21. September | 2014

Petzl Roc Trip, Part 1

I left my apartment in Grenoble, France for about two months and I had no idea what to expect. I traveled east to join the Petzl Roc Trip caravan headed to Romania. I don’t usually travel east to climb, but I loved the idea of discovering new countries, cultures and new climbing areas.

Together with our French friends and team members, we finally arrived in Romania and the village of Baile Herculane. One of the first things we noticed was the difference between gypsies and Romanians. We had always had this idea that all people from Romania are on the road, which is not true. But, it was so fun to see how the real Romanian-gypsies live their life by the road.

The valley of the Baile Herculane is an amazing place and a great climbing area. To start off our trip, we hiked about an hour to reach a huge cliff along side a beautiful waterfall.


I had almost forgotten about the Roc Trip vibe, because the last one I went on was about three years ago in China. There are so many climbers and everyone just wants to get out and climb. It took a bit to get used to all the people in the beginning of the trip because I had spent my whole summer almost alone in the mountains of Picos de Europa. Now, I was climbing on a cliff along with 200 others!


During the first three days of climbing I felt really weak and was struggling to get back in form. I was still feeling the effects of traveling in my legs. After such a long break from rock climbing, I was little uncomfortable. But, Roc Trip means climbing! Who cares what level you are at, it’s all about enjoying new routes with the people around you and the opportunity to travel while doing what you love.


Baile Herculane is also famous for his hot springs and since we were here, we couldn’t miss a chance to experience them. We had the chance to meet one gypsy who lives in one of the tunnels where the 50 degree hot water comes out…ha! This was not easy to watch, but at least he won’t freeze during the winter! ;-)

The roads in Serbia, Romania and Bulgaria are well known for being harsh on vehicles. As well as being a top climber, it’s just as important to be a world-class pilot: there are so many huge holes in the roads that you feel like you are in a video game.

Unfortunately, Gérome Pouvreau found one of the holes in the road.  Lucky he had only dented a rim and somehow with some heavy hammering the rim was repaired and we were on our way…

Romanian’s like to have a good time after climbing. The base camp was full of food, beer and souvenir stands – a whole party area. We had the chance to try all the delicious food and were impressed with the local games and concerts.

We have now crossed the border and I’m ready to discover Bulagria during the next ten days….



Nina CAPREZ climbs Orbayu - Naranjo de Builnes, Picos de Europa, Spain.

Ce dernier mois a été un peu particulier pour moi. J’avoue que notre belle aventure dans “Orbayu” m’a couté énormément d’énergie et à notre retour je suis tombé dans un grand creux. Ce creux particulièrement profond m’a montré que j’avais donnée trop de ma personne, mais aussi que j’avais réussi à me dépasser. Ce creux m’a fait bizarre il m’a complétement déboussolé. Normalement j’arrive à diriger mon journalier avec ma tête, mes envies et mes ressentis, tous ce que je fais normalement à du sens et j’ai l’impression d’avancer dans ma vie.

Nina CAPREZ climbs Orbayu - Naranjo de Builnes, Picos de Europa, Spain.Photo: Sam Bié


Là c’était le pur contraire: Je ne servais à rien, mais à rien du tout! Je me sentais comme un gros sac, incapable de bouger, incapable de faire le moindre d’effort. Le mieux à faire c’était donc des vrais vacances; des vacances dans la vallée du Prättigau ou je suis née et de me faire chouchouter par ma petite maman et famille.

La reprise plus tard, mon dieu, c’était dur….Je me sentais comme quelqu’un qui n’a jamais fait de sport dans sa vie et qui essaie de s’y mettre. Quand on est sportive de haute niveau c’est tellement normale de bouger et de faire des efforts. Parfois ça devient presque comme une drogue. J’adore sentir mon corps, voir réagir mes muscles après des entrainements et aussi sentir que mon corps a besoin de manger et de boire.

Le fait de pas bouger et de manger n’importez quoi a gentiment commencé à me prendre la tête. Heureusement, au bout de trois semaines, on a pu récupérer notre camion réparé par notre dieu monsieur Patrick Fuselier. Enfin, on a eu la certitude de partir avec le camion sur le Petzl Roc Trip et ça m’a donné une immense motivation de se remettre en forme pour ça. Comme quoi il faut toujours avoir des buts dans la vie…


Depuis, on a bricolé beaucoup dans le camion pour l’adapter à nos besoin pour être confortable pendant ces deux mois de trip.

Ca y est, on a quitté Grenoble avec un camion qui brille comme neuf. Ce qui est bon, je ne sais pas du tout à quoi m’attendre. Inchalla….

Je publierai un billet sur la page  Facebook d’Arcteryx  après chaque étape. Je pense qu’il y aura des choses à vous raconter….;-)

Pour info, voici encore un petit reportage qu’on a réalisé ce printemps avec la RTS à Saint Léger. Malheureusement, on ne peut que le visualiser en Suisse…Peut-être qu’un jour la télé me donnera le droit de le mettre sur youtube.

Petzl Roc Trip 2014


Last October I was fortunate to be a part of the famous bolting trip in Turkey for the upcoming Petzl Roc Trip. These trips are really special to me so I didn’t want to miss this opportunity.

PetzlRocTrip2014Cidtibilogo©Petzl-Lafouche-5559Going to new areas to open new routes requires an open and expanding mind. Most of the time, there are no real plan nor ideas. With Petzl, we are searching for the unknown and unexplored to expose new ways to learn, improve, express and share with nature and one another.

Together, with my really good friend Melissa Le Nevé, other lovely people from the team and many Turkish climbers, we went to a valley near the famous climbing area Geyikbayiri to open new routes on the impressive wall of Citdibi.


During these weeks our lives were really simple: We lived and slept in the alp-like area, surrounded by goats and chickens. We ate authentic Turkish food which included feta, olives, tomatoes and cucumbers. We were bolting and climbing the whole time; we were simply happy.







Turkey was only one piece of the puzzle. Before our trip and also after, Petzl organized other bolting trips and step by step, the whole tour came together.

The Petzl Roc Trip is quickly approaching, and I can’t tell you how excited and curious I am to discover all the diverse destinations of the tour. It will be a long trip, full of surprises, rich with new cultures and landscapes and tons of high quality rock.

Cédric and I are planning to be present for the whole Roc Trip. Our van will also join us by road and ferry……IF we manage to fix the broken motor.

A choice for a very easy way to participate for part or all of the tour:
Petzl has organized four buses for the transport. All you need is your own tent and climbing gear……jump on the bus and join the caravan for part or all of the tour.

Simply register on the Petzl website and your adventure will begin!

In Romania, Cédric and I will present a little slide show about our latest projects…caving in Papua New Guinea, sport climbing in Pic St. loup and multi-pitch climbing on the route Orbayu.

For me personally, it’s an honour to be part of this special trip, probably because I LOVE to travel like a gipsy….hehe


Cédric’s feelings

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Cédric LACHAT and Nina CAPREZ climb Orbayu,Naranjo de Builnes,After a couple of days of relaxing at home in Grenoble, Cédric finally wrote a news about his free ascent of Orbayu. You can find this nice text on his web site.


Enjoy and stay tuned!

Hélix au pays des merveilles

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I’m really happy to present you my latest video about the climb at Pic Saint Loup, southern France.

On the Arcteryx Blog you can read all the infos about my feelings I’ve had while I was climbing there.

But the video is a pure climbing video, no love story, no desaster, just pure and hard mouves to watch!;-)

We had the chance to be filmed during two days by Julien Nadiras and it was Cédric who did the entire edit. He’s no professional, so don’t be to hard with the critiques!



Next stop Chamonix for the Arcteryx Alpine Arcademy and then I will be finally off to Orbayu, juhui!!!

I wish you all a nice summer, enjoy climbing and have fun,

Cheers Nina

été2013©Lafouche-0695(1)Photo: Laurent Lafouche



large_orbayu_engI am very motivated to begin my summer venture ‘Orbayu’. This exceptional route is a dream for me because of the wonderful line on perfect grey limestone in a magical environment. Last year Cedric and I scouted the prospects to see if it could be possible (the challenge and debate of the 8c pitch) and we immediately agreed that we wanted to create a film there. After the success of the well received film “Silbergeier” we wanted to compose another film to share our passionate life, drama and adventure story on the wall with all of you. Come join us again in our natural environment as we bring to you the precious jewel of Orbayu which cannot be expressed only in words. To be able to create the film we want to compose for you, we will need your kind support to be able to film with the help of a drone (mini helicopter). The more money we can collect, the more we can bring this magical feeling of Orbayu to you.

Cedric and I thank you passionately in advance for your support. Live fully till the next adventure!

You can be a part of our project by visiting the website Kisskissbankbank.


Fallen short…or wisdom gained

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Oh yes, it’s true, I failed. For two months, I have been climbing a route in Siurana at the sector El Pati. Her name is “La Reina Mora”. This line has the same start as the famous route “La Rambla”.

When I saw this beautiful line for the first time, my heart felt the passion. The line is a clean 40 meter long crack, straight up to the top of the wall. My first try was amazing even though I was not able to do all the moves. I loved the atypical style and the crazy moves I had to do: It was a mix between open finger locks, hard crimping, knee barring and drop knees.

To work out the beta for the first crux at the beginning of the route, I needed six days. This famous crag is definitely not comfortable to climb and my god, you have to put 200% in it! For the rest of the route, I found many good solutions in a short time. I was completely thrilled from the first try on this route and with each day after as I started to link the sections together.



A big mistake was that I wanted to climb only this route and nothing else. I cut my fingers often on the sharp small holds and with taped fingers it was hard for me to climb the crack. Another crazy thing was that La Reina Mora was always on my mind, even preventing me from falling asleep. It stressed me, made me crazy and step by step I lost the motivation and the joy of climbing.


Note to myself, is that I climbed the route really well and I had several good attempts for a redpoint, like the one in the video. Sorry for the little “Tarzan” cry at the end, I slipped on a foothold…arggghhh…

Next year I will go back, in better shape and also with a little bit more strategy! ;-) Being a fanatic is such a natural thing that traps my mind in a tunnel when diving into unknown territory.

Trying a hard route such as this, is a new experience for me and I learned a lot from my errors.


Beside all of this, I had a wonderful time in Siurana with many great people who have taught me a lot. I also began to understand the uniqueness of Alizée Dufraisse. Her approach is completely different and it was eye opening for me to see her style evolve into her projects and it’s success.


Alizée, La Rambla 014 (1 sur 1)


For two months I was completely focused on hard climbing ; it was time for a breather to do other things. To relax, there is nothing better than a journey to Lugano, to visit “the family”, our sponsor New Rock. Far away, deep in the mountains, we spent some sunny days with amazing people and a lot of amazing wine… ;-)


IMG_2729IMG_2043The result of a lot of good wine is :
Cédric killed all the parasites he still had in his body from Papua New Guinea….and was healed.
Nina was able to reevaluate the importance of a sport climbing route…and was also healed.



Again on planet earth with a healthy Cédric on my side, we drove in the direction of southern France to join our friend Mike Fuselier. Together we discovered a little dream spot: Pic de St. Loup.


IMG_3650The first day felt hard and physical ! The approach is similar to Céuse and then the climbing was on a super overhanging, 40 meter long wall. We were impressed, speechless and at the same time simply happy.
After some time to adapt, all three of us where able to clip the anchor on our third go on the king line « Les rois du pétrol ». Mike’s climb was solid and strong, mine was a huge fight and Cédric’s was more or less girlish ? Because of Cédric’s long climbing break of three months ( Expedition in Papua New Guinea and his health problems after that), he lost a lot of power so he had to climb technically well, hehe.


IMG_3439GetInline-11The route is graded 8c but it felt more like 8b+. Anyways, it has been a while since I had redpointed a route. I feel very happy. Waves of joy went through my body and I realized that this was what I was missing.



IMG_3473This place will always be on our minds for different reasons :
The spot is situated in southern France, one of the best places to be !
In the morning, there is a bakery bus driving around that sells fresh croissants and bread!
All the routes are five stars routes !
There are never ending projects !
There is a wine bar in the village !

Reasons enough to go back soon…

Thumbs up for Cédric who sent an 8c+ after only one week of climbing.



Thanks Raph Fourau for the great company and for the nice climbing pictures. Thanks also to Mike for his never ending jokes and for the « live » photos…



IMG_3678The “Drive Bakery”…. ;-)




Caving in Papua New Guinea


10003671_10152361252764892_262249059_o“Iowa 2014″ was a national expedition led by the French Caving Federation (FFS) and part of an overall effort to explore the Nakanai Mountains in Papua New Guinea. Led by a highly experienced team, cave exploration in the region’s virgin equatorial forest has resulted in the discovery of several legendary deep caves and sinkholes such as Nare, Kavakuna, Minyé, Wowo, and Muruk. Back from the depths and into the daylight, Phil Bence talks about this adventure, between fantasy and reality, and how patience allowed for the discovery of new caves in the heart of the equatorial forest.


Read the full report about Cédric’s adventure on the Petzl official webpage:


IOWA 2014