This autumn half term me and the family headed out to France yet again for another climbing trip. This time we would stay in Malaucene in a nice chalet which was more like a log cabin. We were going to climb on the relatively new school crag of St leger and the really old school crag of Buoux. We thought the new school sounded most appealing so headed there first. We warmed up and like total over excited teenagers me and my brother jumped on an 8B called Abrege Nief. To my surprise I got all the moves and fell really high on my second go. The bad part was because it was so endurancy I had to leave it that day because I'd just tire myself out. Next we went down and met the Irish who were all really psyched and we tried an 8a+. I got to the last move and my foot popped! Gutted, but with some serious encouragement I sent it next go!
Old school next, we went to Buoux, did Rose au Sables to warm up and it was crazy, got a bit freighted on it though! We tried No Mans Land yet another classic Luke cruised it but I got really pumped and fell of. At only 7b this was a bit of a damper on the day. All was not lost though and Luke sent Reve de Papillion 8a first go! I thought that was crazy but then I repeated his ascent. Pretty good send train! If only I hadn't climb to the third bolt two years ago then it would have been flash. I loved this route because it was just so powerful even with a couple campus moves in it which you don't get often on routes. Bout de Monde was next and I belayed Luke as he tried La rose et le vampire 8b and basically got shut down on it not being able to do many of the moves. The Irish returned from there warm up and I tried Chouca and once again got destroyed on it not being able to do a big dyno at the fourth bolt. I got lots of abuse when I gave up on it. I belayed Dom on La Rose and watched him crush every move it was really impressive but he just couldn't link them.
After a rest day we went back to finish Abrege Nief. I felt so good on it shaking out right at the top where previously I could barely hold on! It was crazy to do an 8b third go! Feeling cocky I got on an 8B+ called Mur de six clopes. This was desperate, and had really hard moves in the top section when I'm was going to be boxed. I decided to not try it, but stripping it was the hardest thing ever. We went down to the massive and imposing Face Tranquille to try the sectors name sake which was 8a. It had crazy power moves on a burly tufa, needed some guns for it. It wasn't to bad though and it went second go. To finish I tried Prince de Lactique 8a+ which name meant prince of pump and it deserved it being 35m long and overhanging all the way but we got benighted.
Next day I quickly crushed Prince although I spent ages at the top because I forgot where to go and nearly fell of which would have been a heart beak. We left to go back up to the Abrege Nief cave to try Stiquel Man 8a+. This was another crazy route with a really boulderery start. I felt crazy strong on it and sent it seconded go! After this we returned down to the bottom and I tried Hilti Blues 8a which was desperate but I thought I could send it.
I headed back satisfied with the trip and found out Dom had sent La Rose which was awesome. The trip home was long but I just couldn't wait to return because there was things left unfinished. Maybe next year!
Rock and Rapid