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The Wheel of Life

The Wheel of Life is a famous boulder problem in the sport of rock climbing. Located in Hollow Mountain Cave in the Grampians of Australia and initially graded 8C+ (V16), it is now commonly considered to be 8C (V15).

The Wheel of Life
Map showing the location of The Wheel of Life
Map showing the location of The Wheel of Life
LocationGrampians National Park
Coordinates37°12′28″S 142°23′59″E / 37.20778°S 142.39972°E / -37.20778; 142.39972Coordinates: 37°12′28″S 142°23′59″E / 37.20778°S 142.39972°E / -37.20778; 142.39972
Route TypeBouldering
Grade8C (V15), 9a (5.14d)
First ascentDai Koyamada, 2004

The problem, which consists of over 60 moves, was first completed by Dai Koyamada in 2004,[1] and it links up three shorter problems that were established by climbers such as Klem Loskot and Fred Nicole (Extreme Cool, V8; Sleepy Hollow V12; Cave Rave, V13).[2].

Although it is climbed without rope, due to its length it may be considered to be a climbing route. It is commonly graded 8C as a boulder problem, and 9a as a route. Graham stated that it was in a league above 9a routes he had climbed, possibly even a 9a+.[3]


  • Second ascent by the Australian boulderer Chris Webb Parsons, in 2007 - (VIDEO, YouTube)
  • Third ascent by Ethan Pringle - (VIDEO)
  • Fourth ascent by James Kassay, in 2011
  • Fifth ascent by Australian climber Benjamin P. Cossey on 30 October 2011. Ben controversially downgraded the climb from a 8C+ (V16) to a 8B+ (V14).[4]
  • Sixth and seventh ascents by Dave Graham and Ian Dory, in June 2012. Graham suggested a route grade of 9a+ (Ewbank 36), stating that it was "not possible to compare it to other boulder problems, due to its length", and that it was in a league above 9a routes he had climbed.[3]
  • In November 2012, James Kassay completed a more difficult finish to the problem, by linking it to the Amniotic World (V9), leading to the highest part of the cave. This new version of the problem was called The Wheel of Life Direct[5]
  • Ninth ascent by Daniel Woods in July 2013[6][7] - VIDEO
  • Tenth ascent, after only three attempts, by Alexander Megos in July 2013.[8] - (VIDEO)

See alsoEdit

  • The Wheel of Life video by Dai Koyamada with several other boulders up to v14 range


  1. ^ Article at about the first ascent Archived 2011-07-27 at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ "Reflecting on the Wheel". Vertical Life.
  3. ^ a b Graham, Dave. "Graham comments on The Wheel of Life on". Retrieved 19 June 2012.
  4. ^ Cossey, Benjamin P. "Re: Ben Cossey Sends the Wheel of Life". Retrieved 17 October 2011.
  5. ^ Kassay, James. "Kassay climbs The Wheel of Life Direct". Retrieved 26 June 2013.
  6. ^ "Daniel Wood on the Wheel of Life". Vertical Life.
  7. ^
  8. ^ "Alex Megos makes short work of The Wheel of Life". Vertical Life.