Festival headliner Nalle Hukkataival is no stranger to the Grampians, having spent four consecutive seasons amidst the gums and sandstone blocs of the Gramps developing some of Australia’s – and the world’s – hardest and highest boulders. Think Stepping Stone (V15), The World is Not Flat (V14), Occam’s Razor (V14), Massive Dynamic (V14), Cherry Picking (V13), Knowing is Half the Battle (V12) – we could go on. More recently, he climbed the world’s hardest bouldering problem, Burden of Dreams (V17), while just recently he cleaned up one of Rocklands’ most aesthetic lines with his ascent of The Finnish Line (V16).
We’re fortunate that Black Diamond has brought him (and his excellent hair) out especially for the festival. Nalle will be out touring the blocs during the casual comp on Saturday, dispensing tips (and no doubt a few classics), while we will get to sit down with him on the Saturday night, along with a few other Grampians’ developers, for a Q&A. On the Sunday, a lucky few will get to do a Masterclass session with him. Mahtava*!
Nalle’s Top Five Boulders**
Peter Parker (V5) – I always liked this boulder for its unique start where you jump from a rock across the gap onto the wall. I also opened the start from the ground a few years ago, which might still be unrepeated?
Kate Upton (V12) – Incredible crimper boulder at Mt. Fox. One of the Top Five boulders in the world if you ask me.
Birthday Dyno (V11/12) – On the Point Break boulder at Mt Fox. All-points-off triple-dyno at a stunning spot on top a hill.
The Golden Rule (V12/13) – Amazing bright-golden block with big moves of decent slopy crimps and a shouldery crux up high.
Massive Dynamic (V13) – One of the most striking lines in Buandik.
Road Sweet Home (V15) – a proud highball in the Amusement Park side of Buandik. Opening this was definitely what I call big wall bouldering; trying to find a way to navigate up a wall on one of the biggest blocs I’ve seen anywhere in the world.
Cherry Picking (V13) – Maybe the best known boulder in Buandik has pretty much reached classic status already.
On The Beach (V13) – Sweet boulder on slopey holds right below the mighty Taipan wall.
* Finnish for 'awesome'.
**Nalle gave us eight, we didn't argue 🙌.