Nico does the second ascent of the Cobra Crack, 5-14 trad, Squamish, Canada

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Friday july 18, Nicolas Favresse managed the first repeat of the much-tried Cobra crack (placing the gear on lead.). After one brief attempt three years earlier, Nico spent eight days on the route this summer, making 15 attempts in all. The climb is about 30 meter long with its crux part consisting of a 10meter perfect finger crack slicing up the middle of a waving overhanging headwall at the Cirque of the Uncrackables on the Chief’s Backside. LOCATION & VIDEO

The line had been tried over the years by many strong climbers but resisted all attempts until famous Canadian climber Sonnie Trotter free the line 2 years ago.

Nico says “It was hard for me not only because of the physical challenge but also because it bites your fingers so I could only give two tries a days and sometimes on the second try was already too much. Also I could only go up there once every three days in order to have my fingers recovered and fresh.”

“Most of the time when I work a hard route I just get training session on it doing crux moves over and over so I get stronger on them and eventually build up the power for it. On this climb this wasn’t possible. Some of the moves I could only do them once then the skin pain would be too much to do it again. It probably sounds horrible but in fact the route is really fun
and enjoyable to climb.”

“About the grade it’s hard to tell and probably a bit depending on your finger size. Although I have pretty fat fingers and I think fatter fingers could be ok too. There are many options and different ways of doing each sequence. That’s what’s really nice about such climb. It’s definitely the hardest trad I have ever done. At first The Cobra crack felt like 5-14c or even d (8c+/9a). But now that I understood the moves better, I think it feels more like 5-14b (8c)to me. But hard considering the nature of the climb, placing the pros, the Cobra bites on the fingers;) The only cure for it was to eat every day as many belgian fries as possible!!” See the pictures!

Here you can follow Sean and Nico on their 4 months trip trough north america on


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