Dai Koyomada: The Story of Two Worlds (V15)

posted by dpm on 03/23/2012


It’s been just less than two years since Dai Koyomada claimed the second ascent of Dave Graham’s infamous The Story of Two Worlds (V15) in Cresciano, Switzerland. It had been five years since Graham’s 2005 first ascent and throughout that time the problems reputation for difficulty had grown. That year it took Dai eight days to complete the problem. And then the epic began…

Dai on The Story of Two Worlds (V15). Photo: Dai's blog

DPM interviewed Dai after the ascent and he explained in detail the process he went through and gave a thorough breakdown of the problem including the particular starting holds he used. It wasn’t long after that it became clear to those in the know that Dai had started in the wrong place. He had asked others exactly where the problem started and was given the wrong beta. Although his ascent was still very hard and noteworthy, it wasn’t where Dave G. had started and his ascent was discredited. Ouch… Paul Robinson claimed the second ascent in March of last year, 2011. Paul's comments on the difference in the start were included in last year’s article regarding Paul's ascent.  

Paul stated that Dave’s original starting sequence was V13 while starting where Dai did was more like V11.  This added significant difficulty to the route creating a line-up of V13 to V11 to V11 instead of a triple-stack of V11’s.  Dai is psyched to return to the route for a proper ascent and his previous efforts should not be discounted as it was an honest mistake.

Dai did return to the problem last fall, September 2011. He tried the problem some more but was turned away by warm temperatures. Although he did manage a first ascent in Magic Wood, Switzerland called Dark Matter (V14/15) he wasn’t able to clinch the send on The Story of Two Worlds. At that time he wrote: "...I decided to start from lower than Dave (first ascentionist) did. It is both hands, starting from undercling. I solved the move but it is too hot in Cresciano to try. I should try it in lower temperatures."

Yesterday, Dai finally sent his long term project and can officially put it to rest. Based on Dai’s statements above and a report on Martin Keller’s blog it seems that Dai has not just repeated the problem, he’s made it even harder. There is no dispute now that Dai has completed the problem and in a way that is certain to be a bit harder than what others have done. Keller states on his blog that Dai has done the, “FA of the (lowest and) most natural/logical start to storyoftwoworlds. no discussions about where to start anymore.”  While the first sentence may be entirely true, I doubt the last one is…

As you can see from the links above, we've been following this story for quite some time. It's great to see that Dai finally conquered his nemesis in the finest style. Congrats to Dai! More pictures of Dai working the problem in 2010 can be seen in the DPM interview here. Excellent video footage of Paul Robinson on the second ascent is the highlight of the film “The Schengen Files” available at HDclimbingvideos.com.