Arco Rockmaster 2008 – Winners Announced

by Kevin Avery Spain´s man of the moment Patxi Usobiaga and Austria´s Johanna Ernst, have taken the top honours at this year´s Rockmaster competition in Arco. This caps a fantastic year of climbing achievements for Usobiaga, who in the last 12 months has climbed 20 routes of F8c+ or harder including two F8c+ onsights and two F9a+ redpoints. In the onsight event on Saturday he almost topped out on the route, taking provisional first place over his fellow countryman and closest rival, Ramon Julian Puigblanque. He then secured overall victory with a smooth top out in Sunday´s redpoint event. In the female event, Johanna Ernst of Austria (who at 15 years old is only just a senior) topped out smoothly in Saturday´s onsight event, her nearest competitor was Slovenian Maja Vidmar. In Sunday´s redpoint event she climbed with confident determination to top out and take first place. The report on sums it up: “Winning the Rock Master at 15 years of age with a top on each route is a fantastic achievement! Yes, female climbing has a new ?master?.”I´m sure this is only the start of what is destined to become a supremely successful climbing career for the young Austrian who is already regarded as; “climbing´s latest phenomenon!” For a full report and results see the event´s Official Website ( Source: )