Miquel Riera

Majorcan psicobloc inventor, Miquel Riera, died aged 56. Archive photo.

10-10-2019R.D.

Psicobloc is also known as deep water soloing. It is a form of solo rock climbing that relies solely upon the presence of water at the base of a climb to protect against injury from falls from what are generally high-difficulty climbs. It is rock climbing without ropes.

Mallorcan Miquel Riera Picón is recognised as having invented psicobloc. One of the most recognised practitioners worldwide, he has died at the age of 56 after a long illness.

He wrote what is considered to be the reference work for deep water soloing: "Psicobloc Mallorca: Psicobloc deportiva-búlder". He was involved in a number of television programmes, such as a 2007 documentary for NBC which won an Emmy for best sports documentary of the year.

Mallorca is a favourite destination for psicobloc. In March last year, one of the world's leading climbers, American Chris Sharma, gave a presentation in Palma. During various trips to Mallorca, he fell in love with the island and with psicobloc, and he spoke about the Es Pontàs climb in Santanyi, one of the most difficult. The documentary that Miquel Riera made with NBC was about Es Pontàs.

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