This short film was originally filmed by one half of the Slackjaw team (Ben Pritchard & Rich Heap) and released as an extra to the feature Blood, Sweat and Bagels. It’s a short clip that documents Malcolm Smith’s bedroom board, but in particular his hardest creation on it, that of the Hubble problem with a sit start. It won the Kendal Mountain Film Festival award
for Best Short Film at the time.
Malcolm famously created this wooden problem in the early ’90s to train for the real thing, but being Malcolm designed it to be harder than its namesake. As a result he only ever repeated the wood problem twice in ten years, despite destroying just about every other problem he looked at. (Malc repeated the route Hubble at the age of 18 having trained
specifically for it). Splinter was made very ‘on-the-minute’ meaning Ben (Pritchard) was still setting up the cameras when Malc pulled on and managed to make a rare repeat of the problem (stating afterwards ‘that’s me up to full power!’). In latter years it became known as the hardest wood problem in the country, especially given Malcolm was flashing V11s in
Europe and running training laps on Superman (V12/13).
This was the original quote from the Slackjaw team (Ben Pritchard & Rich Heap) upon making it:
To put into context how hard this problem is, Malcolm came to the School (Sheffield’s most hardcore training venue) and despatched a long-standing project in under an hour. This problem has remained unrepeated for over a year, despite the attentions of some of the world’s strongest boulderers. There are three problems on Malc’s board harder than this, and Hubble Problem with a Start and Finish is the hardest. This makes HPWASAF undoubtedly the hardest wood problem in the country. If you think you fancy your chances, go try the V13 at the School and then add a grade and weep.