4. August | 2014

Climbing with extra challenges


Cédric LACHAT and Nina CAPREZ climb Orbayu,Naranjo de Builnes, Picos de Europa, Spain.

After several weeks of cold and rain in the Picos de Europa (Spain), Nina returned home to Grenoble, France. She was happy because her partner Cédric did the route, happy because she free climbed all pitches of her dream project: Orbayu….

Cédric LACHAT and Nina CAPREZ climb Orbayu,Naranjo de Builnes,

Read more on the Arcteryx Bird Blog

Photos by Sam Bié

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



A free mind




These past weeks, my way of approaching life has immensely changed. In fact, I think it all started when Cédric started to seriously plan his caving expedition to Papua New Guinea. I was nervous to see him go. Not that I was especially worried about him getting hurt or anything like that, but I felt strangely frightened about being confronted with myself while he was gone. Living as a couple, in particular with a man as active as Cédric, is easy. We are constantly on the move, following a never-ending stream of projects. We deal swiftly and efficiently with things, in a manner that is sometimes too radical, even. This fear that I felt was thus related to the sudden necessity to deal alone with my time. It’s strange to say that, because it makes me sound so old.

On the other hand, I have always cherished my freedom.

I had the greatest feeling of freedom when I got my first car, with the help of a dear friend, and then drove to France with it. After that, I encountered great people and, progressively, built my life around them. These past years Cédric’s importance to me grew, as my love for him grew and because we have accomplished many important things together.

I don’t like to admit it, but I believe I have lost my original freedom. And with it, I have lost some passion, some sparks of folly. My life is rich, complex, still interesting… but not driven by folly anymore. I think it shows in the way I now behave, in my climbing, in my desire to settle down.

So, Cédric has been gone nearly six weeks now and, however corny this might sound, its the best thing that could have happened. Because of his total absence (they only have a satellite phone in case of an emergency), I have re-learned to empty, and free my mind.

The first week, I went to Spain with my good friend Mike Fuselier. It was the turning point. We discussed many subjects, but in particular my way of relating to others. He made me realize that I don’t always express myself properly, that I can be hurtful to others. When I first came to live in France, I lacked vocabulary in this strange and foreign language. Now that I speak French fluently, I have no excuse for not saying things in a nice way. I know that I can sometimes lack empathy, speaking too harshly and ending up saying very hurtful things. Mike also pointed out that, since I’ve become a well known climber, everything I say has much more impact than before. Mike’s words shook me up, but he knew I needed it that. He clearly opened my eyes on some aspects of my personality and it depressed me a little. But, after feeling rather low for a week, I took this as an opportunity for change thus suddenly freeing my heart and mind.

On the 5th of February I left for Andorra in my van to attend a conference and -after that- to let myself go with the wind, as a free women ! For about eight hours I sang at the top of my lungs to my new cd from the French band « la rue kétanou », until I ended up driving right into a big rock ; -one hour before the conference. Instead of panicking, I calmly changed the broken wheel and was able to make it on time for my talk. The next day, totally wrecked, I went to Montserrat to meet Marc le Menestrel, a man I knew mainly from our common passion for good wine. The time was ripe for me to stay with Marc and his two girls : for the next eight days I was in the right mood to feed from his wisdom. Thanks to Mike I was more sensitive, able to listen and learn from others. I discovered here a whole different world, the world of words, of poetry, in which it is important to say things in the right way.

At the beginning of my stay with Marc, I was different from my usual self. I was calm, a little scared to say anything stupid. More into action than big talk. « Los locos » de Barcelona took me on every one of their crags and gave me an opportunity to meet many great people. I was just so open and curious about others’ ways and views on life ! I have seldom seen such beautiful crags. So mysterious, so exceptional. I had the best routes of Montserrat served on a plater, I only had to climb and enjoy. I felt an intense and growing happiness, everything was going beautifully, simple things gained great value, I was living the moment at its best.

Marc also made me conscious about some aspects of me, as a climber. He pointed out that I often underestimate myself, and that I have lost the ambition to accomplish big climbing goals. Indeed, since I made the first female ascent of Silbergeier, I’ve been leading an easier life ; only climbing routes that suit me and that I can swiftly send. I still have a yearning to feel the excitement I felt working on Silbergeier, but can’t seem to get it anymore. There is less « dream » in my recent projects : once done, I move-on without much satisfaction or pride. I know I demand a lot of myself, but I truly think that I’m starting to loose faith in my capacity to accomplish big -crazy- things. My easy-going side has taken over these past two years and it took the right time and the right person to make me realize that.

Let us be mad and live the dream !

With this mindset I then went to Siurana and, as life demanded, I found a true and insane project : « La reina Mora », a hard classic of El Pati sector. On my first time on it, I felt exactly like when trying Silbergeier. I was hyped-up (I still am) : like a kid before Christmas, eager to discover the route’s character, and make progress on it. After spending four intense days working on it, I now feel blessed and I’m counting the hours before I can get back on the route.

Life is really something, it’s crazy how one can be so low and two weeks later so high… Whatever comes next, I’m looking forward to it !

IMG_1778Thank’s Jeff Arnoldi for the authentic translation in english!