Nalle Hukkataival and Dave Graham have arrived in South Africa after a very successful trip to Australia. Their first stop was the bouldering at Topside, where a number of hard problems have been established by Paul Robinson in the last few years there. The hardest one, A Simple Knowing, was graded 8C by Paul. Nalle made a quick second ascent and commented this on his tumblr:
I just made the first repeat of Paul Robinson’s V15, A Simple Knowing, at Topside. I managed to climb it quickly in half an hour. It’s a nice problem, but once again nowhere near the difficulty that I consider V15. On a related note, here’s a photo of Livin’ Large which still stands unrepeated after many strong climbers have tried it.
Dave Graham made the third ascent of the Robinson line in two days, calling it 8B+ on his scorecard, saying:
It definitely felt like 8b+, even with the new method.
It’s great that other climber are giving their opinions and going to try what was suggested to be one of the hardest boulders in South Africa. And it’s important to note that whatever the grade, Paul’s willingness to go to a new area and put up new problems is to be commended. Dave and Nalle probably wouldn’t be there if it wasn’t for Paul. It sounds like a number of new lines have gone in, and perhaps Topside will one day have the reputation the Rocklands has. While the scenery looks incredible there, I still haven’t seen any photos that make the place look as good as Rocklands, but it’s hard to tell with out visiting. It’s also hard not to read Nalle’s words as a challenge, and it will be interesting to see if anyone steps up! Livin’ Large remains one of the hardest boulder problems in the world and it’s certainly one of the most impressive.
Here is a pic I took of Nalle trying Livin’ Large when it was a project from my trip to South Africa.