In April 2022 Shawn Raboutou made the first ascent of Alphane. Located at Chironico in Switzerland, this is currently only the third boulder problem in the world to be graded 9a. Film by Ben Neilson.
On 6 April 2022 Shawn Raboutou made the first ascent of what can only be described as one of the most difficult boulder problems in the world, Alphane at Chironico. Located next to Dave Graham’s classic 8A Alphane Moon, the former project starts with a crimpy 8C intro that then traverses leftwards past powerful, technical 8C+ moves to produce what Raboutou believes could warrant 9A.
Currently there are only two other 9A’s worldwide, Burden of Dreams in Finland, established by Nalle Hukkataival in 2016, and Return of the Sleepwalker at Red Rocks, USA, first ascended by Danile Woods in 2021. Both are currently unrepeated. Two other problems were originally given the elusive 9A grade, No Kpote Only by Charles Albert in 2019 and Soudain Seul by Simon Lorenzi in 2021, but both – coincidentally at Fontainebleau in France – have subsequently been repeated and downgraded.
Raboutou sent Alphane while on a climbing trip with a dream team crew that included Jimmy Webb, Daniel Woods, Giuliano Cameroni, Matty Hong and Felipe Carmago. The crew’s antics are documented in this film by Ben Neilson.