A return to regular climbing news as the summer season gets wet in the UK. A lot of the biggest sports climbers and boulderers are now deep into training and competition to be ready for the introduction of climbing to the Olympics in 2020. That being said, we've still got some big news in all areas of climbing.
Sasha DiGiulian working big new jungle route
All round prodigy Sasha Digiulian is currently establishing a new route on the picturesque Pico Cão Grande. The volcanic mud tower is on the small African island of São Tomé and Príncipe and is 455m tall.
DiGiulian put the team together as an all female endeavor, with Angela Vanwiemeersch as her partner in climbing and Savannah Cummins as lead photographer up on the wall. The team are currently facing non-stop rain but are still climbing through the insane loose rock as seen in the video above.
Watch Jacopo Larcher on "Tribe" - Hardest trad climb in the world?
Back in March, Jacopo Larcher finished his 6 year long trad project in Cadarese, Italy. Refusing to grade it (though it is probably around 5.14d/15a) he proved that trad climbing can still be pushed. Until now we haven't had proper footage. North Face have now released a mini-doc on the project and the full uncut climb. It's definitely worth a watch, give it a crack.
Extra EXTRA extension to Ali Hulk - 9b in Rodellar, Spain sent twice
Starting off a bit confusingly - there is a 9a in Rodellar called Ali Hulk. There is also a version with extra height called Ali Hulk Extension which is 9a+. You can also then add a sit start which names it "Ali Hulk Sit Start + Extension" or "Ali Hulk Extension Sit Start" which makes it a little harder but is still graded around 9a+. There is ALSO a full 9b called "Ali Hulk Extension Total Sit Start" A super cool problem that starts out as a cave boulder then move out onto an overhanging face.
On Jul 29th Jonatan Flor sent it to make his first 9b, followed a day later by Jorge Díaz-Rullo who has also sent Biographie 9a+ and La Planta de Shiva 9b in Malaga. The latest 9b version was put up by Dani Andrada in 2007 and has been repeated by others including Magnus Midtbo.
New Contenders for Olympics 2020
Having utterly destroyed the bouldering championship this year by taking first place in every single bouldering event, it seems Janja Garnbret might now have a real contender in Akiyo Noguchi of Japan. Noguchi took second place in the four bouldering events she attended, having not been in attendance for the first few. In lead, South Korean Chaehyun Seo is the odds-on favourite at this point.
In the men's, the results are a little less easy to place. Adam Ondra has been facing a wrist injury but when competing has done very well in both bouldering and lead. Tomoa Narasaki still seems top of the board in bouldering, with Alex Megos clear leader in lead.
From August 11th the World Championships will start in Hachioji, Japan. This event is the first invitational which will see who takes a guaranteed spot for their country in the 2020 games.
Niall Grimes Shows Off Bouldering Skills
The British Bouldering Championships were held recently, and UK legend Niall Grimes (of the Jam Crack podcast) gave some of the setting a try. He also explained some of the mental battles that take place well before competitors even see plastic.