le Balme is one of my favorite limestone walls in Vallèe l'Arve, south facing quick drying, nice spotted above the valley floor, good quality routes and very easy access. Maybe not a hot shot area nowdays anymore, but on the other side that suites me just perfect as well!
Picture from Vallèe l'Arve topo over Balme
During the warmest summer months is mostly a bit to warm to go there but during this unusually warm autumn it's nice and comfortable and very empty? Just a couple of cavemen's passing but I can't say that they are making to much noise really. So after the 3 minute approach I'm at the base at the cave and todays big goal, Duel, a relaxed 8a, well why the heck not!
The route, nr 20 on the picture, starts nice and slow with a 6a, continues with a nice 6b before it fires up with the 8a pitch...well it hasn't got that grade for nothing so to speak and I very quick find out why. Some spectators down at the bend makes me try a bit harder but the first as well as fourth try fails, fails hard! But the bolts are close enough to pull on and I take the opportunity to do a couple of pulls and voilà, it's theerreee. Jeess! Up the edge of the roof and a big sigh.
Up struggled at the belay I rearrange the belay device and rap down the pitch, having the option to reclimb it as my own second. Trying out the holds again. Doesn't work out this time either even tough it goes a little bit easier.
Well organized at the belay, A and O in the rope solo business
Route Duel 8a
2x50m rope or 1x70, 14QD and 2 free biners
// Those who try will fail but they who keep trying will make it