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Nicolas Favresse making the first free ascent of Eye of Sauron, Ribbon Falls, Yosemite
Photo by Drew Smith
Nicolas Favresse observing the line of Eye of Sauron, Ribbon Falls, Yosemite
Photo by Drew Smith
Siebe Vanhee climbing the famous roof traverse of El Corazon, El Capitan, Yosemite during his 2017 repeat with Nicolas Favresse
Photo by archive Favresse
Nicolas Favresse and Siebe Vanhee on the summit of El Capitan after their free repeat of El Corazon
Photo by archive Favresse

Nicolas Favresse adds spectacular new trad climb to Yosemite


In Yosemite, USA, Belgian climber Nicolas Favresse climbing together with Alix Morris and Drew Smith has made the first free ascent of Eye of Sauron, a spectacular and difficult new 400 m trad climb in the Ribbon Falls area.

In late 2006 Nicolas Favresse from Belgium and Ivo Ninov from Bulgaria pulled off the impressive feat of making the ground-up first ascent of Lost in translation on El Capitan. The climb was noteworthy in that it was the first time a new route was added to the Big Stone in alpine style, i.e. ground-up, in a single push and all free. Unsurprisingly this ascent was important not only for the climbers themselves, but also for big wall climbing in Yosemite valley as a whole.

More than a decade later Favresse has now added another spectacular route to the valley. Despite not being established in the same impeccable style, it’s certainly worth analysing; called Eye of Sauron, the new 400m line was climbed with Alix Morris and Drew Smith and tackles the "very big roof" to the right of Ribbon Falls, immediately to the left therefore of the classic Gates of Delirium.

Favresse told planetmountain.com "I think the grade is about 5.13a/b (7c+/8a). Three pitches of 5.9/5.10 (5c/6a) lead to the roof, and past the roof it's another four long pitches of amazing steep, 5.11 climbing. Hero style!" It is worth noting that the route has no bolts whatsoever. "We just left rap anchors on equalised nuts" Favresse explained.

Making the most of his valley trip, Favresse teamed up with regular climbing parter Siebe Vanhee to make a free repeat of El Corazon, the 35-pitch outing freed by Alexander Huber up El Capitan in 2001 with difficulties up to 5.13b (8a). The duo required 4 days for their free push and, swinging leads, Nico Favresse fell just once on this 1000 meter outing.

Eye of Sauron
and Lost in translation are not the only new routes Favresse has added to Yosemite valley over the years. In 2005 he established L'Appât (5.13a) to the right of the Ribbon Falls, in 2008 he added The Secret Passage 5.13c (18 pitches) to El Capitan with Sean Villanueva and in 2011 the duo joined forces once again to explore a new line up the right-hand side of El Capitan.

Link: FB Nico Favresse , FB Drew Smith


NEWS / Related news:
Nico Favresse and Ivo Ninov are Lost in translation on El Capitan
On 30 August Nicolas Favresse made the first ascent of "Lost in translation" a 400m, 10-pitch free climb (5.12b/c) on the East Face of El Capitan together with 30-year-old Ivo Ninov from Bulgaria.
Alexander Huber finds and frees El Corazon on El Capitan
Alexander Huber finds and frees El Corazon on El Capitan
The German Alexander Huber finds and frees El Corazon 5.13b on El Capitan, Yosemite, America




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