The Hardest Boulders

This page is a work in progress however I will attempt to keep it as up to date as possible, making changes as new and accurate information comes availible. It is very difficult to get accurate information out of Europe or Japan so it will only cover problems in the US. Here is a list of the hardest problems in America:

The Game V16 Boulder Canyon FA:Daniel Wood unrepeated. Obvious roadside dagger. Climbs a shallow seam to a fingerlock followed by more hard compression climbing. The hardest problem in the US.

Lucid Dreaming V16 Bishop FA:Paul Robinson unrepeated. A huge problem on the roadside face of the most prominent boulder in Bishop.

Jade V14 RMNP FA: Daniel Woods repeated by: Ty Landman, Paul Robinson, Nalle Hukkataival, Phil Schaall, Carlo Traversi, Jimmy Webb. Downgraded to V14 by Jimmy and Carlo.
Known as the Green 45 for years, Daniel did the FA in 2007. The problem lies at over 10,000ft above sea level in a jumble of talus and is well known for having one of the hardest moves in the world.

Terremer V15 Hueco Tanks FA: Fred Nicole repeated by: Paul Robinson
This problem begins on the opening moves of Diaphanous Sea and heads right through a series of incuts on a bulging wall. It basically links a V13 into the V14 Terre des Seine, also put up by Nicole.


Dave Graham climbing the stand start Terre des Seine V14

Witness the Fitness, Arkansas V15 FA: Chris Sharma repeated by: Fred Nicole, unclimbed since significant breakage. Featured in the Dosage 3 film, iron oxide edges lead out a massive cave. Broken.

The Book of Bitter Aspects, Bradley, CT V13 FA: Dave Graham. Phil Schaall, Max Zolotuhkin Originally V14. Fairly inobvious line, the crux revolves around bad right hand crimp and hard to stand up into left hand undercling. Downrated by Max to V13.

The Mandala, Bishop sit start V14 FA: Tony Lamiche repeated by: Dave Graham, Daniel Woods, Sean McColl, Shawn Diamond, Gabriele Moroni, Kevin Jorgeson, Matt Birch, Matt Wilder, Johnny Goicechea, Charlie Barrett, Corey French, Paul Robinson who also added a direct finish to the Mandala, contrived but unrepeated and Paul says harder. Recent repeaters have suggested a downrate to V13.


Tony Lamiche on the FA

The Swarm, Bishop V14 FA Matt Birch repeats: Robinson, Graham, Landman, Woods, Diamond, Jorgeson, Sam Davis, Tim Clifford, Matt Wilder, Fred Nicole although many of the strongest climbers have done this one quickly, Ty Landman is the only one to suggest it is perhaps soft. The most climbed V14 in America, so perhaps the easiest? A gorgeous brown wall with hard moves on very small holds. Clifford finally downgraded this to V13.

Esperanza Hueco Tanks V14 FA: Fred Nicole A hard line in the famed Martini Cave in Hueco Tanks. Put up in 1998 and has seen a few repeats, most impressively the one day ascent by Dave Graham.

Echale, Clear Creek Canyon V14 FA: Daniel Woods repeated by: Dave Graham, Paul Robinson. Chipped, dugout and glued this is one of the worst rock climbs out there. It powers out of a low cave on manufactured edges. Dave suggested it could be V13

Suspension of Disbelief V13/14 FA Dave Graham repeated by Daniel Woods, Carlo Traversi and Jimmy Webb, who suggest V13. This is a spectacular arete nestled deep in the hills of the front range. This maybe one of the hardest problems in the country, as it took Daniel around 10 days of work (if not more) and has basically shut Paul Robinson down. The hard climbing culminates with a huge dyno to a jug at 18ft.

Warpath V14 or V15? FA James Litz unrepeated The spectacular cave climbs 20 plus moves out the massive underbelly of a sculpted roof on perfect pinches and edges. This problems links a V11 into three back to back hard V10s and might be the best problem on this list. James never graded it although others that have been there and tried it, including Landman, have suggested V14.

Lost in the Hood V14 Arkansas FA Dave Graham repeated by Paul Robinson Featured in the Dosage 5 movie it appears to be one hard move.

Wood Grain Grippin V14 Arkansas FA Dave Graham repeated by Daniel Woods both climbers says its low in the grade.

Midnight Express V14 Boulder Canyon, FA Ty Landman repeats: Dave Graham, Paul Robinson, Daniel Woods, Seth Allred, Luke Parady Two very hard moves right off the ground on polished granite lead to a tall and scary topout. The hardest problem in the Boulder area and a classic testpiece.


Ty Landman on the FA

Nuclear War V14 area near the Gunks FA Matt Bosley unrepeated

Goldfish Trombone V14 Happy Boulders FA Sam Edwards repeated by:Daniel Woods, Ethan Pringle, Chris Sharma, Sean McColl


Sam Edwards FA Goldfish Trombone

The Fly V14 Rumney FA Dave Graham repeated by:Chris Sharma, Luke Parady, Tony Lamiche, Paul Robinson, Jason Kehl, Kevin Jorgenson


Tony Lamiche on The Fly (with a rope)

Aslan V14 RMNP FA: Daniel Woods repeated by:Ty Landman, Sean McColl, Andre DeFelice Gang Bang Arete into the Centaur. Possibly easier after 2007 when the crux hold broke and got bigger.


Ty Landman on Aslan V14

Illusions V? HP40 FA: Lee Payne repeated by Jimmy Webb suggested to be V12. While problems like The Swarm, Ode to the Modern Man and the Mandala sit start have been repeated numerous times, its curious that this line has gone unrepeated, as it sits smackdab in the middle of the most popular climbing area in the South. The ultimate low percentage move. The problem starts on a short V8 called Megatron and moves left.

Ode to the Modern Man V13/14 FA: Daniel Woods repeated by: Ty Landman, Paul Robinson, Kevin Jorgeson, Tony Lamiche, Matt Wilder, Nalle Hukkataival, Jon Cardwell Climbs a hard three move sequence into the finishing V9 or 10 or Super Gui. Originally suggested to be 8C by Woods after he crushed Terre De Seine in an hour an took 8 days on this one, many quick repeats have suggested otherwise. Jon Cardwell suggests that this may have been chipped and is V13.


Ty Landman Ode to the Modern Man V13/14

The Beach V14, Moe’s Valley, Daniel Woods FA This problem was dug out of the ground. A sit start to Meat Bag V13 put up by Isaac Calderio. The second ascentionist of Meat Bag, Pete Lowe, found a different sequence and according to others, this could be V11. It’s unclear if Daniel knew about the new the sequence, however, this one seems to be a contender for a downrate.

There are other contenders and its hard to say until they get more repeats. James Litz put up several extremely hard boulders in the Obed, one of which climbs a cliff band. Daniel Woods made the second ascent of Chinese Arithmetic V13 in 3 tries. He also did several problems in Boone, maybe some more info will come to light. The Grudge Match? The Black Crack? James also climbed Genetic at HP40 and this remains unrepeated for almost 10 years, although a hold has broken. Morphine, which is often brought up in these conversations was repeated in a few tries and downgraded to V12. Jim Merli has completed a problem in northern Minnesota which I believe is V13 called the Amateur. Supposedly a very hard and obvious sit start has yet to be climbed. Jim has done all the moves. I am really unfamiliar with the bouldering in Flagstaff, AZ although I am sure that with all of the strong climbers there there could be a problem in the V14 range.

IMG_9730_2Ty Landman on Warpath