V14 first try. Not many climbers have done that. Tomoa Narasaki is the most recent after flashing Decided (V14), Mt. Mizugaki, Japan. Other climbers that have flashed the grade include Daniel Woods, Adam Ondra, Jimmy Webb, Ned Feehally and Jakob Schubert.
Narasaki reported the news on Instagram earlier this week. He said that, after sussing the problem out on the ground, he knew right away that the holds—tiny crimps on a 50-degree overhang—and the beta would be “friendly” for him and his climbing style.
It was his first time climbing outdoors in a year, but all that time on plastic evidently prepared him well. The video below shows Narasaki’s actual flash.
Decided was in the news at the end of November, as well. Ryuichi Murai, another strong Japanese boulder, added a low-start to the boulder, establishing a new V16, United.
Murai told Rock and Ice, “The lower part consists of 5 hards moves on pinches and a narrow two finger pocket,” Murai says. “I think the lower part is harder than Decided. It’s around V14 by itself.”
Flashing Decided was just the icing on the cake for Narasaki this year. First, he was season champion of the Bouldering World Cup. Then, in August, Naraskai won both the Bouldering and the Combined World Championships, the latter earning him a spot in the next summer Olympics, which will be next year in Tokyo, and where climbing will make its debut in the storied games.
And there’s still most of December left. We wonder if Narasaki might just wow us again before the year is out…