Help grow the archive! drop a knowledge bomb here.

The Finnish Line

The Finnish Line is one of the hardest bouldering problems in the Rocklands. Many elite climbers have been captivated by this line problem including Nalle Hukkataival, Alex Megos and Daniel Woods.




South Africa




8m (26ft)

First Ascent

Nalle Hukkataival

Date of FA


The Finnish Line

Ascent Log

ClimberSuggested GradeDate of Ascent Notes
Nalle Hukkataival 8C/8C+27th Jun 2017Instagram Post
Alex Megos22nd Jul 2017Instagram Post
Toby Saxton8C+19th Sep 2017
Shawn Rabautou8C22nd Jun 2018Instagram Post
Daniel Woods8C28th Jun 2018Instagram Post
Daisuke Ichimiya8C6th Aug 2018
Jimmy Webb8C22nd Jun 2019Instagram post
Vadim Timonov8C5th Jul 2021YouTube video

Climb Profile

The Route

The Finnish Line is a renowned boulder problem located in the Rocklands, a world-famous climbing destination nestled in the Cederberg Mountains of South Africa. Considered one of the most challenging and iconic routes in the area, The Finnish Line attracts climbers from around the globe who seek to test their skills and push their limits on this formidable line.

The Rocklands is celebrated for its unique sandstone formations and exceptional climbing opportunities. The area boasts an otherworldly landscape characterized by orange-hued rock formations, hidden caves, and expansive boulder fields, all of which make it a climber’s paradise.

The Finnish Line itself is an imposing 21-move highball, blending technicality, power, and endurance. It demands a combination of precise footwork, dynamic movements, and sheer determination to conquer its intricate sequence of holds and crimps. The problem’s name pays homage to the Finnish climber Nalle Hukkataival, who first envisioned and successfully climbed this awe-inspiring line.

Wall of Glory

First Ascent: Nalle Hukkataival

27th June 2017

After Nalle Hukkataival made the first ascent on 27th June 2017, he initially didn’t offer a grade for the line, although suggested it was one of the hardest lines in the area. This placed the problem in V15/V16 territory, putting it up there with other iconic Rockland boulder problems like Livin’ Large and Black Eagle SD. 

The problem clearly had a profound impact on Nalle, as he labeled it a “gem rarer than diamonds” and a line he would remember for the rest of his life.

This blunt arête isn’t just one of the hardest in the area though, it’s also one of the highest boulders, standing at an intimidating 8 meters (26ft) tall. On top of that, the sequence is also highly technical, with laser precision needed to execute the climb. The South African heat and humidity also have a large impact on such a friction-dependent problem.

As Daniel Woods explained in an email to Rock and Ice, the first half of the problem is similar to tufa climbing, with wide pinches required on the arête. For the second half, the problem then moves into compression moves on sloping edges on either side of the arête, requiring full-body power and tension to successfully top out the boulder.

nalle hukkataival the finnish line Rocklands
Nalle topping out his masterpiece ©kevintakashismith

Second Ascent: Alex Megos

22nd July 2017

Alex Megos made the first repeat of the line just a few weeks after Nalle’s FA, with the German climber suggesting that it’s “maybe the best line of all time”. The problem put up a bit of a fight for Megos, or at least by his standards, spending a total of 5 days working the Finnish Line before he eventually claimed the first ascent on the 22nd July 2017.

During this trip, Megos had been working the boulder with Jimmy Webb who, despite making good progress with only a few days on the rock, was unable to make an ascent before having to leave South Africa.

Like his fellow climbers, Jimmy proclaimed that the Finnish Line was one of the most spectacular pieces of stone he has ever touched and said the line will be heavily in his thoughts until he returns. True to his word, on the 22nd June 2019, Webb returned and claimed the seventh ascent of the popular boulder problem.

Alex Megos climbing The Finnish Line
Alex on The Finnish Line ©KenEtzel

Other Ascents & Attempts

After Megos’ ascent, the Finnish Line received an additional 4 repeats over the next 12 months. Toby Saxton claimed the third ascent in September of the same year and suggested a grade of V16 for the line. Shawn Raboutou and Daniel Woods, both of whom worked on the problem together, suggest a more suitable grade of V15. The pair spent a total of 6 days on the problem, three days on a rope, and three days without. Woods explained that he, Raboutou and Megos used a different hand sequence on the top half of the boulder from Nalle, which made their accents easier.

Jimmy Webb The Finnish Line Climb
Jimmy Webb on the biggest highball in the Rocklands ©_keenan_t

Video Library


Meet Angel, a former desk-jockey turned global wanderer. After catching a severe case of the climbing (and travel) bug, she's now a world traveller, living the dirtbag dream. Highballs? Too mainstream for her taste. She's all about the thrills of lowballs, where the real action happens. Nowadays, you'll find her in Thailand, either precariously balanced on a granite slab or trading stories with Nemo and his buddies underwater!

Big Paw
Vasil Vasil

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top