Six days ago, the American Matt Fultz managed to climb one of the most difficult bouldering lines in the world: Hypnotized Minds (8c +) in Rocky Mountain National Park. Now he manages a second difficult boulder with Echalo (8c).

The 29 year old is in the shape of his life. About a year and a half ago, Matt Fultz climbed the first 8c boulder of his career and has since made a steep performance curve. In the current year, the American climbed a boulder in the 8c area seven times. Two of them within the last seven days.

What a special moment. Just me, my wife Hailey, and some snow.

Matt Fultz on the Hypnotized Minds tour

Matt Fultz got into Hypnotized Minds for the first time in 2018, where he succeeded in some promising sequences of the boulder. After a few sessions, Matt contracted a nasty ring ligament injury on his index finger that slowed him down for months.

Almost worse than the injury itself was the mental block. It took me a long time to venture back into the boulder.

Matt Fultz in Hypnotized Minds. (Image Keith Allen Peters)
Matt Fultz in Hypnotized Minds. (Image Keith Allen Peters)

In spring 2020, shortly before his trip to Switzerland, Matt climbed to the last train on the line, where he fell. Then came Covid, the Rocky Mountain National Park closure, and Matt struggled with depression.

Despite all the circumstances, I went over the trains in my head every night before bed.

A combination of his wife's support, tough training, and opening up the National Park got Matt back on the block. Regularly playing through the sequences in your head in combination with the other factors was worth it. Back at the block, Matt cracked the 8c + test piece and even went one better a few days later with the ascent of Echalo (8c).

Matt Fultz inspecting Echalo

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Credits: Cover picture