For climbers, there’s nothing new about practicing moves on a homemade wall.
In The Dawn Wall, Tommy Caldwell uses his backyard shed to recreate a giant leap from his iconic El Capitan project — only to fail on the actual rock, forcing him to climb hundreds of extra feet to avoid a single move.
But even that elite-level climb is technically easier than Burden of Dreams, a V17 bouldering route that’s likely the most difficult in the world. And now, any climber can try it — without traveling to the boulder’s physical location in Finland. That’s because Core Climbing teamed up with pro climber Aidan Roberts to fabricate a set of holds based on 3D scans of the boulder.
According to Roberts, this isn’t so much a game-changing development as it is a technological boost of an age-old practice.
“I don’t think this is a pivotal change in the way projecting will be managed but more an alignment of a rare boulder problem and some classical climbing boffins, myself included,” Roberts wrote on Instagram.
‘Burden of Dreams’ Climbing Holds: Proven Method?
The set of holds has arguably proven itself already as a crucial advantage for elite-level boulderers.
Since its first ascent by Finnish boulderer Nalle Hukkataival in 2016, Burden of Dreams has shut down every climber who tried to tackle it. With just five simple moves up a brutal 45-degree overhang, no one could repeat Hukkataival’s problem.
Until April of this year, that is, when Scottish climber Will Bosi became the second climber to pull it off. But Bosi had an edge: He’d been practicing the route indoors with Lattice Training, which recreated the route using Roberts’ holds.
Bosi ended up doing 10 sessions on the route in the gym before heading to Finland.
“The first time I tried it on the replica, I got really shut down,” Bosi said in an adidas Terrex documentary about his send. “I think after session, maybe five, on the replica, I decided that I should come to Finland and check out the real thing.”
The rest, as they say, is history. As 3D scanning and climbing hold fabrication have become more widespread, it wouldn’t be surprising to see classic routes at climbing gyms.
To get your hands on the six holds for Burden of Dreams, order them online from Core Climbing. They cost £432, or about $525. However, you’ll need a friend in Europe to help get them stateside, as Core Climbing doesn’t currently ship to the U.S.
On the plus side, they’re available in nearly 20 colors.