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Tucked away in the lush woods of Chronico, Switzerland, the line traverses up and left across a steep, clean, granite boulder’s face. Alphane now holds the position of Chironico’s premier and hardest test piece and the area has long brought climbers from across the globe looking to challenge themselves in one of Europe’s premier bouldering destinations.








~20 moves

First Ascent

Shawn Raboutou

Date of FA



Ascent Log

ClimberSuggested GradeDate of AscentNotes
Shawn RaboutouV17/9A6th Apr 2022The North Face presents: ALPHANE
Instagram Post
Aidan RobertsV17/9A19th Oct 2022Instagram Post
Will BosiV17/9A31st Oct 2022Instagram Post
Simon LorenziV17/9A15th Dec 2022Instagram Post
Jakob SchubertV17/9A21st Dec 2023First climber to acheive both V17 and 9c Instagram Post

Climb Profile

The Route

The Alphane boulder was first discovered by Dave Graham in the early 2000s but was abandoned for many years – understandably so as V15 was the hardest grade at the time. Graham instead climbed Alphane Moon V11 to the right, after which Alphane was named. The boulder is essentially a V14 straight into a V15, followed by a comparatively “easy” V10 top-out. The meat of it is nine high-end moves, back to back.

Alphane is the third or fourth V17 in the world depending on who you ask (Soudain Seul technically holds the position but the grade is debated).

Simon Lorenzi on Alphane ©Gilles Charlier

When speaking about Alphane, Giuliano Cameroni commented on the diversity of the moves, describing the boulder as being simultaneously extremely powerful and extremely technical. This balance between brute force and precision is a difficult one to manage. Daniel Woods added onto this by speaking about the three distinct style transitions the climber must handle throughout the problem; it starts with straight power climbing on crimps, moving into the middle section which involves more open hand positions with technical drop knees and heel hooks, and finally the finish V10. 

In order to send Alphane the climber must be at the very top level of several climbing styles and physically have an extremely high degree of both power and endurance.

First Ascent

6th April 2022: Shawn Raboutou

Shawn Raboutou spent roughly twenty-five sessions working on Alphane. He describes the most difficult part as not being the individual moves but the process of putting them together. In the period of time when Shawn was getting closer to sending, he was trying the boulder just twice per session and usually falling off the last move. 

Once he did send it, Daniel Woods and Jimmy Webb encouraged Shawn that it qualified for the prestigious grade of V17. In classic Raboutou fashion, he did not announce his send for nearly four months after climbing it but did end up suggesting V17 as the grade.

V17 Bouldering

Second Ascent

19th Oct 2022: Aidan Roberts

British climber, Aidan Roberts made the first repeat of this master boulder. It took Roberts twenty days of projecting the boulder, the longest he had ever spent on any project. Echoing Raboutou’s sentiments, Roberts noted that the crux of the problem was not so much the individual moves, but the transitions and the general build of the climb. 

Alphane V17 Boulder

In an interview with Climbing Magazine, he spoke about how much he learned about approaching complex movement from the climb:

I’d be trying the moves, and every time I’d fall off I’d try to identify what had gone wrong. It might be like “oh, I need to internally rotate my knee on this move, which makes it easier to keep weight on this foot so it doesn’t blow.” I’d try to gather loads of information like this about each specific move, and then try to condense it down into quite obvious cues so that I could recite them in the moment—like instructions for me to follow.

This is a great insight that we mortals can take and apply to our own projects– even if they may have ten or more V grades shaved off from Alphane.

Third Ascent

31st Oct 2022: Will Bosi

Will Bosi made the third ascent just a few weeks after Aidan, on the 31st of October. Bosi has been the most reluctant to grade Alphane a V17, saying that it felt easier to him than Honey Badger, which is graded a V16. 

In his interview with Climbing Magazine he said, “At the cutting edge of climbing, grading feels so much more difficult as the margins are that much finer and personal strengths and preferences really come into play. Is it V17? Honestly, I do not know, and as I gain more experience of climbing around this grade range I may have a better view.

Now that Will made the second ascent of Burden of Dreams, which is infinitely harder than Alphane, he is still insisting on the initial grade, saying it’s a soft V17.


Other Ascents & Attempts

Alphane saw its fourth ascent on the 15th of December 2022 by Simon Lorenzi after spending a few sessions on it throughout the year. Alphane has become the most repeated V17 boulder in the world (excluding Soudain Seul and No Kpote Only since grades are disputed).

Daniel Woods gave it a valiant effort but ultimately did not succeed in sending the route. He shared his experience on Instagram, explaining that while he was physically capable and understood the moves, the weather conditions did not align to make a successful climb possible.

Daniel Woods Bouldering
Daniel Woods trying Alphane ©lisapaarviophotography

2023 Update: Jakob Schubert has just made the fifth ascent of Alphane! It had been a project of his for a while, but the IFSC competitions and his Project BIG kept him from fully focusing his time and effort on it. He sent it on the 21st December 2023, an early Christmas present to himself, making him the first rock climber in the world to have climbed both a 9c sport route and a V17 boulder. Oh, and he’s also got himself a ticket to the Paris Olympics. Jakob is absolutely killing it!

Video Library


Born and bred in Atlanta, Georgia, Landon cut his teeth on the rocks around Chattanooga and the Red River Gorge. These days, you'll find him splitting his time between guiding fellow adventurers in Moab, Utah, and living out his nomadic dreams on the open road.

Toupie Carnivore Assis
The Dawn Wall

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