The Hardest Boulder Problems in the World
Nine of the problems are actually located in Germany
LAST UPDATED: January 6, 2016. Leave a comment if any part of this article needs updating.
Here I’ve compiled a list of the hardest boulder problems in the world. I’ve restricted the list to boulders rated 8C/V15 and up (here is the complete criteria). If I’ve missed any — or if any of the problems have been downgraded to lower than 8C/V15 — feel free to drop me a line.
The table is sortable, so have fun with organizing it however you wish. As for ascensionists, I’ve listed the first ascensionist first and then listed later ascensionists in chronological order as best I could. If an ascent had a video, I linked to it from the ascensionist’s name — so have even more fun watching all the crazy videos of top boulderers on the hardest problems.
LIST CRITERIA & GRADING GUIDELINES
In order to create this list I had to come up with the criteria for deciding what problems made the cut and guidelines for how to assign grades to problems that don’t yet have a consensus. Here it is:
- The grade had to be 8C/V15 or higher.
- If 50% or more of ascensionists graded a problem lower than it’s original grade, I treated it as having the lower grade. This led to me leaving off problems such as Dreamtime (the first problem to ever receive an 8C/V15 grade) and White Noise, since 50% or more of ascensionists gave the problems a grade of 8B+/V14.
- Slash grades were treated as being two separate grade suggestions. So, for example, this means problems graded 8B+/8C with no repeats were treated as having one grade suggestion of 8B+ and one of 8C, at which point the 50%-or-more guideline mentioned above kicked in and I treated the problem as having a grade of 8B+.
- A special note on Gioia: Most people might think of Gioia as an 8C+/V16 boulder problem. However, following my grading guidelines, I have included it on this list with a grade of 8C/V15. This is because Christian Core gave it a grade of 8C/V15 when he got the FA and Adam Ondra gave it a grade of 8C+/V16 when he got the second ascent. (Nalle Hukkataival also sent it but didn’t put forth an official suggestion.) So, with only two grade suggestions to go off of, following my grading guidelines I stuck with the lower grade.
I’ve tried my best to be as thorough and comprehensive as possible with this list, but I’m human, so if I’ve made any mistakes or left off any ascensionists or problems you think should be added, let me know in the comments.