want to play.

To sum up: I have around 20 guidebooks from all over the world in my bookshelf at home, and this is the best one so far.

 
 
World Championship 1991  Facebook
 

 
 
Loic Timmermans brutal garage training  Facebook
 

 
 
Combined in the Olympics is dead wrong - DWS is better  Facebook
 

Sean McColl is one of the very best competition climbers in the world and also the only male who sometimes competes in Speed. However, as the best run up is the 15 meter high 6b in around six seconds and McColl usually covers it in 8 - 9 seconds, i.e. he is 33 - 50% slower, he finishes among the last.

IFSC has suggested that the Olympic format will be based only on the Combined results of Lead, Bouldering and Speed. The Speed world record of the is 5.60 by Danyil Boldyrev. This is very impressive and these guys have been training specifically for several years.

To have Adam Ondra competing next to Danyil would be embarassing for everyone involved. I mean it is like forcing the world's best 3 000 meter runner to compete against Usain Bolt in 100 meters.

For me the best "combined" format is to select DWS as the Olympic format as this tests the Lead, Bouldering and Speed skills in a fun and understandable way.

If "combined" Climbing makes it into the Olympics in 2020, IFSC has to change the WC format in 2019. Imagine how big impact this will also have at the national and youth level. How many of the best athletes are willing to skip maybe 20% of their power and endurance training and just start running on a 6b route instead? I mean, this speed focus will also have a negative impact on their rock climbing performances, beside it being dead boring to train for.

 
 
First 9a by Petr Blaha (39)  (5) Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PicturePetr Blaha, who started climbing in 1994 and did his first 7c+ when he was 31 years old, is peaking with Abyss 9a in Gorges du Loup, being 39 years old. During the last year, he has done three 8c+'s out of his total of six and all in Gorges du Loup. (c) Yoann Estepa

How do you train?
There are no shortcuts for progression, train hard, rest regularly, stay motivated, avoid injuries. Do that and you will progress.

Training, up to 30 hours a week. Weightlifting and the calisthenics Monday plus Wednesday, twice a day. Tuesdays and Thursdays are dedicated to finger strength training, campusing or fingerboarding in the morning, two or three hours in climbing gym at the evening. Friday is a rest day, I spend Saturday and Sunday at the cliff all year round, I try do spend some time Sunday night on campus board. Three weeks of training, one week rest.

 
 
Sasha Digulian and 8a argument about FFA  Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureSasha Digulian has written a debate article in regards to the Rock & Ice article where Paige Claasen says FFA (First Female Ascents) are irrelevant.

"FFA are significant because they flag the progress of women's achievements in climbing. The relevancy of labeling something as a "First Female Ascent" can be arbitrary depending the difficulty may be somewhat insignificant.

My hero is Lynn Hill for setting the precedent for men and women. Her achievements and highlighting that she is a woman narrow the gender gap. I think that there is something to be said about women putting themselves out there and going after their dreams regardless of past ascentionists. This encourages me to push myself as well.

Perhaps people who are not in favor of emphasizing "female firsts" find organizations like the Women's Sports Foundation and UN Women irrelevant as well. Reinforcement of female achievements are necessary to encourage progression."


8a agrees with the thoughts of Digulian even if FFA should not in general be considered as important as a FA. Although climbing might be the sport where female are closest to male performance, of course it is important to state who was the first female on Mount Everest or which female will do the FFA of a 9a+.

If climbing media should not divide and select male and female performances differently, we would almost never see any female ascents reported. Most certainly, no media would report Paige's 8b+/c ascent, as probably 500 guys do it every year.

 
 
Playground Kraft featuring Akiyo Noguchi and more  Facebook
 

Playground Kraft – featuring Akiyo Noguchi, Miho Nonaka, Kaito Watanabe & Tomoa Narasaki from cafekraft on Vimeo.

 
 
Bouldering in Zumaia (Basque Country)  Facebook
 

 
 
9a by Dave Graham in Flatanger  (5) Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureDave Graham reports on Facebook that he has done the second ascent of Illusionist in Flatanger, which actually was Dave's first 9a in over two years. In total, he has done 19 routes 9a and harder.

 
 
 
Another 9a by Alexander Megos  (10) Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureFrankenjura.com 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. © Klettern.de

 
 
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

Frankenjura.com 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 Frankenjura.com

 
 
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 PictureClimb2climb.be 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.

 
 
Two 8c by Sasha Digulian  Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureSasha Digiulian has done two 8c in Oliana, Fish Eye and Los Humildes pa Casa. "Retro Flash" - first try of the trip but I put draws up on it before! Simply magical, one of the best routes I've ever climbed. Thanks for the belay Arjan!

Sasha started to climb when she was 7 and she has making head lines since she was 14, doing an 8A boulder. Since 2011, she has been the best female rock climber and her highest 8a ranking among the male has been #6.

In 2011, she was the Overall World Champion after being #2 in Boulder and #8 in Lead.

 
 
8C (+) by Toru Nakajima  Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureToru Nakajima reports through Facebook, "I made second ascent Asagimadara 8C (+) Mt Mizugaki!! This problem had made first ascent by Tokio Muroi two years ago.

He took more 100 days to climb this problem and he graded it "6 DAN". 6DAN may means 8C+, but I think it is 8C. After all, I think it is the best problem I did, and I am very happy to climb such a problem.

 
 
First 9a by Nick Duttle  (1) Facebook
 

Nick Duttle has done I, Me, MINE in Texas for his first 9a after having done six 8c+.

"First of all I would like to say thank you to the Austin climbing community and people who make this a special place! I feel greatful and lucky to climb round here! The bouldery, technical, and powerful nature of the limestone is a real treasure that has much to teach and a bit more to give. I have to give honest humbled respect to Rupesh for completing this climb.

 
 
8C FA by Paul Robinson again  Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PicturePaul Robinson has done his eleventh 8C by the FA of The New Chapter in Arkansas. "The low start to child's play (8B). One of the sickest roof climbs I have done!! climbs a really hard powerful boulder problem into the stand start and makes the stand soo much harder! ahh such a sick roof!! so psyched!" (c) Fernando Jiminez

Paul's first 8C FA, Lucid Dreaming in Bishop from 2010 is probably the hardest one and have been subject of being upgraded. In total Paul has done 163 boulders 8B and harder.

 
 
La Rambla 9a+ by Felix Neumärker  (12) Facebook
 

Click to Enlarge PictureFelix Neumärker has done the classic La Rambla 9a+ in Siurana. "Happy-go-lucky... Thanks a lot to Gerard Rull for telling Patxi's method... Thanks to André and Alizée for the support!!" (c) www.bergleben.de

Alexander Huber put up the "Original" as an 8c+ in 1994. The first repeat, including an extension, was done in 2003 by Ramon Julian Puigblanque giving it 9a+. Several repeaters have said that the extension includes an elimination which they have escaped.

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