Jernej Kruder climbs the Alex Huber test piece Bellavista (8b +, 500m)

The Slovenian climber Jernej Kruder repeats the heavily overhanging Huber route Bellavista (8b+, 500m) on the western pinnacle. Before that he climbed the alpine classic Weg durch den Fisch (7b+, 37 SL) on the south face of the Marmolada and the Via Italia (8a, 280m) on Piz Ciavazes.

The strong Slovenian Jernej Kruder has been successfully involved in international competitions for over ten years and regularly draws attention to itself with inspections of hard boulders and difficult sport climbing routes. As he recently proved, he is also strong in alpine terrain: An den Three Peaks he repeated the route Nice view (8b+, 500m), which is characterized by the strongly overhanging roof of the western pinnacle leads. Before that, he got there with his climbing partner Bor Levičnik the routes Way through the fish (7b+, 37 SL) as well Via Italy (8a, 280m).

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Already in early/mid July, Jernej Kruder takes a look at Bellavista during two days of climbing on the Three Peaks. Picture: Bor Levičnik

Bellavista - An alpine milestone

With his route Bellavista, which he opened alone in winter 2000 and climbed red point a year later, gave Alex Huber a real alpine test piece in the world of climbing. Even today, more than twenty years later, the tour is one of the most difficult multi-pitch routes in the world.

Rectangle_Knatsch in Magic Wood

Many strong climbers are drawn to the challenge of this touchstone, including Jernej Kruder. "It's crazy when everything suddenly fits together at one point," says the 31-year-old. The most difficult thing was finding a climbing partner and finding good conditions at the same time.

"It's crazy when everything suddenly fits together at one point."

Jernej Kruder

He found two rope partners, good conditions only the day before the ascent. When the three of them climbed towards the overhanging roof, it was cold and the handles were greasy. The inertia of the three-person team meant that Jernej Kruder had to wait almost two hours before he could attempt the key pitch. Nevertheless, he didn't want to miss his two buddies: "I don't regret having been there with two great boys, because we had a lot of fun and fooled around."

"I fought all 85 moves and reached the deflector completely exhausted."

Jernej Kruder

After returning pumped and frozen from the first attempt, hopes of a climb-through faded. Tiredness is noticeable and time is breathing down their necks. Nevertheless, the Slovenian made another attempt. "I fought all 85 moves and reached the deflector completely exhausted."

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At the end of July 2022, Jernej Kruder and Bor Levičnik climbed the alpine classic Weg durch den Fisch in one day. Picture: Bor Levičnik

For the first time over 1000 meters of climbing in one day

In order to expand his alpine repertoire and to gain more experience in dealing with mobile belays, Jernej Kruder visited the Dolomites in mid/end of July, or to be more precise, the Dolomites Marmolada south face. "Our goal was to climb the Marmolada in one day," he says. "It was the first time for me that I had climbed more than 1000 meters in one day, and choosing the route through the fish was a hit."

“There are certain routes that really motivate you and scare you at the same time. The path through the fish is one of those."

Bor Levičnik

With a maximum difficulty of 7b+, the route is below Jernej Kruder's limit. Accordingly, he was able to enjoy every bit. "I felt good on the plates, high above the ground and in between also over the hooks."

Climbing partner Bor Levičnik sums up the path through the fish as follows: “There are certain routes that really motivate you and scare you at the same time. The fish is one of those." In terms of difficulty, the key pitch didn't feel all that difficult. The 7a's were tricky.

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Jernej Kruder collects alpine and big wall experience in the Dolomites. Picture: Bor Levičnik

Motivated by their success, the two climbers climbed the slightly more difficult but much shorter multi-pitch route after a day of rest Via Italy (8a, 250m) on. Jernej Kruder's conclusion after the Dolomite adventure: "I'm getting more and more experience in big wall climbing." We are excited to see what else is to come.

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Credits: Cover picture Felix Valentini

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