Leopoldo Faria has established Portugal's hardest sport climb--Peixe Porco (5.14d) at the stunning, limestone sea-cliff of Sagres. Faria had bolted the line two years ago while recovering from a broken wrist sustained during an expedition to Pakistan.
"After many months without climbing and with an unhealed broken wrist, I had my doubts if I would ever climb hard stuff again," Faria told Rock and Ice. But Faria slowly started climbing again and after three months he revisited an older route he had bolted. The route had avoided a blank section of rock and linked into another existing route to the right. Faria eyed the blank section of rock and realized that he was now ready for this obvious challenge. "I took the drill and just went there already convinced there was a possibility," says Faria.
After equipping the line, Faria spent two years deciphering the moves. However, the inevitable mental battle of projecting a sport climb at the limit of your abilities began to weigh on Faria. "The biggest challenge was definitely my head," he says. "At some point I realised that I had everything I needed to send the route, but for some reason, I just kept falling over and over again, to the point I start doubting if it would happen at all."
Faria even considered giving up on the project after enduring so much failure, often saying to himself that he would never try a route this hard again. But eventually, all it took was one more try, and Faria found himself clipping the chains of Portugal's hardest sport climb--Peixe Porco (5.14d)
"I kept saying that I would never get into a thing like this again, but who knows, this feels so great!"
Check out the video below introducing the upcoming film about Faria's struggle to establish his country's hardest sport climb.
First 9a in Portugal by Leopoldo Faria TRAILER from Hands Up Creations on Vimeo.