39 is the smallest number whose sum of digits is larger than that of its square.
40 is a boring number, but in English, forty is the only number whose constituent letters appear in alphabetical order.

Now I’ve been here as long as Jesus was in the wilderness. I don’t know much about what Jesus did, but I know that I feel I haven’t done very much. What’s most fascinating about keeping this blog is I can easily see the ratio of climbing days to non climbing days. At the moment I’ve climbed 18 days out of 40. That’s a low percentage in my opinion, but that is how I must suffer due to horrific skin. Everybody has their weak spots, everyone must pay the price by accepting the bad that accompanies the good, and for me it’s my skin. I’m not complaining, simply realising that I have this defect which can hinder me.

I didn’t get a chance to update this yesterday, which is very lazy of me, but Sara made a last minute decision to come down to font for a few days. To rectify this, I have pulled out a couple of stills from the video I’ve been shooting, so you can see the amazing things which I have the privilege to climb. However, no blogging has in this particular case not implied no climbing. Conditions were fairly good both yesterday and today. Temps were around 7-9˚C and there was a bit of wind to boot.

I was determined to make the most of conditions so decided to head to Karma in the morning. This bloc is so great but at the same time so frustrating. It all boils down to a blind slap, which translates to many, many goes getting the move incorrect. However, as posted previously, I watched Lebreton absolutely destroy Karma, so strength, technique, and font magic probably make it easier. I’m just trying to increase the levels of each… My first few goes were good, and I felt very strong. I was able to hold the nothing next to the crimp when I didn’t get it right. That gave me a lot of confidence because I figured that if I could hold on to nothing then when I did get the crimp I would probably finish the problem. My goes continued, strength/power decreased, and accuracy became a problem. I think that it’s too physical a problem to have a lot of goes. My left arm soon gave up, and I had a bit of pain in my elbow from over exertion. Essentially that one move is just asking your left elbow to lock off 1-5 static (but much wider) and hang there whilst you faff about. I was disheartened because I really would love to do Karma, be like Ben Moon, and get the hardest tick in the real thing. Perhaps such a feat is just awaiting perfect timing… who knows, but I do know that I’ll be going back to try again. I don’t care how many sessions I spend on it, I see them as great investment. Sara also made an impressive ascent of an unnamed white problem, 6A, in just 2 goes. If you have ever been to Cuisiniere you have probably walked past it as it’s just before Misericorde. It’s kind of high, with a kind of bad landing. Both these things only add to the intimidation of a boulder problem, and whilst Sara is learning to climb and improving constantly, I want her to assess these things with total rational. The only thing to look at is the boulder. Can you climb it? Yes. Don’t let the fall put you off. Simply remain a master of your climbing and the boulder will subdue. I had to do the same thing myself later in the afternoon, which was a good personal test!

After some lunch back at the ranch Sara and I had to go to Nemours for some car stuff. On the way back we stopped at Sablibum so I could check out Pierre, Feuille, Ciseaux, 7B+. It’s a very cool highball, which would probably be E7 7A if you wanted to use an outdated and archaic grading scale. There is a new high quality video on bleau, and the chap in it was smart enough to have tripled up pads. I wasn’t. I only had one layer, which was fine, and I didn’t hurt myself, but I certainly didn’t want to FALL off. After some pre-emptive goes I figured out what was necessary and got through the crux. I reached the jug from which it is a jug haul to the top, but the jugs were filled with sand, filth, moss, etc. I was trying to blow it off but I was getting pumped, getting sand in my eyes, and did not want to slip off. All of these excuses amounted to one thing, me backing off, reversing a few moves and then jumping off. I was happy because I knew it was in the bag, but wasn’t willing to press on into dirty, sandy ground. Sara said she’d ab off and clean the holds which will help. I’ll do it next time I’m down there, because it’s a stunning feature. You can see something of the line in this still from my footage;



The second photo shows my highpoint, which is a couple of moves beyond the first photo.

Today was another day that looked good on the meteofrance forecast. I had booked my car in the garage but wanted to get to Buthiers in the morning for a session on Partage, 8A+. At about 9:30 we were just getting ready to leave and the clouds starting crying. A combination of hail and rain forced a quick change of plan. We headed to the garage and after a bit of faffing about we left in a courtesy car. The French really know service, and our courtesy car was a 15-year-old Citreon AX with serious problems. A VERY loud knocking noise emanated from the engine, but we ignored it and pressed on, just happy to have transport. The weather had cleared up a bit so we headed to Buthiers so I could try Partage and Sara could continue her onslaught of 6th grade problems. We warmed up on some easy things, and after a sandy flash of La Rampe, 7A, (which I exited directly and not the the left!) I felt good to go. I walked over to Partage, got psyched up for my first foray onto such a wonderful problem, and proceeded to flash the thing. Not really. I fell off the first move, getting your right foot nice and high. I’ve waited a long time to try this problem, and for no good reason. It’s incredible though, and perhaps I felt a bit intimidated by it’s (non physical) stature. In the course of the next 30 minutes I had found the method, and I have to say that these are some of the best moves I’ve ever done, anywhere. It’s so excellent that I think I will stop recommending anything to anyone, bar Partage. Damn it’s GOOD! I actually did rather well on it, and thought I was going to do it in one session. I even said at one point “doing this in one session will be the greatest thing I have ever achieved in climbing”. What a shame it didn’t happen. I even climbed through the crux, which is a left hand move in the middle, and fell going for the big sloper with a hole in it for my right hand. I kept trying, but my skin was tiring, my body was weakening, and after a last ditch effort I had to give up. The high point was thus;


I am absolutely psyched out of my mind to do this problem, and without sounding too confident, I know I am going to crush it. It’s just so perfect, the moves, the line, the height. If I wasn’t already sitting down I would need to right now. I decided not to try anything else until I do this, so next climbing day will be at Buthiers. I am nearly certain I’ll do it with another few goes, but let time be the judge of that. Tomorrow brings rest, possibly rain, and definitely more uni work for me. I hope the next blog entry brings good news and not broken dreams. Danny, I do it for you.