A lifelong fascination with the mystery of the mountains has driven Eneko to a stunning range of outdoor achievements, from free climbs and high-altitude expeditions to ice climbs and extreme ski descents. The older brother of fellow climber Iker, he is part of the most successful climbing partnership in the modern era. According to Eneko, his brother is the ‘action man’ and he is the ‘thinker.’
Birthdate: March 17, 1974
Hometown: Vitoria-Gasteiz, Basque Country, Spain
Homebase: Mallorca and Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain
Favourite Book: The last good one was “El Corazon Helado”
Favourite Movie: “The Name of the Rose”, “Fargo” and, most recently, “Youth”.
Favourite Music: Joaquin Sabina and Bruce Springsteen
Favourite Food: Spanish omelette
Biggest Dream: To climb a new big face of rock and ice and then ski down the other side.
Best advice ever received: Life is short and you have to live intensely and enjoy the moments.
Words to live by: Be patient and appreciate the little things.
Favourite other fitness exercise: Mountain biking.
I don’t leave the house without my… The North Face Super Flux Hoodie Jacket
The North Face: Common Ground
Movie: Common Ground, Siberia
Born in the Basque Country of northern Spain, Eneko fell in love with climbing as a child, often journeying into the Pyrenees and the Alps with his parents and brother. He was selected as a member of the first Spanish Young Mountaineer Team but his interests were always diverse, from rock climbing to ski mountaineering. He has a deeper passion for alpinism than his brother, but since 2000 the pair have routinely climbed and explored together.
It is through uniting their talents and skills that the brothers have achieved some of their most awe-inspiring expeditions. Hungry to travel, to meet new people, to venture into the unknown and to explore their limits, they have journeyed around the world in search of new challenges. Between 2003 and 2008 they completed the special project ‘Seven Walls, Seven Continents’, ascending a challenging wall on each of the world’s continents, and finishing with a first ascent to a virgin mountain called Sky Peak in Antarctica in 2008.
The brothers have also pushed the boundaries of big wall climbing, making one of the hardest free-climbs to date on the West Face of the Naranjo de Bulnes-Orbayu route - a 500m limestone wall leading to the summit of the Picos de Europa massif in the Spanish Pyrenees. Another highlight was 'The Hardest of the Alps' - a project to free climb three of the most difficult alpine routes within the summer of 2010. Eneko has also accomplished extreme ski descents in the Pyrenees and expeditions to high-altitude mountains, including Annapurna (8051m).
In the future Eneko wants to explore the mountains in two directions: major expeditions in exotic locations, mirroring his trips to Baffin Island in 2012 and Siberia in 2015, and highly technical sport climbing challenges closer to home, which push his body and mind to new limits. In locations like the Artic and Antarctica, Eneko says he feels more like an explorer than a climber and it is this sensation which keeps him in the hunt for exciting new adventures.
- First free ascent of “EL PILAR DEL CANTABRICO” 8 a+/550M. Naranjo de Bulnes (Spain) 1997
- “NORTH FACE OF MONTE PERDIDO” 50º/900M. Steep Sky. French Pyrenees. 2000.
- “VIA NORMAL DEL MIDI” 55º/650M. Steep Sky. French Pyrenees. 2001.
- “COULOIR LA FOURCHE” 55º/700M. Steep Sky. French Pyrenees. 2001.
- “SILBERGEIER” 8B+/250 m, Ratikon, Suisseland.
- Third ascent of “EL NIÑO”8b, Yosemite. USA. 2003.
- First free ascent of “BRAVO LES FILLES” 8b/650m (Madagascar). 2004.
- “ETERNAL FLAME” 8 a/1000m Himalaya, Trango Tower (Pakistan). 2005
- “QUINTO IMPERIO” 8b/500m. Naranjo de Bulnes (Spain). First free ascent. 2006.
- “LURGORRI” 8C+/250M. Naranjo de Bulnes (Spain). Opening and first free ascent. 2006
- “SUPER CANALETA”1800m/6c/M5, Patagonia (Argentina). 2007
- “7 Walls 7 Continents” including El Nino (8b+/850m) route on Yosemite’s El Capitan; Zunbeltz (8b+/500m) route in Spanish Naranjo de Bulnes. First free ascent; Bravo Les Filles (8b/600m) route in Madagascar; Free Route (7b+/65m) in Tasmania’s Totem Pole; Eternal Flame (8a/1100m) in Pakistan’s Trango Tower; the Supercanaleta (6c/M6/90º/2000m) route of Fitz Roy in Argentinian Patagonia; and the first ascent of Zerua Peak on the Antarctic Peninsula with a new route Azken Paradisua (7a/M6/90º/760m). 2003-2008.
- “CHAÑI EXPEDITION” Four new alpinism routes over 5.000 m in Argentinan Andes: “Pachamama” 5/1.000m, Morro Von Ronsen 5.450 m; “Vitoria-Gasteiz” 85º/600 m, Aguja Negra 5.350 m; “Gure Etxea” 60º/900m, Punta Ibañez 5.888m and the first traverse untill Chañi Central 5.896m; “Marcados por el Chañi” 85º/650 m, Chañi Chico 5. 570 m. 2.009.
- “ORBAYU” 8c+/550m, new route and free climb. Naranjo de Bulnes (Spain). 2009.
- “SOLO POR VECHI GUERRERI” 8C/200M (Dolomites). 2010.
- “PANAROMA” 8C/550m (Dolomites). 2010.
- “ZAHIR” 8B+/350m (Suiza). 2010.
- “CLASICA-MODERNA” 6C/1.800 m (400 m new) with Herve Barmasse. New route. Mont Blanc. 2.011
- “THE HARDEST OF RIO” Two first free ascent in Pao de Azucar and Cristo Corcobado. “La via del tótem” 8 a/250m and “Athagio du diablo”8 a+/300m (Brasil). 2011
- “THE DOOR” 8b/650m.First ascent and new route in Baffin island and three more routes. 2012
- “CERRO TORRE” the route “Ferrari” IV/6/95º-1.000 m (Patagonia). 2013.
- “TARRAGO”8B+/200m. First free ascent. Montserrat (Spain). 2013.
- “BAGHIRATHI II” Attempt to open new route (Himalaya, India). 2014.
- “SIBERIA EXPEDITION” Four new routes in alpine style in the Russian Artic: “Aupa” 6c/300m, “Mosquito Rock Tour” 7a+/450m, “Into the Wild” 7a/425m and “The Two Parrots” 7a/320m. 2015.
- Expeditions to Annapurna (8.051m), Baghirathi 3 (6454m), Kethardome (6880m), Cotopaxi (5960m), Ama Dablam (6868m), 1999-2004.
- Pakistan Winter Expedition. Shimshal Valley. Two new ice climbs of 3 and 5 level and first attempt of Yizhal (6000m) with skis and in winter, reaching 5500m.