First up is Czech "boy-wonder" Adam Ondra who appears to have started 2009 with much the same conviction as he ended 2008! In the final week of February Adam on-sighted the route Metaphysique Des Tubes, F8c on the beautiful tufa-clad walls of Seynes in the south of France. He then followed this up with a first repeat (red-pointed) of the soaring Papichulo F9a+, a route opened by American wad Chris Sharma at the current Catalunyan hotspot of Oliana .
More recently Adam made another F8c on-sight in Spain. This time it was L´Espiadimonis on the pocketed walls of Margalef, which was to receive the Ondra treatment. Amazingly this was Adam's fourth F8c on-sight!
Next up is thirteen-year old French star, Geoffrey De Flaugergues who after climbing a number of routes in the F8c/+ range last year, has now climbed a notch harder with a redpoint of the enormous stamina roof, El Templo De Cafe F9a at the Alquezar crags in Spain. I'm sure that this isn't the last we will hear of Geoffrey.
You can read more about what Adam Ondra and Geoffrey De Flaugergues got up to last year in this UKC article.
Another teenager who has burst onto the scene recently is thirteen-year old German climber, David Firnenberg. In early February David red-pointed L´Espiadimonis at Margalef to give his first F8c ascent. Impressive stuff!
Not quite so young but still hugely impressive are the French national team. On a recent team training camp to Catalunya, both Sylvain Millet and Manu Romain put in particularly strong performances and came away with some hard on-sight and red-point ascents. Sylvain on-sighted Falconetti and Kallea Borroka both F8b+ and managed a red-point of Columbetis F8c+ whilst Manu came away with an on-sight of L-Mens F8b+ and a flash of Aitzol F8c. He also managed a quick red-point of Columbetis.
You can read a full report of the French team's week on the FFME site.