20 February 2024

Will Bosi repeats Return of the Sleepwalker (9A)

William Bosi has made the second ascent of Daniel Woods’ Return of the Sleepwalker (9A) in Black Velvet Canyon, after projecting it for 12 sessions. This was the third 9A for the former competitive climber who has already completed Burden of Dreams (9A) and Alphane (9A). The 25-year-old stopped competing in 2021 after having had his best year in 2019, twice placing fourth in the World Cup. (c) Teresa Coimbra

Coming out to Las Vegas, I had no idea how this trip was going to go as I do not climb on sandstone often and Sleepwalker did not look my style. Sending Sleepwalker 8C/V15 in only three days completely blew my mind and having a long time left on the trip, I was pretty confident I could have a good stab at getting Return of the Sleepwalker done.

In the last session before the send, everything just clicked. I was feeling confident but as the weather forecast looked bleak with a storm closing in, I was only able to take one rest day before heading back out for another session. I still felt quite tired so I was unsure about even trying it. However, after warming up, the moves were feeling great and I decided to give it a go. The first attempt went perfectly up to the sloper but then I really messed up the next move through to the slot and almost dropped it. Somehow, I recovered and hit the last hard move perfectly. Pulling onto the slab was incredible and I had to take a minute to get my breath back before heading up to the top.

Grade wise I still believe the stand start is only 8C/V15 but I do think the sit start adds enough for it to remain 9A/V17. In comparison to the other climbs I have done at this grade, I think Return of the Sleepwalker comes in around the bottom end of the grade. Burden of Dreams was harder but it is such a different style. [However] I think ‘Return’ probably came in harder than Alphane. Currently, I am very unsure about the distinction between 8C+ and 9A and I think it will take some time and a broader consensus of climbers operating at this level to get the distinction right.

My next project is dependent on conditions but I would love to head back to Arco and try to finish Excalibur (Stefano Ghisolfi’s 9b+/5.15c) or back to Brno to work more on Terranova. I would also love to spend some time finding new lines in Scotland but the weather seems to always be against that!”

Did you find and use any new beta for the send?
I used different beta on the lower section but it’s actually not new and was the original beta Daniel was trying. I do think it’s easier beta though (definitely for me anyway)!

How was day one and your first impression?
Just pure psych on the first day. I couldn’t believe I had made it to the boulder and it really is as good as people say.
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