Iker Pou manages the first ascent of a heavily overhanging and long roof route on the Spanish island of Mallorca. The route called Gran Guggenheim is rated 9a + by Iker.
The Spanish top climber Iker Pou once again lives up to its name. His latest creation is ultra-steep, long and requires a good dose of endurance. On its first ascent Gran Guggenheim (9a +) is a combination of the route Guggenheim (9a) with the upper section of Gran Lubre.
Last year Iker Pou set up the first part of the route (Guggenheim 9a) and this year expanded the route with a section in the area 8b +. According to Iker, the second section is not extremely difficult, but a real tough nut to crack if you have the first section (Guggenheim 9a) in your forearms and trunk.
In order to be able to climb the route without excessive rope friction, the 44-year-old had to get a little creative. After a first climbing section, Iker paused in a resting position and secured himself with an express sling - without putting any strain on it. In the meantime, his belaying partner pulled the rope out of the first belay points and only then belayed again. Not understood? Here is the video:
The Gran Guggenheim is only the second 9a + Mallorca. The island's second 9a + sport climbing route is Big Men, the Iker Pou first started in 2015. According to Iker, there are two more logical lines in the roof of his latest creation that will be even more difficult. “These lines are probably in the 9b or 9b + area,” says Iker Pou.
Iker Pou climbing the Gran Guggenheim route (9a +)
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Credits: Cover picture Juan A. Balaguer Santiago