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World’s First V16?

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Dai Koyamada has established a new boulder problem at Hourai, Japan, that he rates “at least 8c,” or V15, according to www.8a.nu. The 22-move roof problem is called Byaku-dou, or “The Road to Heaven.” While visiting Japan, French star Fred Rouhling attempted Byaku-dou and said it was harder than Dreamtime, the Swiss boulder problem that is considered a benchmark for V15. Though little known in the United States, 27-year-old Koyamada is one of the world’s strongest rock climbers. He has established several V13 and V14 problems at Hourai, and has led at least 15 climbs of 5.14c or harder in Europe and Japan. Among these was the fourth ascent of Rouhling’s Hugh (5.14d) in France and a new route, Logical Progression (5.14d), at home in Japan. Koyamada also has flashed routes as hard as 5.13d.