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Pou Brothers Climb New 400-metre 5.14 in Africa

Pico Caro Grande

Iker and Eneko Pou have made the first ascents of the 400-metre Leve Leve 5.14a on Pico Cao Grande (Big Dog) in Africa.

The Pou brothers also made the first free ascent of Nubivagant, a 450-metre 5.13d.

The wall is located on the island of São Tomé off the west coast of central Africa and is on the second largest volcanic plug on the planet.

The brothers teamed up with Manu Ponce and Jordi Canyi to establish Leve Leve and had to deal with heavy fog and wet rock after a few days of heavy rain.

Nubivagant was first climbed in June 2016 by Sergio Almada Berreta and Gareth Lia with a few moves of A0. It was possibly the second or third ascent of the formation to the top.

Leve leve is the third part the Pou Brothers’ The North Face Four Elements project.

The first known ascent of Pico Cao Grande was in 1975 by Jorge Marques Trabulo, Constantino Bragança and Cosme Pires de Santos, after several attempts.

The climbers improvised techniques and equipment, including the use of long aluminum ladders.

In February 1991, three Japanese climbers (Naotoshi Agata, Kenichi Moriyama and Yosuke Takahashi) spent two weeks climbing a route up the southeast buttress in 18 pitches at 5.10a A2.

In 2014, Hector Fernandez González and Victor Sánchez Martinez started a new aid climb on the east face but never finished it.