If you have something amazing every day does it cease to remain amazing? It doesn’t seem to be! Today I opened my eyes and the first thing I saw was blue skies with the occasional vapour trail cutting across it. I was feeling rather tired for some reason but psyche is flowing through my veins at the moment so I threw together some porridge and headed out to Dame Jouanne with Neil. Olivier Lebreton did a new 7B+/C up there called XXX a couple of weeks ago so I thought it might be worth a look. I have great respect for him, since he has crushed nearly everything in the forest, but also done plenty of new lines. We got up there to find that the problem had no chalk on and looked rather sorry for itself. I was quite disappointed because I’d expected it to be rather good. We brushed it up, chalked all the holds, and suddenly it looked pretty cool. Neil had a few goes but the beta was eluding him. I tried and soon found that I was getting nowhere. I had found a sequence but it involved hideous moves and was in no way correct. I was getting a bit vexed because I simply wanted to climb the thing, not fag about trying to find the method (more on this later). I was just about ready to give up but saw what seemed like one more method. Within a couple of minutes I’d refined it and had a way planned to the top. It still felt hard and a million miles away from 7B+, but it was a cool way, and the only way I had been able to find. I had found a solution, but I don’t think it resembled Olivier’s. Anyway, I sat down and blasted to the top with power, grace, poise, guile, and general greatness. You can see it all for yourself in the pics and video;

video is at Vimeo.

ok, ok. I had none of those things, but I made it to the top. :)

We moved on to Puiselet le Paradis to try a newish problem called Welcome to Jamrock, 8B, with Kevin. It’s not a typical font problem in many ways. Firstly, it’s at the end of a LARGE crag which has got to be about 12m tall at it’s highest.

The sandstone is completely horrific in some parts and falling apart in many places, including the starting footholds on welcome to jamrock. The rock above is alright though, and the moves are amazing. It’s essentially a 2 move problem, the first being hard, and the second being harder. Unfortunately I can’t vouch for that since I didn’t even manage the first move! It’s a huge move, as you can kind of see;

It’s a really technical move too, involving huge amounts of strength, co-ordination, balance, everything really. I think I’d like to have another go on it, but perhaps after I’ve ticked some of my other goals.

By this point I was feeling rather shattered so Kevin and I went to look at some other projects and nearby problems. We went to Sablibum to see Demonia, 7C+, which is mega highball with the crux at the top. This photo doesn’t really give an idea of scale, but that first spikey thing is at 2m. Word on the street is that the King of the Forest himself, Jacky Godoffe, flashed it on a top rope. Beast!

Also in the same area is a mega, mega, mega project. It’s really incredible. In fact, just look at this picture (phone camera pic – sorry).

Once again the crux is at the top. I would guess it will be something around 7C+/8A but with a fall from 8/9m looming. It’s atleast E9 or maybe E10. I’m going to get a rope on it and then I’ll report back with numbers.

That was that. Another amazing day out in the forest, capped off with a fun drive on empty roads to the backdrop of a setting sun. Will it ever cease to be amazing?