In this week's ticklist, we've got a variety of sport, trad multipitch, alpine and bouldering ascents to inspire you ahead of the weekend...
8b Flash by Molly Thompson-Smith
Just a few days after we reported her 8b onsight at Götterwandl, Molly Thompson-Smith had made her way to Céüse and flashed the classic L'Ami de Tout le Monde. From her Instagram posts, it sounds like the crux for Molly was the hot uphill slog to the crag!
"I think this last week of climbing must've been my best week of climbing ever!" she wrote on Instagram.
L'ami de tout le Monde (8b) - Flash ⚡️ . I think this last week of climbing must've been my best week of climbing ever😳 . Last week I managed to onsight my first 8b (Odysseus) in Götterwandl, and yesterday I managed to flash my first 8b here in Céüse. I've never really set specific goals on climbing trips- I always just hope to find a hard route that I like, and somehow get up eventually! But this trip I decided to focus more on onsights and flash climbing, with my main goal being to try to flash L'ami. . With some good support and clear beta I found myself at the top of L'ami, enjoying the breathtaking backdrop. . I'm really enjoying getting into onsight and flash climbing - it feels like a special chance being able to figure your way up a route on the first try. . One more day left! Hope it's last day best day☺️ . #climbing #rockclimbing #ceuse #happy #gymshark #petzlgram #scarpa_uk #phdnutrition #skyscholarships
Mister Hyde 8c+ by Mélissa Le Nevé, Alex Waterhouse and Billy Ridal
Sticking with Céüse sends, GB Team members Alex Waterhouse and Billy Ridal have been touring European crags and stopped off at the French sport climbing hub for a while in their van. Both were inching closer to the big tick and their natural competitive rivalry started to rear its head at times, Alex wrote on Instagram, but fortunately both of them managed the route in consecutive attempts and walked down as friends! The route is a bouldery, dynamic number at the famous Biographie sector.
In the same week, retired IFSC World Cup boulderer Mélissa le Nevé made the first female ascent of the route. She is clearly retaining her good form since her first female ascent of Action Directe 9a earlier this year. In an Instagram Story, Mélissa dedicated her ascent to Luce Douady, the 16-year-old French rising star who died in an accident on 14 July. Luce had been projecting Mister Hyde and was coming close to the tick in the weeks prior to her death.
Mr Hyde (8c+) ✅✅ I've been lucky enough to be joined by @billyridal for the last month of my euro roadtrip. He fits nicely under the bed, and we've travelled south from the Frankenjura via Austria and Italy to Ceuse. When we arrived here we both wanted to pick a project to spend a little time on, and both settled on Mr Hyde as it's a great combination of hard boulders and power endurance that would test our skill sets. The process of working the moves out and making links together was great, and we could share beta and ideas to help refine every movement. However, as soon as it became clear that we could both send on any go the decade of competing together kicked in and the pressure level rose 🌡❗️ By the end of our third session Billy was consistently getting to the last hard move, a frustrating stab to a two finger pocket, and I had somehow fallen above that, after all of the hard climbing and a couple of moves from the top. From there, sessions became frustrating. I split my index on my punt and had to climb with tape. Conditions became hot and stagnant. The route is long enough that we were limited to one good go a day, so every mistake meant another day on the route. Sharing the projecting process with Billy was also stressful. This is by far the longest project for both of us, and our frustrations compounded. We're inherently competitive, we've been competing against each other since we were 11 and that's a hard habit to break, so the stress of each redpoint was amplified. We both want to succeed, and both want the other to succeed, but neither wants to be left in the situation of having not climbed the route while the other has sent. In the end, we both sent the route in consecutive goes when the conditions improved. We were both confident, and perhaps I had a little extra motivation going second 😉 Have been a little off on the insta over the last few weeks, enjoying a break from social media with the limited internet access at the campsite, but will update you all on this mega trip when we get back to the UK in a little while 👊
Des Kaisers Neue Kleider 8b+ in a Day by Nico Favresse and Seb Berthe
Belgian duo Nico Favresse and Seb Berthe continued their #zeroco2 climbing tour (completed on bikes and accompanied by dogs in their trailers and an inflatable flamingo) with a one-day ascent of Stefan Glowacz's in Austria's Wilder Kaiser. The pair started the route with low expectations in the rain but were thankfully graced with improving conditions as they climbed higher, before topping out at 5.a.m. the next day. Three big routes have now been ticked-off in rapid succession: Silbergeier 8b+ (Rätikon), Headless Children 8b (Rätikon) and Des Kaisers Neue Kleider 8b+.
Our dog & bike #zeroco2 climbing tour is going well! We just sent « Des Kaisers neue Kleider » on our first day on it;-) @sebertheclimber and I had a massive fight ! The day started with low expectations due to some rain and low cloud but @sebertheclimber unshakeable motivation contaminated the rest of the team and fooled me to start climbing on the first pitch even under the rain. We decided we would climb until the wetness or our weakness would stop us but the cloud lifted and as we climbed up the hold got dryer and dryer. The first crux pitch was wet but after a good fight and many tries we both sent it barely and then we arrived below the last hard pitch in the dark and pretty exhausted but the @sebertheclimber set the bar high by saying « I am not coming down without sending this pitch » and so we did!! At 4 AM I finally sent the last hard pitch and continued on to the summit one hour after @sebertheclimber had done the same. We were both relieved and happy ! Thank you @glowaczstefan for opening such an amazing climb and to @guido.unterwurzacher for the warm welcome 🙏 📸 @damienlargeron #noplacetoofar @patagoniaeurope @patagonia_climb @patagonia @scarpaspa @petzl_official @grade7equipment @arkose.climbing @julbo_eyewear @lyofood @hard.bar @samaya_equipment @agripp_climbingholds
Central Pillar of Frêney solo in a Day by Leo Gheza
One from earlier this month - Italian alpinist Leo Gheza made a one-day solo ascent of the Central Pillar of Frêney in the Mont Blanc Massif. Leo climbed the Bonington route from Val Veny, on the pillar that was known as 'The Last Great Problem of the Alps' prior to Bonington and team's historic first ascent in August 1961. Leo is unsure whether this is the first solo ascent in a day, but it's an impressive ascent regardless of stats.
Ringrazio tutti gli amici con cui ho fatto una salita, questo è il frutto di tante piccole esperienze accumulate negli anni.. SOLITARIA al PILONE CENTRALE DEL FRENEY per la via Bonington, in giornata dalla Val Veny Ovviamente un grazie anche a @mauroopezzo del rifugio Monzino come sempre super accoglienza! • @alpstationbrescia @montura_official • • • #monturapeople #searchinganewway #alpstationbrescia #montblanc #alone #climb #pilonecentraledelfreney #bonington #alpinismo #climbing #rifugiomonzino #valvenycourmayer #summit #inaday #solitaria #mountaineering #climber
Merci la vie in a day for Nina Caprez and Roger Schaeli
A year after she finished bolting the route Merci la vie with Roger Schaeli, Nina Caprez and Roger Schaeli have climbed the route in a day. Situated on the 'Genferpfeiler' on the Eiger's North Face, the route appears to be very steep. Nina freed all 8 pitches in a single day after spending two days working the route. She's offered no clue on the difficult as of yet, but knowing Nina's CV, it's likely to be hard...
What a weekend! Exactly one year after opening the route called "Merci la vie", together with @rogerschaeli and @seanvillanuevaodriscoll , I had the chance to climb on it. I feel overwhelmed and so grateful how the route worked out: all the moves are going free on that steep piece of rock on the "Genferpfeiler" of the Eiger North face. I freed all the pitches during these two days and I can't wait to go back at the next good weather window to free ground up. I seriously think that "merci la vie"is going to be a new classic! 👌 Thanks to all my partners for your big support and trust for what I'm doing. @arcteryx @petzl_official @scarpaspa @julbo_eyewear @msr_gear @lyofood @hard.bar @totemmt @hydroflask @gebana.official @arkose.climbing @climbingmulhousecenter @beyerbeans
Hard new problem for Charles Albert
Charles Albert, the barefoot beast, has climbed a direct version of Dave Graham's Foundation's Edge in Fionnay, Switzerland. He has named the problem 'Harder Better Faster' and his ascent came after a 'day of hitchhiking, a night spent in the rain curled up under a pebble and deplorable humidity conditions.'
Dave Graham climbed Foundation's Edge in 2013 and believed the problem to be a solid Font 8C. The line heads out right towards the end and if Albert's direct version is harder, then it's likely to weigh in at the same grade or 8C+.
Bel effort de @barefoot_charles qui ouvre «Harder better faster» à Fionnay -Ni plus ni moins que la directe du célèbre 8C de Dave Graham « Foundation edge »-. Le tout après une journée d'auto-stop, une nuit passée sous la pluie recroquevillé sous un caillou et des conditions d'humidité déplorable. 👏 #bouldering
Pete Whittaker solos Renshaw / Foulkes route on Kjerag, Norway
Eschewing his usual rope soloing gear, Pete Whittaker has free-soloed the Renshaw / Foulkes route on Kjerag in Norway. The route is roughly 800m long, 20 pitches and around E3/F6b (n6+) and took him 2 hours and 25 minutes.
Pete told UKC: 'I climbed Kjerag for the first time back in 2018 and did it a bunch of times, so I got an idea of what the wall was like; the rock, the size of it and roughly how long it takes to climb, which gave me a general understanding.
'The hardest part when climbing anything big by yourself is always setting off. Climbing is easy, it's committing to the wall which is difficult. The only way it's possible to set off on these things is if you actually get excited about the climbing or get excited to climb well. Even if you're nervous, you have to set off wanting to be there.'
Pete climbed the route two days previous to his solo and was specifically looking out for loose rock, moving chockstones, flakey looking footholds and wet cracks:
'When I climbed on Monday I skipped using anything I thought was remotely suspicious. Quite often I actually made a slightly harder move, would reach further, step higher or wedge myself deeper to make sure I was using rock that was solid and secure. I climbed in a much less risky way than if I'd had a rope on.'