Early-Season Heat in High-Country Bouldering


Nalle Hukkataival on Sunskeer (V13) near Mt. Evans. Photo by Jon Cardwell / Courtesy of Nalle-hukkataival.blogspot.com.

Chris Schulte on Big Worm (V13) below Mt. Evans in Colorado. Photo by Hayden Miller.

Despite a stormy month of June, locals and visiting climbers alike made a super-strong start to the alpine bouldering season in Colorado. Among the granite boulders below Mt. Evans, Dave Graham nabbed the first ascent of Big Worm (V14), which was soon repeated by Chris Schulte and Paul Robinson. The 22-move roof route is a sit start to an older problem called The Mirrormask (V10). 

Finnish boulder Nalle Hukkataival stayed in Colorado for a couple of weeks after the World Cup at the Teva Mountain Games, and made the most of his time with the fourth ascent of Jade (V15), a new V13, and a couple of speedy V13 repeats. Hukkataival climbed Jade in Rocky Mountain National Park on his second day after about 10 tries. 

The Finn’s 21-move new problem, Sunseeker (V13) at Mt. Evans, follows a six-inch rail out a gorgeous roof to a scary mantel. Hukkataival sent the problem after a bruising, face-first fall from 15 feet up, and called it one of the best problems in Colorado; Carlo Traversi, who had been working on the problem and quickly grabbed the second ascent, said it might be one of the best boulder problems in the world. Schulte soon made the third ascent. Click here for video of Traversi sending the Sunseeker.

Hukkataival also made a three-tries ascent of The Automator (V13) and a 30-minute ascent of Nuthin’ But Sunshine (V13), both in Rocky Mountain National Park. See his blog, nalle-hukkataival.blogspot.com, for photos and first-person accounts of his climbs. 

Video of Dave Graham on Big Worm and Nalle Hukkataival on Jade:

Dates of Ascents: June 2009 

Sources: Hayden Miller, 8a.nu, Climbingbum.blogspot.com, Nalle-hukkataival.blogspot.com.

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