The Ticklist: #30 Sasha DiGiulian frees Logical Progression, 9a by Eva Hammelmüller

© Pablo Durana

More strong performances from women this week, plus some Font action and a video interview with a legend...

First Female Free Ascent of Logical Progression (5.13-, ~850m) by Sasha DiGiulian

US pro climber Sasha DiGiulian has made a stunning return to form following five hip replacement surgeries in the last year. Climbing with Vian Charbonneau, DiGiulian spent 7 days on Mexico's El Gigante in Chihuahua, climbing for 5 of those days. Charbonneau freed around 70% of the line before shifting focus to a support role. Last year, DiGiulian planned to attempt the route when tragedy struck one of the rigging crew. Nolan Smythe died after a ledge broke off and cut his rope on pitch 14. On Instagram, DiGiulian wrote:

"I knew I wanted to be here, to be on this climb. But on this pitch, I felt an immense amount of sadness, as well as gratitude."

Underground 9a by Eva Hammelmüller

Austrian competition star Eva Hammelmüller (21) has made the second female ascent of the 1998 Arco classic Underground 8a. Originally graded 8c+ and upgraded to 9a following initial repeats, the line at Massone is mega steep and burly. This is Hammelmüller's first of the grade, climbed in just 11 attempts across 4 days.

8C/+ in Fontainebleau for Nico Pelorson

Fontainebleau has been a focal point for hard bouldering ascents in recent months, particularly for Nico Pelorson. The 23-year-old has now ticked most of Font's hardest climbs including Soudain Seul (8C+/9A) and No Kpote Only (originally given Font 9a by Charles Albert, but now considered to be around 8C/+). Pelorson has now made the third ascent of Michiel Nieuwenhuijsen's Le Pilier du Désert Assis at Apremont. Manu Cornu made the second ascent a couple of days after the first and quickly suggested an upgrade to Font 8C+, although Pelorson seems to be sticking to his usual stern grading and is suggesting 8C.

The problem was a well-known project and adds a direct start into a Fred Nicole 8A+. The start adds Font 8B+ to the stand start and is certainly considered one of the hardest in the forest.

VIDEO: An interview with crack legend Didier Berthod

Didier Berthod is a crack climbing legend and many will remember him from the 2006 film First Ascent, where he climbs the first ascent of Greenspit in Orco on gear and goes head to head with Sonnie Trotter for the first ascent of Cobra Crack in Squamish. 

Shortly after the film First Ascent Didier joined a monastery and quit climbing. No one heard from him for 13 years. Now Didier is back climbing and Tom Randall managed to track him down for an interview:

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21 May, 2021

Disappointed that the Didier interview didn't address the urban legend about him having to leave the monastery after impregnating a nun.

22 May, 2021

Five hip replacements in a year? How many hips has she got? No, seriously - bloody hell, poor woman; must be some hideous back-story there.

(I think there's a typo - Nico P is suggesting 8b+ not 8c for this boulder, no?)


22 May, 2021

It's complicated...

24 May, 2021

I wondered about this as would never thought of climbing as particularly high impact on hips. She explains it in the link below - in summary looks like hip dysplasia was the underlying cause leading to injury.

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