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Iker Pou (41) 9b interview
OffLine 8a.nu
  2018-12-25 00:00:00    
Last week Iker Pou did the FA of Artaburu in Margalef. In his words the route is by far the hardest he ever climbed but he never graded it. Now he says it is probably 9b but as such type of finger pockets is his strength, "it just might be harder."©Jordi Canyi

When did you bolt Artaburu?
I bolted the line in November 2012. I just tried it a little but couldn't do many moves... :)

Did you try it a lot or you also trained specifically?
It took me a lot of effort. I have tried the route every year when I could but I took it seriously in 2016. In both 2017 and 2018 I was close to send it but it didn't happen. Then recently I felt fitter and knowing the moves perfectly I did it. I have trained myself as usual but I did little changes. I did many meters outdoors but this year I went a lot of days to the gym Es Cau in Palma de Mallorca spending a couple of hours on the moonboard, after climbing outdoors. And in fact it worked cause I was stronger than ever.

Do you feel stronger being 41?
To be honest I feel really good, fit and maybe stronger than ever. The biggest difference is that I have to rest much more days than when I was younger but when I have a good day I see myself experienced and looseness (old dog!). The clue was train on plastic and lose 2kg.

Have you plans for harder routes?
Currently I don't have plans to try something really hard. I just want to stop sport climbing for a while and do some alpinism that motivates me a lot. Soon I will be psyched again to climb hard. Maybe if I find a cool line I will get focus onto it but now I need adventure and less sport climbs.
Click to Enlarge Picture
OffLine A0 Climber
  2018-12-26 08:32:54    
Iker has not graded the route because he is not sure but "someone" graded or downgraded it as 9b, even having not seen the route in his life. Really not fair.
OnLine Jens Larssen
  2018-12-26 08:55:41    
Iker has told us that it is 9b or even harder.
OffLine A0 Climber
  2018-12-26 15:15:34    
Yesterday we announced the news of the chaining of "Artaburu". The question I received the most is: What is the difficulty? Once again we are facing the eternal dilemma of the degree. I feel "Artaburu" as the hardest way I've ever done, far above all the 9a + I've ever tried and tested. So, based on logic, it could well be 9b or who knows if even more. This assessment is based on the effort it has cost me, but I lack references in this degree, and that is why I have tried to be as honest with myself and with others. When I started in the mountain world, I was fortunate that they instilled in me good values ​​such as honesty and the desire to excel, which directly clashes with the competitiveness among climbers that is encouraged today.
I have always thought that the degree of a road should be indicative and not used as a weapon between climbers. That's why the decision not to put a particular degree. I would love "Artaburu" to be appreciated for its uniqueness, beauty and complexity. The degrees will never be an exact science, they depend on many factors such as: Morphology of the climber, conditions ...
So let's try to enjoy the mountain for all that it brings us and its beauty!