Monday, April 12, 2010

Sisu Project

The prime bouldering season is now really kicking in here in Finland and I've been taking full advantage of the good temps. I've spent four sessions on what I named Sisu project. All I can say at this point is that it is the hardest boulder problem I have ever tried in my entire life. It's still difficult to say if it actually goes or not.

So far, after four sessions on it, I've managed to do one single move, not counting the five last exit moves that I did on a rope (which are also hard). In total, this problem would be around 16 moves long and about 7 meters tall. Also, that one move that I've been able to do is the first move and most likely the easiest one. I've had my spotters push me into different places on the wall and at best I've been able to hold a positions of them for a split second, not even feeling remotely close to being able to move any part of my body.

To put things in a perspective, I've seen, climbed and tried several boulders graded 8C or 8C+ around the globe and this line seems to be on a completely different level of difficulty. I've done the all moves to several 8C boulders in a session or two. I climbed Jade in 2 days of effort, The Island took me 4 days. After spending 4 days on this project, I've been able to do 1 move, the easiest one.

Sisu project                        

I can't tell you how psyched I am, that I found a boulder this perfect and difficult near my home. It's still unsure if it actually goes, but no matter what, this has already been a dream come true for me. Even if I wouldn't ever be able to climb this line, at least I'll have an amazing project to work on for the next twenty years. It's a huge source of motivation for me and I've already started training like crazy to get fit enough to do a little better on it. I even built a training "simulator" of a couple of the bottom moves at my gym. I just canceled my trip to Switzerland, because the weather is just getting prime here and I don't want to miss a day of the perfect weather to try it.

I'm not expecting to climb this line any time soon, although that would be amazing and I am training harder than ever, now that I'm super motivated on this project. Most likely, climbing this line will take years and years of hard work and maybe it will still remain unclimbed. Time will tell, but I know I will enjoy every moment of trying it, no matter what the outcome is. Hopefully I can convince some other climbers to come and try it. We're also filming it and the footage will be released eventually in a climbing film, but I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for it to come out. For those who can't wait to see some video, I'll probably upload a short clip of me trying it/failing miserably, at some point.

Oh, and then there's the sitstart project, which adds a four move ∼ 8B+ into the the obvious stand start...


  1. Sick Nalle.
    I'm psyched for you. Keep up the hard work and I look forward to seeing some footage

  2. hey dude,
    its really cool and inspiring to read how psyched you are about this thing! keep writing about your doings! its driving me (and for sure lots and lots of others)!!!
    what about the tree? seems like its gonna be right on your six when you reach the topout!?! no bad feelings about that?
    besides: would be very interesting to read something more detailed about your training! what does your day/week look like?

    wish you all the best with your sisu project! SICK PROUD line! just amazing! go for it!!!

    ps: post a description of your "plastic-simulation", so i can also rebuild it and try a little before i come around to try it with you :)

  3. Anonymous13/4/10 01:11

    nice dude, really want to come and check this one out.

  4. Anonymous13/4/10 07:49

    haha, and people say that nothing harder than V14 exists... Psyched to hear that you found such a stunning and difficult line in your home country! Train hard and enjoy!

  5. Anonymous13/4/10 08:55

    be honest, you didn't exactly find it...

  6. Come on, anonymous, don't be so judgemental. The wording is just a result of how it's said in Finnish. Let's just all be super-psyched about this boulder problem and support Nalle in his efforts to push his limits! Peace :)

  7. Come on!!!
    Give us some details on training and video of the simulator.
    It's really nice to see how passionate you are. I think it is the same feeling we all share on our (very different) projects.

  8. I just meant that I finally found something like this for myself to work on. A couple of my friends discovered the boulder and told me I should go check it out and I thank them for that.

  9. @Dave:

    The tree is actually not on the way at all. In the photo it looks like it is and I was worried about it too, but I cleaned and checked out the top-out on a rope and I wasn't even close to touching the tree.

  10. Anonymous13/4/10 14:25

    keep om tranining man, just be carefull so you dont gett a climbing indury. it realy sucks. peace out

  11. Ridiculously motivating to hear "our" Superman has a piece of cryptonite in his backyard. And even better for the mankind to hear that the bad green stuff might eventually be possible to overcome...

    Warmest congrats for finding something this meaningful for yourself and us all!


  12. Keep us updated on your progress Nalle, reading about this is so inspiring for me!

  13. @Puli:

    Interesting comment. So, if I have a project that is ridiculously hard, maybe not even possible, and I write about it in my own personal blog, I "sweat ego". I guess that's one way to look at it.

  14. Is that a red brush on the picture or have you redtagged the boulder or yourself :-) Haha!, I kill me, sorry!, couldn't help myself. Really nice recent events haven't slowed you down and lots of luck with the project!

  15. Looks awe inspiring. Can't wait to get off work and go send my project now, though its about at least 10 grades lower than your project LOL :).
    All the best to you.

  16. Anonymous15/4/10 04:48

    I suppose the way this project feels to you is somewhat similar to the way most established double-digit problems feel to me. this is really interesting. I wonder how often the top climbers feel that sort of complete relative weakness, where you know it will take many years and lots of training to complete.

  17. Thanks for the've reminded me of some projects I've been trying off and on for years. With hard work, maybe this will finally be the year.

  18. What I really like is that by grading Livin' Large "only" 8C (instead of 8C+), it adds a lot of legitimacy to your estimation of this project's difficulty. Otherwise, we'd probably all be thinking, Oh yeah, right, it's another one of those "world's hardest problems."

    Can't wait to hear more. It's going to be way sweet when you start reeling in those moves. Go get it!

    (Sweat ego?? oh come on)

  19. @Christopher:

    This is a very rare situation for me. Not only do I feel like it's going to take a long time and a lot of training, but I don't know if even that is going to be enough. I may never be able to climb this line.

    Livin' Large was different. I more or less knew that I could climb it, it was just a question of how much time it would take. It took me 4 or 5 days to put together the whole sequence on Livin' Large. I've spent 5 days on the Sisu project so far and I'm still miles away from even doing all the individual moves, not to mention linking all 16 of them.

    I feel like I'm very, very slowly getting there, though. Even though I haven't seemingly made any progress in the past days, at least on a mental level I've managed to break the barrier of impossible on a couple of moves. Even though I still haven't actually done those two moves, I know that I can build the level of strength needed to do those moves.

  20. Anonymous19/4/10 03:17

    haha, sick man! So it really IS like how I feel when I try some established double-digit problem. It's a pretty inspiring feeling, and I suppose that one of the perks to being weak is having so many of those kinds of problems already there to pick from.

  21. Nalle, this is amazing! Do you think you could post some close up pictures of the holds. This is potentialy the hardest problem in the world, and because it is not very steep I imagine the holds are terrible. I would love to see just how terrible they are. Please post a couple pics if you can. Thank you. sir.

  22. The wall is actually much steeper than it looks. I sometimes forget myself that it's actually 30 degrees overhanging and at the top a little bit more. And the holds are really small. I'll try to shoot a short clip with close-ups of all the holds next time I go there, which could be a while since the weather forecast is pretty bad for the rest of this week.

    Today was my sixth day on it. I tried to do the third move pulling on from an A-ladder and tied in to a rope, but after several tries I could not even hang the position for split second. And moving into and out of that position is going to be MUCH harder than just holding it. I hope next time goes a little better.

  23. Thank you for your reply Nalle. I work as a route setter and therefore I have strong interest in the individual components and small details of routes, so I look forward to the footage and close-ups you will post in the future.

    I also want to say that I check your blog each day, it is extremely interesting and motivating to read in detail your personal descriptions, feelings, and experiences with rock climbing. I also have to say that it is very cool of you to reply to all of your readers. I hope that you keep this blog going throughout your climbing career, it helps my motivation a great deal.

    there seems to be some photos of Nalle projecting sisu

  25. Awesome photos, you really see how small the holds are!

  26. It's hilarious that haters will come seek out your personal blog just to rag on a project you are psyched about. I guess they are insecure and hate seeing others who are succeeding. Congratulations on finding such a cool project. My long-term project may only be a v9 but it's cool to know that top climbers such as yourself have the same feeling upon finding something so rad. I really appreciate your candor in writing this!

    - James


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