Pou Brothers Go Big at Home & in the Mountains

Pou Brothers Climb 8 Major Alpine Multipitch Routes in 1 Month This summer the Spanish Pou brothers – Iker & Eneko – set out on an Alpine roadtrip with a difference. No strangers to hard sport climbing or big walls they really outdid themselves in the month of July with the redpoint of 8 major routes in the Alps. The full list is:12-7-07: Ratikon (Switzerland), Shatila, 7c, 300m All the pitches were on-sighted except the 5th. 13-7-07: New Age, 8a, 200m. Everything on-sighted but the hardest pitch, which was redpointed 2nd go. 15-7-07: Rote Wand (Austria), first free ascent in 1 day, Freedom, 8b, 300m. 17-7-07: Wendestock (Switzerland), on-sight of Blaue Lagune, 7b+, 250m19-7-07: on-sight of Legacy 7b+, 320m 21-7-07: Elefantenohr, 7c+/320m. Everything was on-sight except for the 7c+ (2nd go). 25-7-07: on-sight of Batman, 7b+, 270m26-7-07: on-sight of Cleopatra, 7c, 270m An outstanding achievement when you also consider the distance traveled between the climbs, the time to access them and the sheer amount of climbing in such a short period (never mind being lucky with the weather). The last few decades have seen the explosion of sport climbing with grades soaring and 9a no longer groundbreaking. Traditionalist´s have always wondered if this strength and stamina would ever make it into the bigger mountain regions. Maybe it´s the heatwave that much of Southern Europe has had this summer but this year that ´transfer´ has gathered pace with a number of big European Alpine walls being climbed at high end grades by climbers more famous for sport routes. Adam Ondra Climbs Alpine 8b+ multipitch>> One Day Free Ascent of Norwegian Big Wall, 8b>> Huber Frees Giant Dolomite Roof>> Source: Pou Brothers Website & 8a.nu Pou Brothers Hard Trad Line in Spain With hard trad lines all the rage this week, it´s worth noting that last year Iker Pou freed a 35m roof on trad and graded it 8c+. The roof is actually the first pitch of a 250m route, Lurgorri that the Pou brothers had been working to free for some time. The first crux pitch was redpointed so it is likely that the gear was in place but it still puts this single pitch as one of the hardest trad lines in the world.

Iker Pou on Crux 1st Pitch of Lurigarro, 8c+. Photo www.pouanaiak.com

Not wishing to just rest on this first pitch success, the brothers continued upwards and redpointed the rest of the route to give arguably one of the hardest multi-pitch routes in the world. The rest of the pitches where climbed on a mix of trad and very sparsely placed bolts. Lurgorri is situated on Naranjo De Bulnes in the Basque region of Spain.