Slovenian Climber Jernej Kruder Finally Conquers Vruja Cove in Dalmatia

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Remember the last time you tried something dangerous and difficult, fell down and got up to try it once more – 63 times? No, me neither. Slovenian free-climber Jernej Kruder does; he just did it in the past several years, attempting to climb the Vruja cove near Omiš in Dalmatia.

The plan started four years ago, when Kruder, a world-class climbing athlete and his friend from Croatia, Ivan Kuvačić, also a climber, first envisioned the climb up the 30-meter high route, which has never been attempted before. Kruder analyzed the cliff, decided how it would be best to climb it, bolted the line for the ascend and started his attempts. In the past three years, Kuvačić told Croatian media, he fell 63 times and had to start all over again, because in this sport, once you lose your hold, in order for the climb to be considered successful, you need to start all over again. And he did. Again and again. 

And then, on a cold day that was the New Year’s Eve, last day of 2018, Kruder finally did it. He managed to complete the first successful ascent of this huge roof project! The first person to complete a climb almost always gets to give it a name, and Kruder decided to call it “Dugi rat”, which is coincidentally also a name of a place in Croatia. The village also near Omiš has nothing to do with that name – in Slovenian it means “A long struggle”, which is an appropriate name for something that took that long and included so many failed attempts. 

Now that the Vruja cove climb has officially been succeeded, Kruder has proposed it receives a 9a+ climbing rank, which is definitely the highest rank in Croatia (and there aren’t that many climbs with that rank world-wide, either). Climbers love new ascends, and a one with such an amazing story and a view to die for will certainly attract many other climbers, wanting to repeat Kruder’s first ascend.

And 2018 is a year the Slovenian climber will remember: in addition to his last-day-of-the-year Vruja cove success, he also won the overall Bouldering World Cup! 


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