Category Archives: Climbing News

Slovenians Markovic and Garnbret Crush in Catalunya

Janja Garnbret climbingMina Markovic climbing

Mina Markovic (left) and Janja Garnbret (right) made personal and national history in Catalunya, Spain yesterday. Markovic, the overall World Cup champ in both 2011 and 2012, has become the first Slovenian woman to climb 9a/5.14d with her send of La Fabela Pa La Enmienda. On her Instagram she says she is, “…Very pleased about the gift that Santa brought to me – new project, great line! :) But, just few days after, I have already put it down. My first 9a is done!”

Following in Mina’s footsteps, 16-year-old Janja Garnbret flashed Rollito Sharma (8c/5.14b) while in Spain. Of both her and Mina’s sends Janja says, “Wow! What a day!! ūüėĄ A huge success!!” Clearly the ladies of Slovenia are strong and psyched. Congrats to Mina and Janja!

Climb on!
Mary

Info and photo credit: Mina’s Instagram, Janja’s Instagram, 8a.nu

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Climbing Video: Fun in Flatanger

To brighten up this dreary week, we’re happy to share¬†a cheerful¬†video from Generation Up!, featuring buddies Ashima Shiraishi and Kai Lightner on a recent trip¬†to Norway, the land of fishing, fearsome Vikings, and the Flatanger Cave.¬†Still in their early teens, these young guns are paving the way for the next generation of elite climbers, with impressive accomplishments already under their belts.

It’s fun to watch the¬†duo¬†work through challenging problems with a combination of Ashima’s outdoor¬†experience, Kai’s honed indoor technique, and the sheer enthusiasm of these two young climbers out to push their limits and just have fun (and Ashima’s plug to inspire girls to climb hard didn’t hurt, either). By the end of the trip, it seems Ashima was able to convince Kai just how awesome outdoor sport climbing can be, despite his initial reservations about those “crazy, hippie people who live out of their vans and don’t shower.”
Climb on!
Emily & Beth

Girl Crush of the Month: Janja Garnbret

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Janja stopping the show at this year’s La Sportiva Legends Only Comp. Photo by Lars Lindwall.

This past weekend our girl crush of the month, 16-year-old Janja Garnbret,¬†dominated at the women’s only La Sportiva Legends Only Competition. I’m not using the word dominated for effect either; she completed all 5 problems in just 7 total tries, while the other competitors completed 3 problems… combined. So who were these other climbers then? Only repeated World Cup medalists¬†Anna St√∂hr, Juliane Wurm, Shauna Coxsey, and Melissa Le Neve. Her performance at this comp alone was enough to pique our interest and reminded us that young guns are coming up and they’re coming up strong.

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Sport Climbing Likely in 2020 Olympics

2020 Olympic hopeful, Ashima Shiraishi

2020 Olympic hopeful, Ashima Shiraishi

The organizing committee for the 2020 Olympics met in Tokyo today and proposed that sport climbing be included in the 2020 Summer Games. The proposal also included karate, surfing, skateboarding, and baseball and softball (under a combined bid). The organizing committee says, “This package of events represents both traditional and emerging, youth-focused events, all of which are popular both in Japan and internationally.” The proposal is highly likely to be accepted by the International Olympic Committee, but the final decision will not be made until August 2016.

So, basically huge news for the climbing community this morning. One more way our dear sport is taking on a life of its own, evolving, growing, and spreading into mainstream media. It’s pretty lovable, no wonder everyone’s digging it.

Climb on!
Mary

Sources: The Wall Street Journal, BBC, IFSC, Ashima’s Instagram

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Climbing in the Year 2030: Climbing Mentality

Photo credit: Royal Robbins

The mental fortitude that Lynn Hill demonstrates could be a focus in the future of climbing. Photo credit: Royal Robbins

Over the last two weeks, climber and author John Burgman, has looked into climbing’s crystal ball and predicted how the sport might change over the next 15 years. Today we go back to the future one last time and take a look at potential changes to climbing mentality.¬†

In a recent Ask Me Anything on Reddit, Lynn Hill was asked about the mental side of climbing, and she responded with her opinion that focus and mental fortitude don‚Äôt come so much from other people, rather they are strengthened within oneself. This was an appropriate answer because for a long time external resources‚ÄĒexperts, websites, classes and books‚ÄĒthat targeted the mental side of climbing did not exist. As a result, for many climbers, diving into psychological motivations and working on mental toughness for routes‚ÄĒor bouldering problems‚ÄĒlong involved a sort of jury-rigged hodgepodge of non-climbing sources forcefully poured into one‚Äôs own climbing mold; take a meditation exercise that you learned in a yoga class, combine it with a visualization technique from a self-help podcast, use a little of that anti-anxiety breathing technique that a former roommate taught you, and apply it all to whatever crux is tripping you up at your crag.

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Strong Climbing: Not Your Average Comp

Julia Sikut pulling on the wall at BKB Somerville.

Julia Sikut pulling on the wall at BKB Somerville.

Sunday, May 31st, OutdoorFest, Brooklyn Boulders, and Adaptive Climbing Group will be hosting Strong Climb: An Adaptive Climbing Competition.¬†Let’s just say this isn’t your average¬†climbing competition, it’s more like the kind of comp¬†that Charles Darwin would’ve dreamed up. Sponsored by Adidas Outdoors and organized by Adaptive Climber, Kareemah Batts, the competition will challenge both able-bodied and adaptive climbers to compete in adaptive style climbing. Later in the event, Adidas athlete and three time national lead climbing champion, Delaney Miller, and sponsored paraclimber¬†Julia Sikut will compete in the various challenges.

Delaney, National Lead Climbing Champion, and Julia, Pro Paraclimber, will compete in the competition

Delaney, National Lead Climbing Champion, and Julia, Pro Paraclimber, will be competing.

While the competition aims to raise awareness and money for the Adaptive Climbing group, Delaney explained that she became involved “because it also helps to bring a stronger sense of community between adaptive climbers and the rest of the climbing community. When I went to compete in the World Championship in Gijon, it felt like the USA Team was split between the para-climbers and fully abled climbers. My hope is that events like this will help unite the climbing community so that everyone feels connected, regardless of ability or health.” Julia Sikut was one of the para-climbers competing at the World Championships in Gijon. She also leads weekly adaptive climbing sessions at BKB Somerville. She hopes that¬†participants and observers “may learn about different body types and what they can achieve. I don’t think anyone would assume its ‘easy’ for someone to climb with one arm, or for someone to climb without the use of legs. But sometimes people (disabled or not) ¬†inaccurately assess the abilities of others just based on first glance. I hope this competition gives all different body types a chance to accurately represent themselves and what they are capable of doing.”
The three categories of competition are:

‚ÄúClimbing Blind‚ÄĚ:¬†Paired competition, climber is blindfolded. Climber must stay on route. Best time, most holds on while climbing, wins.

‚ÄúLook Ma! Just Hands‚ÄĚ: Climber must climb¬†routes by campusing only (no feet).

‚ÄúHop to It‚ÄĚ:¬†Climber to choose one leg to climb with for entire route and cannot switch feet during route.

Each challenge will be run by someone who has the disability that the station attempts to replicate, and will share their experience as an adaptive climber. “Watching climbers push themselves outside of their comfort zones is always inspirational and exciting,” shared Delaney. In fact, for Julia, climbing was one of the first adaptive sports she tried after an accident left her paralyzed from the waist down. Says Julia, “I enjoy the problem solving and independence.” Outdoor Fest Founder¬†Sarah Knapp explained, “While climbing competitions and fundraisers happen all the time, this event is taking it to the next level and providing an experience for everyone that will hopefully change perspectives and build community.”

Climb on! ~Cate

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Watch Ashima Send Her First 9a/+

Last month¬†Ashima Shiraishi became the youngest person yet and one of just two females to have ever sent 9a/+ (5.14d/5.15a). Want to know what it looks like to send 9a/+? Check out Petzl’s¬†just released video of the thirteen-year-old sending¬†Open Your Mind Direct in Catalunya. As for her final words on the climb? “Finally… That was so, like, surreal.”

Climb on!
Mary

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10-Year-Old Angie Scarth-Johnson Now Youngest to Send 8c/5.14b

Angie on Welcome to Tijuana, 8c/5/14b. Photo from Angie's Facebook.

Angie on Welcome to Tijuana, 8c/5/14b. Photo from Angie’s Facebook.

Nipping at the heels of kid prodigies like Brooke Raboutou and Ashima Shiraishi, Aussie climber¬†Angie Scarth-Johnson¬†has now become the youngest person to climb¬†8c/5.14b with her send of¬†Welcome to Tijuana¬†in Rodellar, Spain. Back in November 2013 Angie took another “youngest to” title by sending 8b/5.13d, Swingline in The Red. Of Welcome to Tijuana¬†Angie’s mom tells 8a.nu,¬†“The climb took her a 1 1/2 weeks including rest days to work it out, she got the first crux fairly easy. The thing that shut her down was the final move to the anchors which was quite reachy for her but she managed to find a way though it. She didn’t really prepare that much for the trip, just her usual training which is about 1 hour 4 days a week. We built her a bouldering wall at home and she just plays a lot on it everyday when she is bored.”¬†Her send¬†yet again highlights¬†just how strong the up and coming generation of climbers is, and we cannot wait¬†to see what the future holds for them. For more on this young gun check out the video profile below. Congrats Angie!

Climb on!
Mary

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Alex Puccio’s Controversial Crowdfunding

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Alex competing in the 2014 World Cup series, where she placed 5th overall. Photo: Seb Lazure.

While crowdfunding may be commonplace amongst start-up businesses, bands, and filmmakers, it has rarely been¬†used by climbers, until last week when Alex Puccio posted a request for donations on the crowdfunding website RallyMe. Setting her goal at $10,000, Alex plans to use the money to fund her 2015 World Cup circuit travel expenses,¬†where she hopes to, once and for all,¬†clinch the title of World Cup Champion. Her request for funding has received a range of responses from the climbing community, from “I couldn’t think of a better cause worth supporting! So honored to be able to donate to see this hero make her mark on the world!” to¬†“I feel insulted that Miss Puccio feels she’s entitled to money that could go to better causes.” With these two opinions and many in between it got us¬†thinking about why the climbing community seems to be so polarized about Alex’s crowdfunding.

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Ashima Strikes Again! Ciudad de Dios 9a/+

Ashima sending Ciudad de Dios (9a/9a+). Photo credit: Ashima's Instagram c/o Cross Road Studios)

Ashima sending Ciudad de Dios (9a/+). Photo from¬†Ashima’s Instagram c/o Crossroad Studios.

Less than a week after sending¬†Open Your Mind Direct¬†(9a+*), becoming the first female and youngest person to send 5.15a, Ashima is at it again. We’d barely had time to pick our jaws up off the ground, when Ashima posted her ascent of¬†Ciudad de Dios, (9a/+), and in only three days. According to her Instagram, she actually fell on the last move after just one day of working the route, evidence that¬†despite being only thirteen years old, this young lady is a force to be reckoned with.¬†Ciudad de Dios¬†links two routes Ashima is quite familiar with:¬†Open Your Mind Direct¬†and¬†La Fabela¬†(8c+), which Ashima sent last year.

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