Shawn Raboutou, the 20-year-old American crusher, has sent The Finnish Line (8C/+ V15/16), a beautiful overhanging fin of striped orange and black rock established by Nalle Hukkataival in June 2017. After his first ascent of the problem, Hukkataival wrote on Instagram, “A gem rarer than diamonds and a new contender for the hardest in Rocklands!”
Raboutou announced his success on the problem via Instagram with a dimly lit picture and a simple caption reading, “The Finish Line (v15/8c). Good times in [South Africa] with the boys and Brooke [Raboutou].”
In the year since the boulder’s first ascent, it has seen two other sends prior to Raboutou’s. Alex Megos made the first repeat in July 2017, requiring five days to top it out. Afterwards he wrote on Instagram, “Maybe the best line of all time?!” Jimmy Webb spent time working it along with Megos, but couldn’t quite join his German friend on the send train last summer.
The Austrian Toby Saxton followed Megos by linking it all together in September 2017, writing on his 8a.nu scorecard, “Such an amazing line. Well worth investing the time for the third ascent.”
Hukkataival initially grade the problem 8C/+ (V15/16), Megos did not comment on the grade, and Saxton recorded it as an 8C+ (V16) on 8a.nu. Raboutou refers to the problem as an 8C (V15). Despite the mild disagreement over just where the grade falls, one thing’s for sure: this rig is hard.
Raboutou has several other hard ticks under his belt as well. He sent his first two V15s in July 2016, sending Monkey Wedding and Spray of Light, both in Rocklands, in quick succession. In August of 2017 he climbed his third V15, Khoikhoi, in Weighbridge, South Africa.
The Finnish Line is a proud send for the young Raboutou—not even old enough to buy a beer in his own country—and we’re pretty sure he’s just getting started.
Watch Nalle Hukkataival’s First Ascent of The Finnish Line