Sleepwalker 8C+, by Ryuichi Murai

© Ryuichi Murai

Ryuichi Murai has made the eighth ascent of Jimmy Webb's V16 testpiece, Sleepwalker (f8C+), at Black Velvet Canyon, Red Rocks.

Sleepwalker has been high up on Murai's to-do list ever since the boulder was first climbed back in 2018. He made the trip out to Nevada late last month, having never visited Red Rocks before, and made the ascent after just eight days of working the boulder.


As a slightly shorter climber, Murai had to find an alternative sequence to that of the first ascensionist, Jimmy Webb. The crux for Murai was the big move to the sloper with the right hand. Even after he was established on the hold, he was unable to quickly bump the right hand to the back of the sloper to a small crimp as Webb and others have done before him. Instead, Murai had to hold the sloper whilst making a series of foot moves and readjusting the left hand, before finally being able to bump the right hand to the crimp.

Taking to instagram to share the news of his ascent, Murai said:

'After 8 days effort I managed to send it! I'm so happy to be able to climb the king line... On the other hand, the process to success was tough. I was able to do each move on day 2, but didn't make much progress on days 3-6. Especially for me, who has a short wingspan, the deadpoint to the sloper was the hardest move, and felt physically and mentally tough'.


'However, thanks to Shinichiro Nomura's kind words, I did a "so close" try on the 7th day. Additionally, I found a new hold that makes [it] more stable in the upper part, and success became realistic. On the 8th day, it was the slightly warmer conditions. I had a good feeling [on the] undercling, and I was able to hit the sloper from the start for the first time. After that, I fell by [the] slot hold twice, but I finally managed to climb it on the third hit. It was good to be in time just before the end of the tour!'

Sleepwalker is Murai's sixth 8C+ boulder. Of these, three are first ascents: United, Floatin, and Nexus, the latter of which Murai spent five years projecting. All three are yet to be repeated.

Check out Murai's process on - and first ascent of - Floatin, 8C+, in the video below:

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