Since the last post, me and Izidor have had a great time in Gorges du Loup! We are spending the days getting up as early as possible (so about 9 o'clock), then banging on some projects in Deverse sector (which we knew would be our main point of interest - it has the most classic hard routes). By 4 o'clock we usually call it a day since the sun hits the wall and in any case, I am always wrecked after even only a couple of hard routes. The style of climbing is amazingly physical, the wall is very overhanging and it reminds me of doing hard routes in the gym. There is a definite emphasis on endurance, but not so much on technique - if for example you're working a route in Ceuse, you can often discover micro-beta, some new footholds, different rest position or a new hold - whereas in the Loup, it all comes down to your forearms. The holds are usually very positive, the moves are very straightforward and... you're getting pumped all the time.
Besides the powerful style there is also the heat which is taking its toll, especially on the skin. Sweaty palms and tufas are slowly eating away our skin... Luckily there is always some wind and a refreshing (but quite cold!) river below! After a session, we always jump in and it's great! Due to the hard style we are now climbing two days on, one day off which is essential if we want to send, besides it allows for many nice and chilled rest days! PEACE!
The party in Cannes that we went to was awesome, we enjoyed some good techno and also accidentally met our friends from the crag, Enzo, Alex and Daniel! We were up for another rest day, which I think actually helped a lot! The day after we went to Deverse and I managed to send Hot Chili X on my second attempt that day (fifth in total), a really pumpy 8c which is about 40 moves of pure power endurance! A gym climber's dream! I was happy to find out I can send as well despite not having trained much at Poden in the last two months. Of course, it didn't go easily... it was a huuuge fight actually :D
We were both really psyched about it and I was sure Izi would keep up the chain reaction sending. But... he says he's having a mental block about the send. I'm sure he will send in those last few days though, as we are both getting quite anxious about the trip drawing to a close. I believe after he cracks it, the other projects will go as well! We are both working on Quenelle Trophy, a slightly shorter 8c with more powerful moves which are giving me a real hard time! Izidor is very close on it however! I have another project called Last Soul Sacrifice which is an 8c, I did the first pitch (the locals grade it 8b "sans cadeau") yesterday on second go as I was having a really good day! The top part is similar to the bottom as it's only endurance so I have high hopes of sending as long as we keep the amount of cake to a rational one!
At this point I have to say that I believe the style in Deverse really suits me and I'd love to spend more time here to see how far I could push it. Robbie Phillips has an interesting write-up on how he's (not) dealing with it!
We keep wondering at how the time passed so quickly... We have three days of climbing left. The trip has been great so far and we are ready for the final! Besides tthe climbing, life is really good here. Izidor is spending today in our little camp doing some work and so I'm on a solo mission doing shopping, internet stuff and some way-finding... I find it really exciting driving through the French countryside on my own, not exactly sure about the way, practicing my French, getting lost and then finding the way again... I'm loving the whole experience!
We celebrated Izi's goodbye to teens two days ago, he turned 20 on the 7. of August and we had a nice barbecue to celebrate! Right now the scene in the Loup is quite vibrant, there are my good friends, "the people of Britain" - Ed and Sam Hamer and Ethan Walker, Kitty Wallace (basically Ceuse 2k11 crew... good times!) There's also Daniel Jung (really strong dude!), Robbie and Nat so there's lots of company and our hammock is really busy all the time!
I guess the success and the overall morale of the trip depends on how hard you are sending. I really hope Izi kills Hot Chili X tomorrow and we can crush some other stuff as well! The psyche is high!
|the perfect refreshment!|
|the amazing barbecue! Meat overdose, making up for all the previous days|
|cheap shit meat that actually wasn't only meat|
|confiture de ma bonne maman vol.1|
|confiture de ma bonne maman vol.2|
|more turist shiat.... no climbing photos, WE SUCK!|