Jernej Kruder repeats Ticino crack test piece Butterfly Circus (8b)

In Val Bavona, Slovenian climbing professional Jernej Kruder secured the first repetition of Butterfly Circus. The 25 meter long crack line was first climbed by Fred Moix and quickly became the new test piece in the valley.

“Climbing is something wonderful because it is so diverse,” enthuses Jernej Kruder. There is always something new to learn and try out. And one thing he wanted to get better at was crack climbing.

After he met David Núñez, the ideal teacher, during his climbing trip in La Pedriza at the end of January, he planned to visit together Val Bavona nothing in the way. Waited there Butterfly Circus, the new 8b crack line by Fred Moix, still on a first repeat.

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Jernej Kruder in Butterfly Circus, Fred Moix's crack line in Val Bavona.
Jernej Kruder in Butterfly Circus, Fred Moix's crack line in Val Bavona.

After an adventurous approach on static ropes, we found ourselves under this breathtaking 25 meter long crack line.

Jernej Kruder

Success in four attempts

Kruder didn't hesitate for long and started an onsight attempt. After a good start with finger pinches, the pump surprised him further up and he ended up in the totem cam. The fall didn't disappoint him too much because he knew that the upper part was the key point. “I did do the moves, but to be honest I was doing more laybacking than jamming.”

On the same day he gave another red point attempt. “I wanted to get more familiar with the line and see which safety devices I could leave out,” says the 33-year-old. “The perfect go came the next day.” After he got a mega pump on his first attempt, he no longer believed he would be able to climb through it any time soon.

But then the magic happened: I was able to recover really well in the hand clamps and after a few moves with pumped forearms I fought my way through the crux.

Jernej Kruder

Fred Moix rated his line 8b after the first ascent. An assessment that Jernej Kruder considers appropriate. “I had a good fight and I think the route is at this level of difficulty.”

After two days and only four attempts in total, I found myself at the top of this amazing 25 meter long crack line above Val Bavona.

Jernej Kruder

Climbs and good progress

For the rest of his Ticino trip, the strong Slovenian continued to focus on crack and multi-pitch climbing. In addition to Nel dubbio sali (8a), a flat multi-pitch route above Sonlerto, which he scored in his second attempt, he recorded progress in Super Ciril. «I was able to climb the hardest pitch, Rotpunkt. Now we still have to climb the entire route.”

David Núñez in Manggia ke ti pasa. Image: Jernej Kruder
David Núñez in Manggia ke ti pasa. Image: Jernej Kruder

The fact that I was able to climb Mangia ke ti pasa in two sections makes me very confident for the future.

Jernej Kruder

Jernej Kruder also made progress in his main goal, Mangia ke ti pasa, a crack line that has so far only been climbed technically and is still waiting to be freed. «I've never had such a good attempt as I did that day.

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Credits: Cover picture @david.nunez_

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