No matter how far off, the last day always seems to... arrive. I never could have imagined the journey that this trip has offered me. Since I last wrote the pace of life has increased and nearly everyday has been memorable. With Le Cadre Nouvelle in the bag I was feeling ready for something of a change. For the first several months of this visit I tried to put the momentum of one send directly into my next battle. Momentum builds confidence and the combination can be very powerful. But likewise there is always a time and place for the rest of life too. Thankfully I climbed some amazing pitches still and meanwhile felt some relief from the demands of climbing at my limit. It has been perfect.
I first got lured into the Face de Rat sector at Ceuse. Truly the wall's namesake route was one of my favorites so I had to try the neighboring ones as well. To the left is a seldom climbed route, 'Race de Fate' 14a. So burly. Definitely doesn't help to be short on this one but I think regardless of your height it is a damn hard route. A unique sloper boulder problem gaurds the chains. To the right is 'La Rat Court Si c'est Vert' 13d with rock reminiscent of 'Lulu' from the Berlin, it packs a major punch into a short lower section and then cruises on perfect Ceuse slabs to the anchor.
Next we spent some time in the sun at the Cascade sector. Some of the best routes at Ceuse are here and no doubt some of the best routes in the world are here. I found the classic 'Rosanna' 13b to be super hard, and 'Association de Malfaiteurs' 13a would be one of my all time favorites -- traversing and wandering through a sea of massive jugs and pockets for over 40 meters. 'Correspondence Imaginaire' 13a, 'Tostaka' 13c and 'La Tombe se Savoie' 13b were all worth while although not my favorites.
Cameron and I said goodbye to the mountains and escaped to the Cote D'Azur. The Monaco Grand Prix was like nothing I have ever experienced. A level of wealth and excess that trumps anything I've witness or heard about. It was an interesting voyage and the race itself was exhilarating, but I definitely prefer the company of my peers or the solitude of the mountains. From a glance, being super rich is certainly not as cool as satisfying as one might imagine. A memorable weekend, without a doubt.
a solo mission to the Pyrenees. a cold as hell bivy, some majestic cattle and stunner sunsets...
Next I sad goodbye to the crew, dropped Cameron at the Airport, and wandered to Aix en Provence solo. I met some great people here, shared some meals and enjoyed a laid back day at a super nice gym in Aix -- Grimper. This last week I really wanted to return to Catalunya. Despite warm temps, my good friend and local bad ass toured me through some shady and incredible zones. Les Guilleumes at Montserrat and St Llorenc about an hour north of Barcelona. 'Fumanchu' 14a at Les Guilleumes is without question one of the best routes I've done on this whole trip. Beautifully technical pockets on near perfect barely featured Monserrat stone. With bold run-outs, engaging movement and few rests, this 30 meter pitch left a lasting impression on me. I took it as a parting gift from Catalunya.
'Xilom' 13b was just adjacent and also amazing. 'Dopamina' 13d was a tough one for me as was 'Bolita Moruna' 13b. At St Llorenc it was cool to see a new style and fresh crag. Some pumpy pocketed 13a's and b's kept me busy and stoked.
great people --
I came here with very little understanding about Spain and furthermore Catalunya, but I was blessed to meet some incredible people eager to share the best pieces of their home with me. I am so so thankful, and very ambitious to return. It's been absolutely amazing. Now it's time for a long flight and a Colorado summer. Onward.