Jimmy Webb repeats Livin' Large, Font 8CInterview

© Beau Kahler

Jimmy Webb has made the long awaited second ascent of Nalle Hukkataival's Livin' Large, Font 8C, in the Champagne sector at Rocklands, South Africa. He has been close for some time and on the last day of the trip he closed the deal

Jimmy Webb on Livin' Large, ~8C, Rocklands, South Africa  © Beau Kahler
Jimmy Webb on Livin' Large, ~8C, Rocklands, South Africa
© Beau Kahler

When Nalle made the first ascent 6 years ago, after 12 days on it, it was his longest ever project. Now, as we all know he has spent slightly more time than that on his Lappnor project. Just slightly.

A few days ago Jimmy wrote on facebook: I have most certainly never been so consumed by something more than this piece of stone. 'Living Large' is to me one of the most incredible rock climbs I've ever seen. Have I ever wanted to send something so bad? Many days I've woken up around 4:30AM in hopes that the early morning temps will produce success. I've fallen from the top 3 times, post crux, walking away with aches and pains from the impact. Shit! I know it's there. Where is that unicorn effort where everything connects?! Just a few days remain.. Vamos!!!

And now:

Proper last day best day! Woke up early again for the usual routine and found myself on top of Livin Large for the 2nd ascent!! No words can fully describe the feeling I had when I stuck the final jug.. This rig most definitely has consumed me for a long time and after 10 days of efforts this trip it is such a relief to get it done.​

I cought up with Jimmy in London on his way back home

So, is Livin' large the best thing you've ever climbed?
Haha I say that a lot. But yes. Hands down this one is the best! The overall experience trumps all.

Yeah, you do say that a lot, but very cool this one actually IS! Was it also the hardest physically or more mentally hard?
It's just fickle. The conditions were so hard to get. It bakes in the sun starting at 9am and doesn't go out until 5pm. Leaving you with an hour of efforts in the morning or an hour in the evening. I chose the morning because the rock was coolest from sitting over night. Though the humidity was much higher then so often I wouldn't start trying until 830. Leaving me with about 30ish minutes to work with. That usually equalled out to about two tries.

On top of that though it is a really hard problem both physically and mentally. It's scary! The top is around Font 7C with high feet on terrible smears. The last move will haunt you. I had nightmares of blowing it there!

Sounds more or less like a solo. I saw you did some hairy highballs earlier this season. Was that some kind of preparation
Eh, not really. I was just keen on those lines because they're incredible and I wanted to do them. Those were also way scarier haha. Proper no fall zones. Livin is manageable. You could blow the last move and be ok. But you sure as hell don't wanna try it...

Haha, ok. Didn't Adam blow it on the top though? Landing on his back from 7 meters?
Yeah, I think he was one move below the last move. If I heard correctly? I fell right there twice but I was lucky and landed on my feet. The climbing up there is spicy. And the scariest part about it is that you could just slip at any moment. The fall can be controlled or it can be wild and out of control.
Terrible hands, terrible feet!
It's kind of a nightmare finish haha

Perhaps this kind of climb should get an E-grade?
I've never been to the grit. But this one seems like it could fit in nicely!

Any plans to try it? the grit I mean
Yeah man! My buddy Dave Mason was chatting to me about it the other day. Sounds like some fun!

Great! Pretty sure you would kill it.
Haha never know. It might kill me!​

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Jimmy Webb is one of the world's top boulderers, with multiple Font 8C+ problems on his CV. He has been at the forefront of pushing into new grade boundaries for several years and made first ascents worldwide.

Jimmy's Athlete Page 56 posts 10 videos

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7 Jul, 2015
what? no question about his opinion of the grade?
7 Jul, 2015
unicorn effort? Bouldering videos :-(
9 Jul, 2015
Ha ha, boulderers seem to speak another language; 'this rig'
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