The Boulder pioneer Fred Nicole and the Swiss young climber Giuliano Cameroni succeed in the climb of the climbing route Legacy (9a) in the South African Rocklands. The visit by Giuliano Cameroni triggered a heated debate.

We write the year 2014, as Fred Nicole the wall in the sector Roadside in the Rocklands discovered and together with his friend Joe bouldered the first moves of the dream line. The following year, Sean Maasch spoke to the local authorities to approve the drilling of the route - with success. This enabled the setting up and correct planning of the route to begin.

“The route consists of two sections. The first half is very boulder-heavy and runs on small, smooth handles. The second part is then 'sustained' climbing. "

Fred Nicole

Fred Nicole struggled with hip problems

In 2016, Fred was able to climb the route in two stages. For the passage but it was not enough. In the years 2017 and 2018 had Fred to struggle with hip problems and was unable to climb individual moves due to the pain. At the end of last year, Fred decided to undergo a hip replacement and returned to the route this year with no expectations.

When I was planning this year, Kathrin Lehmann suggested a slightly modified beta, after which the first section was suddenly climbable for me. In my best go, I was able to climb the route with only one trailer to the boulder section.

Fred Nicole

Giuliano Cameroni asks for permission to join the route

At the same time, the Swiss junior climber was also there Giuliano Cameroni get on the Rocklands, He asked Fred if he could also get on the route.

“I honestly didn't know what to say to Giuliano. It is customary for people of my generation to only get involved in other projects that have been bored in when the developer has already scored the route himself or has released it. At the same time, I didn't want to tell Giuliano, whom I have known since he was born and respect for his achievements, not to try the route. "

Fred Nicole
Giuliano Cameroni on the first ascent of Legacy in the Roadside sector - Rocklands, South Africa. (Image Shawn Raboutou)

For Fred Nicole So it was not an easy situation. He left the decision to Giuliano Cameroni. A few days later the route was Legacy (9a), the hardest route in South Africa, first climbed - by Giuliano Cameroni, This triggered a heated debate in the social media. In particular, a commentary by Tchad Greedy, friend of Giuliano, was hotly debated.

Keeping climbing projects closed is an unacceptable practice. We will never respect closed bouldering or sport climbing projects just because a person's 'ego' wants it! ”

Tchad Greedy

Giuliano for his part expresses himself more diplomatically. People of his generation would barely keep more projects closed. His goal was simple: he wanted to climb hard, have fun and inspire others to find lines and share with other climbers and climbers. In his opinion, this is the best way to advance the climbing sport.

Two days later, Fred Nicole commits the legacy climbing route

Only two days after the inspection of Giuliano Cameroni also got Fred Nicole the red dot in the 9a route Legacy, Perfect weather and a cool breeze prevailed, allowing Fred to do his long-term project.

“I don't care about all of the controversy that sparked this route. Most importantly, we continue to respect ethics, the people, nature and the rock, and remain open to constructive discussions. Because we can all learn from each other and have fun. "

Fred Nicole

Giuliano Cameroni “shares” the first ascent with Fred Nicole

How Giuliano Cameroni he did not know how close Fred Nicole was at the catwalk. He wanted the first ascent of Legacy Sharing with Fred, because he put much more effort into the route than himself and because only so the name Fred Nicole remains connected to the route.

“Fred has been one of my heroes since I started climbing. I'm happy to share the first ascent of Legacy with him. "

Giuliano Cameroni

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Credits: Cover Picture Conditions Are Perfect