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Jernej Kruder making the first repeat of the Deep water solo climb Pontax 8c, Es pontas, Mallorca
Photo by Kerstin Helbach
Jernej Kruder making the first repeat of the Deep water solo climb Pontax 8c, Es pontas, Mallorca
Photo by Kerstin Helbach

Jernej Kruder climbs Pontax, 8c DWS on Mallorca


Slovenian climber Jernej Kruder has made what is most likely to be the first repeat of Pontax, the 8c deep water solo climb first ascended by Chris Sharma in 2005 at Es pontas in Mallorca, Spain.

Last week the eclectic Slovenian powerhouse Jernej Kruder travelled to the Spanish island of Mallorca for his first shot at the increasingly popular psicobloc - climbing without a rope high above the water - and immediately realised this form of climbing suits him most.

On his first day above the sea he onsighted Chris Sharma’s classic 8a+ Weather man, and then decided to check out the main goal of the trip, the famous Es Pontas freed by the Sharma in 2006. Unrepeated and with difficulties estimated at 9a/9a+, this boasts a technical crux high on the arete, reached by a jaw-dropping, wild dyno 10 meters off the sea that has put off many would-be ascentionists.

Kruder surprised himself by almost flashing this dyno and then, after about 10 attemps spread out over 4 days, made the second ascent of Pontax, freed by Sharma in 2005. Instead of following the Es Pontas arête, after the dyno Pontax climbs directly upwards to the top.

In the 2014 Bouldering World Championship Kruder who won silver and he has now joined forces with Germany’s Jan Hoyer, who won bronze in the same competition. The two are currently working their way up Es Pontas; while Kruder is working the moves ground-up (the section from the dyno to the arete is too steep to try on a toprope), Hojer has already linked from the arête to the top of the arch on toprope.

"There are some tricky moves we can try from the rope" Kruder told Planetmountain.com "We're not so good at dropped knees, but I think we will soon find solution to get to the arete. Although the arête isn't too hard, up there it will be the matter of endurance." Sea conditions at present are fairly rough but the two plan on staying on Mallorca until the end of the month, so expectations are understandably high.

20-year-old Kruder excels in bouldering (The story of two worlds, 8C, Cresciano), sport climbing (Massacrate 9a+, Golobove pečine) and multi-pitch climbing (Hattori Hanzō, 8b+,Titlis, Engelberg, Switzerland) and has summed up this initial experience as follows "It's my first time trying psicobloc and I feel pretty comfortable ☺"

28/09/2006 - Chris Sharma makes waves in Mallorca
Chris Sharma has freed his Deep Water Soloing project in Mallorca, comparing it to his Realization at Ceuse.





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