Wrapping up the trip in France... was a heavy mix of emotions for sure. After a brief, but awesome stay in Chamonix with our good friend and legendary bad ass Liv Sansoz, we returned to Ceuse with just a couple days left and storms threatening. I managed another day of one-hangs on the incredible pitch, Lulu, but didn't quite make the send. We were rained out for the following day, and on our final day I found a crucial rest just before the finishing crux (which kind of explains why Lama could have possible called this beastly route 8c+). Literally climbing in a cloud, ran pouring on and off, I climbed the giant pitch only to fall with my hand wrapped around the finishing jug. I lowered off bloody and tired. There was no way I could have another go, plus we needed to start our journey towards Marseille and our imminent flight home. I was bummed for sure, to leave without one last win, especially being this confident that it would have gone down... but hey, that's life. I won't let a bad taste in the end ruin what was a killer trip. Plus I'm pretty dang sure I'll be back-- probably soon.
|View from Liv's place... ummm... SICK.
|Dinner on the glacier courtesy of Arcteryx Europe.. you guys rock!
Back in the states I've been catching up with all the usual domestic type things... getting my truck in order, getting gear together for the summer, organizing my schedule and putting in a few hours of training. I broke out of the heinous heat in the Front Range earlier this week and took a short trip over to the heinous heat on the western slope. It was rad to be back in Rifle again, but the heat was a bit overwhelming. I did a handful of new pitches, one I really liked was called 'Waiting for 21' 13c a cool alternate finish to a classic 13a, 'Beer Run'. One of the main goals for the quick visit was to re-approach my route 'Shadowboxing' and check out the breakage (a hold in the crux broke at the end of the season last year). I was stoked to find that as soon as I recalled my beta (quite tricky), the move felt only slightly harder-- so this mega pitch most definitely still goes and having done a pretty solid link through the broken section, I feel that it's only perhaps a sliver harder than before. Cardwell tried the route a little so I suspect a repeat will be in order soon... Stoked!
Right now, I'm enjoying a few weeks in the Boulder area, before I pack up and drive north to Wyoming and potentially Idaho for the month of July. There's some really cool potential in these parts and I'm ready with a surplus of hardware to get to it. In addition, two really cool events are on my horizon-- the International Climbers Festival in Lander is always a blast, and I'll be hanging out there on behalf of Sportiva. Right around the same time I'll be premiering the incredible film that we made in the Verdon at the Squamish Mountain Festival, presented by Arc'Teryx. We'll be doing a showing around the Front Range later in the year for sure, so keep an eye out.
|The Verdon film... 'Bon Vivant' is coming to a screen near you! if you're in B.C. or the Front Range..
Lastly, Arc'Teryx just released the final video short from the filming that we did last summer and fall. This episode highlights some clips from the Vader Project in the Red that I battled with. You'll see some of the story pan out in the video but overall it was a good learning experience about new routes, difficulty and avoiding contrivance. I think it's rad that Arcteryx decided to make this footage into a piece. Failure is a massive part of our process as athletes and yet is rarely showcased or even talked about. Usually all you see are our wins, but behind every success there are countless 'failures,' and the more I grow up and the more I learn about climbing the more I can appreciate this fact.
Can't wait to get back to the Red this fall and get after this rig, and a handful of burly routes that I bolted. Hope you enjoy the vid! and check out my video page if you missed the other 2 episodes from this series.