This week's ticklist is female-led, with some bouldering and alpine ascents thrown in for good measure...
Unstoppable Martina Demmel ticks her first 9a
In last week's Ticklist, we reported that Martina Demmel had been rapidly ticking up to 8c+s in a very few attempts. She has continued her rampage by climbing her first 9a – Joe-Cita at Oliana, Spain. The route links two existing climbs - both 8c+ - for a total of around 130 moves. Once she had ticked both of the 8c+'s, it took the 19-year-old only five attempts to redpoint the route. Commenting on her Instagram, she said:
'Still searching for the right words to describe what happened yesterday evening topping everything! When a lifetime goal you haven't even started to dream about as it felt so far away suddenly becomes reality! Can somebody pull me on my ear to wake up from this neverending miracle which is simply too crazy good to be reality!'
Demmel is the second woman to have ticked the route after Italian climber Laura Rogora redpointed the route in 2017.
Below is a picture of Demmel on 'Joe Blau' - one of the 8c+'s that makes up 'Joe-Cita.'
9a for Barbara Zangerl
Austrian climber Barbara Zangerl has climbed her second 9a with an ascent of Sprengstoff, which was first climbed by Jacopo Larcher in November 2020. The route was bolted by Beat Kammerlander over 25 years ago and had been an open project throughout that time.
Zangerl describes the route as 'pure power endurance until the very top' and that that 'no mistakes [were] allowed.
'At the end of the day the coolest thing about such a project is that you wake up every single day highly motivated. I couldn't wait to get there and just try as hard as I could and find the perfection of every single movement. It is probably my hardest and one of the best single pitches I have climbed.'
Alex Johnson – The Swarm
After a decade long battle, American climber Alex Johnson has ticked The Swarm (Font 8B/+) in Bishop, California. She first attempted the Matt Birch problem in 2011 and has maintained her motivation for it since. Finally, close to her 32nd birthday, she climbed the problem. Johnson wrote about her 'siege' for Climbing Magazine here.
Jon Glassberg climbs his first Font 8C
36-year-old Jon Glassberg has climbed his first Font 8C with an ascent of The Nest in Red Rocks, Nevada. 8a.nu report that he is likely the tallest climber to have ticked the grade, with a height of 191cm. In 2017, Glassberg dedicated his time to ticking Font 8C and almost gave up after suffering from herniated discs in his lower back, leading him to believe he simply wasn't built to climb that hard. On his ascent, Glassberg wrote:
'After a research trip to Red Rock this past December I made quick work of The Nest Stand, a V13 in its own right and thought that adding a V11 into the stand seemed like something I could train for and maybe actually do one day. I invested 3 months of power endurance training and headed to Red Rock to begin the process no matter how long it took. After 9 sessions of incremental progress, it was DONE and I was on top, in shock. I came prepared and executed without an epic and damn it felt good.'
New Route on North Face of l'Aiguille des Pèlerins by John McCune and Will Sim
John McCune and Will Sim have made the first ascent of a new line on the North Face of the l'Aiguille des Pèlerins in the Mont Blanc Massif, graded at ED M6 6b+ and named Above and Beyond. John started work on the route last year and returned this week, just three months after knee surgery. He wrote on Instagram:
'Pretty sure that no one's been up there before, there was certainly no evidence. It's a good one because you can see it from all around town and I've been looking back up at it all year wondering. No more wondering, it goes and it was a fun little adventure with skis, tools and rock shoes.'
Mat Helliker responded to John's post: 'Nice one mate, Looks as if you joined "Beyond Reason" that we climbed last year (UKC News), halfway up the ridge once you joined it and exits in the same spot. A natural finish.'
New Route on the North Face of El Mocho in Patagonia by Sean Villanueva O'Driscoll and Matías Korten
Patagonia Vertical report that Sean Villanueva O'Driscoll has climbed his second new line on El Mocho's North Face this season, alongside Matías Korten. The route was named Chalten sin Chapas (450m, 7a+) - "Chalten without Bolts" and is climbed exclusively on trad gear. The pair swung leads on the easier lower pitches. Following his phenomenal reverse Fitz traverse solo - which he named The Moonwalk Traverse - Sean is still in Patagonia after 15 months and is showing little sign of wanting to leave. Watch this space...