Alex Puccio repeats Jade to join select female 8B+ club
On 2 August 2014 American climber Alex Puccio repeated the boulder problem Jade 8B+ / V14, Rocky Mountains National Park, USA.
Not even a month ago we wrote "... seeing the latest flurry of ascents, it wouldn't surprise us to see another female 8B+ sooner rather than later." We were referring to a host of 8B boulder problems being sent at breakneck speed by a score of highly talented female boulderers that indicated clearly how 8B+ was probably well within their grasp. Little did we know though that in the space of a month our prediction would be confirmed not just once but three times, and that after Tomoko Ogawa in 2007, in mid July Ashima Shiraishi and Shauna Coxsey would send 8B+, followed by Alex Puccio at the start of August.
Puccio joined the select female 8B+ club last Saturday by sending Jade, the superb problem located in the Rocky Mountains National Park first climbed by Daniel Woods in 2007. Though Puccio's success is by no means surprising, the speed with which it came about is nevertheless startling: a mere 4 days of work were needed to come up trumps, and the American believes she might have even sent it on day 1 had she not torn her skin on the last hold.
Famed for her raw power, Puccio has always juggled her time between competitions and outdoors, but recently she decided to move away from comps for a while, a decision she explained on facebook as follows "My brain, body and emotions were so depleted of psych and energy I made the decision to skip the last 2 World Cups this year and just go outside climbing."
Results came about immediately: after having sent over 20 problems up to 8A+, three weeks ago she sent her first 8B, Top Notch, and this was followed a few days later by another 8B, Nuthin But Sunshine. Jade now puts Puccio into the 8B+ league and, we're certain, there is much, much more in store in the future