Ten years after it was established, Singularity (V14) in Squamish, British Columbia has finally seen a second ascent. On September 21, Finnish climber Nalle Hukkataival repeated the Tim Clifford line and alluded that it could be harder than Clifford’s V14 grade.
“Inspiring vision and persistence from Tim Clifford who opened the boulder over ten years ago without a repetition until yesterday! What an amazing boulder! So straight-forward looking, yet so intricate,” Hukkataival writes on Instagram. “Climbing something you’ve been hearing about for years always make it more special.”
The boulder problem “revolves around a finicky heal-toe cam, condition dependent-crimps and extremely subtle body positions. Basically textbook for what makes Squamish hard,” says Keith Allen Peters, a climber and photographer who captured Hukkataival’s ascent. “The hardest move is grabbing the poor right hand pinch. Once he figured out this move it was just a matter of climbing it perfectly, which he did.”
According to Squamish Climbing Magazine, Hukkataival climbed the boulder problem not once, but twice—the second time for the camera—and each time he started matched on the rail, a lower start than Clifford had used. “Starting on the rail a bit lower seemed like the more obvious start to the boulder to me,” Hukkataival writes on Instagram.
In response, local climber Sonnie Trotter writes, “The lower start adds some subtle fierceness to the line. Fantastic climbing Nalle. Sounds like V15 to me.”
In 2016, Hukkataival established the world’s first V17 boulder problem, Burden of Dreams, in Finland. He has also climbed Gioia (V15/16) in Italy, The Finnish Line (V16) in South Africa, and a long list of V15’s and V14’s around the world.
For Singularity, Hukkataival writes, “Really extra tough to comment on the difficulty. The fact that it’s fended off the efforts of a list of V15 climbers for over a decade must mean something. Does that suggest V15? Or make it a V14 that’s just really hard to do? Is there a difference between those two?”
After sending Singularity, Hukkataival moved on and flashed The Drowning Grip (V11), also in Grand Wall Boulders, Squamish.
“That was a good day in the woods!” Hukkataival writes.