Although I arrived a couple of days ago, today was the first day that the sky wasn’t grey and the clouds releasing their goods. Woke up to a blue sky but rather warm conditions, which is good when you want blocs to dry. I spent the morning seeking out a couple of problems which were either new additions to the forest or simply close by. First was le toit du nanteau, 8A, which turned out to be a pile of manure. A lowball, contrived, and filthy little roof. It actually looks like the boar use this as a shelter when the going gets tough. Somewhat disappointed, but still psyched, I pushed on to see Papillon, 8A/+, at Petit Reine. I’d seen a photo in Grimpeur, and when I got there I was a little disappointed by its diminutive size, but it still looks very cool. Compression, slopers, and technical heels and probably the order of the day. One to go back and try when it dries out. It doesn’t face the sun so it will take another day or two to dry out. There were another couple of excellent looking problems there, Skeleton, 7C, and Exponential, 7B+.

On the way back from Petit Rein I stopped by Reine Crete Nord to see Hotline, 7C, as I’d heard it was good. I wasn’t disappointed. A proud and tall looking arete with a pretty decent flat landing. As soon as it dries out I’ll be back to do it.

In the late afternoon I decided to head out for some climbing. The wind had been blowing all day so I thought that a lot of rock might be dry, but didn’t want to chance it. I settled on Mont Pivot after a lot of deliberation (for some reason!) and was very keen to try Pancras assis. I arrived up there and everything was completely dry. It’s a beautiful vista from up there, which only makes the climbing better. I warmed up by quickly doing the stand start (finishing right, which apparently is not the true way) and then flashed Belle Gueule assis, 7B, which is a wall with mono’s! Not the usual font climbing, that’s for sure. I quickly sussed out the moves on Pancras assis, but was shocked at the level of power I had to unleash. Luckily the locals who were about showed me the sequence. First go I fell right at the top because I couldn’t get my right foot high enough to rock over. A really stupid and amateur mistake to make, which stemmed from the fact I hadn’t thought through where I wanted my feet for the final couple of moves. The Frenchies showed me the crucial foothold and next go I was on top. The last rock over is a bit tricky and you could easily slip if you were tired, weak, fat, ugly, etc. I was happy to do it, as I’d wanted to do ever since seeing Julian Nadiras crushing it in some video. After that triumph I headed down to check out and try Kendo, 7C, a diminutive boulder consisting of only 4 moves. I really thought I could and should flash it, but made a botch of the sequence. I found the solution and with a great deal of strength, got myself to the top. It felt rather difficult for 7C and it’s supposed to be soft. Perhaps the wet holds had something to do with it, or the sequence of power (Followed Juju’s method). Anyway, I had it done and was feeling great.

I love the rock in Font so much. It is so nice to touch, so great to climb on, and as the sun set I was fully reminded how much I love climbing here. Hopefully if the weather continues it’s good run I’ll get on some hard problems and get them crushed too.

No sign of the boar’s with berettas yet, but I know they can’t be far away.