Iker Pou: Nit de Bruixes (5.15a) First Ascent

posted by dpm on 01/11/2012

Kairn.com reports that Iker Pou has claimed the first ascent of Nit de Bruixes (5.15a) in Margalef, Spain.  The route is an old project in the L’Ermitage sector equipped by local developer Jordi Pou (no relation).  Last winter, Iker worked the project and fell twice, from near the top of the route, due to breaking holds.  The route begins with a 5.14b section that leads to a three-bolt crux section of tiny pockets.  While in Margalef, he was also able to onsight Rocaina Lasted (5.14a) in the Espadelles sector.  There is reportedly video of the ascent that we’ll be sure to post as soon as it’s available. 

Iker Pou.  Photo: Pou brothers website

Iker Pou is one of the few climbers in the world to apply 5.15 ability outside of the realm of simple sport climbing.  In 2003, he and his talented brother Eneko set out to free climb a big wall on every continent.  Over a four-year period they accomplished their goal by climbing:

El Nino (5.13d) El Capitan, Yosemite, USA, North America (second free ascent)

El Naranjo de Bulnes (5.14a) in Spain, Europe (first free ascent)

Bravo les Filles (5.14a) Madagascar, Africa (first free ascent)

The Totem Pole (5.12b) Tasmania, Oceania

Eternal Flame (5.13b) Nameless Tower, Pakistan, Asia (first free ascent of Pou Variation)

Supercanaleta (5.11a) Mt. Fitzroy, Argentina, South America (second ascent)

Azken Paradisua (5.11d) Zerua Peak, Antarctica (first ascent)

Attaching simple number grades on paper does little to reflect on the difficulty of accomplishing such a feat.  The brothers had to utilize world class talent on granite trad climbing, ice and alpine terrain, and 5.14 limestone, not to mention the difficult logistics and travel.  For an encore to their performance they were also determined to climb the hardest multi-pitch climbs in the Alps which can be seen in the video below.  Read more about the “7 walls, 7 continents” project at the Pou brothers website.  

Click the image above for video of Iker climbing Demencia Senil (5.15a) in the Laboratorio sector of Margalef, Spain.

Click the image above for video of the Pou brothers climbing the hardest multi-pitch routes in the Alps.   


Update: 2/10/12

Red Bull presents some great video of Iker on the first ascent of Nit de Bruixes.  Click the image below to watch it at Redbull.es.