Spanish Kinglines repeated

The Spanish climbing meccas Oliana, Siurana and Margalef are busy scoring points: Jorg Verhoeven climbs Papi Blau (9a), Gabriele Moroni repeats the legendary La Rambla (9a+) and Leo Ketil Bøe pulls Era Vella (9a).

Many climbing professionals head south during the cold months. So too Jorg Verhoeven. The strong Dutchman climbed in Oliana the route Daddy Blue (9a), which combines Papichulo (9a+) and Joe Blau (8c+). Such combinations, even if they do not represent independent lines, are a great way to prepare for harder lines, said the 38-year-old.

Jorg Verhoeven trained a lot in the gym last month. He is correspondingly satisfied with his progress on the rock: “The holds feel bigger and my strength endurance has also improved.”

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On the trail of Huber and Puigblanque

A dream has come true Gabriele Moroni in siurana. There the Italian was able to take the iconic route La Rambla by Alex Huber and Ramón Julián Puigblanque repeat.

Everyone has dreams in life and this route was definitely one of mine.

Gabriele Moroni

The 36-year-old has been climbing in Siurana for over 15 years. However, apart from one attempt in 2010, he has never tried La Rambla. “I never saw myself as an endurance specialist, but over the last few years I’ve been enjoying this style more and more.”

During a New Year's trip in 2022/23, Gabriele Moroni began to seriously consider the route. When he returned to Spain this winter the conditions were quite challenging for several days. Although he reached the high point of the previous year, he didn't get any further.

It took another mini-trip before he could fulfill his climbing dream. “This time I put a little more pressure on myself.”

Despite once again suboptimal conditions, I managed to pull myself together and bring home the prize.”

Gabriele Moroni

Endurance Hammer by Chris Sharma

In Margalef the Norwegian took it Leo Ketil Bøe the route Era Vella (9a). Chris Sharma's 50-meter endurance test piece has long been one of the most popular 9a climbing routes. As it was devalued, the line lost some of its appeal. However, since the handle broke out, it has been considered 9a again.

Regardless of these adjustments in the level of difficulty, the route is and remains a challenge in terms of endurance. “I had to fight incredibly hard to reach the top of this fitness monster,” says the 24-year-old Norwegian. Leo Ketil Bøe celebrated his success with a very special exit, as the video above shows.

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Credits: Cover picture @andre_zedd 

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