Nalle Hukkataival succeeds on The stepping stone V15 in the Grampians
Finish rock climber Nalle Hukkataival has made the first ascent of The stepping stone V15 at the Grampians in Australia, describing the ascent of this V15 boulder problem as possibly "the most memorable climbing experience of my life!"
Success has crowned his efforts. After spending almost a month on a project in the Grampians, yesterday Nalle Hukkataival came up trumps to make the first ascent of The stepping stone, a problem he has tentatively graded circa V15, 8C. More than this cutting-edge difficulty though, according to the Finn what makes this problem stand out is the absolute beauty of its moves up the immaculate, bulletproof Grampians sandstone.
As reported previously, time was running out and Hukkataival was even prepared to reschedule his flight home. But this didn't prove necessary, as he now reports on Facebook "All expectations were finally out the window and it was down to one last ditch effort. The sun was dipping down behind the horizon and painting the rock red. This would be my last try. The wind kicked up. I chalked my hands about a dozen times, like I do when I'm nervous, and pulled on the rock. I was climbing on total autopilot like I have many times through the sections. A series of screams of surprise and relief lead to the sight of my right hand grabbing onto the finishing hold! I climbed the V0 topout like it was V13. Right there, standing on top of that boulder watching the bright orange sunset could be the most memorable climbing experience of my life!"
Hukkataival has climbed boulders such as Gioia at Varazze and Bügeleisen sit start in the Maltatal, considered to be two of the world's hardest, and he is currently on his way home to attempt what has become known as the Lappnor project. This wildly overhanging sheet of rock criss-crossed by the tiniest of crimps that have tested Hukkataival for various seasons and which, if and when completed, may well take things into a new realm of difficulties.