Climbing Video:  James Kassay Repeating Sleepy Rave (V15)

Climbing Video: James Kassay Repeating Sleepy Rave (V15)

James Kassay recently did the 3rd ascent of Dai Koyamada’s Sleepy Rave (V15) in Australia’s amazing Hollow Mountain Cave.  The problem is a link up (best I can tell) of the problems  Sleepy Hollow (V12), Cave Man (V9) and Dead Can’t Dance (V12).  For reference climbing the same line from a bit lower in the cave, starting on the V9 X-treme Cool, yields the famous problem Wheel Of Life (V16).

Below is the video of Kassay’s ascent, where you get a really good sense for the scope of the HMC and just how much climbing is involved in doing a problem like Sleepy Rave.  Talk about power endurance…

It’s interesting to note that a problem like Sleepy Rave that links V12 into V9 into V12 is given V15, while a problem like Dave Graham’s The Story Of Two Worlds that links a likely V13/14 into a V14 was also given V15.  It’s not an apples to apples comparison, but it’s interesting to think about.

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25 Responses to Climbing Video: James Kassay Repeating Sleepy Rave (V15)

  1. Mark November 4, 2009 at 10:41 am #

    Oh good. There’s something else there as convoluted as Wheel of Life.

    Its just not as hard, so I’ve lost interest.

    Where is that “insert heavy sarcasm” tag when I need it. Oh wait, there it is.

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    • Mark November 4, 2009 at 10:46 am #

      I retract my previous statement. It is exactly 2/3 as convoluted.

      Also, in all seriousness, this is wicked hard looking, I just don’t know about these super long boulder problems, in any form. I mean, Evilution I can see being a long boulder problem, in Highball form, and Luminance, but whether vertical or horizontal, where is the line between a route done without a rope or a boulder problem.

      If you argue that the boulder problem focuses on the individual hard movements, seeing what Sharma is doing in Spain with hard roped boulder problems would blur your ideas event further. I mean. Its stupid to argue about what climbing style we’re talking about, but at the same time, I think standalone boulders lend more purity to bouldering in my mind than short cliffline bouldering or cave traversing.

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  2. chris November 4, 2009 at 10:45 am #

    riiiiight, i think those two are up there with Jade

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  3. Narc November 4, 2009 at 10:53 am #

    I think it’s hard to compare the climbing at HMC when there are so few very large caves of that style. I guess a comparison would be the routes in the ali baba cave in Spain which are usually given route grades.

    To me the problems in HMC seem more appropriately graded on the route scale, but it’s really neither here nor there since the route grade would just be some sort of conversion from the summary of the boulder grades.

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  4. John Knoernschild November 4, 2009 at 11:24 am #

    He climbs the beginning of the route so f’ing fast. Pretty impressive how precise every move was.

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  5. John Knoernschild November 4, 2009 at 11:25 am #

    But ya, boulder problems shouldn’t have rests in them. This route teeters on the thin line between a boulder problem and a climbing route.

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  6. Alex November 4, 2009 at 12:26 pm #

    Wow I think that’s the fastest hard climbing I’ve ever seen! Nice work!!

    I would also agree that some lines like these deserve route grades. I haven’t even been there but I don’t think Wheel of Life is V16, I think it would be more appropriate at 5.15.

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  7. RT November 4, 2009 at 3:31 pm #

    climbing is fun.

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  8. Eggbert November 4, 2009 at 5:00 pm #

    To be fair, I don’t think the rest of us mere mortals would get much back on those “rests”. Very cool. ce

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  9. Belated Belayer November 4, 2009 at 6:03 pm #

    Well, at a glance. When I watch the footage of something like Witness the Fitness by Sharma and then follow that up by reading Fred Nichol’s account of the problem. Each of these notable boulder-er’s decline to grade it (no surprise from Sharma but even Fred said I dunno or that it’s too hard to say). It’s likely that they know it will spark controversy. But here we have two problems in question basically both at the same location both with a grade of V15 or V16 and both by the same boulder…er (Koyomada – please correct me if I am wrong) and both are enduro-pump-fests. And both spark some irritation with people but we all can’t deny that it’s V-efing-hard. I would never want to do that problem – it just doesn’t look fun. Koyomada has a style, a great one at that, but someone has has got to stand up and say that these should be rated differently. Maybe HMC needs it’s own rating system or maybe a repeater should attempt to downgrade it some day due to it’s “rest” (if you can call it that). Maybe a roof problem just needs a different scale – but what Narc said rings true, i suppose, whats the point right. But, visually, and conceptually, when I compare this route to Witness the Fitness for example (yes again), I don’t see that these are even in the same ball park and I don’t think it deserves a V15 grade in all honesty. I think the reason people get sparked by grades like this is because we all strive for the best we can do. Some people strive to some day do a V15 but then they see a route like that and say well it’s just not my style and I’d never be able to or even want to do that . I hope Mrs. Peterson isn’t reading this, I’d definitely get an eF+.

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  10. Macca November 4, 2009 at 6:13 pm #

    Great footage and well done by James. The problems at Hollow Mountain Cave are certainly unique which also makes grading difficult. I have some more info about the problems at Hollow Mountain cave and discuss grading here: http://www.climbonwood.com.au

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  11. StellarTemple November 4, 2009 at 6:27 pm #

    I find it interesting that both James Kassay and Chris Webb Parsons wore the Scarpa Stix in their sends of Sleepy Rave and Wheel of Life respectively.. Something magic in those shoes? 🙂

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    • Luke November 5, 2009 at 1:52 pm #

      I noticed that as well. Must be the special toe hooking rubber…

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  12. Crafty November 4, 2009 at 7:48 pm #

    As an interesting side note: I find it funny that our two commonly-used grading scales in North America (YDS and Vermin) have evolved into those representing endurance and difficulty/power, respectively. In the early days of bouldering, I don’t believe that this distinction was as concrete. They simply referred to two forms of free climbing on rocks.

    Just my impression.

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  13. abe November 4, 2009 at 8:06 pm #

    Man !!! wanna see sum real shitt, peep game yo. . . peep Game !!!!!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8hE84eFEJRc

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  14. TimS November 5, 2009 at 6:40 am #

    Belated Belayer are you comments on the difficulty of this climb Sleepy Rave in relation to Witness the Fitness purely based on video footage, or have you actually been to both locations? Perhaps if Mr Kassay had power screamed a bit more, or there had been an appropriate pause in the music when he pushed through the crux, your perspective of the difficulty may be different?

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    • Belated Belayer November 5, 2009 at 12:36 pm #

      No, I’ve not been to either location. I’m simply of the opinion that these type of problems shouldn’t be graded on the V scale and in all honesty I don’t prefer this type of climbing. I just like to criticize it because thats what we do when we comment on things aside from saying “wow” and this already had a bunch of “wow’s” so theres no need for any more comments like that here. I’m going off of mainly Fred Nichol’s take on Witness the Fitness.

      http://www.climbing.com/news/hotflashes/nicolefitness/

      “Although neither Sharma nor Nicole graded the long, horizontal sandstone roof, Nicole said it was the hardest boulder problem of this style he had ever done. ”

      You have that typical “Sharma’s over-rated attitude” and the “I hate BigUp production” concept ozzes but I think we can all agree on Nichol’s assessment. Now, it’s obvious that HMC and the Ozarks are vastly different in style but when an ungraded line attracts the attention of Fred Nichol you know it’s no joke.

      I only wanted to state that here are two difficult boulder problems by the same boulder…er and both with grades that people eek at and both that have already been repeated. Then, here’s another roof problem that attracts the attention of one of the most notable boulder…ers we could think of and the line pretty much ends there because he didn’t even suggest a grade for it. It’s pretty much dropped off the map. I just agree with the opinion that these type of problems shouldn’t be graded and not be focused on.

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      • TimS November 6, 2009 at 5:34 am #

        I thought Witness the Fitness was in an area with access issues and that’s why it hadn’t been tried?

        I was simply pointing out the uselessness of trying to compare 2 problems for difficulty based on video footage.

        For the record I bum BigUp and Chris Sharma

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  15. cheech November 5, 2009 at 11:28 am #

    http://www.climbing.com/news/hotflashes/koyamadahydrangea/

    At the end of that blurb, it says that Koyamada also suggested 5.15a for The Wheel of Life. Just throwing that out there, yup.

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  16. StellarTemple November 5, 2009 at 11:36 am #

    Cheech, if you read that article closely, Dai is referring to Hydrangea as a 15a.

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    • cheech November 5, 2009 at 4:44 pm #

      Actually, if you read more closely, you see that he is talking about Wheel of Life. 🙂

      “The Japanese Dai Koyamada has established another long boulder problem that may be harder than V15, according to http://www.8a.nu. Koyamada added a six-move, V11/12 sit start to his existing problem Hydra (V14) at Shiobara, Japan, to create Hydrangea (V15/16). The complete problem has 25 moves and spans about 45 feet, including a 30-foot horizontal roof.

      In its length, Hydrangea resembles Wheel of Life, the possible V16 that Koyamada established last spring in the Grampians of Australia—at 76 moves, this bouldering route really deserves a sport-climbing grade, and indeed Koyamada suggested 5.15a.”

      The article states that Hydrangea has 25 moves.

      It then goes on to state that Wheel of Life has 76 moves. The 5.15a suggestion is appended onto the statement about Wheel of Life having 76 moves.

      Alrighty, back to mind-numbing spreadsheets at work, woo!

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  17. StellarTemple November 5, 2009 at 5:33 pm #

    Cheech, you are correct. I didnt read the first paragraph which adds the context. Whoops. 🙂

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  18. Adam Bunger November 5, 2009 at 8:53 pm #

    Nice, super smooth.

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  19. dachoppera November 6, 2009 at 1:01 am #

    no doubt this should be considered a boulder problem, and under these limitations should get a bouldering grade. rests or not, he’s bouldering in the traditional sense of the word. if you boulder a route in rumney it gets a bouldering grade, if you rope up give it a route grade. the style and nature of the climbing are all intrinsically accounted for in the grades. keep it simple.

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  20. peter November 6, 2009 at 1:33 am #

    dani is the sickest. that’s all.

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