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Jimmy Webb’s Third Ascent of Black Lagoon V16

Jimmy Webb is one of the world’s best boulderers and has proven it once again with his third ascent of Creature from the Black Lagoon V16.

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The technical line was first climbed by Daniel Woods in 2016 and repeated by Dave Graham shortly after.

After his climb, Webb said on Instagram, “One of my main goals of the trip is complete with the third ascent of the ultra sick Daniel Woods’ test piece Creature from the black lagoon V16.

“After six days of work gaining the necessary power, power endurance and alpine fitness I was finally able to take it down. Feels so damn good to climb such a stunner. Still got plenty of time left in the alpine and there’s tons more to do.”

The route, found in the Upper Chaos Canyon in Rocky Mountain National Park, was known as the Black 90 project until 27-year-old Woods took it down after two weeks of attemtps.
“I beat myself up because I know it’s there and overcoming mental disbelief is the most satisfying feeling for me in climbing,” he wrote on Instagram.

“As for how hard this thing is? That is a question that will obviously be thrown around, accepted or bashed,” Woods wrote. “I believe this line is harder than most V15s I’ve done so why not call it V16. If train is ran on it and consensus calls it 15, then that is all good.”

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At the time, Woods had climbed 22 V15s over 22 years of climbing and 12 were first ascent. In 2010, he made the first ascent of Hypnotized Minds V16 and in 2015 of The Process V16. In 2016, he repeated Papichulo 5.15a in Spain and became one of only a few climbers to do a 5.15 and V15.

“Dave Grahamand I have talked a lot about the progression of grades and try to understand what would make something [V]16,” Woods wrote.

“We are left dumbfounded to realize that the same level in bouldering has maintained from Fred Nicole, Bernd Zangerl, and Klem Loskot a decade ago until now.

“We can either acknowledge what is a level up from the standard of V15 (based off of consensus over the years) or continue climbing V15 for another decade.”

Watch Graham on the burly route below.