Epitaph: Toru Nakajima on the (broken) masterpiece by Dai Koyamada!
Rebirth and re-death of one the hardest line in Japan04 April 2022
Nakajima is back on the bouldering world stage, with an 8C + symbol of the ephemeral!
In 2009, after a year of attemps, Dai Koyamada managed to climb one of the toughest lines in his career on Mount Horai and named it Epitaph, 8C. A line on a strong overhang but characterized by a soft rock and subject to breakage, which first repetition came only in 2017 by Ryuichi Murai, who confirmed its difficulty. Soon after, however, the key hold broke and Epitaph was considered impossible.
However, as it is happening more and more often, what seems impossible in reality is what one does not yet have the ability to have a different "vision"!
In fact, Toru Nakajima, a boulderer with ascents such as Lucid Dreaming at Bishop and Vanitas, Idea and Sanctum in Japan, took a look at this problem in last year, realizing that the crux could actually be possible. Back this year motivated, on the ninth day of attempts he managed to pass this section starting from the beginning and then falling already high.
As he describes in his Instagram post, he then had to struggle with the weather and physical problems but on the thirteenth day of attempts the climb arrived and Epitaph came back to life! A very short life, however ... the crystals of the key hold broke after its ascent, and this line is once again a question mark. However, albeit for a very short time, Japan could boast another extreme line, which in Toru's opinion was worth of the 8C+.
In any case, a unique and particular story, which also demonstrates how, after all, we have to adapt and accept what Nature offers us, in all its myriad of facets. A concept that, unfortunately, is no longer part of the climbing world, where any tool or stratagem is now legitimate to adapt the natural conditions to our selfish needs...