Sends of a V16 problem are often few and far between. There are only around 20 in the world if you include V15/16 grades. This week, one V16 was repeated and one V15 was upgraded to V16.
Dave Graham, 37, sent Hypnotized Minds in Rocky Mountain National Park after attempting it for six years. He first tried it in the fall of 2013 after Daniel Woods made the first ascent in 2010 and gave it a grade of V15, but later upgraded it. Isabelle Faus broke the news on Instagram.
“Just to clarify I have upgraded Hypno to 8C+ [V16],” said Woods. “When I first established it in 2010 I did not have as much experience as I do now with Boulder grades. Hypno went relatively fast for me (eight to 10 days) spread across spring and fall season, so I assumed it was 8C [V15].”
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@dave_graham_ SENDING HYPNOTIZED MINDS ! awesome to watch him climb up this boulder knowing the dedication and effort he’s put into it. The first time I climbed with him and chad was at Veritas in 2011. I also saw him fall on the ending a few years ago. Cool to see it unfold. The determination paid off! Very inspiring ! Super psyched for you dave, very proud !! 🤯 🏋🏻♂️🏋🏻♂️🏋🏻♂️🏆🏆🏆 @tchadx @barefoot_charles @a_karl_r on spot
Russian climber Rustam Gelmanov made the second ascent and wrote on Facebook, “This route was not extremely difficult for me. It fit me very well and it’s what I like. In reality I could not say how difficult it is.”
Graham has made many hard first ascents over the years, including Story of Two Worlds V15, The Island V14, From Dirt Grows the Flowers V15 and The Fly 5.14d. He’s also sent a number of 5.15 sport routes and his first V16 in 2016 with Creature from the Black Lagoon.
Also in the world of V16 climbing, Shawn Raboutou sent Nalle Hukkataival’s Livin’ Large in Rocklands and suggested an upgrade from V15 to V16. Hukkataival made the first ascent in 2009 after 12 days.
Hukkataival said after, “Livin’ Large is by far the hardest thing I’ve ever climbed and I feel confident saying that it’s a proper 8C. Before this, I believe the most time I’ve invested into a single problem is five days. Another interesting thought that crossed my mind is that Livin’ Large took me more days than Jade took me tries. That being said, the crux on Jade is a very powerful yet simple move, whereas the movement on Livin’ Large is anything but simple.”
Jimmy Webb made the second ascent and confirmed the grade of V15 after 10 days of projecting. Both Hukkataival and Webb said it was their hardest sends at the time.
Raboutou has sent a number of V15s and V16s, including The Finnish Line V15, Creature from the Black Lagoon V16 and the first ascent of Off the Wagon Sit V16.