Incredible perseverance: Matt Fultz repeats Big Z (8C+)

Matt Fultz secures the second ascent of the 8C+ Boulder Big Z in Lake Tahoe. He invested a good thirty sessions spread over three years into Shawn Raboutou's test piece from 2020.

"I'm so happy! What a process and what a personal success for me,” says happily Matt Fultz after his commission of Big Z (8C+). Shawn Raboutou's test piece in Lake Tahoe is not only the most difficult boulder he has ever climbed, but also the most intensive in terms of the process from planning to the final climb.

Honestly, this was the first time I truly understood that a problem was bigger and more significant than just the number associated with it.

Matt Fultz

Video: Matt Fultz on the second ascent of Big Z

Through deep doubts and frustration to success

“This boulder made me doubt myself and demanded so much more from me than I ever thought I could give.” He stopped believing in himself, says Matt Fultz.

I had serious imposter syndrome when people called me a “professional climber.”

Matt Fultz

Matt Fultz isn't sure if this feeling of feeling inadequate despite his success will go away with the ascent of Big Z. “However, I know that I am very grateful for this experience and the frustrations that allowed me to learn more about myself.”

Big Z: Three years, 30 sessions

The American has tried Big Z repeatedly over the past three years. In the first ten sessions the line felt impossible.

I was too tall to get into the right positions and my fingers didn't fit into the cracks.

Matt Fultz

He only kept trying because he knew it would be good for him to work on his weaknesses. “At some point I developed a knee clamp beta with which I was able to decipher the middle crux.” At the same time, the kneebar made the transition to the next moves massively more difficult.

After about 20 more sessions, I made it to the top on the first attempt of the day full of confidence.

Matt Fultz

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Credits: Cover picture Matt Fultz

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