The 5 Biggest Stories In Climbing This Week - 03-09/08/2015

There's been a little of everything in the news this week, from attempts on the Eiger North Face to pulling on plastic in the desert. Read on to get the full story behind these and all of the other big climbing headlines.

5. Carlo Traversi and Sasha Digiulian opened their account on the Eiger.

The pair are attempting the 'Paciencia' route on the Eiger's North Face, first opened by Ueli Steck and Stephan Siegrist in 2003, with Digiulian gunning to make the first female ascent. The route features difficulties up to 8a/5.13b and has a reputation as somewhat of a sandbag. In fact, David Llama went so far as to call it 'the hardest rock route in the Alps.'

While this edit from Adidas Outdoor only shows the pair making their way to Grindelwald, they are now established on the face and you can keep up to date on the latest developments by following Sasha's Instagram.

4. There were some big ticks on the British sea cliffs.

With Britain's brief summer stint in full swing, the wads have been out in force on the sea cliffs crags; with Jordan Buys making the first ground-up ascent of Tim Emmet's 'Chicama' (E9 6c) at Trearddur Bay. Due to the route's difficulty and seriousness, past ascensionists have universally elected to attempt the route as a headpoint. However, having picked up some detailed beta from Sam Hamer, who was also working the route, Jordan decided to go for a flash ascent. Sadly the attempt didn't go entirely to plan leading to the fair-sized whipper above. With the tide threatening, Jordan quickly pulled the ropes and went again, topping out the line on his second attempt. With that managed, only the hardest part of the route remained, stripping his gear from the EXTREMELY steep crag.

Meanwhile in Pembroke, Lucy Creamer made a headpoint ascent of the Stennis Ford classic 'Point Blank' (E8 6c) and, while the ascent actually took place some weeks ago, footage was released of Steve McClure making the second ascent of Neil Mawson's new route 'Choronzon' (E10 7a), also in Pembroke.

This fotage left us with one important question; what would Steve be capable of climbing if he ever did his shoes up?


3. Ueli Steck approached the end of his #82Summits challenge.

On the off chance that you've somehow missed all of the coverage of one of this summer's biggest climbing stories, let me fill you in. Ueli Steck has been on a mission to summit all of the 4,000 metre peaks in the Alps entirely under his own power. He has cycyled, walked, climbed and even used a paraglider, but hasn't travelled by car, train or plane since he started the project over two months ago. Perhaps most impressively, Ueli has also been eschewing the lifts that usually make mountaineering in the Alps so accessible. 

Following the tragic death of Ueli's partner Martjin Seuren two weeks ago, doubt was cast over whether the project would continue. However, after some serious contemplation, Ueli has elected to push on and looks set to finish his final summits very soon. We wish him the best of luck as he approaches the finish.

Check in with Climbing Daily on Tuesday next week when we'll have a full update for you and hopefully a comment from the man himself.

2. Alex Megos did his thing in the Frankenjura.

In a style that will doubtless soon be called 'going full Megos,' the German wunderkind made two very fast ascents in his home climbing area of the Frankenjura. He flashed an as yet unidentified 8b+/5.14a route before repeating 'Baroness' (8c/5.14b) first go. (The distinction between flash and first go apparently being that he had abbed the latter to brush some of the holds so had a more detailed idea of the route). Regardless of the absolute specifics of style, these are obviously two very impressive ascents from Megos who is fast approaching the point where an 8c ascent from him might not seem like news at all.


1. Psicocomp 2015 got underway in Park City.

Now in its third year, the Psicocomp event, brings together some of the strongest athletes from the US and beyond for a deep water solo competition at the Olympic Park, Utah. At the time of writing, the seeding rounds have concluded with finals set to take place within the next 24 hours.

The event format has received some criticism in previous years with the difficulties of changing routes on such a massive wall and the ease with which the climbers finished the routes combining to produce what was essentially a speed event in the later rounds. However, the spectacle of watching some of the best climbers in the world pulling dynamic moves high above the water is unlikely to get old soon and quibbles about the format aside, we can all look forward to some extremely exciting footage in the coming days.

Be sure to check back next week when we'll have details from the competition along with the rest of climbing's biggest stories.

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