VIDEO: In the cloud, 8A+, first ascent by Doro Karalus

During a trip to Australia this summer, German climber Dorothea Karalus made the first ascent of In the Cloud, ~8A+, in the Grampians.

As far as I know, this could very well be the most difficult boulder problem that has ever been put up by a woman!

Dorothea Karalu on In the Cloud, 8A+, Grampians, Australia © Andreas Barth
Dorothea Karalu on In the Cloud, 8A+, Grampians, Australia
© Andreas Barth

The boulder has two perfect and very obvious starting holds and follows a beautiful line of very small horizontal crimps with a sequence revolving around a tiny crimp and a gaston flake in the end. It is rare that you find such a pure crimp boulder that is not awkward and sharp! With the exception of the first move all the 5-6 moves are hard and uncompromisingly powerful: I tried various drop-knee variants, but the footholds are just too sparse and bad for that. It took us several days to figure out a method, but even after having done all moves isolated, I was rather unhopeful about linking them, especially the third move felt impossible from the bottom. Also we soon realized that its quite tricky to get good conditions for this problem as it faces the sun pretty much all day. On cloudy days attempts were usually thwarted by rain showers, so we resorted to night sessions. I made slow but steady progress and one dry evening I managed to stick the crux third move from the bottom only to fall going to the gaston! Nervously I rested for a bit, managed to stay calm and did the probably first ascent the same night!

Dorothea Karalus is sponsored by: Monkee, Evolv and Black Diamond

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