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NEWS: First Ascent of King Capella 9b+ by Will Bosi

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 UKC News 29 Mar 2021

22-year-old Will Bosi has claimed the first ascent of King Capella at Siurana in Catalonia, Spain and has proposed the grade of 9b+. If confirmed, it would make him the first British climber and only the sixth person in the world to climb the grade. In addition to two other first ascents of a 9b, a 9a and an 8C boulder problem during his time in Spain, he also amassed a staggering ticklist with notable repeats including First Ley 9a+, Ley Indignata 9a (third ascent) and Estado Critico 9a.



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 sheppy 29 Mar 2021
In reply to UKC News:

Incredible levels from Will.

Every bit as impressive as his climbing is the fact that he remains a down to earth and very pleasant guy. With no massive ego nor shoulder chips weighing him down he looks set for 9c 👍🏼

Post edited at 10:03
In reply to sheppy:

What’s he done on a concrete roofcrack though

Mega effort! 

Post edited at 10:45
 TonyM 29 Mar 2021
In reply to UKC News:

Ah. I wondered on the details after seeing Will on BBC Breakfast this morning. He was so modest in the interview with Dan and Sally that I didn't catch any of the climbing factual stuff. I don't think he even named the crag! Top form. Well done.

 neilh 29 Mar 2021
In reply to UKC News:

Impressive.

In reply to UKC News:

A great effort!

I have so often heard "why should the BMC support competition climbing". Here's yet another example of why. Will, like so many of our young climbers, has come up through the youth climbing competitions and the development squad. Always very impressive indoors, it's great to see just how well his skills have transfered outside.

 Max factor 29 Mar 2021
In reply to Mark Kemball:

I know, it  had escaped my attention that Will was operating at such exalted levels. One of only 6 to have climbed the grade brings it home. well done fella! 

 Strontium Dog 29 Mar 2021
In reply to UKC News:

Wow, very impressive. Well done.

I don’t understand why this report has had 4 dislikes though.

In reply to UKC News:

Absolutely wow

In reply to Strontium Dog:

> Wow, very impressive. 

Yes, truly world class. To give some perspective, I remember seeing a video of Ondra having quite a hard time on Capella

> I don’t understand why this report has had 4 dislikes though.

Me neither. And the first reply. Odd.

In reply to Strontium Dog:

Probably the Covigilantes getting upset that anybody is out climbing, rather than sitting at home shouting on UKC about how bad people are for going out climbing rather than sitting at home shouting on UKC about Covid. 

 Michael Gordon 29 Mar 2021
In reply to UKC News:

Brilliant stuff. Sounds like he's really coming into his own on this trip.

 Michael Gordon 29 Mar 2021
In reply to Paul Sagar:

I expect the dislikes are for the 'one rule for some, one rule for everyone else' situation. I can certainly sympathise with the frustration and feeling of unfairness.

 JLS 29 Mar 2021
In reply to Michael Gordon:

>”one rule for some”

If you are a pro climber it’s work, init. My nan now sponsors me. I’ve been able to climb wherever right through lockdown no problem.

 webbo 29 Mar 2021
In reply to Strontium Dog:

Because of the bull shit about it being work. He is an indoor competition climber, so why the need to travel to another country to climb outside.

In reply to JLS:

Isn't there something about elite level sports being able to continue? I think being one of 6 people to climb 9b+ would classify as 'elite'.

Also - Great Effort!

Post edited at 19:57
 wbo2 29 Mar 2021
In reply to webbo: most every other comp climber is climbing outdoors at the moment so go tell them what they're doing wrong.  Or are you suggesting he should have climbed outside in the UK? 

Good luck and well done to him .  He's in a pretty exclusive club. 

 salad fingers 30 Mar 2021
In reply to wbo2:

I think the overseas element is the issue. I can't quite remember the restrictions in place late last year, but I remember Will getting sh*t for travelling abroad. 

 webbo 30 Mar 2021
In reply to wbo2:

They can do what ever they like for me. But don’t try to make out it’s not bending the guidelines. Essential travel and work from home.

 GrahamD 30 Mar 2021
In reply to wbo2:

I think one can recognise that this is a massive achievement for a UK climber, but still be uncomfortable with the international travel aspect. 

 JLS 30 Mar 2021
In reply to Wide_Mouth_Frog:

>" I think being one of 6 people to climb 9b+ would classify as 'elite'."

What a horribly humancentric statement to make. If he was a spider who'd just climbed 9b+ I'd bet press coverage would have been zero. No BBC breakfast for Incy Wincy. You humans are just so fixated by the achievements of your own species. It's this attitude that has the planet in tatters.  

In reply to Wide_Mouth_Frog:

> Isn't there something about elite level sports being able to continue? 

I suppose, in that case, it depends whether climbing is actually a sport. A case could certainly be made for indoor competition climbing being so, but just spending the winter climbing in Catalonia like many, many others would love to have done might be stretching it.

I can see why some people might be bothered by this; climbing used to be an activity in which we were all equals but competition climbing seems to have started eroding that.

Post edited at 09:12
 S Ramsay 30 Mar 2021
In reply to UKC News:

The article states that he has been in Spain since December, in December travel abroad was still allowed unless you were living in a tier 4 area. Therefore, he doesn't even need to use the 'elite sportsman' justification to be there climbing, any one of us could have legally done the same. There is absolutely nothing to complain about. A great achievement

 Si dH 30 Mar 2021
In reply to Robert Durran:

> I suppose, in that case, it depends whether climbing is actually a sport. A case could certainly be made for indoor competition climbing being so, but just spending the winter climbing in Catalonia like many, many others would love to have done might be stretching it.

> I can see why some people might be bothered by this; climbing used to be an activity in which we were all equals but competition climbing seems to have started eroding that.

The restrictions define elite sport quite tightly, one of the specific inclusions is someone who is training for the 2021 or 2024 Olympics, or the upcoming commonwealth games. So as long as you can show you have a feasible chance of qualifying for the Olympics in 2024 then you can meet that definition I think. 

Not putting forward an opinion, just clarifying in what context climbers might count as elite athletes. I don't think there is any other means by which they might, but I didn't read it all really carefully.

In reply to Robert Durran:

>  climbing used to be an activity in which we were all equals ...

Come on, do you really beleive that? There have always been great climbers, the likes of Joe Brown, Ron Fawcett etc. They were / are often perfectly friendly and approachable, but you always knew that they were the elite.

In reply to UKC News:

An exciting achievement as well as being incredible. Will be great to see what Will gets on in the UK this summer.

I get people are abit salty about him travelling abroad when we're all stuck in the house and I fully admit I'm jealous as hell but it doesn't really bother me because we get cool stories from it instead of yet another home wall building thread (insert laughing emoji )

 Dan_Carroll 30 Mar 2021
In reply to ...:

A historical achievement in british climbing, one of a small handful of people on the planet operating at this level, AND he travelled to spain legally in december, and all some people (esp UKB narcs - do check their thread out for a snorefest of complaining) can do is moan about it.   pathetic.  amazing and inspiring stuff from will

 AlanLittle 30 Mar 2021
In reply to Mark Kemball:

> Joe Brown, Ron Fawcett etc. They were / are often perfectly friendly and approachable

So is Adam Ondra

 abarro81 30 Mar 2021
In reply to Dan_Carroll:

Never let accuracy get in the way of sycophantic bollocks huh.

In reply to Mark Kemball:

> >  climbing used to be an activity in which we were all equals ...

> Come on, do you really beleive that? There have always been great climbers, the likes of Joe Brown, Ron Fawcett etc. They were / are often perfectly friendly and approachable, but you always knew that they were the elite.

Of course. That is precisely what I meant - sharing the same crags, indoor walls, following the same "rules" whether a complete bumbly or one of the elite. I was simply pointing out that this egalitarianism had started to be eroded with the rise of competition climbing - in this case, if you are good enough, different covid rules apply.

 salad fingers 30 Mar 2021
In reply to Dan_Carroll:

His travel to Spain was clearly outside of what was permitted at the time and I don't think people pointing this out are pathetic; rather, it's accurate and quite understandable at a time when many people - many of whom, perhaps, have more legitimate claims to need to travel/work abroad - have suffered adverse impacts to their livelihoods and lives in general. 
We can celebrate his achievements whilst still highlighting his mistake. I don't see these as mutually exclusive.

In reply to Robert Durran:

> > I don’t understand why this report has had 4 dislikes though

> Me neither. And the first reply. Odd.

I didn’t dislike the report as that level of jaw dropping achievement (q.v. Alex Megos’ comments on these routes) will get no negativity from me regardless of the circs.
I did dislike sheppy’s comments for this bit of nonsense “Every bit as impressive as his climbing is the fact that he remains a down to earth and very pleasant guy. With no massive ego nor shoulder chips weighing him down” because, apart from being totally untrue (climbing 9b+ is more impressive than being down to earth), there is an implication that other top climbers have massive egos and chips on their shoulders which, again, is just bollocks.

Post edited at 10:27
 S Ramsay 30 Mar 2021
In reply to S Ramsay:

I was thinking of the English rules rather than the Scottish rules so my earlier post is perhaps incorrect. Regardless, he still has good grounds under the elite athlete rule and his case is greatly mitigated by the fact that he has gone to Spain and stayed there for months. This poses much less of a risk to both the Scottish and Spanish populations than if he was constantly travelling between countries.

Post edited at 10:37
In reply to Robert Durran:

> I was simply pointing out that this egalitarianism had started to be eroded with the rise of competition climbing... 

I don't think it has, having helped out at a number of comps from YCS to national level (judging or belaying) the thing that struck me is how friendly and encouraging the competitors are to one another. 

 Arms Cliff 30 Mar 2021
In reply to Si dH:

> The restrictions define elite sport quite tightly, one of the specific inclusions is someone who is training for the 2021 or 2024 Olympics, or the upcoming commonwealth games. So as long as you can show you have a feasible chance of qualifying for the Olympics in 2024 then you can meet that definition I think. 

I guess hence the huge amount of PR spin in the article, that somehow redpointing limestone projects is good training for indoor climbing. 

In reply to Mark Kemball:

> > I was simply pointing out that this egalitarianism had started to be eroded with the rise of competition climbing... 

> I don't think it has, having helped out at a number of comps from YCS to national level (judging or belaying) the thing that struck me is how friendly and encouraging the competitors are to one another. 

Yes, I am sure that is the case, but not really relevant to the point I was making!

 AlanLittle 30 Mar 2021
In reply to Mark Kemball:

I was much impressed at a world cup round a couple of years back by the sight of the Japanese team physio happily patching up all & sundry, the Japanese being one of the few big well funded teams that could afford things like their own travelling physio.

 john arran 30 Mar 2021
In reply to UKC News:

Even by UKC Forum standards, this thread is embarrassing.

He's a professional, going about his business apparently legally and responsibly.

He's also just performed at stratospheric levels within our sport and will be an inspiration to large numbers of other climbers.

The amount of jealous or maybe just spiteful bickering written above is truly shameful.

In reply to Robert Durran:

> ..... in this case, if you are good enough, different covid rules apply.

Isn't that the very definition of 'elite'?

Anyway, as others have said, I'm just glad someone is out there doing what they (we all) love doing

 Kevin Woods 30 Mar 2021
In reply to UKC News:

This thread is pathetic. Total 'crabs in a bucket'.

Amazing news, stratospheric level of climbing. 

In reply to john arran:

> He's a professional, going about his business apparently legally and responsibly.

> The amount of jealous or maybe just spiteful bickering written above is truly shameful.

I don't think it's either, nor shameful. I think there is a feeling among some, rightly or wrongly, that climbing isn't (or at least shouldn't be) just like any other professional sport (I doubt this sort of discussion goes on about, say, tennis players), or, if it already is, that perhaps something has been lost from it.

I am just a little uneasy that there are different rules for different climbers. Nothing personal and I certainly wouldn't want to take anything away from these amazing achievements.

Post edited at 12:15
 john arran 30 Mar 2021
In reply to Robert Durran:

Who said climbing was "just like any other professional sport"?

Just because its top performers can be said to be professional, in that their income is derived largely as a result of their sporting achievements, doesn't mean that climbing has to share anything else at all with other professional sports.

If people are concerned that some aspects of climbing have changed since their own personal introduction to the sport, and they would prefer that not to be the case, this really is not the time and place to voice those concerns. It just comes across as petty and begrudging of the well deserved success of someone who's made the spectacular best of the very difficult year we've all had to suffer. This is a celebration of magnificent sporting achievement.

 Vybz 30 Mar 2021
In reply to john arran:

> apparently legally and responsibly.

case closed everyone.

In reply to john arran:

> Who said climbing was "just like any other professional sport"?

I don't think it is and maybe it never will be, but it may be taking steps in that direction.

> Just because its top performers can be said to be professional, in that their income is derived largely as a result of their sporting achievements, doesn't mean that climbing has to share anything else at all with other professional sports.

Except that is precisely what people are discussing.

> If people are concerned that some aspects of climbing have changed since their own personal introduction to the sport, and they would prefer that not to be the case, this really is not the time and place to voice those concerns.

The great strength of UKC is the way threads can head off in all sorts of interesting directions. If it is done in a civil way, I think it's all good.

 john arran 30 Mar 2021
In reply to Robert Durran:

> The great strength of UKC is the way threads can head off in all sorts of interesting directions. If it is done in a civil way, I think it's all good.

I'd agree with that in principle. In practice what we often see is people using any pretext or opportunity to flog the same horses they've already flogged numerous times before on other threads, to the detriment of otherwise novel and potentially far more interesting threads like this one.

 abarro81 30 Mar 2021
In reply to john arran:

You've made a major assumption there, pity it's wrong. Funny how the sniping from the "nothing wrong with pr bullshit" crew is what makes it necessary to point this out...

In reply to john arran:

> .............to the detriment of otherwise novel and potentially far more interesting threads like this one.

I'm not sure a thread of hundreds of posts which are just variations on "Wow, amazing achievement", without any further insight would be particularly interesting. Nothing wrong with such posts, but I don't see the need to shut down related and interesting wider discussion.

Post edited at 13:14
 john arran 30 Mar 2021
In reply to Robert Durran:

> I'm not sure a thread of hundreds of posts which are just variations on "Wow, amazing achievement", without any further insight would be particularly interesting. Nothing wrong with such posts, but I don't see the need to shut down related and interesting wider discussion.

Me neither. But neither is what we have instead.

I'd have hoped for more insight into the routes , such as maybe others who've tried them and what they thought. But after 50 posts of mostly bickering about the finer subtleties of covid policy and about professionalism in climbing, I doubt many people who may be able to offer any such insight would still be bothered to contribute.

In reply to john arran:

> Me neither. But neither is what we have instead.

> ............... But after 50 posts of mostly bickering about the finer subtleties of covid policy and about professionalism in climbing......

Well, given how rubbish covid has been for the climbing, and physical and mental wellbeing of so many, I think it is a perfectly understandable direction for the discussion to take. 

In reply to john arran:

>  I doubt many people who may be able to offer any such insight would still be bothered to contribute.

It might be more to do with the fact that there are apparently only about six people in the world in  a position to offer first-hand insights into this stratospheric grade of climbing! It seems no time ago that Will was just a (very) strong kid at Ratho being belayed by his mum. Amazing that he is now operating at this near-Ondra level. Maybe UKC could commission something from him on his path to where he is now.

In reply to Robert Durran:

> Maybe UKC could commission something from him on his path to where he is now.

Training and being driven. Many a young person could do it if they really wanted to.

Climbing something like Indian Face however is what I call 'Elite'.

In reply to john arran:

> I'd have hoped for more insight into the routes , such as maybe others who've tried them and what they thought. 

Link to comments from Megos (mentioned earlier) who has been on them: https://www.8a.nu/news/king-capella-9b+-fa-and-9b-fa-etc-by-will-bosi-hc28s

 GPN 30 Mar 2021
In reply to Kevin Woods:

> This thread is pathetic. Total 'crabs in a bucket'.

> Amazing news, stratospheric level of climbing. 

 

What’s pathetic? Nobody’s disputing that this is an amazing stratospheric level of climbing.

The issue is the self serving bullshit in the press release - it fully deserves to be called out (and doesn’t lessen the magnitude of the achievement in doing so).

 Strontium Dog 31 Mar 2021
In reply to Robert Durran:

Thanks for posting that. Interesting reading Megos's thoughts. Shows again what an awesome achievement it is for Will Bosi.

 stp 31 Mar 2021
In reply to Robert Durran:

> It seems no time ago that Will was just a (very) strong kid at Ratho being belayed by his mum. Amazing that he is now operating at this near-Ondra level. Maybe UKC could commission something from him on his path to where he is now.

I doesn't surprise me that much based on his past achievements. It's 5 years since he climbed 9a (Rainshadow and Hubble in 2016). His virtual second go ascent of Evolution (8c+ at Raven Tor) in 2017 was absolutely jawdropping. And the short work he made of La Capella last year was another world class and under rated achievement: the fastest ascent of a 9b I believe (possibly matched by Jakob Schubert's ascent of El Bonne Combat but he thought that was 9a+ so who knows?).

His finger strength is right up there with the very strongest. On the Lattice tests I noticed he was way ahead of most top climbers with a one arm hang of 130% of body weight. I think Alex Megos was 132% so probably not a significant difference. For comparison Ben Moon had managed 101% and Steve Mac was around 115%.

Watching him in bouldering comps over the years it's clear just how strong he is when you see him lock things statically that other climbers (who are amongst the best in the world) are struggling with.

If anything I'd say his rise has been on the slow side. I postulate his outdoor performance has been limited firstly by the fact he has been focusing primarily on comps. The run up to the Olympics with it's 3 disciplines has surely taken energy away from top level outdoor climbing in general. Ondra has only done one 9b since 2018. Then we've had covid on top for the past 12 months. Secondly he lives in the UK where there is not much climbing at that level, and what there is limited by weather and tricky logistics (often having to do a load of driving day after day).

It shouldn't be too much of a surprise that an extended trip to somewhere with good rock, good weather, plenty of hard routes and a scene of top climbers: that's when you get stuff done. Buster Martin has also reaped the rewards of this formula over the past few months.

Also worth noting that he is only the 3rd person to do a F.A of a 9b+, the others being Ondra and Megos. I think Seb Bouin and Stefano Ghisolfi have used slash grades (ie. 9b/+) a couple of times and I imagine Iker Pou's Artaburu at Margalef is a bit of an unknown quantity still.

All in all totally world class achievement and it's great to see his immense talent expressed in this way.

 stp 31 Mar 2021
In reply to Robert Durran:

> Link to comments from Megos (mentioned earlier) who has been on them: https://www.8a.nu/news/king-capella-9b+-fa-and-9b-fa-etc-by-will-bosi-hc28s

Interestingly it says King Capella took him 10 sessions. That would make it the fastest ascent of a 9b+ too. I think the previous quickest were Alex Megos' and Jakob Schubert's ascents of Perfecto Mundo but I think they were both around 14 days.

 stp 31 Mar 2021
In reply to john arran:

Great comments John. I agree with all of them.

 Kevin Woods 31 Mar 2021
In reply to stp:

> Interestingly it says King Capella took him 10 sessions. That would make it the fastest ascent of a 9b+ too. I think the previous quickest were Alex Megos' and Jakob Schubert's ascents of Perfecto Mundo but I think they were both around 14 days.

That kind of perspective is pretty mind blowing.

 Michael Gordon 31 Mar 2021
In reply to Robert Durran:

> Link to comments from Megos (mentioned earlier) who has been on them: https://www.8a.nu/news/king-capella-9b+-fa-and-9b-fa-etc-by-will-bosi-hc28s

Nice wee article. This bit stood out for me: "Overall, only Adam Ondra and Alex Megos, in the history of climbing have made such amazing comparable tick lists on a climbing trip." Perhaps Will's trip was longer than most, but it's quite a quote! 


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