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Psicobloc professionals

The brothers Pou

A couple of years ago I wrote about one of those extreme sports that attracts the fit and the fearless to Mallorca. It's called psicobloc here and deep water soloing (DWS) in the rest of the world and consists of rock climbing in its purest, stripped back form – that is totally without any special equipment bar only a swimming cossie, shoes and some water proof chalk. Out go ropes, crampons, harnesses, helmets, carabiners, belay devices and safety nets so pretty much deserving of the epithet 'extreme!'

The idea is to scale vertiginous, cliffs, overhangs, rocky outcrops and arches using only human ingenuity combined with strength, agility and against a continuous struggle against gravity and exhaustion. Psicoblocistas expect to fall many times, hence the choice of climbs where deep water is the safety net.

So, when you're a professional climber and you've just returned from a season in the Peruvian Andes and you're about to jet off to the Indian Himalayas the best place to keep your climbing tackle in trim is of course Mallorca.

The world famous Pou brothers, Eneko and Iker, from Spain's Basque country are renowned mountaineers and between professional engagements at high altitude they like to keep their faculties in tip top condition by doing a spot of psicoblocing.

It's a climbing modality that allows them to test their physical aptitudes: strength, power, endurance, flexibility and technique; and above all their mental aptitudes, tempering, concentration and self-control, necessary to keep a calm head in the face of danger.

On our photo and video you can see the lads who lead quite normal everyday lives scaling a rock face with a 22 metre drop known as Hercules, near Portocolom.

Apparently the Pou boys experience a sense of indescribable freedom when they're hanging off a cliff by their fingernails though I think indescribable fear is what I'd be feeling in the same circumstances!

What about you? Would you give it a go?