|Patxi Usobiaga from Spain is currently touring southern Europe together with travel companion Irati Anda, putting the finishing touches to his training regime prior to the next competition deadline, the European Championship in Yekaterinburg, Russia on 1st of July. And what a training regime!
Things got underway and serious in mid-June when he paid a visit to Apellaniz (Spain) where on 11 June he on-sighted Mojo Rojo 8a , made a quick repeat of Comando directo 8c (attempted the previous day) and on-sighted both Las profesionales 8b/+ and Barrakito 8b… All in a day’s work!
He then headed east to France’s Gorges du Loup (Nice) where he climbed on 13 and 14 June. During these two days he amassed the following, extraordinary list of sends: on-sight’s of Sikaplus 8b, Soul sacrifice 8b and Hot Chili beans bolcano 8b+ and a fifth redpoint repeat of Kinematix 9a. First ascended by Andreas Bindhammer from Germany in 2001, Kinematix is now Usobiaga’s 5th 9a after Realization 9a+ (Ceuse, France), Iñi ameriketan 9a (Baltzola, Spain) , Il domani 9a Baltzola, Spain, and Psicoterapia 9a.
The following days he returned to the crag and on 16 June he climbed Les maux de la fin 8c+ in just three goes and the connection Qoussai les maus de la fin 8c. A day later he on-sighted La ligne noire 8a+ and New power generation 8b before sending Ultimate sacrifice 8c/+.
Irati Anda is on great form, too. In mid-May the 24 year old sent Sindrome de Apellaniz 8a+ at Apellaniz. A couple of days later she travelled to Basque country’s steepest hotspot, the Baltzola Cave, where she repointed Ongi Etorri 8b. In Gorges du Loup she redpointed both Deverse satanic 8a+ and Cascade 8a, and on-sighted Mecanic destructive commando 7c.
The duo have now set their sights on Austria and, unsurprisingly, the climbing wall in Innsbruck where many of the new-school generation train prior to important competitions: in 10 days time they’ll all be in Russia, contending for the European title!
Patxi Usobiaga repeating Kinematix 9a, Gorges du Loup (FRA).
Irati Anda on Ongi Etorri, Baltzola Cave (ESP). Photo Jon Balsera