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Is Burden of Dreams Harder Than V17?

Several climbers who've climbed V16 and V17 have struggled linking the first move into the upper problem

Nalle Hukkataival made the first ascent of the “Lappnor Project” in Finland back in 2016 and named it Burden of Dreams. He graded it V17, making it the first problem in the world at the grade. It took Hukkataival nearly four years to send the problem. Six years later and Burden of Dreams has still not seen a repeat. Several other top climbers have given attempts over the years but all have come up short. New V17s have been established in the meantime, including Daniel Woods’ Return of the Sleepwalker and Shawn Raboutou’s Alphane – which has been repeated several times.

Burden of Dreams is a five-move crimp line on an 45-degree overhanging face that resembles board climbing. Everything about the problem is difficult. The holds are small and faced in awkward directions, requiring very specific finger and thumb positions. The moves are long, especially to the final three-finger crimp, necessitating powerful, dynamic movement. And the foot holds are lousy demanding an immense amount of body tension. Another big factor contributing to the lack of repeats is that the problem is located in an obscure location with a short climbing season and finnicky conditions.

With only a handful of moves and a grade of V17, Burden of Dreams may contain the most challenging series of moves on any established boulder problem in the world. Hukkataival said it has the hardest starting move he had ever attempted. Some of the best boulderers in the world – Aidan Roberts, Will Bosi and Shawn Raboutou – appear to be making progress. Roberts 3D scanned the holds and has been training on a plastic replica of the problem.

Raboutou visited Burden of Dreams in late 2022. Raboutou was able to complete four out of the five hard moves over the first few days of working the problem. And he felt very optimistic about the only move left uncompleted, the notoriously difficult first move. Raboutou is the first climber in the world to climb two V17s: Alphane and Megatron. And Bosi recently shared the news that he’s now working on an indoor replica of Burden of Dreams.

If it is repeated in 2023, will Burden of Dreams remain V17 or will it get a bump up in the grades. Time will tell. Visit here for the world’s hardest problems.

Raboutou’s Attempts