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Nalle Hukkataival climbing Gioia at Varazze
Photo by Scott Noy
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Nalle Hukkataival repeats Gioia at Varazze

22.02.2014 by Planetmountain

At Varazze in Italy today Nalle Hukkataival repeated Gioia, the 8C+ boulder problem freed in 2008 by Christian Core.

It was on the cards... last week Finnish powerhouse Nalle Hukkataival was making good links on Gioia, one of the world's hardest boulder problems freed in 2008 Christian Core at Varazze. But before Hukkataival could get the send the rains came in and he was forced to wait... until today, when just after lunchtime he finally managed the first repeat of this superb problem.

Six years have passed since Core's first ascent - in many respects an eternity in bouldering - and in the meantime only one other person managed to link these 14 moves: Adam Ondra who, after 11 days of attempts and then the liberating scream, confirmed the 8c+ grade. The maximum therefore, on a par with his own problem Terranova that he'd freed that 2011 winter at Moravsky Kras in the Czech Republic.

Hukkataival had attempted Gioia at the start of 2013 and like many others he'd quickly sent the stand start. But the extra moves at the start make all the difference and, with trashed fingers, he was forced to abandon attempts and return this winter.

Over the last decade that 28-year-old has amassed an enviable curriculum, the number of 8C's freed and repeated by Hukkataival has few equals, also in terms of the speed with which he sends them. Despite not offering a grade as yet - it's time to celebrate he told Planetmountain - he had the following to say "With Gioia it was difficult to find the right conditions, but today everything came together nicely! It's definitely one of the very hardest boulders in the world and climbs really well!" No doubt we'll be hearing more of his thoughts in the future.

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