Sport climbing... not only Adam Ondra!
The latest sport climbing news concerning not only Adam Ondra, who at San Rocchino close to Camaiore in Italy made the first ascent of Naturalmente 9a+, but also Klemen Bečan, Felipe Camargo, Sasha Di Giulian, Matty Hong, Anna Liina Laitinen, Alexander Megos, Silvio Reffo, Angelina Scarth-Johnson, Laura Rogora, Jonathan Siegrist, Domen Škofic, Stephan Vogt and Barbara Zangerl.
Yes, not only Adam Ondra. Because while it’s true that last week, after having freed Queen Line 9b at Arco and repeated Lapsus 9b at Andonno, the 24-year-old then went on to complete his record-breaking week in Italy with the first ascents of La Terza Eta 9a and Naturalmente 9a+ at San Rocchino close to Camaiore in Tuscany (describing the latter as "one of the best routes I can imagine"), obviously there has been a flurry of other hard sport climbing ascents during the last few days and weeks. So many, in fact, that it’s becoming blindingly obvious that the overall ability level of the best has continued to evolve and improve considerably.
This quick overview begins by remaining on Italian soil: Silvio Reffo checked in with the first repeat of Omen Nomen, a 9a at Arco's Padaro freed recently by Stefano Ghisolfi and repeated two days ago by Alexander Megos who, a short while back in Chile, freed the country’s first 9a, Pasito a Pasit at Valle de los Condores. In Central Italy young Laura Rogora made the first repeat of Skorpio 8c/c+ at Collepardo, while at Pietrasecca she pulled off the first repeat of La Morte, an 8c freed by Alessandro Lamberti in 2009.
At Oliana in Spain America’s Jonathan Siegrist had the "best three weeks of climbing in my life" as a result of three 9a+ redpoints: Joe Mama, Chaxi (not to be confused with Chaxi Raxi 9b which climbs the direct bouldery start) and Pachamama. The latter climb was also repeated by Matty Hong who during his three-month stay in Spain also clipped the anchors of La Rambla, emulated shortly afterwards by Slovenia’s Klemen Bečan. While Brazil’s Felipe Camargo kept the spotlight on Oliana by sending Papichulo 9a+, Sasha Di Giulian got to grips with a series of 8b+/c such as T1 Full Equipe, Grand Blau, Gorillas en la Niebla and China Crisis and Finland's Anna Liina Laitinen exceeded herself be climbing her first full 8c+, Joe Blau. Female 8c+ was also achieved on a completely different continent, namely at Red River Gorge where Angelina Scarth-Johnson repeated Lucifer. It’s worth remembering that "Angie" is only 12 years old.
In Austria Barbara Zangerl sent the crimpy Pusher 8c at the historic crag Lorünser Steinwand and, across the border in Slovenia, Domen Škofic checked in with the first repeat of In time, a 9a freed by Jernej Kruder at Sopota and described as a "crazy line" by Škofic. Kruder, for the record, is attempting a project at the same crag defined as "one of the biggest challenges of my lifetime."
Talking about challenges: at the start of April 23-year-old Berlin-based Stephan Vogt successfully worked his way up the world’s most famous 9a: Action Directe in the Frankenjura. This is the first repeat this year of Wolfgang Güllich’s masterpiece which, despite having celebrated a quarter of a century, seems timeless.
Adam Ondra making the first ascent of 'Naturalmente' 9a+