With Mirror Reality, Drew Ruana recently climbed his fiftieth 8b+ boulder and shortly thereafter opened another 8c with Dire Wolf. Since the American left the competition circuit behind in 2020 to focus primarily on bouldering, he has been unstoppable.

The ticklist of Drew Ruana is long and impressive: in his prime discipline of bouldering alone, the American can show fifty 8b+, seventeen 8c and four 8c+. In addition, he has climbed the 9a difficulty level several times on the rope. He drew his first 8c+ at the tender age of 15 - a groundbreaking event in his climbing career.

Video: Drew Ruana boulders Dire Wolf (8c, FA)

Early start to climbing

The apple doesn't fall far from the tree. This idiom pretty much sums up Drew Ruana's journey to climbing. From an early age, his parents, who were enthusiastic about climbing, took him and his siblings with them to the rock. He begins to compete with others at an early age. He benefits from his unique background, which includes both real rock experience and a strong indoor skillset.

At the USA Youth Sports Nationals, Drew Ruana regularly takes the top spots in the lead. At his debut in bouldering in 2010 he even made it to the top of the podium. On an international level, second place in the lead at the World Youth Competition is one of his career highlights. In 2 he managed to secure one of the coveted spots on the US Olympic team.

One of his last competitions: Drew Ruana at the 2019 World Championships in Hachioji, Japan. Picture: Daniel Gajda

Parallel to the competition events, Drew Ruana succeeds in hard ascents on the rock. At 15 he climbs Just Do It (8c+). The following year he succeeds Omaha Beach (8b+) onsight and Transworld Depravity (8b +) flash - ascents that make him a fixture in climbing.

A new focus pays off

In 2020, Drew Ruana decides to focus primarily on bouldering and to let the competition rest. The successes that followed should prove him right. In just seven months he succeed with Sleepwalker, Box Therapy and Creature from the Black Lagoon three 8c+ boulders. In July 2021 he laid with the first ascent of Insomniac (8c+) another shovel.

Video: Drew Ruana on the first ascent of Insomniac (8c +)

In the past two and a half years, Drew Ruana has climbed seventeen 8c boulders, including the First Ascent of Say wolf, which he recently announced. "This line was much easier to climb than I had imagined," writes the bouldering pro about his latest creation. "It's difficult to find such good climbs."

"It's difficult to find climbs as good as Dire Wolf."

Drew Ruana

Legendary climbing for a special occasion

In Colorado, Drew Ruana manages to inspect at the end of March mirror reality (8b+). The 23-year-old currently has fifty 8b + boulders in his palmares. The line, which he considered hard, demanded a lot from him, not least because of a broken kick. "I needed a total of twelve days, ten spread over the last few years, two this season."

In fight mode: Drew Ruana during the ascent of his fiftieth 8b+ Boulders Mirror Reality. Picture: Alton Richardson

After the kick eruption, Mirror Reality is probably more of a solid 8c. But he couldn't bring himself to upgrade such a climbing classic. Drew Ruana was much more happy about his successful ascent and 8b + No. 50. "I saved this legendary climb for a special occasion."

"I saved this legendary climb for a special occasion."

Drew Ruana

Video: Drew Ruana pulls with Mirror Reality 8b + Boulder No. 50

Drew Ruana's bouldering ticklist

8c +


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Credits: Cover picture Alton Richardson