Now back home from the trip! It's all still setting in... it feels unreal, the return to normal life!
-on the second last day, we both sent Quenelle Trophy, 8c. It came as a big surprise for me as I'd been working on this and another 8c called Last soul sacrifice, but I expected to send the other one quicker because it was more my style - long, pumpy, no extremely hard moves. I was really happy it turned out like this: Quenelle Trophy is shorter (maybe 20 metres) and has a distinct crux which has felt impossible just a few tries before. I felt euphoric when I latched for the victory tufa... king of the crag for a few minutes :)
-Izi finished his epic in Hot Chili X, it was great to watch, I could feel his relief when back on the ground. It was a perfect way to finish the trip, actually, it was the only way to finish the trip. We both agreed that not sending any of the hard stuff would make the way back really depressing, especially after all the effort we'd put in. This way the trip back passed really quick, we were psyched :)
-If you don't like chipped holds, don't go to Deverse (the other sectors of the Loup are much better in this sense). This crag is shamelessly manufactured, even in places where there were holds (or tufas) before, often a generous amount of sika has been added to top it off and make a better hold. But if you don't mind it too much, you will enjoy the athletic climbing which sometimes quite resembles a gym. That said, there are also routes which are all natural, like the classic Deverse Satanique, Quenelle Trophy has only one or two points of sika, then there's Triptik Tonik and Abyss, both 9a king lines which should be all natural as well. And there's a route which is all chipped as well! Obviously it's called SIKA, the first pitch is a hard pumpy 8a and clipping the second anchor gives you an 8b tick if you manage the powerful but funky moves on crimps, pockets and glued-on stones below. I did it second go on the last day and thoroughly enjoyed it!
-The hot stuff in Deverse right now is the upper tier. Locals (the mutants like Enzo Oddo, Kevin Aglae, Cedric Lopiccolo) have started bolting it recently and it already holds more than 10 routes up to 8c/+ and some sick looking projects, a 50 metre roof full of tufas... Judging from below, it looks even more overhanging than the old Deverse, and apparently it's all natural! As if there wouldn't be enough stuff below to go back, now there's a whole new sector!
-I feel I got in a really good shape while in France and maybe now I could do some stuff in Slovenia as well... surely the psyche to get out is present. Definitely not going back to the resin though! Went to the gym today... Patxi Usobiaga once said "rock climbing is easy, but competitions are hard and intense". Obviously he was wrong, I guess he's never been to our gym at Poden!
-Climbing trips are definitely a different way of life and a refreshing one too... After some time living out of the car, you forget the usual worries and troubles, the daily routine and all that... you are left with only the basic, the time and date don't matter anymore, and your only plans are what routes you're getting on the next day. Trips are essential for learning to appreciate life :) I don't think I've ever felt as healthy, in shape and fit as now that I've returned from this trip! ESSENTIAL!