As a continuation of summer adventure and touting famous Basque women, we embark into the world of rock-climbing. The summer has provided me with the wonderful opportunity to take time off from studying and return home to Kansas for a couple of weeks. On the way back from Reno, Nevada, I decided to stop and visit friends for my first real go at rock-climbing outside of Denver, Colorado. While there and learning about my friend’s rock-climbing heroes, we talked about my previous blog on mountain-climber Edurne Pasaban and another famous Basque climber, Josune Bereziartu.
Josune Bereziartu was born in Lazkao, Gipuzkoa, and has been climbing for over 20 years. When she began climbing as an expert she was obsessed about being the first woman to complete a climb, regardless if men completed the climb before her. Bereziartu has consistently pushed the limits of what women have accomplished in sport climbing. Before she redpointed (free-climbing a route while lead climbing) Bain de Sang, only men had climbed 5.14d. 2002 when she once again raised the bar with the first female ascent of a 9a/ 5.14d. The route, which translates to “Blood Bath,” is located in St. Loup, Switzerland and represented a new breakthrough in her climbing. In 2006, Josune discovered ice climbing and alpinism, as well as focusing on long traditional routes. She has made ascents of several Alp classics such as the Walker Spur on Grandes Jorasses and the Cecchinel-Nominé on the Grand Pilier d’Angle on Mont Blanc. Josune and Rikar Otegui, her husband and climbing partner, also opened the 400-meter route “El Ojo Critico,” 8a/ 5.13b, in Spain’s Ordesa National Park, a difficult and traditionally protected route with only a few fixed pitons.
Josune Bereziartu is quite the inspiration and has not only achieved these great feats for female Basques, but for all climbing enthusiasts.
To find out more about Josune, click on the following interviews and videos with the renowned Basque climber: http://www.climbandmore.com/climbing,493,0,1,interviews.html