David Lama’s Avaatara 5.14d is Repeated
Victor Guillermin was inspired to try the steep cave route found in Lebanon after watching a video
French climber Victor Guillermin, 17, has made the second ascent of David Lama’s Avaatara 5.14d in Lebanon. The route is found in the Baatara Gorge where a waterfall flows down limestone cliffs.
Lama made the first ascent of the 35-metre route in 2015 when he was 25 years old, four years before dying in a climbing accident on Howse Peak in the Canadian Rockies. Avataara climbs above a nearly 300-metre drop. After watching a video of Lama on the route, Guillermin decided to give it a go. The decorated youth competitor has climbed several 5.14+ and 5.15- routes. In 2022, he needed four sessions to repeat a 50-metre 5.14d called Moksha – watch below.
“I guess when it comes to climbs that are just this hard or that are this close to your limit, climbing is almost more of an art than a sport,” Lama said at the time. “To find a climbable line in this cave, in this sinkhole, was really hard. I really had my doubts. The walls are incredibly steep and there are hardly any holds on it, so I was unsure there was a line I could free climb. Lebanon is definitely a special place, it’s somehow a little bit exotic, a place that you don’t actually plan to go to as a climber. It’s not really on the climbing map, and that’s one factor that drove me to come here.”
Lama was one of the most impressive all-round climbers from his generation. His father was a mountain guide in Nepal and his mother was from Austria. He rose to fame in the climbing world when he became the youngest person to compete at the world cup at 15 and the first to win both a lead and the bouldering world cup in his first season. In 2012, Lama made the first free ascent of the Compressor Route of Cerro Torre with Peter Ortner. In 2018, Lama made the first ascent of Lunag Ri in Nepal on his third attempt.