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