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Ekaitz Maiz making the first ascent of his Basapiztien eremua 9a at Extauri, Spain.
Photo by Jon Balsera
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Ekaitz Maiz climbs new 9a at Etxauri, Spain

28.10.2009 by Planetmountain

Ekaitz Maiz has made the first ascent of Basapiztien eremua 9a at Etxauri, Spain.

Basque climber Ekaitz Maiz has bolted and freed a new mega route at Etxauri, "Basapiztien eremua" on the north face of the Kantero. The route is a massive 90m long and is the 29 year old local has graded it 9a.

Although Etxauri isn't one of Spain's most famous crags, perhaps it should be. As many will remember, the cliff made headline news at the end of 2007 when Patxi Usobiaga climbed into history with the first ascent and contemporaneously world's first 8c+ on-sight, Bizi euskara. The route was later repeated and the grade confirmed by Iban Larrion.

Maiz explains briefly why the crag is so special: "Etxauri is a climbing area in Spain's Basque Country, circa 15 km to the west of Iruña (Pamplona). The crag counts some 800 routes and the imestone is of excellent quality. There is much climbing tradition and classic and sport routes coexist. The climbing is mainly technical and crimpy, but there are routes of all styles . The best time of year to visit Etxauri is in autumn and winter, although due to the sectors facing different directions we can climb all year round."

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