Monday, 8 October 2007

Missing: Font Magic

Since it stopped raining and the sunshine returned we haven't stopped climbing. We've been to Bas Cuvier, 91.1, 95.2, Gorge aux Chats and Diplodocus. We've climbed every day abd we have sore fingers and tired arms. But still we're missing something. We haven't found the Font Magic. Something isn't right. We're not cranking hard on steep stuff; we daren't. We sem to spend all our time trying to trust feet on edges and smears which have been polished to glass. You could almost put your mascara on using them as a mirror.

Yesterday I lost the plot. Nothing was inspiring, everything was slabby (and polished of course but that seems to go without saying), and covered in sand (how does all that sand get ontop of the boulders??). I wanted something with edges, crimps and pockets to pull on, anything that felt hard rather than just freak-out, death-slide scary! We've struggled (mentally) with everything highball for fear that feet will just slide off. It sounds a bit pathetic, but neither of us wish to see the true nature of the French health care system. We did the whole yellow cicrcuit at Diplodocus today and I realised why my arms are so tired. I am over-compensating for unreliable feet. No wonder I feel my climbing is deteriorating

In amongst all this mental chaos, I did manage a nice roof problem called Le P'tit Toit at 95.2, ahich ends in a big rock over onto a very shiny heel hook, reaching (a long way) for a sharp crimp. The book says it gets 7a+ but I'm told one key hold has been "improved" (not by us!!) and therefore it gets probably only 6c. Still, it was a good problem. We met a nice group of folks from Bristol and recommended it to them. They had several good shots at it, but to no avail. When I had my first go of the day and topped out (that was the first time I'd done the last move, although I'd got the sequence wired for the rest of it), I think the big strong boys were somewhat taken aback that a pixie like me could do what they couldn't. I was just as surprised, although dead chuffed with my little self, but as my friend Keith says, you have to believe !! It works.

The first section of the roof

The shiny heel hook; cranking hard having got the crimp

In these long cold dark evenings, while we are sitting outside we have had many conversations about why I can do some things that Caroline can't and vice versa. There are 3 bigs things we hit on:

1. you have to WANT to do something
2. you have to BELIEVE you can do it
3. you need small shoes

Caroline is now the proud owner of a small and shiny new pair of Anasazis. I am working on the Wanting and Believing. Caroline believes that judging by the state of her knees, she very much wants to get to the top, by hook or by crook, one way or another!!

On the domestic front, we are now two very grubby young ladies. Camping is fun and easy, but everything gets dirty. We know it must be bad: all the French people we meet smell very nicely of washing powder. We have a wee robin who comes to sing to us over breakfast every morning, and the acorns are still falling. It's like a drop zone for acorn-sized paratroopers. I'm surprised my car doesn't have more dents in it. And let's not even mention the spiders....


Niall said...

Cool to hear how it's coming together at Font. Spent a few days there a couple of weeks ago before moving onto Orpierre- which in itself is a fantastic venue -highly recommended!

where next?

Ian said...

It's bizzare when you discover one of your friends reads the same journals as you :chuckle:

Sounds like your still having fun :-)

Anonymous said...

Hi Guys! Glad to hear you have finally had some good weather. Roddy assured me it wouldnt rain on our only holiday of the year so keeping my fingers crossed!! We are coming out on Sunday, so hopefully see you around!

There are loads of good things at Roche aux Sabots - a couple of projects that might suit you are Graviton 7a, topping out left is Gravillon, and a really cool arete next to it (which I want to try again this trip) called √Člucubration (Le Quark) also at 7a. Apart from that seem to recall the loads of nice stuff to try there.