Home page Planetmountain.com

arrowNewsarrowFred Nicole, seek and you shall find

Fred Nicole establishing I Portici at Cresciano
Photo by Planetmountain.com
INFO / links & info:

Fred Nicole, seek and you shall find

05.04.2011 by Planetmountain

Two beautiful boulder problems, Mandragore and Portici, established by the Swiss climber Fred Nicole close to Domodossola and Cresciano.

Seek and you shall find. This is the motto of Fred Nicole who - armed with just a brush and crashpad - for more than a quarter of a century has searched and uneartherd beautiful boulder problems in every corner of the world. What stands out first and foremost is obviously Dreamtime, the problem which perhaps more than any other has fuelled the dreams of an entire generation. A bit like Midnight Lightening in Yosemite's Camp Four, established by Ron Kauk back in 1978. But apart from this famous Cresciano testpiece, Nicole has obviously created a myriad of other problems, less difficult but equally beautiful.

What renders Nicole's problems special is – there's no point denying it – the grade, but also and perhaps above all their beauty. A beauty which doesn't come stem from nowhere, seeing that his vision and quest has been orientated towards a certain degree of "purity". This search has recently reaped two interesting rewards: I Portici at Cresciano and Mandragore close to Domodossola in Northern Italy, on a boulder discovered by cult climber Roberto Fioravanti circa 15 years ago

I Portici was established at Cresciano on New Year trip, during which Nicole admitted "I was astonished by the amount of climbers on the rocks. It’s crazy to see the development of this area during the past 15 years! From a few lost souls in the woods back in time it became the winter mecca for dozens if not hundreds of people. I’m not a misanthrope but sometimes I appreciate the possibility of trying a boulder by myself at my own pace. It didn’t seem the right place for it so I continued my quest. I saw many possibilities during the following hours but it’s only at the end of the day that I found the perfect line. A beautiful steep arête going to a nice overhanging face and a real top out. A subtle mix of difficulty, technique and endurance!"

With regards to his recent Mandragore, Nicole wrote "It is one of the very beautiful lines I climbed in the last few years. I have to admit that after "L’isola che non c’e" I have a preference for steep climbing. A pure line not contrived. Beautiful slopers and pinches all the way up. A high top out without being dangerous with a nice landing. What could I ask more?" Nothing. It's true. Seek and you shall find.

A Portrait of Fred Nicole

Share this page

Planetmountain.com logo
Planetmountain.com is updated daily: news, rock climbing, walks, trekking, alpinism, freeride skiing, ski mountaineering, snowboarding and ice climbing on the mountains worldwide. Furthermore, climbing techniques explained, gear & book reviews, expert advice, mountain photography, interviews and competition reports.
FORUM
CLASSIFIEDS
Recent Comments
  • Rataplan
    Ripetizione del 20.09.2014L1 6c bella fessura non banale pe ...
    2014-09-23 / oscar meloni
  • Via Paola
    ripetuta per la quarta volta, mi sento di proporre questi gr ...
    2014-09-01 / Niccol%C3%B2 Antonello
  • Chimera Verticale
    Ripetuta il 29 agosto 2014 con Martin Dejori. Bellissima via ...
    2014-08-30 / Alex Walpoth
  • Costantini - Apollonio
    Caro Checco, gli spit sono rispuntati, qualcuno in sosta, qu ...
    2014-08-29 / Angelo Bon