James Pearson, third Font 8b flash.

© James Pearson
The UK's James Pearson, 21, aka Keen Youth, has just returned from a bouldering trip to Ticino in Switzerland where he made his third Font 8b flash, Schule des Lebens.

This is very significant as the hardest boulder problems in the world are Font 8c (or V15) and no one has achieved one Font 8b (or V13) flash, let alone three, as far as we know. The hardest boulder problems are usually worked, sometimes for days; a flash is a first try success after either watching someone on the problem or being told the sequence.

James takes up the story in a letter he sent to

"Schule des Lebens is a short, crimpy 8b on the Deliverance boulder. Due to the basic nature of the holds and most of the moves I decided that it might be possible to flash. I watched some friends trying the moves and planned out a potential sequence. The first move definitely looked like the hardest and I was incredibly nervous about pulling on knowing that the following seconds could mean success or failure. The starting holds felt really small and the necessary body position didn't appear obvious. I focused on what I thought would work, making sure that my feet were placed precisely before firing upwards for the edge. I stuck it and tightened up my core so I could move my feet. The next few moves went well and after a little bit of a fight with the last two moves I had made it to the top. My third 8b flash, fantastic."

You can read James' full report of his trip here.

James Pearson is sponsored by The North Face, Five Ten and WildCountry.

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3 Dec, 2007
Nice one on trying again Mick. Keen Yoof deserves some credit and I hope this thread doesn't go the way of the other. Tick marks blaaah.
3 Dec, 2007
2 Jan, 2008
As of very late December there is now one other person on his heels; Paul Robinson has flashed Nagual, V13, at Hueco. Still, with 3 of 4 reported 8B flashes worldwide, praise is still due to James!
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