Christian Core and Dream Time at Cresciano
The 8C boulder problem established by Fred Nicole at Cresciano, repeated by Christian Core. Photos by Andrea Gallo, video by Marzio Nardi.
In mid-February the Italian Christian Core made the fifth ascent of Dream Time, Fred Nicole's 8c boulder at Cresciano, Switzerland. The problem, or rather the 20+ moves, are some of the hardest around and this ascent confirms the talent of the two-times winner of the Bouldering World Cup.
But is there more to this? What does it feel like after sending such a problem? And is there such a thing as the hardest problem in the world? What is the essence and the future of bouldering?
Christian replies: “Dreamtime is smooth, overhanging, compact... perfect.” It’s the hardest problem he’s ever climbed but “one day someone is definitely going to find a problem that is out of this world... and climb it.” If climbing is about being free, then let’s not worry too much about the numbers, the search, and the dream, will no doubt continue! In the meantime let’s enjoy the brief interview, the photos by Andrea Gallo and the video by Marzio Nardi...
Christian Core - Dream Time
Dream Time, the hardest boulder in the world?
It's impossible to say, there are many extremely strong climbers who climb really hard moves every day. I'm sure that there are moves that have the same intensity or are probably even harder. What I can say for certain though is that this is the most demanding problem I've ever climbed.
Was this your dream?
Sending the problem was fantastic and I was really happy. After so many days trying, falling, creeping doubts and studying the moves I was finally at the finishing hold - a great satisfaction.
How much did you have to put in?
9 full days, so about a fortnight counting rest periods, specific training on the board and days waiting for my skin to regenerate.
Dream time, what sensations did it first give you?
It was incredibly beautiful and intense. I went there last year with some friends, one of whom, Michele, had seen the video and kept telling me "you've got to try it, seriously, you can do it!" It seemed really hard to me at the time... And so I began to travel from Savona to Cresciano. I soon managed the second section, i.e. from the standing start. Then, following the advice given to me by the locals, I waited for better conditions to try the sit-down start. All of this in 9 full days.
Tell us about Dream Time…
It's a beautiful, smooth granite "panel", 50° overhanging with only the holds that are really needed. All of the moves are hard, there’s no specific crux and each section is different from the other, requiring different moves and body positions. You always feel as if you off balance and so you're forced to dyno and use intermediate holds. The line requires explosive power and the dyno at half-height needs stamina.
Did your successful ascent come as a surprise?
No, I felt it was near. Physically I was strong, the friction was perfect, as were my fingers. After the usual warm-up on the traverse behind the boulder, I gave it a proper go, and fell off the last hard move. I knew I had it in my grasp and, to calm myself down, went for a walk on my own in the woods for a couple of minutes. The stress was beginning to get to me... then I tried it again and succeeded.
Dream Time - its beauty?
It's smooth, overhanging, compact... perfect.
Bouldering is rapidly evolving and there are loads of really good climbers and the level is bound to rise. One day someone is definitely going to find a problem that is out of this world... and climb it.
The boulder of your dreams?
There are many... but I’ve just sent one of them.