Last summer, Shawn Raboutou secretly climbed the sit-start version of Dave Graham's Foundation's Edge, giving birth to the 8C+ Boulder Fuck the System. During his Ticino trip in winter, the 24-year-old struck again and expanded another Graham classic with Story of 3 Worlds (8C+).
First is young, incredibly strong and climbs one high-end boulder after the other: Shawn Raboutou. The American is the epitome of a new generation of climbers who are taking bouldering to a new level with the most difficult first ascents. Recently, Mellow released a new video featuring him in Story of 3 Worlds (8C+, FA) in Cresciano shows.
The special thing about the 24-year-old American is that he doesn't seem to care whether his inspections become public or not. His first ascent of Fuck the System (8C+) in Fionnay for example, only became known months later. And would have Giuliano Cameroni If he hadn't kept his camera on it, his first ascent of Story of 3 Worlds would probably have only happened in a small circle. In addition, there are those two 9a boulders, to which Shawn has not yet wanted to comment.
Video: Shawn Raboutou on the first ascent of Story of 3 Worlds
Signs of a changing of the guard
It is exciting that Shawn Raboutou, with Fuck the System and Story of 3 Worlds, has two lines from the bouldering pioneer Dave graham has expanded. And even if he still climbs incredibly hard at the age of forty, the younger generation seems to be slowly but surely taking over the reins.
Shawn Raboutou makes 8C + Boulder look supposedly easy like Story of 3 Worlds and often uses such a crazy beta that superlatives are thrown around in the comment columns: "Unreal", "On another level", "Mindblowing", "Beast mode" or "Shawn seams to defy gravity" are just a few of them.
Dave Graham repeats Fuck the System
But as I said: Even after decades in the bouldering circus, Dave Graham is still at the forefront. In April he opened the 8C+ Boulder Euclase in Ticino. Almost exactly a month ago he managed the second ascent of Fuck the System (8C +) in Fionnay. The energy and perseverance he put into this boulder only becomes clear when you read the thoughts he recently published about his ascent:
This is how Dave Graham climbed the 8C+ Boulder Fuck the System
«On June 25th, after about five weeks, I managed the second ascent of Shawn Raboutou's new addition at Fionnay. Fuck the System is a direct entry into Foundation's Edge and was an old project of mine. But I couldn't decode the method at the time.
I kept going, but the line always stayed in the back of my mind: the perfectly formed holds, the amazing friction, and the beautiful angles of the wall. Last year Shawn did an impressive ascent using a method that I could imagine for smaller climbers, but which seemed absolutely impossible for my size and style.
Develop your own beta
After spending the winter in Ticino to hone my bouldering skills, particularly my knee braces, I returned briefly before traveling to the Petzl RocTrip in May. I developed my sequence a little further by playing with a very subtle knee bar.
Two weeks later I returned and started putting my beta together. To my great surprise, I began to make solid progress. After five intense sessions in comfortable temperatures, with a few changes to my footwork and hand positions, I only fell off the last few strokes of the Foundation's Edge. I was amazed to find that an actual ascent was not just a dream, but reality.
Just before giving up
For the next two weeks, constant thunderstorms soaked the boulder. I tried all the sections I could dry and worked on the top half. The following two weeks there was a heat wave that dried the boulder, but the temperature rose 10 degrees. I crashed in the crux almost four to five times a session.
I started failing in the lower part, falling in the knee bar area and even in the initial area. I lost hope and summer was just around the corner. It was basically my last day, 13 degrees and 95% humidity, and after two terrible attempts I gave up in frustration.
For a classic "training attempt" I threw myself into the boulder again without thinking and found a flow that I had never felt before. I climbed step by step to the upper part, didn't fall out of the final traverse and reached the top in complete amazement. I love climbing! It's so much fun progressing in this game."
That might interest you
- First ascent of Fuck the System (8C +): Shawn Raboutou quietly boulders the old Dave Graham line
- Shawn Raboutou boulders Livin 'Large (8c / 8c +)
- Shawn Raboutou ascending Roadkill (8c) in Val Bavona
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Credits: Cover picture Mellow climbing