The 5 Biggest Stories In Climbing This Week - 22-28/08/2015

5. Hazel Findlay Climbed 'The Doors' (8b/5.13d)

Actually, she climbed the route back in 2012, but this fotage of the ascent was released just this week by Image Impossible and really has to be seen. Regarded as one of the best crack climbs in Europe, the route was initially bolted and given the grade of 8b. However, the bolts were later chopped and when Hazel came to climb it, the route had been restored to its original condition. Having attempted to onsight the route and not quite managed it, Hazel took just a few more goes to dispatch the 40 metre line and her opinion chimed with many other ascensionists in that the route was undeniably a quality line, but maybe a little soft for the grade.


4. The Eiger North Face got a little crowded

Over the past few weeks, US climbers Sasha Digiulian and Carlo Traversi have been attempting to climb the North face of the Eiger by the Siegrist/Steck route 'Paciencia' (8a/5.13b). Having been thwarted by persistently bad weather the pair have switched their focus to another Siegrist route on the face, 'Magic Mushroom' (7c+/5.13a) which appears to have avoided the worst of the conditions. The pair are hoping to finally summit the mountain within the next 48 hours. 

Meanwhile, Scottish climber Robbie Phillips who had previously been attempting 'Paciencia' at the same time as Traversi and DiGiulian has returned to the mountain in the hopes of finding success on the route. We wish both teams the best of luck!

3. Supper and Markovic continued their Strong Runs in the Lead World Cup

Slovenia's Mina Markovic and France's Gautier Supper have both strengthened their positions in the overall standings for the Lead World Cup following last weekend's event in Stavanger, Norway. Both have been having an incredible season with Markovic taking gold at three of the events so far with Supper not far off her pace with two first-place finishes. Both now head up the overall standings but are not completely out of reach. With three stages left, the end of the season looks set for an exciting finish!

The next round of the competition is almost a month away and will be held in Puurs, Belgium. However, the Youth World Championships are taking place from today in Arco, Italy and we hope to bring you all of the news from there in the coming week.  

2. Isabelle Faus joined the 8B+ Club

At the start of the week, American boulderer Isabelle Faus became the fifth woman in history to climb an 8B+/V14 boulder problem with an ascent of Fred Nicole's 'Amandla' in Rocklands, South Africa. Compared to many of the other women to have climbed the grade, Isabelle is a relative unknown, despite having climbed numerous problems of 8A/V11 and above. To get an idea of just how well she moves on rock, check out this video of her repeating Carlo Traversi's 'The Altruist' in the Colorado Flatirons.

A photo posted by @alexandermegos on

1. Alex Megos did it again

Over the past three weeks, an ascent from Alex Megos has graced every single news round-up I have written and this week is absolutely no different. Even by his own standards, Alex is on exceptionally good form right now having established a number of new routes in the 8th and 9th grades in a minimal number of attempts. His latest success took him a little longer however and with the style of the route in question, that's hardly a surprise. 60 metres long and with a constant overhang of between 55 and 85 degrees, 'Thor's Hammer' (9a+/5.15a) in Norway's Flatanger Cave had not been climbed since Adam Ondra's first ascent. The first repeat from Alex, took him three days of effort including 38 minutes for the successful redpoint burn! 

As is probably apparent to anyone familiar with top-end sport climbing, three days for a 9a+ redpoint is only a 'seige' by the standards of Alex himself and for an idea of how the process looks for other professional athletes, check out this video of EpicTV Shop climber Jonathan Siegrist on the Spanish 9a+ 'La Rambla.' 

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