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New topo of Maltatal  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureGerhard Schaar has published a new topo of Malatal, which offers around 350 sport routes, 80 multi pitch routes, 10 selected alpine climbs and about 200 boulders.

"The Maltatal is quite unique, because first of all you climb from a sea level of 800m up to 3350m. And secondly there are a lot of climbs right next to the many amazing waterfalls. There are a lot of lines from 7a up to 8c+, and a good share of great and easy climbing on slabs with superb quality.

Me and Markus Pucher started bouldering here around 1993, when we opened the majority of easier problems. With the arrival of Klem Loskot in 1997 the Maltatal started to be recognized as top secret spot and attracted much more climbers, leading to all the access issues mentioned before. To cut a long story short I was planning to a guidebook as I was amongst the busiest pioneers in bouldering, as well as the main developers for sport climbs by opening about 250 lines over about 20 years.

Facebook and here you can buy buy the topo for 31 Euro.

Access, Safety, Ethics and Grade knowledge for beginners to expertise  (1) Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureThe number of climbers is increasing dramatically. Here is some knowledge that could help beginners to learn how to act and understand the sport. Click on he picture!
Access & Human Waste
Safety and Belaying technic
Practice & Ethics
Grading in theory & Reality

Bouldering in Ticino on EpicTV  (2) Facebook

8B by Shauna Coxsey  Facebook

Ropes of Maui, 8b :)GoPro footage :)Red Bull adidas Outdoor Five Ten

Posted by Shauna Coxsey on Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Four under Four feet  Facebook

Four Under Four from Float Faction on Vimeo.

297 routes rebolted and 100 new ones on Kalymnos  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureClimb Kalymnos comes with great news. A total of 297 routes were partially or totally rebolted and another 100 new routes have been bolted. The new routes are not yet climbable so no topo is available but one of the new sectors is in the shade on the other side of Arginonta. In the picture there is the one who probably has spent most time bolting on Kalymnos, Claude Idoux.

Furthermore, the article tells about the refugee situation which seems to be under control and that there will be a climbing festival starting 8/10.

Skwama from La Sportiva with focus also on heel- and toe hooks  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureIn modern climbing heel- and toehooks are used more often and this is why the new La Sportiva shoe - Skwama focused on enabling you perfect friction on such moves. Furthermore, it is a high end, rather soft performance shoe where they have used their patented P3 midsole technology to keep the aggressive profile of the shoe over its lifetime. Comparing sizes, it seems like half size bigger than similar La Sportiva shoes.

Patented S-Heel™ construction provides optimal heel hooking maneuverability and the perfect heel cup fit
P3® patented technology coupled with the new innovative split-sole construction allows the sole to spread when weighted, reducing edge deformation
Sticky rubber toe patch for toe hooks and scums"

Indian Creek from a drone  Facebook

Martin Mobråten boulders indoors  Facebook

Jimmy Webb wins Sisu Masters but the Fins dominate overall  (3) Facebook

1. Jimmy Webb
2. Nalle Hukkataival
3. Anthony Gullsten
4. Ilari Kelloniermi, 5. Daniel Woods, 6. David Graham
Full Video.

IFSC is looking for a Communication assistant  Facebook

Detailed info about the job of a communication assistant at IFSC.

Bolting under a bridge  Facebook

ClimbTech Wave Bolts in Overhung Terrain from ClimbTech on Vimeo.

Gritstone rediscovered  Facebook

Ash Head from Dave Sutcliffe on Vimeo.

We need to provide the non-climbing media with up-to-date world records  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureAndreaw Bisharat has written a grade article with reference to 8a, which starts with the question: "When Grades Change, Should the Record Books Change, Too??"

Of course it should and it is the media who have the responsibility to present as accurate grades as possible. Action Direct was first given 8c+/9a but in the history book of climbing it is considered as the world's first 9a even if that might be replaced by Ben Moon's Hubble.

Non-climbing media will get more and more interested in the climbing world records and surely we have to give them our best knowledge even if it does not mean facts. As an example, even in climbing media it is said that Chris Sharma put up the first ever 9a+ with Realization and that Ashima Shiraishi did the first female 9a+ by Open Your Mind Direct.

Clearly, the non-climbing media is not interested in hearing the whole story and how grading works and getting all the question marks. They are just interested in presenting the world records based on the best knowledge possible and in this case, Sharma's and Shiraishi's great ascents should not be considered as 9a+'s world records.

If 8a were to be asked by the non-climbing media which are the 9a+ world records, we would answer: No female has yet done a 9a+ and the first ever 9a+ was done by Alex Huber in 1996 by Open Air in Schleier Wasserfall. OK, some would say Fred Rouhling's 9b Akira from 1995 but 8a thinks that this falls out of the definition of a route.

Surely, in few years, we might return to the opinion that Sharma and Shiraishi's 9a+'s were the first ever but as it stands now, and what should be presented to the non-climbing media, is that no female has done a 9a+ and that Huber was first.

Calcena - Another Spanish future destination  (3) Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureSamuel Arroyo has helped us out with an article about Calcena #1 in the 8a ascent trend ranking in Spain. With just 20 inhabitants in the province of Zaragoza this town is experiencing a big change.

"The first ascents date back to the 70s when climbers from Zaragoza city opened the first routes of classic cut, using cracks and dihedral to conquer their needles. Three decades after a group of climbers from the area, started to reequip these routes and opened new ones with a sportier character, but it has been just a couple of years ago when Calcena has become a landmark in sports climbing in the north-est of spain.

Thanks to new bolting techniques their walls have filled with incredible lines to currently reach 400 routes of all levels, good bolting and good rock quality are its hallmarks, the most of the crags are vertical slabs but we can also find overhanging walls where our forearms will blow up. The possibilities of the area are endless and with great potential, however, we can not forget the environment and therefore in the last months local climbers are grouped with the association Escalada Sostenible. You can get all the info and topos in the Calenca hostel

Thanks to the wall's orientation is possible to climb all year around, the climbing area is located at 836 m. above sea level, enabling rock climb even on the hottest days. Calenca video overview.

Euro University Games in Zagreb in July  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureThis year, on the 22nd, 23rd and 24th of July, Zagreb – Croatia will be the host of the first climbing competition ever for the university games. Last year we had an introduction with the European University competition in Sports climbing only. This year, climbing is introduced in the European University Games, so maybe in 2020 we can expect it in the Olympics as well?

The competition will be organized in the Croatian capital city of Zagreb. There will be boulder, lead and speed competitions and the competitors must be students of course and they can register for the competition only through their university. Application form.

Chris Schulte: Indian Creek and an Expanding Sport  Facebook

The FA should try to give a community grade  Facebook

The First Ascensionist of a climb suggests a grade which is the first guidance for the community. This means in fact that if the FA believes that he/she finds the line relatively easier/harder for other climbers who have different strength etc, the grade should reflect this.

If a super strong boulderer, who has done one short cruxy 8c route before, puts up his first long endurance monster and thinks this is much harder than the short 8c, possibly he should not give it an 8c+ or 9a grade.

In the same way, if a 150 cm tall woman puts up a route with a dyno crux, possibly the FA grade should reflect how taller climbers are going to find it.

8B+ FA by barefoot Charles Albert  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureCharles Albert, who has been Bouldering barefoot in Fontainebleau for the last four years, has done the FA of The Wagon Wheel in Petit Bois, after five sessions of projecting. Previously, "Mowgli" has done a couple of 8B+'s, including the FA of Le Pied à Coulisse - Direct, which actually is not possible with your shoes on.

"I really don't know if it's easier with shoes because the main foothold is a non existent sloopy thing so it's hard to imagine the friction of the rubber with the shape of the shoe. I should try it with shoes compare in details but I'm too lazy for that."

Interested in getting a shoe sponsor and what are you planning next?
No, the only thing I could do with them would be to sell it on Ebay. I have some other lines to open and then Melloblocco and maybe some repeats.

Mammut is looking for a Product Manager climbing hardgoods  Facebook

Mammut is looking for a climber with a deep knowledge of the sport and customer needs. You should bring basic education in business administration or marketing and possibly some work experience in the climbing industry.
Some basic German skills are required – therefore
the job description is in German only.

Ciavaldini battles Hirayama  Facebook

Jonas Winter up to 8C in Font  (2) Facebook

5 Boulders from Fontainebleau • Classics  Facebook

Fontainebleau • Extra Five from Eliot Stephens on Vimeo.

Tendon ropes without unpacking problems  Facebook

It often takes at least 10 minutes to unpack a new rope before you can climb with it. In the video you can see a new way of unpacking a rope in just two minutes. However, when it comes to Tendon ropes, no unpacking is needed, you can just climb directly.

Luca Rinaldi doing the classic extreme crossover on Off the Wagon 8B+  Facebook

David Mason sums up his 58 days in Font  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureDavid Mason has written a nice blog after his 58 days in Fontainebleau. (c) Jimy Webb

"So there you have it, six boulders (6B+ to 8B/+) that sum up my trip; from hidden gems to sandbags, mental battles to realization but at the end of the day it’s just another climbing trip and I will go through these trials and tribulations many times more I am sure. Hopefully though I have learnt a little and next time I will be more prepared.

James Pearson talks about the french heritage  (1) Facebook

James Pearson - Le Bronx

Become French or become one of the best climbers of all times, are both things that require their time. In this great video by Pietro Porro & Francisco Taranto Jr, La Sportiva ambassador James Pearson explain you why.#climberstoriesSfelab, FotoVertical

Posted by La Sportiva on Friday, April 1, 2016

Bouldering in Puerto Rico  Facebook

Bouldering Puerto Rico // Yabucoa from Cold House Media on Vimeo.

12 boulders 8A and harder by Gui-Gui in Rocklands  Facebook

8B FA by Paul Robinson  Facebook

Drone revolution on its way - April Fools day :)  Facebook

Shooting photos and videos from small helicopters has and will continue to change the media scene. Next up are drones that can be used for pre-clipping carabiners meaning that you do not need to carry 15 quickdraws on an onsight attempt. The new climbing revolution drone will also come with brushing rotor propellars that will do the trick.

8a is currently testing out a prototype and several guys have already made their personal best after the drone pre-clipped everything as well as brushed all holds. Coming up today is actually making the drone carrying the rope to the top clipping it in an anchor. The drone revolution has just begun and it sure looks nice.

Bouldering Puerto Rico // Yabucoa  Facebook

Paul Robinson Third Wheel 8B FA  Facebook

8B+ & 8B by Thilo Schröter in Norway  Facebook

Thilo Schröter - WOLVERINE 8B+ & PROPELLEN 8B from Thilo Schröter on Vimeo.

Three days bouldering in Ticino  Facebook

3 Days Bouldering in Ticino from Thomas Dauser on Vimeo.

Snow on Granite in Ticino  Facebook

Snow On Granite In Ticino from Ironmanfilms on Vimeo.

Ten days in Font  Facebook

Ten days in Fontainebleau from 8HOUSE on Vimeo.

Seb Bouin on a no grade trip in France  Facebook

NOGRAD MAGIC TRIP "South of France" from Tchaloproductions on Vimeo.

The art of downgrading, aka personal grades  Facebook

Some 15 years ago, very few climbers downgraded climbs and even if everyone did know that the grades were too soft in general, for example on Kalymnos and in Ticino, very few reacted. As 8a wanted to present correct news we said the situation was like in the Fairy tale 'The Emperor's new clothes'.

Downgrading, aka screaming that the Emperor is nude, was quite controversial and it had not started before David Graham put up The Story of Two World's as an 8C in combination with an article on 8a where he talked about the grade inflation. Later, 8a started to use the term "personal grade" instead of saying, "downgraded it", which now is actually the way the whole community defines it in order to reduce controversies.

Still, most stay away from giving personal grades and instead sometimes use the words "soft" and "hard" and that is just fine. On the other hand, it seems that some use personal grades to show off or just in order to be disrespectful to the FA-ionists and repeaters, which happens especially in Bouldering.

If you honestly feel that a Boulder is more than two grades wrong and you do not say it in a nice way, you can imagine that you are stepping on some toes. Sure you might be correct but when we are talking about three grades differences, maybe you should try to write it in a polite way in order not to offend some. Maybe you did not do the same Boulder, you found new beta, some holds have gotten bigger or you did not start in the same way etc.

In the 8a system you get the score and the news is based on your personal grade, which hopefully makes the provocative people calm down. We also think that it is good enough to say "soft" if you are not just sure if the line is clearly one grade easier for you personally. What I am critical towards is that in some databases you can downgrade a boulder with three grades but you still get the fame for having done the original grade! I mean that this system creates unnecessary and sometimes unfriendly controversies.

Sandstone bouldering in Basilicata from Ceria  Facebook

7 million euro worth gym in Bruneck (16 000 inhabitants)  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureKletterzentrum Bruneck which opened last year was a 7 million euro investment done by the School Ministry of South Tyrol in Bruneck. As the city has only 16 000 inhabitants it might be the largest investment per capita. Interestingly, the closest city is 30 minutes away, is similar in size, and also has a new climbing gym. In total, there are almost 40 gyms in South Tyrol with just some 500 000 people living there.

The size is also impressive for such a small city;
Routes indoor ca. 1370 m2
Routes outdoor ca. 450 m2
Boulder ca. 680 m2

One more 8B by Anna Stöhr  Facebook

Anna Stöhr is the most successful female competition boulderer. Wrestling with an alligator in Malatal was her fifth 8B after: The Riverbed in Magic wood - 2010, The Vice in Rocklands - 2013, The Power of one in Rocklands - 2013 and Boogalagga in Chironico - 2015.

yihaaaaaa - today i climbed klem loskot's classic 'wrestling with an alligator' 8b in maltatal :)

Posted by Anna Stöhr on Monday, March 28, 2016

Error on 8a due to hacker attack on server provider and huge traffic  (6) Facebook

The downtime on 8a is only related to a hacker attack on our server provider conducted in the same way as the attack the biggest news website in Sweden some weeks ago.

As we have reported earlier, the traffic has gone up some 25 % in 2016 and this in combination with the last preparations for the new scorecard pages has made us hit our maximum server capacity. Our server provider has told us that this problem has now been solved. We are sorry for the inconvenience but happy for the increase in traffic and that the new scorecard pages are soon to be released.

Erik Grandelius doing Amber 8A+ (B)  Facebook

Erik Grandelius sending Amber from Linné Ryn Brothers on Vimeo.

Free topo of Peloponnese from Vertical-Life  Facebook

Click to Enlarge Picture"Get your #free #topo with the code: MRBOB and discover #Lagada, hidden high amongst the alpine meadows and pine forests of majestic Mt Taygetus, the highest mountain on the Peloponnese (2407m)."
Vertical Life will give out one free Topo App every week.

Sharma Climbing BCN and his friends  Facebook

The shorties strike back :)  Facebook

For many years the very best climbers have been below average height and the best examples of this are; Ramonet (159 cm), Daniel Woods (169 cm) and Dai Koyamada (165 cm). Lately, more guys above 180 cm have been making headlines and as a matter of fact, in 2015 most of the very best were above 180 cm with Jan Hojer at 187 cm as the tallest. Based on that, I wrote two articles saying that the average height of the very best in 2015 was almost 180 cm.

Interestingly, during the last weeks, many people below 170 cm, including the mentioned above, have struck back creating headlines.

Searching for Stars in Font  Facebook

Font: Searching for Stars from Michiel on Vimeo.

Ashima doing an 8c in Railay  Facebook

8c+ and US Nationals for Margo Hayes (18)  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureMargo Hayes, who was #6 in Vail Boulder WC last year and got two silvers in Youth World Championships, has had some great days, first winning the US Lead Nationals and later doing Pure Imagination 8c+ and Omaha Beach 8b+ on her second go in Red River Gorge. (c) Christine Ruana. You will find more photos on Margo's website.

How was the two experiences and what is this year plan and ambition?
I am truly honored to have become National Champion. It has been a dream of mine since I watched the competition for the first time in my Hometown in 2011. It was an incredible experience for that dream to come true!
As for Pure Imagination, it has also been a goal of mine for a very long time. Since Sasha's send of the climb several years ago, I have know that I wanted to climb it someday. I have a poster in my room, and I always thought it looked like one of the most beautiful climbs in The Red River Gorge. It felt surreal to actually clip the chains.

This coming year, I am taking time off of school before attending University. I would like to take time to focus on climbing, art, and learning French. I hope to compete in several world cups as well as climb outdoors!

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

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

Favresse' hardest crack in Norway  (13) Facebook

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

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

7C+ flash by Alexandra Ladurner  Facebook

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

9a by Mateusz Haladaj  Facebook

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

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

8b by Maggie Smith-Odette (43)  Facebook

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

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

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

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

8B+ FA by Daniel Woods  Facebook

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

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

Another 9a by Alexander Megos  (10) Facebook

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

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

Corona 9a+ by Alexander Megos  (27) Facebook

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

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

Rainshadow 9a by Jordan Buys  (2) Facebook

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

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

Era Vella 9a by Michaël Fuselier  (10) Facebook

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

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

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

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

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

9a+ FA by Alexander Megos  (1) Facebook

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I started climbing very early as my parents are climbers too. I love bouldering, but started to rope climb as well in 2011. I train in the Gym, but just to get strong. My passion is climbing outdoors, meeting new people and climbing with them.

8b+ OS and more by Sachi Amma  Facebook

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Late blooming in climbing  Facebook

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

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

Era Vella 9a by Sachi Amma  Facebook

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

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

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

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

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

Jungle Speed 9a by Geir Söderin  (2) Facebook

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

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

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

Hukkataival does Bügeleisen 8B+  (15) Facebook

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

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

8B by Samuel Ometz (17)  Facebook

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

8b+ by Moritz Perwitzschky (13)  Facebook

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

8B+ FA by James Webb  Facebook

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

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

Fabelita 8c by Muriel Sarkany (38)  Facebook

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

9a and 8c+ FA by Ramonet  Facebook

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

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

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

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

9a again by Mateusz Haladaj  (1) Facebook

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

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

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

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

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

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

8c by Johanna Ernst  Facebook

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

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

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

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

8c+ by Piotr Schab (16)  Facebook

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

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

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

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

8B+ during the night by Chris Webb Parsons  Facebook

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

Hörst kids progress  Facebook

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

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

8c onsight by Adam Ondra  (5) Facebook

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

8b+ onsight by Geir Söderin  (60) Facebook

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


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