May 25, 2012

Quand on tue le cochon

The Piggy is definitely alive and kicking, full on route on Les Vuardes, une plus!

Le Ville Magnific, Romme sur Cluse

Well. It starts to look like the imagination is over and out, one more at the same place?! But I can confess that I had a match with "les diable" at la Villette. Probably one of the hardest 6c+ ever tried...But after third try I could finally complete the moves and climb it almost to the top...on the second last move which are about 5 bla bla bla the hold didn't hold any more and sent me airborn. Bonne chance plus!

But, with a bit of confides in the finger tips i felt it was time for a long harder route and why not at Vuardes?

I mean, I know the way!

As alpine starts are something of the best thing ever, leaving very early, still cold and even better if its a chance to use the very expensive headtorch, we decided to leave a bit later. Have some good coffee and let the day have an enjoyable start. That also means that its not necessary to stop at mon amis or any other questionable places for coffee an route.

Base of le Cochon

The walk up is still a walk up, so nothing to talk about except that it is a nice one...And with a good picture of the wall, finding the start IS easy. So a 2 á clock start we had some enjoyable climbing, even a bit of traversing and jamming! What a great route!!

The first pitch is one of the easier ones, supposed to at least. A 6b with steep climbing on some technical rock. Suddenly, the foot has lost its hold, and since I'm on some bad hand pinches so has I. The direction changes and I start to go down, very fast. Well, it wakes the whole team of 2 up:-)

And up we go. Off again and with a bit more focus. Next 6c pitch feels even easy...


Anna trying to get her feets right...

Some airy steeps brings us to a nice belay, one more ( the bolts are overall very nice placed with just some hurting sections if it involves a fall) Otherwise the route is so steep so it just send you hanging in the air!

The Topo Pitch, no.4, an other perfect 6c up compact yellow solid piece of rock. Just brilliant!

Well worth the whole walk and effort.

Pitch four,6c

Around 14:00 the sun goes around the wall and suddenly warm goes to cool. Perfect during hot summer days, can be "alpine" during off-season.

Power nap an route! When some one work, someone else can

Well, there is something about a 7b, its always hard!

And this one is no exeption. Looking up from the belay it dosnt look to bad, a bit steepish but it seems to be holds. But, the bolts looks like a bit spread out, not bad but bad enough!?

After the first meters of easy moves there is a bulge, with a long stretch up to an ok hold, but the vertical factor gives the sac a dos a pulling out feeling, and with the last bolt a bit under I dont want to fall upside down. So I get down and hang it to the bolt. New try and this time it works. Off to next bolt. A pitch like this is like a long journey but with small stops at different destinations. The bag (body) is checked in to the final destination but the mind are allowed to stop at every harbour, to have a "look see". The bolts, are like Island of peace in an ocean of war. With subs cruising below, ready to missile at every wrong move.

The route description says its 6b maximum, If harder you can pull the slings, but then either my arms a to short or the the bolts are to high up... Anyway, there is just one solution, climb it.


At least its steep, Anna following on Quand on tue le Cochon


After the fourth bolt the foot slips and the strenght is out. I get an improvised rest in the bolt.

Try to figure out the next moves which comes with improvised reading of the rock.

Just under the next anchour, a perfect hand jam, but there is not enough strenght to chalk up propperly. A large bit of cussing and fighting, the hold is there. And so is the hanging belay!

Next is just a couple of 6a's, except for a short section harder stuff, and some loose rock high above the last bolt. And just to make it a little bit more, there's thunder in the air and a couple of BIG rain dropps, oopps.

Le 7b+, an plus

But nothing lasting, so we can finalé and top out still dry and shining. With forearms like a famous sailer and spenat in the chalkbag. Cause the cussing chalk was out loong time ago...


A bientôt dans Vuardes

You need:

Sure you make the route, 1x50m rope Not sure you make the route, 2x50m rope

12 QD

There is/was a "mutter" missing on the second last belay, so a 12mm would be good to bring



May 21, 2012

Retour de Vuardes

...And this time we could laugh With Henri...

Approaching the wall, the walk up from Romme is not just long, gives great scenes as well

The 09h rendez vous time was passed since quite a time and with an evening rain forecasted, my ego was into getting going, soon!

One text message and 20 min later Roger arrives! Aller...

Since the day had already started bad (late) we could as well get us even worse conditions. So an espresso double at the Sur Cluse bar didn't just slow us down more, it gave us a really bad cup of C..f.e as well...

Next time I join Vanja and prefer staying in le voiture.

Finally, we had the time for starting walking and this time the route should be right, with route finder Rog logging along.The usual scramble down to the base goes better for every time, so keep it going. With last time totally wrong pick of route I took a bit more time reading the topo and compare it a bit more.

Roger, On the approach
And, quite obvious this time, we had to walk a bit longer a the base of the wall. There it was, a Very obvious chimney, time to go ramoneuring...The first pitch dosnt just look steep and a bit awkward, it is...but 5mts very interesting stemming and jamming brings me up and around the corner and the rest of the 35mts is easy going.Now its just a matter of who will be fastes, we up the next 6 pitches up to the top OR the rainy clouds moving in from the south...Clipping myself in at the first belay, pull the rope in at the same time freeing myself from the sac a dos."hmmm, normaly it swing around easy when i have loosened up the waist belt, whats that blue thing rolling down the cliff?, ahh the chalk bag!"- no, no, no, the chalk bag. I unclipped the wrong band! Great work!A bit of cowboy cussing!No communication possible to alert Roger about the situation so bring him up.And then, well why not rappel down again to get the blue thing.Just cant leave it, cause i re done the bag so good! Zipper and everything.And, the pitch was nice so why not climb it again.

First chimney pitch, me and the Ramoneur
With the clouds moving in And wind picking up it just makes the chicken race a bit more interesting...
And just to make things even better i made the great choice of just bringing one 50m rope, so only up.
Back up, chalk bag and all...
At least it feels like things a getting better, on the right route, all in and just cruising up the hill.

A couple of pitches up, still a bit concerned about the dark clouds and just to keen to get on, no time to look at the topo. 50% of us thinks we should go right soon, the other 50 keep on uphill and slightly left.

Ok, now i felt it says Rog, not sure what it was but I guess it was something wet falling in from above. With out time to even answer i just grab as many quick draws as i can get and of to next pitch...I just dont want to be caught on the 6b in rain, were this 6b now might be.

Counting pitches on the next belay i get it to 4, start to pick the q-d from Rog's harness almost before he gets to the next belay, and off again.

Roger fighting gravity
Hmm, 2 lines of bolts. Downclimb, but ohyes. Its older bolts on the right. So stay leftish, right!?

Up again ,super happy that its still dry and clear. A friction move and a swing up a mini section of blanc wall.

Must have been the 6b...but wasnt the last that grade also...?

Suddenly the weather looks better as well, relaxing climbing. Just enjoying the last pitches and its pure climbing all the way to the very last move, a super great route.

I understand why Henri was laughing!

And so am I!

Henri tu vas rire, 6b, les Vuardes

And an other great day in life...


May 11, 2012

Les Vuardes

A morning sunshine wall with steep routes, loose routes and tres bien routes. Pick and choose!

Summit view over mt Blanc, makes everybody love this place!
A nice approach from Romme sur Cluse. Which is a very nice small village with a superb restaurant, and very good espresso...not to be missed!

Vanja on the approach
The walk up the ski slope is OK this time of year, can be super warm in a couple of weeks...and the lift is closed for the season So get your apostlas out and enjoy the uphill. Une 1h approach takes the feets up to the cabane des Vuardes. Descend le grand couloir (just avant le cables electric)

Mike getting ready for some workout!
A little exposed descent down the couloir but no worries, its equiped with some wire cables and cordes!

At the base of the cliff there are a whole bunch of routes, expect about 1 1/2h from the parking walking time.

And the choise of lines is everything from less hard to quite hard, a route for everybody and every body.


Just hanging around, Mike at belay

A little mixe up

What looked quite obvious from below, a perfect chimney 6a crack/chimney up the leftish part of the yellow rock, just as it looks in the topo.
So right on and chalking up. Perfect climbing on this only 2* route. Its well worth at least three as I could see it, so far. Well things change quick in the mountains. Next pitch looks just a little bit harder then the expected 4+...hmmm?!
Well a super hard move, ok a couple of hard moves, bring me up this 4ish bit, a short pitch to next belay!
Well again, i might be off route but its a great day so up we go. As always I get this "suprice me" feeling!
Feels a little like putting up a new route, no "facit" from any topo.

Crazy and happy, green and mean...

Looking up the next bit looks not to bad but its a little to close between the next bolts. So prob a little hard!
And yes, hard moves on loose rocks, small flakes coming of for every move. I try as gentle as possible to hold the flakes in place, until I can find a new one.
Mike is happy belaying from under a helmet:-)

Airy pitch
Friction steeps on small holds which now and then brakes of dosnt make to many happy but, its the true fact in a real world, at least thats what I try to convince my brain with. And how hard can it be, its a new bolt just a couple of meters up and its one just a couple of meters below! "Guts shake" up we go!

Mr Mike up the hill

Out running on a run out

Finally the quickdraws looks like it wont be enough, still no belay in sight, three mo bolts and one quick left. Have to do some judging, well the next moves looks quite ok, so skip the next clip and the next one also, and clip the last. At the end it feels like it doesnt matter, its gonna hurt anyhow, so just focus. Feel a little better when Mikey follows and breaks of a couple of holds before the last clip and the belay...It helps to climb with as little air as possible in the lungs! Make your self light, lighter!

Le summit! worth every effort

So what did we climb in the end? Well the original plan of a cruising 6a+ was changed for "du désir"7a+ With out knowing...

Le wall

At least:
The mt Blanc views is one of the most impressive one can find, from this distance


/fly what you climb