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Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Ceuse update 2 - a new level of Punterism

O.k. not strictly from Ceuse, but we’ve spent the past couple of days of climbing at Orpierre for a bit of a change of scene. Always nice too, as after arriving from Ceuse, many of the routes feel much easier as they're a bit more bouldery, so less endurance intensive - always makes for fun :)

The first day was a bit of a lazy one, I'd ticked the 7c and c+ at Ceuse the day before, and it being my third day, I took it easy. Naomi was on for a reacquaintance with some routes from last year and much to her surprise, she was looking really comfortable on steeper rock - cruising a steep 6c+ (see above) she'd struggled on last year. Just shows what a year of fingerboarding can do! She also tried to onsight one of the classic 7a's, coming close. She's getting closer, always inspiring seeing improvements in people as it motivates everyone else!

We had another day there yesterday, again just a change from the scene of Ceuse. Naomi had another go on the 7a, but unluckily didn't get the tick, although you can't get much closer, even with cutting loose (unintentionally) on the crux sloper. Next time!
I had a nice surprise, onsighting my first 7c just after this. It's one I've thought about for ages, no idea of the name even, but a lovely steep prow and one of the first hard lines you come across at Orpierre. It went pretty easily too, one of those days that it all clicks - finding good rests, seeing moves easily, and moving with the nice balance of speed and patience. Good times, and a nice new benchmark, although until I've onsighted at least three of them, I'm not really onsighting that grade. Hopefully this year.
Of course, the title of the post is a slight reference and joke to the level at Ceuse. Maybe when I first arrived many years ago that 7c was a significant milestone for onsighting but with regular onsights into the mid-8's now, it's just more incentive to keep testing. I like it :)

Campsite is getting busy now again, must be near August. As always, everyone is as motivated as ever, people at all grades are going hard. I hear there were several monster lobs off Femme Blanche (8a+) yesterday, with 5-6 meter spacing near the top. It seems one guy fell from the chains and the rope caught him as he landed at the third draw on the route. That's a 20 meter screamer. Who says trad climbing is more bold?!
Amusing story of the day goes to the guy who got stuck in the kneebar rest on Bourinator (8a) two weeks ago. they had to abseil in and chip out a block to retrieve him. he was stuck there for three hours, now that's the ultimate rest :)

anyway, have a good day all, I'm off to try Bourinator and make sure I avoid the kneebar ;)

What will be a great photo once I've taken the rest of the images (and removed the blurring). 16 photographs stitched together into a panoramic of Orpierre. Naomi near the top of a 6c+.