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Dai Koyamada’s disappointment in Chironico

As the weather conditions get gradually more moderate, the bouldering season is turning on. We have already mentioned Japanese master of small forms Dai Koyamada in relation to the latest historical ascent by Tomoko Ogawa. Meanwhile, the master himself succeeded in sending the legendary boulder problem of Swiss Chironico set by Dave Graham in 2005. From Dirt Grows the Flowers was originally graded V15/8C and can be managed in two official ways, both consulted with the author and both of them graded equally.


Dai Koyamada on the top left mantle of
From Dirt Grows the Flowers (photo: Ikuko Serata)


The first variant includes straight top out by means of an 8A+ mantle after a sequence of moves in a roof which is graded around 8B-8B+. That was the original option that, apart from Graham, was chosen also by the author of the second ascent, Bernd Zangerl. The alternative version extends the boulder as you have to add few more traversing moves along the roof’s edge. Here, the final mantle is also considered  8A+. This way of managing the problem was used by Koyamada but also Paul Robinson and British Micky Page, who notabene was the first one to suggest a lower grade and in 2010 Robinson’s impression only confirmed that opinion.


Dai Koyamada on From Dirt Grows the Flowers (photo: Ikuko Serata)

Speaking of which… as we’ve already mentioned, Koyamada, having been one of the world’s top boulderers for at least last 10 years, did not hide his disappointment after sending the boulder rather quicker than he’d expected. As a result, he suggested downgrading the problem to 8B+, saying that the traverse seems to be more like 8B which together with preceding sequence and following mantle gives no more than 8B+. One way or another, another great bouldering ascent definitely worth mentioning.


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