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Rikar Otegui


Rikar is from Ordizia, in the Basque Country of Spain. He began climbing as a mountaineer, but the first time he climbed an easy arête he discovered rock climbing and it changed his life. He poured all of his passion and energy into it and soon became one of Spain’s best climbers. He has made many first ascents, several at the 8c (5.14b) and 8c+ (5.14c) level. In 2002, Rikar made the first ascent of his best, and hardest route: "Ini Ameriketan" 9a (5.14d) in Balzola´s Cave, Spain. He has on-sighted several routes of 8b (5.13d), as well as 8b+ (5.14a). He is very dedicated to climbing and has visited many different crags around the world.

Lately, multi-pitch routes in the Pyrenees have grabbed his attention and he has made the first free ascents of old aid routes such as: "Divina Comedia" (300 meters), 7c/5.12d max. (On-sight) and "Super Weissmuller" (300 meters), 8a+/5.13c max. Together with his wife Josune Bereziartu, they did the first ascent of "Yeah Man" (300meters), 8b+/5.14a in Switzerland’s Gastlosen range.

Once again partnering with Josune, they opened a new route in Spain's Ordesa National Park called "El Ojo Critico" (400 meters), 8a/5.13b max.). This route was done in a very clean traditional style, using cams and nuts with no bolts and very few pitons. Recently, Rikar has made an on-sight ascent of the crux pitch of "Zaratrusta", 8a/a+ (400 meters), a traditional line in the Ordesa Valley of Spain.

Rikar has been expanding his horizons with winter climbing, and opened "Frenesi" M8 (450m), a multi-pitch mixed route in the Spanish Pyrenees. Traveling to Canada last winter, he made an ascent of the classic Rockies sport-mixed route "Phyllis Dillar", M11 at the Stanley Headwall.

Photography is one of his great passions as well, and has published photos in several magazines. In 2004, Rikar presented an exhibition of his photographic work under the title of "Hatz Puntak" (Finger Tips). He has also published a book of the same name.