Tuesday, October 10, 2006

W-end en briançonnais

This w-end was hectic as always, i took the train to grenoble friday night and was climbing in the sunny Durance valley on saturday. Unfortunately it rained saturday morning, so my newly discovered partner Laurent, a petzl R&D engineer, and i had to sleep in and change our plans from a very optimistic hope to climb Elfes route on Tete d'Aval to going cragging nearby. The choice fell on Ponteil, a south-facing wall just after the Fraissiniere valley. Despite my disappointment after the first look at the wall, climbing proved very good with *** pitches all the way. We started with a 4-pitch Martine, where i suffered on a 6b, then moved on to Tourmillon Connection where Laurent did the same aid moves on a 6c, to finish with the higher part of Tourmillon Clou, also very nice but less sustained.

Here is Laurent following an awesome 6a+ in the middle of connection.

Sunday the weather was really good, with a sunny start. We did go to Tete d'Aval and did Pillier Rouge Hebdo, the easiest route on the cliff, going up the 300m red pillar. Very impressive face with high-quality rock and more potential left. Our route felt pretty sandbagged for its 5 and 6a ratings and we finished 6h afterwards pretty happy with our effort. The first couple of pitches were not perfect, but the higher we went, the better it became. Another objective to get back to whenever i move to Grenoble area with more time on my hands.

At 20 38 i was peacefully sitting at Argentiere la Bessee railway station and raping its vending machine for any remaining food. The night in the train was spent dreaming about this big boy.