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Shawn Raboutou and Aidan Roberts Work Two V16’s

Two of the world's best boulderers project hard problems in Switzerland

In Fall 2022, American climber Shawn Raboutou and British climber Aidan Roberts travelled to Brione, Switzerland to work on hard bouldering projects. Yesterday, Raboutou released a new video of their efforts on two V16’s: Vecchio Leone Low and Poison the Well.

Vecchio Leone Low V16 is a sit start version of the famous Vecchio Leone V13, which was first ascended by Bernd Zangrel in 2004. The V13 problem is an area classic that’s been sent by some of the world’s top boulderers including Paul Robinson, Carlo Traversi, Jimmy Webb, Giuliano Cameroni, and Daniel Woods. Roberts and Will Bosi both flashed the problem in 2022. Vecchio Leone V13 was a bit of nemesis problem for Raboutou. A recent Magnus Mitbø video shows him working the tough, awkward moves to an eventual redpoint.

After much effort—some of which can be seen in the new Raboutou video—Roberts made the first ascent of Vecchio Leone Low V16 in Fall 2022. Roberts is one of the strongest boulders in the world. He was the first to repeat Raboutou’s Alphane V17, and he has many other hard boulders to his name, including first ascents of the U.K.’s first two V16’s: Superpowers and Isles of Wonder Low.

The other V16 Raboutou and Roberts project in the new video, Poison the Well, was first ascended by Giuliano Cameroni in February 2019. Jimmy Webb picked up the second ascent in April 2020. The problem works up a 40-degree overhanging wall. The moves are relatively straightforward but they require an immense amount of finger strength and power.

Raboutou is the first climber in the world to climb two V17’s. He had an incredible 2022 season, establishing V16’s F*ck the System and Story of 3 Worlds, and V17’s Alphane and Megatron.

Raboutou and Roberts on V16’s