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The Story of Bridge of Ashes V15

Watch Dave Graham make the first ascent of the hard problem found in Rocky Mountain National Park

Dave Graham established Bridge of Ashes V15 just over a decade ago as one of the hardest boulders in the world at the time. “One of the most challenging projects I have ever completed,” he said. Cam Maier has just released a film about the first ascent.

“I found and cleaned this line over a year ago, and have been trying intermittently ever since. Once I found the right method and realized the boulder was actually climbable, I thought it would be just about having the right skin and conditions. I thought it was in the bag. Oh how I was wrong.” The problem was repeated by Daniel Woods and Jimmy Webb who suggested V14 and Matt Fultz who agreed with the original V15 grade.

Graham has been one of the world’s leading climbers for two decades. Born in Maine, he started climbing in 1997 thanks to one of his ski teammates bringing him to try. Within a year, he climbed The Present 5.14a, and then quickly became one of the strongest climbers in the world. In 2005, he moved to Europe and made the first ascent of The Story of Two Worlds V15, and in 2008 he opened The Island V15. In fall 2020, he made the fifth ascent of Ali Hulk Sit Start Extension Total 5.15b in Rodellar. Over the past year, he’s climbed several V15 or harder problems. Last summer, Graham established Euclase V16, which has 19 hand moves, 21 foot moves and four kneebars.

Bridge of Ashes V15