In bouldering, some milestones stand as a testament to human perseverance and the relentless pursuit of greatness (was that overkill? – No.). Among these, possibly chief among these sits Burden of Dreams. Situated in an idyllic woodland wonderland in Lappnor, Finland, this climb has etched its name in the annals of history as the first V17/9a boulder problem *Jeremy Clarkson Voice*  in the world.

The story of Burden of Dreams is one of passion, dedication, and sheer determination. Nalle Hukkataival, the first ascensionist of the boulder, spent 80+ sessions trying to piece together the relatively few moves from the forest floor to the top out four meters above. First looked at in 2013, and thought to be a mere 8C, the climb soon took over much of Nalle’s life and became an obsession. Four years of meticulous planning, countless attempts, and unwavering resolve culminated in October 2016 when Hukkataival, alone in the woods at night, finally unlocked the sequence, birthing a legend. The first V17.


 Nalle Hukkataival

Nalle Hukkataival on BOD


Since then, Burden has attracted the best climbers from around the globe, drawn by the allure of its unparalleled difficulty, its pure “board-like” style and their chance to etch their names in climbing history. 2023 saw a siege of attempts with massive talents such as Shawn Raboutou, Toru Nakajima, Stefano Ghisolfi and Aiden Roberts all trying and failing to latch the top hold from the floor. At 45 degrees on a flat (and very blank-looking) face of red granite, with only 5 moves on semi-positive crimps,  all the woody sessions and Moon board workouts surely prepped this next generation of greats for this climb more than any other? 


Aiden Roberts

Aiden Roberts on BOD


Among those who have dared to take on this behemoth are Will Bosi and the Belgian powerhouse Simon Lorenzi.  Bosi, known for his tenacity and skill, made multiple attempts at the climb in early 2023, each time inching closer to the elusive send (and live streaming for us all to see when we were meant to be working). Then finally, 7 years after the first accent, Will topped the problem on the 12th of April 2023, bringing the climb fully back into the spotlight of the climbing world. More about Bosi’s accent here. Lorenzi, too, left his mark on the climb, showcasing his unrivalled strength and finesse as he navigated the intricate sequence of holds and made the third accent at the tail end of 2023 in late December. View Instagram post.


Will Bosi

Will Bosi on BOD


Now how did this climb go from untouched for so long, to two accents in the space of a few months? Well, I can’t speak for Lorenzi (who seemingly only uses his Instagram once a year to report on the latest 9a he’s just ticked off) but Bosi made possibly a first in the world of climbing training, by using a 3D-printed replica of BOD to get hours of practice in, all from the comfort of Sheffield, not Finland. Hours and hours of sessions on a replica of the project, with pulley systems to take weight off and training sessions in perfect conditions (no snow or rain to contend with indoors) saw Will get tantalisingly close to topping the replica. All this practice meant that the first time he went to Finland, he knew exactly what he needed to do and how to do it. First trying the boulder “for real” in the middle of March, just under one month (and several split fingertips) later he was stood on the top.


Bosi on the replica in Sheffield

Bosi on the replica in Sheffield


Soon after Bosi sent BOD, Core Climbing released the holds for others to try! These are resin casts of a 3D scan of the actual holds from the boulder, just like the ones used by Will to train. Along with a set of instructions and measurements to get the holds in precisely the right positions, now anyone could give the climb a go! Flashpoint Cardiff was among the first in the world to set the boulder on their 45-degree back wall, and what do you know – it was damn hard! Si and Eliot spend a morning tweaking and testing and then slapped on that elusive V17 tag for the first and (probably) only time! Several months later and with no accents (shocker!) we’ve decided to give the lovely folks of Bristol a go on the hardest boulder around! 


Flashpoint Cardiff

Flashpoint Cardiff


That being said, we want to see some people top the bloc – so we’re setting it on a less steep wall, making it more approachable for climbers of varying abilities (though it will still be absolutely nails!). Set on the back of the Bison on a 30-degree face, we’ve graded it V11 But please leave feedback through Griptonite as to whether you think this is soft, stiff or on the money, and of course, be sure to tag @Flashpointbristol in your sends videos and projecting sessions, we want to see how you’re getting on!

Cailean on the "V11"

Cailean on the “V11”

-Flashpoint Bristol