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Nina Caprez Visited Squamish, Sent Great Arch and Shadow

Watch her send The Great Arch 5.12+ in great style

Swiss crusher Nina Caprez visited Squamish in August and climbed a number of classic routes, including The Shadow and Great Arch. Caprez is one of the world’s best big wall free climbers, with ascents of hard big walls, such as Silbergeier 5.14a in the Ratikon and El Nino 5.13c A0 in Yosemite.

Last year, Caprez spent a few weeks hanging out in Yosemite with legend Lynn Hill to commemorate the 25th anniversary of Hill’s legendary one-day first free ascent of The Nose. “We both badly wanted to go rock climbing, and it was important to her to climb this route again, not just for the show,” said Caprez. “God, it was magic. Lynn is such a legend. There is a reason why today only eight people have climbed the route so far. There is a reason there hasn’t been more people just crushing that thing.

“It’s a big journey. I spent an entire month with Lynn. And then, at the end of the month that we were together, we went for a three day push, and I freed about 90 per cent of the route, except, precisely, for four metres of Changing Corners. That was way over the expectations I had. Lynn pushed me to give my real best. She believed in me. It was very, very, very precious to me.”

University Wall

In Squamish this past summer, Caprez teamed up with Hill for the amazing University Wall on The Chief. One of the most difficult variation pitches on the multi-pitch line is The Shadow, a notoriously tricky stem corner. At 5.13-, it is a sought after redpoint for visiting climbers.

It was first climbed by Peter Croft in 1988. Croft had already made the first ascent of University Wall with Hamish Fraser and Greg Foweraker in 1982 before attempting The Shadow, which he onsighted.

“Yesterday I climbed this really cool corner with my buddy Lynn Hill called the Shadow,” said Caprez on social media. “I was lucky to do it onsight, Lynn had a little whipper.”

Caprez’s ascent is the third known onsight of the route, following Croft’s and Emilie Pellerin’s the year before. Pellerin became the first person to onsight the pitch in the summer of 2018.

The Great Arch

The Great Arch is one of Squamish’s best and most difficult stem corners, along with The Shadow. With not one move being the absolute crux, the arch is more of an endurance line.

The Great Arch is found in South Gully across from Mercy Street on the back of the Apron. Guidebooks gives a 5.13a, but some locals believe it to be a 5.12+. Caprez made quick work of the test-piece, which was caught on film by Julian Kenchenten. Watch below.

Nina on the Arch