UKC

Dave Graham Ticks 9b in Ali Hulk Cave, Rodellar

© Dave Graham Collection

Dave Graham has climbed Ali Hulk Sit Start Extension Total (9b) in the Ali Hulk Cave at Rodellar. The route was first climbed by Dani Andrada in 2007 and links a 15 move sit start boulder problem into another 35 moves, at which point climbers tie in and head out of the cave. The route was Dave's first 9b.

Ali Hulk Sit Start Extension Total [9B] ☑️ 🥳 Last Tuesday I finally managed to climb the full line of the Ali Hulk Cave, a futuristic vision from one of my biggest inspirations in climbing, @dani_andrada_climb 🔥 During the extreme heat of the deep summer I spent most of my sessions crafting methods; most of which I changed multiple times afterwards, seemingly climbing in circles for months until I actually came up with a 130 move sequence which I felt confident with. The first half of the roof is very bouldery, where as the second half is more endurance oriented. The day it went down I had zero expectations to climb it 🤣 It was one of the last hot days we had, particularly humid, and not a lot of wind, I was tired from trying No Pain the day before, and had some nagging splits that needed tape, so I sat myself down at the start whimsically for a good old training burn, planning to fall at the first crux. Somehow, I managed to cross the roof, but was savagely pumped and nearly fell off getting into the rest position 🤨 From there I declared I would fall immediately 😂 I couldn't shake the pump so I decided to just keep it movin, engaging myself in a brutal battle to get through the more physical Hulk section, and landing myself at the next rest with a near terminal pump in my entire body. I bailed again on the rest as my legs began to fail me in the kneebars, wanted to fall (honestly) as the pain in my feet was goin over the "threshold", prayed I would maybe slip off in order to relieve the burn, yet somehow kept doing "one more move" (the mantra) until I made it through the Extension portion. This is where I got nervous. It was time not to punt 😅 I hung in the last shitty rest rapidly shaking either arm preparing for the past section of real resistance, and launched 🤪 Move by move I executed my beta, completely focused, only until the last move of the route. I rocked over my foot, locked of, assuming I would pitch, reached for the last jug, and BOOM. Summit 🤩 I couldn't believe what happened, still can't 🤩 One of my most memorable and rewarding ascents in my life 🙌🏻 Uncut coming 🔜 @mellowclimbing 🔥@adidasterrex @fiveten_official @petzl_official

A post shared by Dave Graham (@dave_graham_) on

The 38-year-old has spent much of his summer climbing in the cave and late last month made the 2nd ascent of Fin de Ali Extension Sit Start, a 9a+ of a similar style to his latest tick.

Due to extreme heat, Dave describes spending sessions 'crafting methods' and 'climbing in circles for months' to come up with a 130 move sequence for the 9b. The route is one of two halves, requiring strength and power through the initial 70-degree roof, before having to transfer to endurance mode for the second half of the route.

Dave's account of his ascent is particularly engaging and if you've ever read anything written by him before, you'll understand when I say it's very 'Dave Graham.' He describes having no expectations on the day due to high humidity, low wind and heat. Tired from the day before and with splits in his fingers, he resigned himself to simply training on the route:

'Somehow, I managed to cross the roof, but was savagely pumped and nearly fell off getting into the rest position. From there I declared I would fall immediately. I couldn't shake the pump so I decided to just keep it movin, engaging myself in a brutal battle to get through the more physical Hulk section, and landing myself at the next rest with a near terminal pump in my entire body.'

From this point, Dave struggled to get anything back in subsequent rests and instead opted to keep climbing through pain in his feet and burning in his forearms:

'[I] somehow kept doing "one more move" (the mantra) until I made it through the Extension portion. This is where I got nervous. It was time not to punt. I hung in the last shitty rest rapidly shaking either arm preparing for the past section of real resistance, and launched. Move by move I executed my beta, completely focused, only until the last move of the route. I rocked over my foot, locked off, assuming I would pitch, reached for the last jug, and BOOM. Summit. I couldn't believe what happened, still can't. One of my most memorable and rewarding ascents in my life.'

Dave has been one of the top rock climbers for nearly twenty years. His passion for developing new climbs has been consistent throughout his climbing career. He has put up first ascents of 9a+ routes such as Coup de Grace in Val Bavona, Switzerland and Font 8C boulder problems such as The Island in Fontainebleau and The Story of Two Worlds in Cresciano, Switzerland.


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Dave Graham has been a top boulderer and sport climber for nearly two decades. He has made the first ascents of a huge number of cutting edge boulder problems including The Story of Two Worlds, Big Paw and...

Dave's Athlete Page 40 posts 4 videos


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7 Oct, 2020

That's very impressive at 38.

Check out his instagram page. There are some really good videos of him on some amazing routes in Siurrana and Rodellar.

7 Oct, 2020

Anyone know the oldest person to climb harder than 9a?

7 Oct, 2020

Steve McClure was 46 when he climbed Rainman (9b).

Stevie Haston climbed 9a/+ at 49 and 9a at 52. Been Mon climbed 9a at 48.

9 Oct, 2020

Been Mon is a good name.

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