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prAna - Urban Climbing Project  Facebook

Present Bouldering results with points  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureBouldering competitions are exciting but it is hard for the spectators to follow and understand the results, e.g. 2t5 2b13. In fact, even the IFSC commentators often make mistakes when they try to say which conditions apply before the last boulder, actually fooling the audience.

It is simple to start scoring by points and if climbing is going to be an Olympic sport, IFSC should see to it. The dilemma is of course that the judges have to count and present their results like they always have and then calculate it and show the results also with points. This would make it much more simple for the television commentators, during the Olympics - they would present and analyze the result during and after the event, instead of having just some confusing information, example of which you can see in the picture.

One further benefit with an added point system is that you could start using two bonus holds, which will just increase the excitement for both the climbers and the spectators. There is a possibility to calculate the results so, let us say, all eight bonuses on the first try would actually beat no bonuses and just one top on the 15th go. (Examples of different scoring will be presented as a comment). The article goes hand in hand with what Danel Woods wrote in a comment discussing the problems with the scoring system used in the US Nationals.

No hotel but possibly bungalows at Tonsai  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureThe latest report from Railay is that there will be no hotel complex at Tonsai. No construction has been started yet but there might be bungalows just like on the Railay side. This goes in hand with what we have reported before based on info from Björn "Dr 8a" Alber. Picture by Sumphon Suebhait (King of Railay)

- The biggest advantage with a bungalow village at Tonsai is of course that there will be clean water which also the cheaper accommodation and restaurant further up will benefit from.

For now, the Tonsai beach is not the nicest place as there are no facilities such as restaurants that would take care of the area, beside Freedom bar. In other words, let us hope they start building bungalows and restaurants.

5 Pillars in Tasmania with Katha Saurwein and Jorg Verhoeven  Facebook

Alcañiz bouldering with Sharma and Robinson  Facebook

New All Time High  (2) Facebook

Last week, 8a received a new All Time High both when it comes to Sessions (124 844) and Unique Visitors (38 540). Thank you very much and thanks to the team helping out in different ways. We are always looking for more climbers that would like to help, write to if you are interested.

At the moment we have 61 000 members who have recorded 3.8 million ascents that will guide you to the best crags and climbs in the world. We hope to present the new scorecard pages' design in a few weeks.

Mina Markovic redpoints or onsights an 8b+  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureMina Markovic is back in Spain and reports on Facebook with a great picture of Luka Fonda that she has done Dogma 8b+ in Siurana on her first try.

Some would call this an onsight, what do you think?
As it share an easy juggy start with Kalea Borroka, which I already flashed before, I did it on RP and I can't call it an 'onsight'. But it dosn't matter as it was definitely one of the unforgettable ascents.

Long traverses in Frankenjura  Facebook

Boulder Mix 3 -Frankenjura- from André Behr on Vimeo.

IFSC - Sport Climbing as One Voice  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureIFSC has put together a press release from their Plenary Assembly in Tehran where Tokyo 2020 Olympics and Sport Climbing in Iran were the main topics. Interestingly, Marco Scolaris said that it might not be just a Combined event as previously suggested.

- We cannot say anything about the format at this point as the decision has not been taken yet. We believe that Sport Climbing has all the assets: new, fresh, young".

Most climbers, including Chris Sharma, have been critical towards the Lead, Bouldering and Speed combined format with just one set of medals.

Gripping techniques and recruitment training are the key  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureIn general terms, all finger techniques are equally good. However, different techniques suite different climbers, holds, angles and rock. Most climbers have a dominating finger position and this position is therefore trained frequently, meanwhile the abandoned techniques are getting weaker. A balanced gripping repertoire is the key factor for any top-climber Learn how to get much stronger in an hour.

Toru Nakajima in Colorado  Facebook

TORU_NAKAJIMA_IN_COLORADO_2015 from Imashi Hashimoto on Vimeo.

Steep climbing inside Verdon  Facebook

Best Crash Pad - 2016  Facebook

Follow ascents made by your "friends" and those in Crags  Facebook

Log-in and find your "friends'" scorecard and click: "Add to My Friends - Stay updated on all ascents from this Scorecard/Log-book"

In the same way you can go to a specific crag and click: " Add to My Updates >= All" You can also choose more specifically if you want only 8a ascents and more etc.

The Melloblocco Festival gets smart with Vertical Life  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureThe Melloblocco 2016 will introduce a new, open competition for the participants. Besides the legendary money blocks for pros, there will be a Smart Climbing Festival, based on the smartphone topo app by Vertical Life.

The contestants can follow the competition circuits of Val di Mello, check the topos, mark their boulder ascents and upload pictures to the livestream – all by using the associated app guide. The system promises to become a new, fun way of holding an open competition, allowing climbers to participate in the individual or teamscore. The live rankings can be tracked at all times. The pre-registration is open. More info here. Download Vertical-Life App.

Flat ballerina shaped shoes for slab wide micro edges  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureClimbing shoes follow the toes making the front end rounded. If instead the shape of the shoe would be flat, like in the ballerina shoes, it would probably be easier to stand on sharp wide micro edges. In normal shoes, less rubber gets in contact with such specific footholds.

The problem is that this square shape makes the shoes perform worse in all other conditions and once rubber is rounded off, the benefit is reduced.

In fact, one shoe company has checked this possibility but it did not work out also based on the estimated price. However, as the sport is growing in popularity, the shoe companies and the sponsors will be willing to invest more money and the top athletes might have as many shoes in the bag as the golfers.

Remember that some weeks ago, we discussed the opposite. The shoes could have a super rounded specific big toe compartment in order to squeeze in only the big toe in two finger pocket. Two weeks later, Charles Albert squeezed his big toe in a small pocket, creating a FA in Font that is said to be impossible with normal climbing shoes.

Two 8B+ incl. one FA by Jernej Kruder  Facebook

Max and Andy do 8B in Tuolumne Meadows (Yosemite)  Facebook

Digiulian talks about the Bellavista ascent with Marin  Facebook

Blocmasters for all and CAC  Facebook

Blocmasters international will take place in Studio Bloc in Pfungstadt (Hessen, Germany) on 19-20 March. The competition is open for amateurs and professional boulderers.
Names like Alexei Ruptsov and Jan Hojer are already on the list and the prize money is Euro 10 000. All profit will be donated to "Climbers Against Cancer" (CAC). More info and their the Facebook page.

The Petzl GriGri safety dilemma  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureR & I has published Belay Screw-ups and What To Do About Them. The big dilemma is that, like on the picture by Klaus Fengler, belayers tend to use a GriGri technique which is not authorized by Petzl.

Ten years ago 8a suggested a GriGri technique which actually made Petzl change their manuals. At that time, most of climbers, including several of the most famous athletes, used a deadly dangerous technique. I personally made several celebrities change their GriGri handling.

Later, Petzl introduced another belay technique which almost is not used. Now, most use something similar to what 8a suggested and what is shown in the picture.

Safety is the most important issue in climbing and this article pinpoint the Petzl GriGri safety dilemma. Some three years ago, Petzl did withdraw a GriGri safety video that had been shown 0.5 million times as 8a had told Petzl that one of their famous athlete was using another deadly dangerous GriGri technique.

Electronic Solo Lead "Auto-belay"  Facebook

8A+ (B) flash by James Webb again  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureJames Webb has flashed Ouroboros in Fontainebleau giving it a personal 8A+ grade. This was his third 8A+ flash during the last ten days in Font. The picture by Eddie Fowke was made two weeks ago when James was #2 in the US Nationals.

Congrats! How much beta did you get?
Just saw one video yesterday actually of Charles doing it.

Did not anybody coach you during the flash in regard to hand and feet placement?
Just went climbing and everything luckily stuck perfectly. I mean, I show up with an idea of how its done, then just check the holds and feet and sometimes make minor adjustments to the beta so it suits me.

Amazing! Did you do any mental preparation before?
No real preparation this time. Was actually feeling quite tired from the morning session so. No expectations really.

In general what do you think is the secret of flashing hard?
I don't know actually. But if I had to say... it would be confidence.

Gui-Gui, Webb and Albert working on The Big Island sit start  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureThe Big Island is the famous 8C in Fontainebleau and the sit version is supposed to be a ten moves long 8B+, which has been done. So 8B+ with no rest going into an 8C. The next level :) Picture by Clement Perotti

The Claws with separate big toe compartment already invented  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureInfluenced by the direct version of Le pied à coulisse 8C+ made by Charles "Mowgli" Albert which is thought not to be possible with normal climbing shoes, this article has been moved to the top again.

Inspired by amazing Charles Albert, who does 8B+'s barefoot in Font, Jens Larssen wrote the article Sticking rubber toe plasters or separate big toes on shoes?

Already 25 years ago, Marius Morstad, Special Adviser at the University of Sports in Oslo, who has been helping La Sportiva, Scarpa and 5.10 with shoe innovations, came up and presented the idea of a separate big toe compartment - The Claws.

The shoe industry was not much interested but Marius says that it at least had some impact of the Mantra and the no edge concept from La Sportiva.

- So to answer you question, that I have been able to inspire others so my visions could be materialized most be my biggest contribution. The vision is not truely materialized in a comercial product yet, maybe I should start my own company heehehe

Puccio & Schubert win 23rd Hueco Rock Rodeo  Facebook

Women's Open
1) Alex Puccio - 6510 pts.
2) Jule Wurm - 5005 pts.
3) Akiyo Noguchi - 3160 pts.
Men's Open
1) Jakob Schubert - 7710 pts.
2) Jan Hojer - 7290 pts
3) Sam Davis - 6960 pts.
More info and pictures

Gui-Gui's 8C+ repeated by Webb and a direct version by barefoot Mowgli  (62) Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureNeil Hart comes with most extraordinary Boulder news: both James Webb and Charles "Mowgli" Albert have repeated Guillaume Glairon-Mondet's Le pied à coulisse 8C+ in Fontainebleau. Mowgli did it barefoot saying he did a direct version, "It's easier than the original method, but maybe only possible without climbing shoes".

You have to wrap your toe around a small spike in a pocket which is not possible with shoes and thus eliminate six moves! Both guys credit Gui-Gui's vision. James think it is more 8C and Charles says his version is 8B+. (c) Clement Perotti/Sandstone media

Scorecard comment from James, "First of all major props to Gui Gui for having the vision to create this line! Its a very nice problem hosting both technical and powerful movement. Regarding the grade I personally feel 8C is more appropriate though it is definitely one of the hardest in the forest. Today Charles and I climbed it using VERY different methods. Charles created a direct sequence that eliminates around 6 moves off Gui's line and honestly might only be doable if you're barefoot. For me I decided to repeat Gui's line because I wanted to climb what he thought could be that next level. Nonetheless I'm keen to have it done and really psyched to move forward on other projects! 2nd ascent. 3 days"

ZION 8 K  Facebook

ZION 8K from More Than Just Parks on Vimeo.

8B+ by Martin Mobråten in Norway  Facebook

Top-10 that have had most impact on the development of sport climbing  (14) Facebook

Who are the sport climbers that have had most impact on the development in the history? Here is a draft and feel free to give your comments.
1. Adam Ondra
2. Wolfgang Güllich
3. Chris Sharma
4. Dani Andrada
5. Alexander Huber

6. Fred Rouhling, Ben Moon, Bernabe Fernandez, Yuji Hirayama, Tommy Caldwell, Markus Bock, Kurt Albert

Help us improve the database  Facebook

There are now almost 3.7 million star-rated ascents in the 8a database that will guide you to the best Routes and Boulders in the world. All the ascents are available in the 8a App and you download a couple thousand Left-Right topos in the 8a Topo App. Here you can create or update Left-Right Topos.

We are also looking for volunteers that could help us to do spell-checking and add sectors to the routes. Please send a mail to and you will get a special log-in.

A little about resting periods  Facebook

During the last few years, the use of a stopwatch has increased in order to follow strict training regimes. What is not so known is the fact that resting periods are flexible since everyone is different and the exact perceived load varies.

The reason why we rest is that the muscles should recover in between the tries and sets. In practice, you should opt not to lose your maximum capacity during the session, meaning that the longer a session is, the longer resting time should become. During the first exercises, you do not need to rest the full 1 - 3 minutes period, as long as you feel you do not drop in your maximum capacity.

Do not look like a robot with the eyes just focused on your smartphone. Instead be smart and learn to adjust your maximum personal resting time in between your schedule exercises.

Kevin Jorgeson DWS on Hawaii  Facebook

Madrid Hard Climbs Vol.1  Facebook

Thicker and thinner ropes at ISPO  Facebook

Talking to the different rope manufactures at ISPO 2016, the trend for more different types of ropes for specific segments increases. At the time Beal has the thinnest and lightest rope at the market at 8.5 mm. Singing Rock, on the other hand, has made one GYM 10.1 mm ultra durable with braided core which can be used in climbing schools and clubs as hanging up ropes for multi top roping. Also Sterling Rope has thought about the top roping trend of 30 meters routes where one of their stiffer gym ropes will do the trick. ​

Carlos "Citro" Logroño (45) does an 8c+ in Alquezar  Facebook

Why do we not see more progress in male bouldering?  (16) Facebook

During the last ten years we have seen an extreme development when it comes to the number of boulderers, Boulder problems, gyms, training facilities and training theories. At the same time, the female and the youngsters have pushed several grades up and in fact getting closer to the male, who show limited progress.

Why do we not see more progress in male Bouldering with all these improved preconditions including videos, chalk, shoes and crash pads? Bouldering did become a sport about 20 years ago with great development during the first ten years but then it more or less stopped. Could one of the possible explanations be that some 8C's actually deserve the 8C+ grade?

Lucas Menegatti gives also L'Alchimiste 8B instead of 8C  Facebook

Saïgon & L'alchimiste from lucas menegatti on Vimeo.

First ascents in Brazil  Facebook

Obrigado Amigos (EN subtitles) from Ondřej Smrž on Vimeo.

Oman #2 incl 1 000 m trad in Misht  Facebook

Top-10 moments in US Bouldering Nationals  Facebook

Could Sharma reach 9c with systematic training?  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureFinger boards, Systematic training, Running, Nutrition, Weight lifting and 10 weeks programs etc, run by a trainer with a calendar and a stop watch.

Why is it that almost all the best rock climbers and boulderers in the world have not followed a specific training regime, and yet, the coaches and the media say that this is the trick? Now even Chris Sharma has said that he might try it. Could this take him to 9c and would he already have done a 9c+ if he had started as a teenager?

Surely, there is no downside for Sharma to start experimenting and most people who achieved World Cup podiums, apart from Adam Ondra, have earned it through systematic training. Furthermore, many of us live in poor climate and rock conditions and for some personalities structured training is the only right thing to do.

The best way, however, to become the #1 rock climber or boulderer in the world is to climb outside as much as possible, "training" technically, tactically, physically and always going "a muerte". It does not matter how much indoor physical capacity you have gained, following strict systematic schedules. Doing the hardest ascents comes down to having challenged yourself mentally sticking "impossible" moves millions of times and just keep going...

This has been my training philosophy for 25 years and I am writing it again, to counter-balance all the coaches and media who claim the opposite. Go for an holistic approach guided by adrenaline, beauty, community and training knowledge, like the best guys out there and the ones having most fun. (c)

8a moved to https!  (9) Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureLast night we switched over to https, which means that you can find on from now on. All http:// links will be redirected to https://.

We do our best to keep all the site's resources including images on https but sometimes you might not see a green padlock in your browser address bar. This is probably caused by some embedded images in the forum and the news loaded from http:// instead of https://. Please report any such issues in the forum.

We moved 8a to https for several reasons, but the most important ones are privacy and security. A lot of our users login to 8a on open WiFi hotspots. With https other people on the same network won't be able to capture your password and session tokens.

Firefox announced that they are going to phase out none secure http. Google also checks if a site is using https as a part of their search ranking algorithms.

If you are interested, here is a nice article from the NY Times giving more details about the benefits of https.


We're fixing the last bits of the migration process while I'm writing this. Bear with us before while we try to fix the last things :)

Euro 400 for shoes that climb one grade harder?  Facebook

Marius Morstad, who has been supporting the shoe industry with innovations for 25 years, hopes that the barefoot climber, Charles Albert, will inspire producers to take the next step.

"Make the shoes softer, use sticky rubber all over the shoes and make them fit the foot without to much tension, use thinner rands and soles and look for ways to support the big toe without take away sensitive. This will accelerate and facilitate a natural evolution in climbing as a sport, the moves are there now and a new generation of climbers also, the future is already her."

The production knowledge is already there. It is just a matter of cost versus demand. La Sportiva has pushed it with the no edge concept where sales have been low but are picking up and also their athletes have been able to cutomize mid-soles etc.

With more climbers making the sport more commercial, and possibly Olympic medals to compete for, he thinks that the new generation of specialized shoes and prices are soon to come. It will start with guys like Adam Ondra getting custom-made shoes making him able to climb harder.

In most of the other sports there is a huge price difference but until now this almost does not exist in climbing. Once the climbers are ready to pay Euro 400 for shoes that could sometimes make them climb one grader harder, they will start being produced.

8C FA by Chris Sharma  Facebook

Euros for shoes climbing one grade harder?  Facebook

Czech and German sandstone trad documentary  Facebook

Best rope 2016 = Sterling  Facebook

Based on 1 100+ unique votes from the poll "Best Climbing Ropes?" we can see that there are three winning brands and then three runner-ups. In comparison to a similar poll from 2013, we can see that Beal is getting lower positions and that Mammut, Petzl and Tendon have made a great increase.

21 % Sterling (24 % in a similar poll 2013)
19 % Beal (26)
18 % Mammut (12)
13 % Edelrid (10)
12 % Tendon (8)
11 % Petzl (4)
5 % Other: Roca mentioned most often (16)

Rocklands - Dreamlines and Dynos  Facebook

ROCKLANDS - Dreamlines & Dynos from Serious Climbing on Vimeo.

Jour de chasse 8C (B+) by Kevin Lopata  Facebook

Jour de chasse 8c from kevin LOPATA on Vimeo.

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.

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.


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