2 American Climbers Die in 'Psicobloc' Accident

Men were deep-water soloing on Spanish island
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 16, 2021 10:30 AM CDT
2 American Climbers Die in 'Psicobloc' Accident
Majorca's rock formations have long attracted climbers.   (Getty Images/Carlos Luis Vives Martinez)

The sea cliffs of Majorca are a prime spot for deep-water soloing or "psicobloc"—climbing high-difficulty routes over a deep body of water—but something went badly wrong for two American climbers on the Spanish island Tuesday. The two men, ages 25 and 35, were found dead in the water just hours after they arrived from Barcelona for a day's climbing, the Guardian reports. Swimmers who'd seen the men climbing spotted one man in the water but were unable to revive him, police say. The body of the second man was found nearby. Authorities say personal effects, including the men's American passports, were found in their rental car.

Psicobloc climbers don't use ropes, relying on the water to reduce injuries in the event of falls, though professional climber Eneko Pou says climbers are advised against going above 65 feet in the area where the men were found because of shallow water below the cliff, reports climbing site ExplorersWeb. Fatal climbing accidents on Majorca are very rare, and it's not clear exactly how the men died, though climbers believe a section of the rock formation may have collapsed. "Consternation and a lot of pain following the news we've just received that two climbers died while doing psicobloc," tweeted Pou and his brother Iker. "Everything points toward a rockslide. RIP." (Read more climbing stories.)

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