Thursday, 3 November 2016

Es Pontas - Second Ascent

Jernej Kruder has made the much-anticipated 2nd ascent of 'Es Pontas', which was first established by Chris Sharma in 2006.  Es Pontas is thought to be the hardest deep water solo in the world and is situated under a stunning arch in Mallorca, Spain, with a grade thought to be 9a+.

The route was originally featured in the climbing film 'King Lines' in 2007 showing Chris Sharma's first ascent, which he climbed over 10 years ago now. The film focused largely on the huge dyno high above the sea that captured everyone's imagination. Although Ethan Pringle managed to find another sequence avoiding the dyno back in 2008, he did not manage to finish the route and the 2nd ascent was left available for other strong climbers to achieve.

It took 26-year-old Slovenian boulderer Jernej, 37 attempts to achieve the 2nd ascent of 'Es Pontas' on the 1st November 2016. Jarnej also quickly achieved the 2nd ascent of 'Pontax', an 8c which Chris Sharma also established, which continues up for another 6 metres after the dyno on Es Pontas and finishing on the seaward side of the arch.

Jarnej  has been on fire and managed to onsight Chris Sharma's 'Weather Man' 8a+, and the famous 'Loskot and Two Smoking Barrels' 8a+ at Porto Cristo.

Jarnej is refusing to confirm a grade for Es Pontas, currently leaving the grade of 9a+  unconfirmed, but further ascents will undoubtedly confirm the grade. One very important factor that he mentions is how the head factor influences the grade significantly. It's also worth highlighting the inability to work the route easily from a top-rope although Jarnej did manage to work the upper half using a rope.

Check out the UKC interview with Jarnej.
You can also follow Jarnej on Instagram.
Photo by: Kerstin Helbach

Friday, 16 September 2016

Highlights of the Exeter UK Deep Water Soloing Competition 2016

The competition was held over August bank holiday weekend - watch the highlights here!

Monday, 1 August 2016

The Psicobloc Masters Series DWS Competition Returns for 2016!

The Psicobloc Masters Series is back at Utah Olympic Park USA for 2016!

Finuco Martinez is the founder of the competitions which were originally held over a tidal river in the centre of Bilbao, Spain in 2011. In August of 2013, the Psicobloc team brought the competition to Utah USA Olympic Park. Also originally inspired by Chris Sharma who contributed to popularise the sport with his solo ascent of El Pontas in Mallorca, the Psicobloc Masters Series will take place on a 50 foot high artificial wall, built over a ski jump training pool in the Utah Olympic Park.

All competitors are competing for a cash prize and are required to climb up to the US grade of 5.12+ for females and 5.13+ for males at the finals. It was deep water soloing in Mallorca that inspired Chris Sharma for the competition, taking it to a bigger audience with the intention to show climbing to the world.

The pool was originally built for the 2002 Olympic Winter Games and is now used as a training facility for freestyle aerial ski jumpers to practice their soft landings with the safety of the water. The pool contains 750,000 gallons of water and is usually ‘bubbled’ to soften the impact of landing.

The top four fastest competitors from each gender in the Qualifier will pass through to the “seeding” or practice round with the invited climbers at the Olympic Park pool the next night on 5th August. All participants of the Seeding round will have a guaranteed place in the Psicobloc Finals, Friday 5th August at the Olympic Park pool.

If you cannot make the event then you can watch the live web stream by Louder Than 11!

Visit the Psicobloc Facebook Page here.

3rd August 2016 - Qualification rounds
4th August - Seeding rounds - 7pm 10pm MDT (Mountain Daylight Time)
5th August - Finals - 7-10pm MDT

The 2016 Athletes are:

Sean McColl, Jimmy Webb, Chris Sharma, Ethan Pringle, Carlo Traversi, Nathaniel Coleman, Ben Tresco, Daniel Woods, Matty Hong, Josh Larson

Meagan Martin, Angie Payne, Kyra Condie, Nina Williams, Emily Harrington, Paige Claassen, Sydney Trinidad, Michaela Kiersch, Alex Johnson

Friday, 6 May 2016

Chris Sharma "Mallorcan Dreams"

Here is a short film that has been sitting on the hard drives of BigUp Productions for a while now. Film maker Brett Lowell was in Mallorca with Chris Sharma a few years back exploring some of the additional potential on the west cost of Mallorca. Port de soller which first saw developments back in 2003 also known to have potential outside of the bay area, but unfortunately due to the fact its only accessible by water, many of these spots have remained hidden from the public. Chris Sharma comments about the film "I've been to some amazing places in my life but Mallorca may top the list as my favorite. When you see this video I think it's pretty easy to understand why. This is some footage taken a few years back exploring the amazing potential on the wild west coast around the village of Soller."

Thursday, 28 January 2016

Wine, Dine and Climb in South France with Yuji Hirayama, James Pearson And Caroline Ciavaldini

Japanese climber Yuji Hirayama, French climber Caroline Ciavaldini and her husband British climber James Pearson head to France in search for some cheese, wine and climbing (well what else would you do in France?). Accompanying them is photographer Eddie Gianelloni and their manager Sandra Ducasse and filmmaker Francisco Taranto Jr. with their their children Tomas and Anna and their little dog Fellipo.

Saturday, 19 December 2015

New Mallorca Guidebook for 2016 (Out Now!)

You many be surprised to know that the 2011 guide to Mallorca has actually sold out. Some copies may still be floating around in the odd store but if you can’t find one don’t despair. The Rockfax team have been working on a new bumper sized Mallorca guide with even more between the covers. The updated PDF from 2013 has been reworked and welded into this guide along with many updates, changes,new topos, an extra venue on top of the 4 previously found in the 2013 update and many action photos.

“The Mediterranean island of Mallorca is now well-known as a sport climbing destination and it has also established itself as the home of Europe's best deep water soloing.

The main guidebook to the climbing on the island for the last 20 years has been published by Rockfax and this new 2016 edition adds to this legacy with another blockbusting volume for the sun-seeking climber.

The sport climbing is written by Alan James and Mark Glaister, and the deep water soloing section is written by Daimon Beail".

The guide is also available digitally via the fantastic Rockfax App.

More info can be found HERE.

Deep Water Soloing Crags:

1. Cova del Diablo
2. Tower of Falcons
3. Porto Cristo
4. Porto Cristo Novo
5. Cala Barques
6. Cova des Burador
7. Porto Colom
8. Cala Marcal
9. Cala Brafia
10. Cala Estreta
11. Cala Sa Nau
12. Cala Mitjana
13. Cala Serena
14. Santanyi (including - Es Pontas)
15. Cala Llombards
16. Port de Sóller
17. Cova de ses Puntas
18. Sa Calobra
19. Porto Pi

Tuesday, 4 August 2015

Cova Del Diablo in Mallorca - A deep water soloing paradise

Cova Del Diablo in Mallorca - A deep water soloing paradise. Neil Gresham, Mike Robertson and Gavin Symonds visit again to climb what they believe is the best deep water soloing crag they have climbed.

Thursday, 16 July 2015

Psicobloc Masters Competition is back for 2015!

This years' Psicobloc Masters will be taking place at the beginning of August at Utah Olympic Park USA, with the qualification rounds taking place on August 5th, seeding taking place on August 6th and the grand finals taking place on August 7th.

Last year saw the likes of top athletes such as Chris Sharma, Sasha DiGiulian, Jimmy Webb, Daniel Woods, Alex Johnson and many more take part.

If you are not in the USA but would still like to watch it live, then you can watch the live stream by Louder Than 11 online. For the finals, climbing begins at 7pm (Utah time), so wherever you are in the world, please note the time differences!

To find out more about the event and to keep up with any updates, visit the Psicobloc Masters website.

Monday, 13 July 2015

Exploring DWS in Sicily

Neil Gresham and Mike Robertson in search for DWS in Sicily. They come across two exceptional new climbs, including a big roof climb 50 feet above the waters, one a 7c and another still a project.

Monday, 29 June 2015

Psicobloc DWS Olympos Turkey - Video

If you have ever rock climbed before you may be familiar with the crippling fear of slipping and falling. What better way to test your free climbing abilities than to take the fear of falling out of the equation? That is exactly what Red Bull Psicobloc Olympos team did when they went to one of the best deep water climbing destinations in Turkey.

Wednesday, 17 June 2015

The S3's of Britain - The best and scariest deep water solos in the UK? - Video

In this short film, Neil Gresham talks about 'The Abyss' graded at french 7b S3 located in Pembroke which towers 50 metres high. Also 'Cavemen' in Berry Head Devon graded at french 7a+ S3 towering at a whopping 125 metres high!

Monday, 1 June 2015

UK Water Temperatures

As the weather starts to warm up in the UK, your attention may be turning towards Deep Water

Most of the UK's DWS is situation on the South coast of England as well as South Wales. It may or may not be a surprise that the sea is only at a decent temperature for swimming and DWS for around three months of the year. This is generally seen as being from July to September.

The sea warms up more slowly than air or land, and the best time for DWS tends to be around the late stages of summer and early stage of autumn. On a hot sunny day in June the sea can look really enticing, but if you plunge in, you will find the water is icy cold - around 12 to 14 degrees. By early July the temperature is usually bearable rising to about 15 degrees, and by late August early September the sea can feel quite warm, with temperatures as high as 16 to 18 degrees.

If you decide to deep water solo during the ‘cooler’ months, then wearing a 2mm shorty wetsuit is advisable. Some people even wear wetsuits in the summer months if they plan to spend a lot of time in the water or if the weather is not too great. Wetsuits also can provide good protection when learning the finer details of ‘splash downs'.

It is important to note that the sea temperature is not influenced by the weather day to day. It is as warm on a grey overcast day as on the following day when the sun is hot, and should be as warm in the early morning as in the late afternoon. However some other factors can influence the temperatures slightly; if the water is shallow and the sun warms just the surface water, or if there is a strong offshore wind and the air blows the warm surface air out to sea, or if there is an influx of fresh water from heavy rainfall or a river outlet.

It is essential to know the sea temperatures before you head out otherwise you may end up in a tricky situation of the water being too cold. Also check the tide as this will effect your safety and accessibility to lines, especially in areas like Portland. So check the tide times before you go.

Friday, 29 May 2015

Climbing New Routes On The Spectacular Spires Of Ha Long Bay

Climbers Leah Crane and Neil Gresham visit Vietnam's Ha Long Bay in search of new deep water solo routes in the beautiful setting where the famous James Bond film 'Tomorrow Never Dies' was filmed. Leah and Neil explore the untouched limestone spires making their mark with first ascents and experience the Vietnamese culture.

Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Deep Water Soloing - Exeter Competition

The UK's Deep Water Soloing competition hosted by Quay Climbing Centre in Exeter is back this year better than ever, as a four day climbing festival on the UK's only climbing wall above water.

This year the festival will be held over the August bank holiday (29th - 31st August 2015) with the wall being open on the evening of the 28th and qualifiers on the 29th, with the semi finals and finals on the 30th August. The bank holiday Monday on 31st will see more DWS along with other outdoor activities on the Quayside. This year the wall will be adjusted with the overhang extended to make it more of a challenge for the elite climbers.

The competition is open to anyone and you can sign up here.

Here is the new video "Getting Wet And Wild On The World's First Floating Climbing Wall | DWS, Ep. 3" which is part of the Neil Gresham DWS climbing series of films exploring Deep Water Soloing around the world.

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Deep Water Soloing In Britain

The Pembroke, Swanage and the Devonshire coasts have long played host to some of the country's finest traditional lines and this short film captures the British deep water soloing spirit. If you have deep water soloed in the UK, you will certainly recognise some of the venues featured.

Monday, 23 March 2015

Deep Water Soloing Around The World With Neil Gresham (DWS Trailer)

Deep Water Soloing around the world, brought to you by Neil Gresham. After 30 years of climbing, Neil takes you on a journey to explain why DWS is still his favourite type of climbing.

Friday, 9 January 2015

Olympos (Turkey) DWS - Video

A Rock Climbing Guide to Antalya - 2014 Edition
Footage from Turkey's developing DWS hotspot which was part host to the 2014 Petzl RocTrip. 

The area known as Olympos has several DWS venues which offer some excellent lines. The venues have a feeling similar to Mallorca with the height of the lines ranging between 5m and 20m. 

The only down side is that the best areas are only accessible by boat which keeps this venue quiet, unless it's invaded by the Petzl RocTrip that is.

For more information on the area check out the area guide book "Rock Climbing in Antalya" which is available at all good climbing book stores.

Footage of DWS starts about 11 minutes in. 

Monday, 1 September 2014

A Great Success for Exeter DWS Competition

Report by Emma Harrington

The first ever UK deep water soloing competition took place over the weekend and saw some great performances from some well known British competition team members, as well as strong Exeter locals, Neil Gresham and US climber Sierra Blair-Coyle.

Photo: Quay Climbing

The Quay Climbing Centre is fortunate enough to be situated next to a canal basin where the Entre-Prises wall had been constructed then moved out into the waters on a floating pontoon.  An enthusiastic audience cheered on all who took part, as they attempted to climb the seven metre high competition wall with a three metre overhang above the cold British waters. Although not as high as the USA Psicobloc Masters wall in Utah (the report for the USA event can be found here), the British version was more a bouldering wall than a long stamina route wall.

Although the UK is a major destination for climbing, it is still difficult for the UK to hold DWS events such as this, and it was with great appreciation that US climber Sierra Blair-Coyle attended, as this will bring international coverage to the event.

It was not an average day at the quay-side with a good turnout of spectators and and vibrant atmosphere, lets hope this is the first of many more UK DWS comps to come.

Photo: Quay Climbing
Open Female

1st Michaela Tracey
2nd Sierra Blair Coyle
3rd Emma Twyford

Open Male

1st Liam Hasley
2nd Matt Cousins
3rd Nathan Phillips

 Under 16 Females
1st Hannah Slaney
2nd Eugenie Lee
3rd Kitty Morrison

Under 16 Male

1st Jim Pope
2nd Tommy Matthews
3rd Dominic Vincent

Sierra Blair-Coyle
Photo: David Simmonite

Photo: Quay Climbing

Photo: Quay Climbing

Photo: Quay Climbing

Photo: Quay Climbing
Women's Winners
Photo: Quay Climbing

Sunday, 17 August 2014

Psicobloc Masters Series Competition Returns for 2014

Psicobloc Masters Series Competition Report 2014

Report by Emma Harrington

The second ever deep water soloing competition in the USA took place on Friday 8th August. The Psicobloc Masters Series returned to Utah Olympic Park and was bigger and better than ever, with DWS veteran Chris Sharma naming the sport as ‘the purest form of climbing.’

The success of last year’s event caught the attention of some of the best climbers eager to try this unique competition style of climbing.  This year attracted talent such as Chris Sharma himself, Sasha DiGiulian, Emily Harrington, Ashima Shiraishi, Alex Puccio, Jimmy Webb, Alex Johnson, Delaney Miller, Matty Hong, Daniel Woods amongst many more.

The Utah Olympic Park     Photo: Alton Richardson

Organised by Chris Sharma, who contributed to popularise the sport with his solo ascent of El Pontas in Mallorca, the Psicobloc Masters Series took place on a 50 foot high artificial wall, built over a ski jump training pool in the Utah Olympic Park.  All competitors were competing for the $30,000 prize and were required to climb up to the US grade of 5.13c for the finals. It was deep water soloing in Mallorca that inspired Chris Sharma for the competition, taking it to a bigger audience with the intention to show climbing to the world.

This year’s competition featured a qualifying round, allowing local climbers to test their skills against the professionals. Prior to the event, competitors were allowed a one day pool pass to test their climbing abilities on the Psicobloc wall, practicing taking falls of up to 50 feet into the pool below.

The pool was originally built for the 2002 Olympic Winter Games and is now used as a training facility for freestyle aerial ski jumpers to practice their soft landings with the safety of the water.  The pool contains 750,000 gallons of water and is usually ‘bubbled’ to soften the impact of landing.

Competitors climbed on identical routes head-to-head and the climber who reached the top first or got there the fastest moved onto the next round. The climber who won each duel would then advance onto the next round until only two climbers were left for the final. The routes were not as difficult as last year. This gave the climbers an advantage of knowing they could go for all the moves with confidence, adding to the extravaganza of the show.

The Women’s Rounds

The women were up first with JC Hunter taking the first huge fall from 40 foot, and 16 year old newcomer Claire Buhrfeind completing the route and topping-out just for the fun of it.  Ashima Shiraishi the youngest female competitor at only 13 years old was to follow, competing against a nervous Alex Johnson who slipped from a hold high up, giving Ashima a chance to take her time to cruise the top.

Ashima Shiraishi waiting at the top for Emily Harrington.
Photo: Kevin Wellman
Alex Puccio and Meagan Martin raced to the top head-to-head for most of the route until Meagan, who was placed third last year, took the big plunge leaving Alex to advance on up. Alex opted to down climb a few moves with clearly a few head issues concerning the height, before she let go and dropped into the water below.

Delaney Miller didn’t need to finish the route, with Angie Payne taking a fall mid-way up, this enabled Delaney to save her strength for the next rounds.

 The 2013 women’s champion Sasha DiGiulian surprised everyone when she fell off the overhang after her feet cut loose, leaving Andrea Szekely to slowly continue climbing with only a one minute time limit left to get to the top. Andrea fell from a lower hold than Sasha, giving way to Sasha to continue onto the quarter-finals.

The semi-final included Claire Buhrfeind and Alex Puccio and both where head-to-head speed climbing up the wall in an intense race. Claire managed to secure her place in the final by reaching the top first with only seconds between them in a photo finish.
Delaney Miller and Grace McKeehan also competed in the semi-final where Grace struggled to keep up near the end, giving way to Delaney for the final round.

The route setters were a bit too eager to re-set the route for the men’s round and prematurely started tweaking the route and rearranging the holds. This caused a slight delay for the women’s finals, as the route setters had to put back what they had undone.

Newcomer Claire Buhrfeind took first place for the women in the final, competing against Delaney Miller who came second place for the second year running. Both now so familiar with the route, climbing it for the fourth time that evening, they were almost head-to-head all the way; Claire used her speed skills for the final finishing moves to victory.

The Men’s Rounds

As the sun disappeared behind the mountains it was the turn of the men’s competition, with the route setters adjusting the routes to increase the difficulty making the moves more dynamic. Chris Sharma reported that almost every male had made it to the top of the wall in the practice rounds, so it may come down to the speed factor, and he was not wrong!

Sean McColl and Chris Sharma
First up were Sean McColl Vs Isaac Caldiero.
During the qualifying round Isaac took a bad fall after courageously leaping for the next hold in the middle of the overhang 30 feet up. He spun out of control resulting with him landing awkwardly and bursting his eardrum. The bad fall had not deterred him, as he climbed confidently and quickly but dropped off near the top, sending Sean to the next round.

In the quarter-finals, last year’s champion Jimmy Webb, raced Sean McColl which resulted in a speed spectacular.  Abandoning all technique, it became a battle of speed and strength with Sean getting to the top first in just 42 seconds! The fastest anyone has ever climbed the Psicobloc wall.        
Everyone wanted to see Chris Sharma dyno his way to the top in the quarter-finals, and he didn’t disappoint as he went head-to-head with Jon Cardwell, with Chris reaching the top first with just seconds between them.

Sean McColl was the proud winner of the 2014 men’s finals against Daniel Woods. The men in the final round turned up the speed and were forced into sprint mode.  Sean McColl took the lead from mid-height to gain victory, with Daniel Woods just one move behind.

The whole competition was streamed live on the internet from 7pm MDT, which meant it was broadcast live late at night in the UK.  If you missed the action, the entire competition can be viewed online at or individual rounds can be viewed on Psicobloc's YouTube channel.

If you want to get involved in a competition like this closer to home, then don’t forget about the first ever deep water soloing competition being held in Exeter UK on 30th and 31st August 2014!  For more information visit the Quay Climbing Centre Website


1st Place:     Claire Buhrfeind
2nd Place:     Delaney Miller

1st Place:     Sean McColl
2nd Place:     Daniel Woods

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Psicobloc wall open to public

Locals get to try out the 50 foot high deep water soloing wall in Utah ahead of the Psicobloc Masters Series. Jealous? We are!

The wall is open to the public for a limited time including two routes with varying degrees of difficulty.

What is Psicobloc? Steven Jeffery from Momentum Climbing discusses last year's Psicocomp event and the upcoming 2014 Psicobloc Masters Series.

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

The line up for the Psicobloc Masters Series Deep Water Soloing Competition Utah USA

Chris Sharma announces he is psyched for the next Psicobloc Masters Series deep water soloing competition taking place in Utah USA this 6th - 8th August. 

Confirmed athletes taking part are:

Chris Sharma Sasha DiGulian
Jimmy Webb Matty Hong
Meagan Martin Delaney Miller
Alex Johnson Daniel Woods
Alex Puccio Kai Lightner
Andrea Szekely Kyra Condie
Jon Cardwell JC Hunter
Carlo Traversi Paul Robinson
Sean McColl Emily Harrington
Ashima Shiraishi Angie Payne
Kleman Becan Nacho Sanchez

Here's a short video from last year's action to wet your appetite! 

Thursday, 17 July 2014

Incident at Porto Pi - Mallorca - (UPDATED)

The Scene at Cala Major
Reports are appearing of an unfortunate incident that has occurred at the West Docks near Porto Pi - Palma on the island of Mallorca. It is unclear whether this was a cliff Jumping incident or a genuine DWS / Psicobloc tragedy.

DWS at Porto Pi
The incident that occurred around 12 noon on Wednesday 16th July 2014, involved a young Spanish national aged 23 who died after hitting the water chest first. The individual drowned from impact and the body did not surface resulting in an emergency call out to the scene.  The body was recovered 20 minutes later by the emergency services who then were unable to resuscitate the individual on the nearby beach of Cala Major. The friend of the currently unnamed individual is being treated for shock and stress.

Hopefully it will become clear as to the exact cause of this incident and whether or not it was a DWS / Psicobloc related incident that is being reported by the Media, or in fact it was a cliff jump which has been the root cause of many incidents on the island subsequently then being linked to the activate of DWS by the media.

Distressing scenes at Cala Major, Photo B. Ramon
The tragedy is a reminder that DWS is an activity that requires experience when tackling the lines that incorporate greater heights and skill is required in order to enter the water safely. Obviously like in all sports there are isolated incidents, but to date there have been no specific DWS/Psicobloc incidents directly related to the sport when performed properly and in suitable conditions.

(UPDATE) It has become clear that the unfortunate incident was not DWS related. The fatality happened close by near the west dock and no climbing was involved.

Monday, 14 July 2014

Lleida DWS Competition

What do you do when you live inland in Spain and you like DWS?

Héctor Fernández Puig and his friends have for the second year running organised this fun friendly competition in Catalunya's Climbing meca, Lleida.

The eco refugio Abella climb were sponsoring the event where more than 100 people entered.

It was a great day with Deep Water Soloing, Acrobatics, Slacklining, DJs and a Beer case climbing event, as well as the super meat dyno competition which involved dynoing for a huge piece of Ham and holding it for 3 seconds.

The Main DWS competition finished with Cristian Gutierrez Gil and David Gambus claiming the top prizes.

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Psicobloc Masters Returns to Utah USA - 6-8th August 2014

Sierra Blair-Coyle - © Photo by Tiffany Hensley
The popular Psicobloc Masters Series Deep Water Soloing Competition is returning to Park City, Utah, USA for the second time on 6th - 8th August 2014.

Last year's competition attracted over 5,000 visitors to the event itself and over 50,000 viewers via the live stream that was being broadcast.

Just like last year the competition will include separate men's and women's categories with an added bonus called the "Duel", where competitors race head-to-head on identical routes to reach the top.
The wall reaches over 50 feet (15 metres) and overhangs approx 25 feet (7 metres) over the pool.

Once again professional and talented climbers will take part. Last year competitors included the likes of Chris Sharma, Jimmy Webb, Daniel Woods, Sasha DiGiulian and Delaney Miller.

The 6th August will be the qualifying round where aspiring climbers can compete for an open spot in the finals. Spectating on 6th August will be open to the public at no charge.  Tickets for 7th and 8th August will be available starting the first week of July at
© Beau Kahler


6th August 2014 (6pm Utah time) Qualifying Round 
7th August 2014 (6pm Utah time) Placement/Seeding Round
8th August 2014 (6pm Utah time) Final Round

By Emma Harrington

Friday, 30 May 2014

Rockfax Mallorca Access Update

(c) Alan James - Rockfax
Things are looking much better for Mallorca's DWS with regards to accessing some of Manacor's famous DWS destinations. The situation seems to be relaxing and a recent trip by the Rockfax team showed no issues. No information or signs were seen that implied there was a ban in place. Full story can be found here:

Monday, 28 April 2014

UK's First Deep Water Soloing Competition

The Quay Climbing Centre in Exeter will be hosting the UK's first deep water soloing competition!
The artificial competition wall will be built in the city’s canal basin. The canal basin and the Piazza Terracina provides the perfect water space and large arena area for spectators to view the competition up close.

Entre-Prises UK are delighted to announce that they are to design and build the climbing wall for the Deep Water Solo Competition; they will also be sponsoring the event along with climbing equipment manufacturers such as La Sportiva, DMM and others.

The Piazza Terracina      

The wall itself will measure seven metres high by twelve metres wide with a three metre overhang and has been designed to enable three participants to compete simultaneously, adding to the visual spectacle of the event. The competition problems will be set by leading UK setters and they will start at V3/4 and work up to V14!

The city council has provided strong backing for the event, recognising the huge publicity it could bring to the city’s tourism.

The Quay Climbing Centre
The competition weekend will be split between the qualifying rounds that will take place on the 30th August and the finals which will take place on the 31st August.  There will be an elite (invitation based) category and an open category for over 16 males and females. There is also an under 16s category (12-15 years of age) to ensure that there is a chance for all climbers to take part. Only one hundred and fifty spaces will be open to competitors with thirty of those spots going to the top UK climbers.

The first deep water soloing competition took place in Bilbao, Spain in 2010. Details can be found here.

And not forgetting last year’s high deep water soloing wall in Park City, Utah, USA, article can be found here.

Registration Information
Tickets are available until 30th June 2014 at £20 each and are available on the evenbrite website.

Facebook page can be found here.

By Emma Harrington 

Friday, 25 April 2014

El Nido, Palawan - Philippines 'The Last Frontier'

El Nido, Palawan in the Philippines is known to its people as the Philippines’ Last frontier.
With magnificent beaches, an ocean filled with 1,780 islands and more importantly for us, plenty of rock of which some of it is ideal for Deep Water Soloing. This is not the first time El Nido has been talked about; in fact it has been on the exploration map of many a Deep Water Soloer for years as the next place to explore after Hana long bay in Vietnam. We even reported on some development back in 2011. But with the area being classed as a managed resource and protected area, many feared another Croatian experience where the areas they tried to climb were in fact banned. So many people turned their attention elsewhere. Now we have a video presented by the North Face Channel which musically documents a team of climbers including, James Pearson, Caroline Ciavaldini, Miel Pahati and Pablo Scorza exploring the islands and unearthing some of its DWS potential.

Monday, 3 February 2014

Deep Water Soloing in Brazil

Climbers in the 80s and 90s, came from all over the world to visit some of Brazil’s classic climbing crags such as Furnas canyons and Cipó in the state of Minas Gerais Cipo and Vulture Rock (Pedra do Urubu) in Urca, Rio de Janeiro. After climbing, the general practice was to refresh themselves by heading out for a swim in the surrounding waterfalls, rivers or the ocean where they climbed around on the wet rocks just having fun.

(Furnas Canyons)   © Felipe Dallorto / Flavia Dos Anjos 
But at that time Brazilian climbers  saw it only as a game and were enjoying playing and fooling around on the rock. After Klem Loskot´s appearance in the Big UP Productions film “Psicobloc“ which first aired on, the climbers of Brazil then recognised this activity as Psicobloc or Deep Water Soloing as it is commonly known as today.

(Hime Lake)
© Felipe Dallorto / Flavia Dos Anjos
In 2006, motivated by this same video, Felipe Dallorto went to the lake that lies beneath Moutain Hime in the neighbourhood of Jacarepagua, city of Rio, where he opened up a number of DWS routes. He was familiar with the area and regularly climbed the  mountains and sport crags, but only after acquiring knowledge of DWS that he then translated this onto the eighteen metre lake side cliffs in the area.

Felipe kept the place to himself for almost three years when finally he gave the routes names and grades. Word quickly spread of Deep Water Soloing in Brazil and  became very popular with locals as well as visiting climbers from all over Brazil.

The walls of this lake were formed by quarrying, which is unnatural, and to some unsightly, so Felipe set out to  find a more natural spot for DWS in Brazil. With the images of Mallorca in his mind, he kept wondering if Brazil could have a place with such beauty as the Mediterranean island of Mallorca.

Felipe's expedition began in 2010, along with climber Flavia dos Anjos to seek out Brazil's next big soloing spots.  Among the places they visited and conquered, Arraial do Cabo was found to simply be the Brazilian Mallorca with high walls and perfect crystal blue water. They proceeded to open several sectors with a great number of amazing lines, which was situated in a place of outstanding beauty.

Following on from Arraial do Cabo the team traveled to the northeast of the country where they discovered that climbing was possible on the walls of the Carved Canyon (Cânion Talhado). The Canyon was perhaps the first place they had traveled to where major psychological issue arose concerning the size of the walls in the canyon. The sandstone walls, rise thirty metres into the air and to solo them would exceed the safety limit commonly accepted by the DWS community. The sandstone is also very brittle and a fall can come unexpectedly when holds snap. If something did happen then the nearest hospital is over four hour drive from this point!

A climber called Felipe Alvarez (Kabeça) invited Felipe and Flavia to explore the Canyons of Furnas in Minas Gerais. The Canyons are once again situated in an area of outstanding natural beauty and in addition has an amazing waterfall. The only problem, in a DWS point of view, is that the top outs if done, are about eighty metres high. In order to solo here, the creation of high point markers were created of which a jump back down to the water was needed to complete the line.

(Arraial do Cabo)
© Felipe Dallorto / Flavia Dos Anjos
After the great explorations of Brazil Felipe and friends traveled to the deep water soloing mecca of  Mallorca, having been invited by the Pou brothers Iker and Eneko. During their time in Mallorca they opened a new DWS sector at Cala Serena.  On that occasion Felipe also had the pleasure of watching Chris Sharma in action, spoke to the Godfather of Mallorcan Psicobloc Miquel Rieira and also Daimon Beail  Mallorca’s DWS Rockfax author, as well as a great number of  climbers and supporters of the sport.

(Cânion Talhado) © Felipe Dallorto / Flavia Dos Anjos
After climbing and learning more about the sport in Spain, Felipe decided to return to Rio´s islands to continue on his Brazilian exploration. So far Brazil only had the quarry lakes, and Arrail which is a three hour drive away, in addition was Talhado Canyon and Furnas which were a much further distance to travel to.

So they traveled to the islands of Tijucas, which is easily accessible, about 5 minutes by boat. They worked on two islands, the Pointed Island got a few lines established and many tries on a sector where certainly the most challenging projects will arise along with its cave sector and its futuristic cave.

On Alfavaca Island there is a canyon perfect for beginners that doesn't lack good routes for top climbers either. The canyons are approximately seven metres high and offer an ideal scenario to learn falling and understanding how DWS works.

(Ilhas Tijucas)
© Felipe Dallorto / Flavia Dos Anjos
After six years studying and practicing Deep Water Soloing Felipe has seen and experienced the beauty of DWS.  Every project he did was worked ground up. Each fall on the crux means repeating things all over again! Being equipment free allows them to gain a greater connection to the climb itself.

Felipe believes DWS/ Psicobloc in Brazil has room for development. In Brazil there are thousands of kilometres of coast and rivers waiting to be explored and Felipe and Flavia dream about searching every centimetre.

For those who have the opportunity to try DWS the advice would be to start slow, study your limits and respect the ethics of sport. Always check the bottom before entering and observe the conditions of the tide.

(Ilhas Tijucas)
© Felipe Dallorto / Flavia Dos Anjos

Article by: Felipe Dallorto
Translation and adaptation: Flavia dos Anjos
Edited by: Emma Harrington and Daimon Beail for

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Access Issues on the Balearic Island of Mallorca

With the DWS ban at Cala Barques technically still enforced it has come to light that the ban now

extends to the whole of the Manacor’s region.

This unfortunately extends to the venues which are most recognisable to climbing world and perhaps Mallorca’s most famous:

1.    Cova del Diablo
2.    Tower of Falcons
3.    Porto Cristo Novo
4.    Cala Barques

If climbing at these areas, then do so in a very low key manner. The rule is based on cliff jumping and DWS is an unfortunate victim of this. There are many areas south of the Manacor region that are not banned and should be used until the Situation dies down.

Also a much larger and darker problem is emerging from the horizon that has much wider implications on the islands outdoor community as a whole. Access to climbing areas that reside on private land and also the freedom to access the Serra de Tramuntana mountain range is under threat, with steep charges being implemented on some areas already. This if continues could have a harsh backlash on the islands outdoor tourism industry.

A full story can be found on both UKC and Rockfax websites. 

Below is some general information that is currently circulating the web about what you can do to pledge your support.

Join the FB group (it's in Spanish but will be updated in English in the future)

Sign the petition, send the email in the petition, send the tweets in the petition

Don't climb anywhere that imposes restrictions or access fees that are not supported by Montaña Libre de Impuestos. We do not want authorities and landowners to think that these measures will be profitable. If so, we will only end up with more problems in other climbing areas.

Currently avoid:

    Sa Comuna de Bunyola (Fraguel, Ca'n Cristo and Ca'n Fil)
    Finca de Massanella (La Reserva climbing area)
    DWS on the Manacor coast (see above for areas covered)

Send an Email - If you have thought of planning a holiday to Mallorca next year and change your mind then send an email (in English) to
Explaining that you had planned a holiday but you have now changed your mind owing to the proposed restrictions on Access.

Retweet it to these addresses: @TurismeEsportIB (Ministry of Tourism and Sports of the Balearic Islands), @ATBIllesBalears (Tourism Agency of the Balearic Islands) and @carlosjdtruyols (Government Minister of Tourism and Sports of the Balearic Islands).

If you have any business connections with Mallorca, then please consider writing a letter explaining how this policy will drastically affect tourism on the island of Mallorca.

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Mallorca DWS Destination Page

The Mallorca DWS destination page has been updated! The new Rockfax Mallorca DWS Update mini guide is now available and there are many new areas to discover, with enhanced information and new / additional lines!  The Mallorca destination page contains area descriptions, photos and information on how you can contribute with the development of Mallorca DWS.
Check it out here!


Friday, 30 August 2013

Mallorca DWS Update - OUT NOW!!

The new Mallorca DWS update is out now!

The Deep Water Soloing mecca that is Mallorca is an ever expanding place, and this, the fifth publication on Rockfax that covers deep water soloing on the Balearic Island, clearly demonstrates that.

Here we see 64 new lines, 6 attainable open projects, 5 existing lines with enhanced information and 11 reintroduced lines from the west coast. All of which can be found at 12 DWS venues around the island, of which three are entirely new and are appearing here for the first time. Venues include: The Tower of Falcons, Cala Barques, Porto Colom – Lighthouse, Cala Marcal, Cala Sa Nau, Cala Mitjana, Cala Serena, Sa Calobra and introducing Cova Des Burador, Cala Brafia and Cala Estreta. Also returning is the west coast soloing crag at Port De Soller. The information in this update enhances the Mallorca 2011 Rockfax guide and also opens up developing venues which still offer a wealth of development opportunities.

Created specifically for the mobile device and using thousands of photos to create highly detailed images, this guide continues the Rockfax tradition of producing innovative world class climbing guides.

Get your copy today. Click Here!

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Video Highlights of the Psicobloc Masters Deep Water Soloing Competition

Park City Television has put together an awesome video of the deep water soloing competition "Psicobloc Masters" held at the Utah Olympic Park USA.

Check it out here:

© Park City Television

© Park City Television