Modern Bouldering History

Within the last 25 years, there has been monumental growth within the sport of bouldering. Talented climbers have expanded the scale by 3 grades, breaking what we knew to be possible. New names have replaced the old as we ascend into a new generation of climbing and make bouldering history. From the establishment of the…

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Within the last 25 years, there has been monumental growth within the sport of bouldering. Talented climbers have expanded the scale by 3 grades, breaking what we knew to be possible. New names have replaced the old as we ascend into a new generation of climbing and make bouldering history.

From the establishment of the first V15 grade to the Katie Lamb possibly becoming the first woman to climb a V16 boulder, we will cover all of the most significant climbing history of this century.

A Timeline of Modern Bouldering History

  • October 2000 – Fred Nicole climbs “Cresciano” located in Switzerland establishing the first V15 bouldering grade.  
  • August 2010 – Climber Angie Payne becomes the first female in climbing history to climb a boulder with a V13 grade. This achievement happened on “Automator” located in Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado. 
  • October 2010 – Adam Ondra becomes the first ascensionist in bouldering history to climb “Hypnotized Minds” establishing the V16 (8c+) bouldering grade.
  • October 2012 – Tomoka Agawa becomes the 1st woman in bouldering history to climb a boulder with a V14 grade. This was achieved on the boulder “Catharsis” located in Shiobara, Japan. 
  • March 2016 – Ashima Shirasi becomes the first woman to climb a V15 boulder problem. She achieved this feat on the boulder “Horizon” located at Mount Hiei in Japan. 
Bouldering History

Photograph by Diego Borello

  • October 23, 2016 – Nalle Hukkataival becomes the first ascensionist in bouldering history to climb world’s first V17 (9A) boulder “Burden of Dreams” located in Lappnor, Finland.
    • It took him over 3 years and 4000 attempts.
  • January 2019 – Charles Albert becomes the first ascensionist of the boulder “No Kpote Only” located in Fontainebleau, France. After completing the problem barefoot, he rated the climb V17. 
  • February 8, 2021 – Simon Lorenzi becomes the first ascensionist in bouldering history to climb “Soudain Seul” located in Fontainebleau, France. Lorenzi graded the problem a V17 (9a). 
  • March 9, 2019 – Ryohei Kameyama becomes the second ascensionist of the boulder “No Kpote Only”. He found that the problem should be either a V16 (8c+) or V17 (9a). 
  • October 7, 2020 – Nico Pelorson becomes the second ascensionist of “No Kpote Only”. He found the boulder to be a V15 (8c). 
  • March 16, 2021 – Nico Pelorson becomes the second ascensionist of “Soudain Seul”. He rated the climb V16 (8c+). 
  • March 30, 2021 – Daniel Woods becomes the first and only ascensionist in boulding history of America’s first V17 (9A) boulder “Return of the Sleepwalker” located in Black Velvet Canyon in Nevada.
  • February 12, 2022 – Camille Coudert becomes the third ascensionist of “Soudain Seul”. He rated the climb a V17 (9A). 
  • Spring 2022 – Shawn Raboutou becomes the first and only ascensionist in bouldering history of V17 (9A) boulder “Megatron”. “Megatron” is located at El Dorado Canyon in Colorado. 
  • April 6, 2022 – Shawn Raboutou becomes the first ascensionist of “Alphane” a V17 (9A) boulder located in Chronico, Switzerland.
    • It took Raboutou approximately 25 sessions to be able to complete the climb. 
  • May 2022 – Illya Bakhemet becomes the second ascensionist of “No Kpote Only”. Bakhemet declined to give a rating, stating he wants other climbers to form an opinion for themselves.
  • October 19, 2022 – Aiden Roberts becomes the second ascensionist of V17 (9A) boulder “Alphane” after 20 days of trial and error.
  • October 31, 2022 – Will Bosi becomes the third ascensionist in bouldering history of “Alphane” (V17/9A). 
  • December 15, 2022 – Simon Lorenzi becomes the fourth ascensionist of V17 (9A) boulder “Alphane”. 
  • April 12, 2023 – Will Bosi becomes the second ascensionist of V17 (9A) boulder “Burden of Dreams”.
    • Bosi worked on this problem for around 4 months between a replica and the real thing.
  • September 6, 2023 – Katie Lamb becomes the first female in bouldering history to climb a possible V16 boulder. She achieved this feat as becoming the fourth ascensionist of “Box Therapy” located at Rocky Mountains National Park, Colorado. At the time of this accomplishment, Lamb had skipped over the V15 grade which has caused debate within the climbing community as to whether she has the right to assign this grade. You can learn more HERE.
  • October 13, 2023 – Brooke Raboutou climbs “Box Therapy” and rates it a V15. If further ascensionists find this boulder to be a V16, she will be the second woman to have climbed a V16.
Bouldering History

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