This weekend Ryohei Kameyama, from Japan, made the second ascent of No Kpote Only in Fontainebleau, France. The problem, located on the back side of the Rocher Brûlé boulder, rose to prominence in January 2019 after Charles Albert made the first ascent of the line (barefoot) and proposed the grade of 9A/V17. No Kpote Only is the world’s second proposed 9A/V17 problem, and now the first to be repeated. Nalle Hukkataival’s Burden of Dreams, in Lappnor, Finland, was the first 9A/V17. It has not seen a second ascent. Kameyama reported his ascent on his Instagram account:
According to an interview with Fanatic-Climbing.com, Kameyama sent the line after only four sessions, using different crux beta than Albert, adding a heel hook and an intermediate hold. Albert spent 20 days working on the first ascent, and Hukkataival reported working Burden of Dreams for four years before finishing the line.
Kameyama has also been projecting Burden of Dreams, and compared the difficulty on Instagram:
“I feel Burden of Dreams is more … difficult than this problem. I think this boulder is V16/17 but I don’t climb many hard boulders like V15 or V16. So, I can’t compare with them. Perhaps my grading isn’t correct. I want to challenge other hard boulders!”
So while Kameyama believes the problem could be soft—though at the slash grade of V16/V17, still the current second-hardest problem in the world—he’s hesitant to make a definitive statement. No Kpote Only and Burden of Dreams await more repeats to confirm or downgrade their proposed 9A/V17 grades.