Josune Bereziartu

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Josune Bereziartu
Personal information
Nationality Spanish
Born (1972-01-19) January 19, 1972 (age 45)
Height 174 centimetres (5 ft 9 in)
Weight 57 kilograms (126 lb)
Retired from competitions 2000
Climbing career
Type of climber Sport climbing
Highest grade
Known for
  • First woman to climb 8c (5.14b), 8c+ (5.14c), 9a (5.14d) and 9a+ (5.15a)
Updated on 13 May 2013.

Josune Bereziartu (born January 19, 1972) is a Spanish rock climber.


Early life[edit]

Josune Bereziartu, was born on January 19, 1972, at Lazkao, a Basque town of the province of Gipuzkoa, northern Spain. Josune was first inspired to climb after watching a Spanish TV show documenting two girls climbing in the Verdon Gorge. She was immediately inspired to start climbing and started to try a few things but really needed professional help. Her sister's boyfriend helped her out and introduced her to some climbers to get her going the right way, then she started Climbing at 17.


Bereziartu wedded her long term climbing partner Rikar Otegui. For their honeymoon they went to London, England. The two own a home in Spain. With the climbing community being so small Josune soon met the best climbers in Basque. Rikar Otegui was one of them with a climbing level of 8b+. Not only were Josune and Rikar dating but he also became her instructor. Rikar showed her the importance of training and better ways to train so she can go further. Josune and Rikar have their own plastic climbing walls for training even though real rock has a much different feel Josune feels it is important to climb real rock before every training session. Rikar helped her set up her first one and they were identical but she soon realized their strengths and weaknesses were different so she started customizing hers to work on her weakness, and then she started to get better and better.


She takes annual climbing trips which take place on her vacations, from her day job. She has been climbing since 1989. She is the first female to have climbed the grade 9a/5.14d (Bain de Sang in 2002 and Logical Progression). Bain de Sang in St Loup, Switzerland, had its first ascent (FA) by Fred Nicole and was the third 9a route in the world. Logical Progression is a sport route by Dai Koyamada.

  • In May 2005, she made the second ascent of Bimbaluna, graded 9a/9a+ (5.14d/5.15a). Bimbaluna was originally climbed by Francois Nicole (Fred Nicole's brother) in May 2004. The route is to the right of Bain de Sang.

Here is the list [1] of ascents Bereziartu accomplished.


During the week, Bereziartu sells insurance and investments for Mapre which is a bank in Spain. Bereziartu designs and creates her own resin holds to sell for inside rock walls. When she began climbing as an expert she was obsessed about being the first woman to complete a climb, regardless if men completed the climb before her.

Bereziartu has consistently pushed the limits of what women have accomplished in sport climbing. Before she redpointed Bain de Sang, only men had climbed 5.14d. She has also climbed many other 5.14s. Citation


  • ARCO ROCK LEGENDS - September 2, 2006 [2]
  • National Geographic Adventurers of the year - 2005 [3]
  • Gold Piton Award - March 2003 [4]

External links[edit]