The American Daniel Woods succeeds in the first ascent of the seated start version of the Sleepwalker boulder in the Red Rocks. He suggests 9a as a rating.

Never before has the American bouldering professional invested so much time in a boulder as in the sitting start of the 8c + boulder Sleepwalker. Heard at twenty days of projecting Daniel Woods with the counting of the sessions. That was at the beginning of February. Tiny advances, repeated sequences of movements, optimizing the skin of the fingers and playing with the meteorological conditions demanded everything from Daniel.

All that projecting makes you addicting and crazy at the same time.

Daniel Woods

But now the almost never-ending journey was over. Daniel Woods managed the first ascent of the seated start version of the Sleepwalker boulder. Daniel Woods', Jimmy Webb, Nalle Hukkataival and other people walked normal line (sleepwalker) has already been rated 8c + and its difficulty has also been confirmed.

When starting the seat, an 8b seat start sequence must be completed, which leads directly to the sleepwalker (8c +) without a resting point. For the combined variant with the name Return of the Sleepwalker Daniel Woods uses bouldering grade 9a.

The combination of these two hard sections results in an endurance-heavy line.

Daniel Woods

Daniel Woods during one of his attempts in February 2021

Playing with fire

In the recent past, numerous climbers have burned their fingers while evaluating a new difficult boulder with 9a. Charles Albert hit for the boulder he had first climbed No Kpote Only in Fontainebleau 9a before. Just two months later, the level of difficulty was questioned by the first repeater. Then repeated in October 2020 Nico Pelorson the line and rated No Kpote Only as a solid 8c.

The Belgian Simon Lorenzi had a similar experience a few days ago. He got the first ascent of at the beginning of February 2021 Soudain Seul (The Big Island Assis) and gave 9a after some hesitation. Almost two months came - again - Nico Pelorson and, as with No Kpote Only, pulled the red card.

With climbing shoes and the optimized beta, I find No Kpote Only a solid 8c. The line climbs super, thanks to Charles Albert for the first ascent of the boulder.

Nico Pelorson

A video about Nico Pelorson and the boulder Soudain Seul

Ob Daniel Woods in the case of Return of the Sleepwalker met the same fate, the future will tell. The fact is: Daniel Woods is indisputably one of the strongest boulderers in the world. In his ticklist he already combines five 8c + boulders (four of which are first ascents) and well over twenty 8c boulders.

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Credits: Cover picture Bobby Sorich