Big Wall Freed in Madagascar
The Basque brothers Iker and Eneko Pou have freed Bravo Les Filles, a 2,000-foot granite route in Madagascar established in 1999 by an all-female team led by Lynn Hill. The brothers found a way to free the crux eighth pitch at 5.13d — this was the only lead the North Face team of Lynn Hill, Nancy Feagin, Beth Rodden, and Kath Pyke had not redpointed in 1999. The Pous noted that the Madagascar wall was exceptionally demanding, with long pitches and many runouts.
Bravo Les Filles was the third big-wall free climb in the Pou brothers’ “7 Walls, 7 Continents” project. Last year, they made the third free ascent of El Niño (5.13d) on El Capitan and the first free ascent of Zunbeltz (5.14a), a 1,600-foot A4 on Naranjo de Bulnes in Spain. Next up is Oceania (Indonesia/Australia/New Zealand) at the end of this year, but they have not settled on which wall to attempt.