Will Bosi climbs Sleepwalker, 8C+

© Teresa Coimbra

Will Bosi has made a rapid repeat of Jimmy Webb's 8C+ boulder Sleepwalker (f8C+), in Black Velvet Canyon, Red Rocks, Nevada. 

He has suggested a downgrade from 8C+ to 8C. 

Will made quick progress on Sleepwalker after arriving in Red Rocks, completing all the moves in isolation during his first session, as well as linking the second half of the boulder together, from beneath the sloper to the final jug.

He then came even closer during his second session, first repeating the upper section, then rehearsing each of the moves in the first half of the boulder and finding them much easier than he had before.

'I decided to just go from the start and fell straight away on the sloper move', he said, in doing so achieving his goal of climbing the boulder in two overlapping halves.

'Every go from there I felt better and stronger on the moves and about two hours later I stuck the sloper! I did the next two moves well and just before I went for the last hard move my hand slipped'.

'I managed to stich the sloper twice more but not as well. But considering I had a four hour session and still felt like I had a chance, I [was] hoping [I'd] get the send next session after some rest'.

Will's plans to rest were then scuppered by a poor forecast, so he went down to the boulder to have a quick session before the rain came in. He warmed up, quickly managed all the stand moves in isolation, and went on to climb the boulder on his first attempt of the day.

'First go on day 3, so psyched to send this incredible boulder! Onto the sit'

'Grade wise I will talk more in either my broadcast or YouTube but personally I don't think it's V16/8C+ so I decided to take V15/8C for it'.

Whilst a downgrade of the boulder would have been quite a surprise this time last year, it will be less surprising to those who have been following the recent history of Sleepwalker. Originally touted as 'what could be the hardest boulder in the country' by first ascensionist Jimmy Webb, the boulder has recently seen a flurry of ascents, with six people having climbed it since October.

Zander Waller's initial downgrade suggestion was met with scepticism, partly because he had a history of provocative downgrading, and partly because he used a different beta that relied heavily on his being a taller climber. However, with his downgrade of Sleepwalker, he seemed to genuinely believe that the boulder he climbed could not be 8C+.

'Regarding the grade, I've definitely messed around downgrading stuff as a joke in the past, but I am completely serious about my decision on this one' Waller said, 'The beta I used is much easier than previous betas, and I don't think that it can possibly warrant a V16 grade. Admittedly, I have almost no experience on difficult boulders, but for me to skip V14 and V15 and then do a V16 in less than four sessions seems outlandish'.

When seventeen year old Kai Whaley made his own ascent of the boulder in late November, he seemed to agree with the 8C+ grade. However, whilst Whaley appears to have used the original beta, his ascent, like Waller's, amounted to a jump of two grades, which could go some way to supporting Waller's claims that the boulder is slightly easier than 8C+.

Will's own ascent of the boulder used 'the standard beta', meaning he did not skip moves in the same way that Zander Waller did.

Will now turns his focus to the 9A sit version of the boulder, Return of the Sleepwalker (f9A), which he has already done all the moves of in isolation. In spite of the frequency of repeats of Sleepwalker over the past few months, and the numerous climbers to have dedicated time to the sit start, the boulder - first climbed by Daniel Woods in 2021 after fifty-two sessions - is yet to receive a repeat.

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Edinburgh born Will Bosi is one of the world's top climbers. At just 17 years of age, Will became the youngest Brit to have climbed 9a with his repeat of Rainshadow at Malham Cove. In 2018 he became first British male...

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Awesome, good luck with the sit-start Will!

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