In climbing I do things that I enjoy and want to do not the ones that are currently in fashion.
Muriel Sarkany
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Leslie-Wujastyk, Puccio, Koyamada and Kassay rock in the rocks!
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Leslie-Wujastyk, Puccio, Koyamada and Kassay rock in the rocks!

November has already brought a few good boulder ascents made both by ladies and gentleman. But as good manners and rules of conduct tell: ladies first!

Apparently, Alex Puccio decided to skip all the fuss going on in Red River Gorge and instead of following the example of her boulder fellows, Daniel Woods and Jon Cardwell, who have been recently improving their rope climbing skills, she chose the Swiss boulder area of Chironico. As a result Alex added to her tick list Roswell 8A+, Teamwork 8A and Kit Dynamite 8A that she downgraded a little bit giving it the personal grade of 7C+.

Mina Leslie-Wujastyk has not idled her time away either. The successful British female athlete has recently got throught with a massive shoulder move on Gentleman’s Project V11 (8A) in Joe’s Valley, Utah. This is Mina’s third 8A boulder after she sent Ghost of War (also in Joe’s Valley) and Preparation H in Hepburn. To date, Mina’s best ascents are two 8A+: Tetris (Wild Basin) and Mind Matters (Guanella Pass). Mina reports on her blog that Gentleman’s Project was a kind of frustrating struggle for her    as she kept on falling at the very last hard move at the lip. After completing the boulder she left for Bishop so it seems like there is more great news still to come! And for now check out the movie.


Mina reaching up into the shoulder move on Gentleman's Project V11
(photo: David Mason/

And speaking of gentleman… Dai Koyamada is not slowing down. During his long stay in Chironico he has already made several ascents at the top boulder level, e.g. Dave Graham’s From Dirt Grows the Flowers 8B+ (C) and Martin Keller’s Der mit dem Fels tanzt 8C. And the latter is crucial for this news, as the Japanese athlete made the first ascent of the problem combining the sit start of Der mit dem Fels tanzt and the last moves of Delusions of Grandeur 8B. Dai has given the new boulder the personal grade of 8C and the name Insanity of Grandeur.


Dai Koyamada on Insanity of Grandeur 8C (photo: Ikuko Serata)

And last but not least, Australian James Kassay, has recently finished his years long battle in Hollow Mountain Cave. Last season, he managed to send famous over 60-move problem by Dai Koyamada called The Wheel of Life. It is one of the hardest lines of the world graded somewhere around 8C/C+. Kassay is considered the biggest fan of climbing in the cave and ever since he visited the sport for the first time, he’s had one ultimate personal climbing goal: to make a direct version of Koyamada’s boulder, i. e. (according to what James wrote on his FB profile):

"I have, for as long as I can remember, had a personal goal with my climbing... To start at the lowest point of hollow mountain cave; climb Extreme Cool, Sleepy Hollow, Cave Man and then to finish up left on Dead Cant Dance which is the highest point of the cave... Today it has become a reality! I just did the First Accent of The Wheel of life DIRECT!!! Personally it is one of the most amazing achievements of my climbing career!"

Kassay has not yet suggested the grade for this impressive linking of four boulders but we can be sure that it’s going to be something around the longest and most demanding 8C ever.


James Kassay on The Wheel of Life 8C/C+ (photo: James Kassay)

Hats off!


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