GO TO GLOBAL SITE   se es us fr za it
de ca au no
at br ru ch
gb pl nl sk
Home | News | Videos | Articles | Gallery | Crags | Gyms | Search - Tick List | Forum | Ranking | Blogs | Contact | New Member
 By: User Deactivated  | Date: 2008-01-12  | Category: Other    | (6) Comments  

Fred Nicole

A   v i s i o n a r y   i n   o u r   t i m e

Everyone knows who Fred Nicole is, but none the less 8a.nu think it’s time to remind the climbing community of what we owe this grey eminence of climbing in general and bouldering in particular. No one has contributed as much to and dominated our sport for as long as this 37 year old from Switzerland. Most and for most, Fred Nicole is a man of passion and  vision. To be a great climber is good, but to go where no one has gone before, to explore uncharted territory, is where true greatness lies.

Arkansas 3a 026.jpg
Fred making the 2nd ascent of Sharma's Witness the fitness, Arkansas
F r o m   r o u t e s . . .
In 1987 Fred made the first repeat of Patric Berhault’s l’Toit d’Auguste, 8b+, in Monaco. At the time, no one had climbed anything harder.
Having reached everyone else's limit, this marked the start of his quest toward his own limit, and the year after, he made the first ascent of Anaïs et cannabis at St. Loup in Switzerland, the world’s second 8c, after Güllich’s Wall street, at the Krottenseer turm in the Frankenjura, Germany.
Soon after this, he also began shifting his attention to bouldering, although he kept opening increasingly more difficult routes, culminating in his FA of Bain the sang (Blood bath), a slightly "overhanging slab", 9a, at st Loup, in 1993. Once again, one of the first of this grade.

t o   b o u l d e r s
On the bouldering arena, Fred started making his mark in the late 80s, with many FA:s in the 8th grade. In 1992 he was responsible for the first 8B+ traverse Joyeux León (at the time, he had a dog called Leon) at Balmaz, close to Martigny, in the Vallais region of Switzerland. Fred later climbed the first 8C traverse, E la Nave va (Lindental), the first 8B, La dance des balrogs (Branson), the first 8B+, Radja (Branson) and the first 8C, Dreamtime (Cresciano). Dreamtime has since been downgraded to 8B+ after some holds have increased in size due to chipping or exaggerated brushing. In many ways, one could say that Fred Nicole has been, and still is, to bouldering what Wolfgang Güllich was to sport climbing.

Fred Hueco.jpg
Fred in Hueco Tanks, TX
Grades, however, don’t  even begin to tell the real story. Fred Nicole’s legacy lies elsewhere and grades as such don't really interest him.
What would areas like Hueco Tanks (TX) and the Rocklands (SA) be without the contributions of this giant? Well, a whole lot less famous and popular, that’s for sure, and these are just two of the areas where Fred has played an important role for the development.

So, let's face it we as climbers have a lot to thank Fred for. Not that he hasn't enjoyed giving it, but anyway.

When asked about his best achievements throught the years, Fred comes up with a list.

The following routes and boulders are only a choice through the years:


Le toit d’Auguste route 8b+ in 1987 (2nd ascent)

Bain de sang 9a route in 1993 in Switzerland (FA)

La danse des balrogs 8B boulder 1992 in Switzerland (FA)

Radja 8B+ boulder in Switzerland 1995/6 (FA)

Slashface 8B+ 1997 in Hueco Tanks (FA)

La pierre philosophale 8B in font.1997 (FA)

Fatman sitdown 8B/+ in Fontainebleau 1999 (FA)

Eve Rêve 8B+ 2000 in Australia (FA)

Dreamtime 8C 2000 in Switzerland (FA)

Oliphants down 8B+/C 2000 in South Africa (FA, unrepeated)

Black Eagle sitdown 8C/V15 in South Africa 2002 (FA, unrepeated)

Monkey wedding 8C/V15 sitdown in South Africa 2002 (FA, unrepeated)

La Chimère 9? route in Switzerland (FA, unrepeated)

Madiba 8B+/V14 2003 in South Africa (FA)

Massif attack 8B flash 2003 Switzerland

New Base Line 8C in Switzerland 2003 (2nd ascent)

Le poinçonneur des Lilas 8C/V15 2004 Switzerland (FA, unrepeated)

Entlinge 8C 2005 Switzerland (FA, unrepeated)

Amandla 8C 2005 South Africa (FA, unrepeated)

Terremer 8C+ 2005 Hueco Tanks (FA)

Vecchio Leone 8B in Switzerland 2005

Ray of Light 8B in South Africa 2006 (FA)

Shosholoza in South Africa 2006 (FA)

Witness the Fitness in Arkansas 2006 (2nd ascent)

Ragtime 8B+ Switzerland 2007 (FA)

Satan l’Helvète 8B Fontainebleau 2007