Graham on New Base Line
But is it easier than you think?Dave Graham continues to rage in Europe, bouldering and dividing his time between Switzerland and Fontainebleau. On May 3, he made the third ascent (after Bernd Zangerl and Fred Nicole) of one of the world’s hardest boulder problems, New Base Line (V15), at Magic Wood, Switzerland, sending the problem on his second day. Graham hasn’t commented on New Base Line. However, the speed of his success raises questions about its difficulty — and the difficulty of the world’s hardest boulder problems. V15 (the top standard in bouldering) supposedly parallels 5.15 (the top standard in sport climbing). But this comparison falls apart if, using Graham as an example, you compare his quick ascent of New Base Line with the several weeks he’s spent trying to repeat Realization, Chris Sharma’s possible 5.15 at Ceuse, France, without success. Meanwhile, another of the worlds’ hardest boulder problems, Dreamtime (V15), at Cresciano, Switzerland, has recently seen a half dozen ascents. That’s more ascents than the world’s potential 5.15 sport climbs — Realization, Flex Luthor, Orujo, Akira, and La Rambla Direct — have had combined.