Hukkataival Repeats Graham V15 in Switzerland


Nalle on the top of From Dirt Grows the Flowers (V15). Courtesy

12/3/12 - Finnish climber Nalle Hukkataival has had a very busy year of climbing and traveling; in the past several months, he's visited Poland, Spain, Italy, Australia, South Africa, Sweden, and more countries. His latest accomplishment includes repeating Dave Graham's From Dirt Grows the Flowers (V15) in Chironico, Switzerland. Graham established the problem in 2005, and it's seen relatively few ascents, by climbers like Bernd Zangerl, Paul Robinson, and Adam Ondra.

There are two variations to this problem; Graham's original beta is the most direct line, and a left variant traverses three meters to the left and avoids the crux sequence. Hukkataival completed Graham's line, but not before falling numerous times from the last move, "one of the coolest and most complicated mantels I've ever done," Hukkataival said on his blog. "On the try I sent it, I ended up using even my forehead to push through the mantel."

In the last three weeks, Hukkataival grabbed the first ascent of two V15s in Valle Bavona, Switzerland: Off the Wagon and Momentum. The former was previously referred to as the Wagon project, and Hukkataival called it "one of the purest and most unique boulders I've ever climbed. Swiss granite bouldering at its best." It was shown in the fourth installment of the Dosage film series, and while Hukkataival suggested V15 for the grade, he says, "Numbers aside, this boulder is something really special and for me personally topping it out was a very concrete sign of progress. Already many strong climbers are lining up to try Off the Wagon, so I’m sure soon enough we’ll have a better guess at the difficulty."

He completed Momentum the week before Off the Wagon, saying, "One of the most amazing sequences I can think of. So simple, yet so intricate. A dream come true."

To read more about Hukkataival's travels and ascents, visit his blog.

Dates of ascents: November-December 2012