Remember when V15 was a mythical grade? Yesterday, March 16, Jongwon Chon, Adam Ondra and Sachi Amma put the
send train in motion on Asagimadara at Mt. Mizugaki, Japan. On the same day, all three climbed the highball boulder problem—one of Japan’s
hardest—for a legendary V15 triple send.
Asagimadara was established Tokio Muroi, one of Japan’s strongest climbers who is renown for his staunch ethic of not using crash pads. Muroi
put over 100 days into the boulder problem before claiming its first ascent. He suggested the Japanese grade of 6 DAN (~V16) for difficulty.
Nineteen year-old Toru Nakajima made the first repeat of the problem after five days of effort—using crash pads—in March 2013. He suggested
a lower 8C (V15) grade.
In an interview with U.K. Climbing, Nakajima described the boulder problem:
“Asagimadara is such an impressive line. You start standing with a three finger pocket and a crimp. The first five moves are the crux of this
problem and the second move to a far pocket is especially hard for me. After the crux, the next eight moves to a small ledge are easier, but since
I tried it ground up, I couldn't predict holds and movement I should do. Actually, holds were dirty and I fell from this section two times.
“The top out is very easy, but it was also dirty and I felt nervous.”
On October 18, 2015, Toshi Takeuchi made the third ascent and confirmed the V15 grade. “I first touched this mega ball [six] years ago
and [it] felt impossible for [me] physically and mentally,” Takeuchi wrote on his 8a.nu scorecard. “Huge respect for Tokio Muroi [who] put up one of the best bouldering problems on the earth.”
Then yesterday, Chon first, Ondra second, Amma third took the fourth, fifth and sixth ascents for the first ever triple V15 send train.
“What a[n] amazing day yesterday,” Amma posted on Instagram. “I could push myself by seeing fourth ascent from Chon and fifth ascent from Adam.
“Let’s see what will happen [in the] next days.”
Chon, from South Korea, was crowned the overall Bouldering World Cup champion in 2015 and Ondra took third overall. According to 8a.nu,
Asagimadara was Chon’s first V15.