A storm is brewing, if not in full effect, between two of the world's best sport climbers/boulderers over what could be the hardest sport route in the world so far. News reports have been written on many climbing websites and both climbers involved have written and published long essays stating their perspective about the controversy. The disagreement occurred between the Finnish climber Nalle Hukkataival and Chris Sharma – perhaps the most famous climber of all time – at Margalef, Spain over a new route.Finnish climber Nalle Hukkataival started climbing at age 12 in 1998. Last year he climbed LIvin' Large a boulder problem in Rocklands which he gave 8C. Earlier in 2009 he repeated Jade (Font 8C) in the Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP), Colorado, first climbed by Daniel Woods in 2007, a problem which repeat ascensionist Tyler Landman called, “The testpiece of my generation. ” To put that in perspective possibly less than ten climbers have bouldered 8C or V15, on that list is Chris Sharma.Nalle is no slouch when it comes to climbing with a rope too, having repeated up to 8c+ in Oliano, Spain the last few months. As well as going to Spain to get some endurance he also had another reason to go.He wrote on his blog: 'When I went to Spain, my main motivation was to try a very well known project, but I was not allowed to try it.'The project he was not allowed to try was Chris Sharma's First Round, First Minute (FRFM) at Margalef. This is a short and powerful route that Chris bolted and has been trying since last year. In fact so frustrated was Sharma at falling off at the last move that recently he did a left finish, First Ley, 9a+ (reported here at UKC: Bolger 9a, Ojeda 8c, Andrada 9a+ and Sharma). FRFM is a short route, but extremely difficult, it begins with an 8B+ boulder problem then has 25 to 30 moves of pure resistance to a 7B+ boulder problem to finish.Hukkataival continues, 'When I arrived in Spain, Dave Graham told me he had been working on it with Chris, so that also meant it must be open. Before I ever got on it, Chris asked me to give him a chance on it, so I did.Later on I found it extremely weird standing there on the ground, watching Dave Graham and Dani Andrada trying FRFM, when I wasn't allowed to.'Apparently the route has been 'red tagged' this is a practice that originated in the USA where if you bolted a route you put some red nylon tape on the first bolt to show that it was actively being tried and that no-one else is allowed to try it, although in the case of FRFM no red tag had been physically placed on the first bolt.
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