The best climber in the world?
(posted on Gripped.com) Most climbers would be content with redpointing a single 9a (5.14d) route in their lifetime, but not Patxi Usobiaga. This week the 27 year-old Spaniard climbed La Rambla 9a+ (5.15a) in a total of eight attempts spread over a period of a few years and during the same day redpointed Estado Crítico 9a (5.14d) on his second try. Only a handful of individuals have ever climbed 9a+ and none have succeeded in also redpointing 9a during the same day. These single day accomplishments redefine difficult rock climbing and confirm Patxi as the best sportclimber in the world. Usobiaga has onsighted 22 routes 5.14 or harder.
After climbing two V16 boulder problems and crushing nearly everything he's ever tried, the worlds best boulderer is now in Germany to test himself against the most finger dependant problems known to man. Last year Dai Koyomada cruised Action Direct 5.14d, this year he is unstoppable.
During his trip, Dai has climbed Alpha Man, Black Ball, Riot Act all hard 8B+ as well as Miozan and White Links both 8B all of this in just a few short days of climbing, he's also repeated Forget About life for a while 8B+ in less than two hours and Longbow 8B+ in two days. The boys over at 8a.nu are now waiting for him to dispatch Gossip 8C and Corona 9a+, and he'll have absolutely no reason to return to the Frank.
Ethan Pringle onsights a pile of 5.13d and 5.14a routes in Spain and repeats Realization or as the Euro's call it, Biography 5.15 but more like 5.14d according to the "new school" ratings. He also down rates some Dave Graham climbs.
Speaking of downrating, this kid Adam Ondra, what is he like 13 years old and he's ranked 4th in the world? if he wasn't so freaking strong he would stop downrating climbs which would put him at number 2. But he's not trying to rank himself, he's trying to test himself and all this talk is making my head spin. Who is the worlds best climber?
I love it. Well, he's certainly the most marketable, and possibly the most naturally talented, but when you look at these climbers around the world who are absolutely destroying standards, standards only set a few years back, it's hard to believe that 'the worlds best climber' label can be attached to just one person. I think they are all the worlds best and it pisses me off when people try to say that one man deserves that title. Even the best climbers of today are standing on the shoulders of the best climbers of yesterday, it's a group effort and that's the best part, that is what should be celebrated. Good on these men and women for pushing themselves, I thank them, I still read the web reports and I still get motivated by the worlds best, and the most attractive lines, they make me want to climb harder, longer and never let go. Just don't fool yourself into thinking that climbing has one person who is the worlds best, it's good to have hero's ( I have many) but the way I see it, climbing will eventually and hopefully go in the direction of surfing, where there is less nit-picking of grades, points and ranks and more focus on soul, spirit and adventure. Just a random thought. It's minus 20 outside and I got a heavy arm from a Hep B injection. Lydia and I are leaving for India in a few weeks and I need to get so much done before we go. It's just harder to do in cold weather, my van will barely turn over and everything inside is frozen solid, stuck to each other, huh, it's going to be a tough week I think.