Le Petit Clocher du Portalet – On sight party!
Divine Providence sloped our bodies and brains for two days. We had to pay the price for the three hard and long days being in the mountains and abusing our bodies getting up the Mont Blanc taking the difficult way. Two days we did nothing but eating and hanging out. The two of us still bringing up memories of the climb enjoyed being lazy. No beer or wine for celebration but food! We ate salty pancakes in the evenings and sweet pancakes in the mornings, a real stomach party.
First climbing we did again was in the sport climbing area of Bionassay, near Salanches. There we climbed for two short days on some perfect limestone. This is a perfect area for when the weather in the mountains is rough. Because of the amount of thunderstorms they announced every evening we took off towards Switzerland where we climbed in Petit Clocher du Portalet for two days. Le Clocher is at a height of 2800 meters so there’s not much snow any more. The same day we climbed in Bionassay we left for Le Clocher. The morning after we hiked up the 2/3-hour hike at 7 am to climb a route before the thunderstorms would come.
|Me in the 7b+ diagonal crack.|
We didn’t climb just a route in le Clocher. I had a goal I had in mind for about a couple of weeks already. I did a successful on sight attempt in ‘Ave Cesar’, a real 6-pitch 7c. This is by far my best on sight on trad and granite I’ve ever done. The line climbs first an easy scrambling pitch followed by a short 6b+. Then the party starts. An amazing 7b+ pitch starts off with a hard and technical boulder on tiny crimps leading towards a slightly diagonal crack (20m). To on sight this first one focus and perfection where necessary. This ‘warm-up’ pitch was followed by a wider 6c.
Then the two crux pitches (both 7c) loomed at us. The first one was a short but thin fingertips crack of 9 meters long. Slowly but calculated I found my way up this one to. The feed where small and preciseness was important to make slow progress. Happily I arrived at the anchor off the first one and amazed I looked up towards the longest and hardest crux pitch of Ave Cesar. A 35-meter long perfect 0.75 BD crack with a thin crux at the end was waiting at us. I wasn’t scared for the ‘ringlock’-climbing in the green camalot size because off my big sausage fingers. I went smoothly up towards the crux where I cracked trough the crux on some vertical crimps and fingertip jams. Also this last and hardest pitch I could on sight. This was an amazing feeling. I realise that our last few weeks climbing on granite seriously affected my climbing style. It’s nice when things go smooth and controlled.
|Tim in the last crux pitch.|
|Me in ‘Esprit de Clocher’|
After this perfect day we climbed another 6-pitch route called ‘Esprit de Clocher’, a classic 7a we could do in a little less then 3 hours. Not only the feeling with the rock but also the efficiency as a team between Tim and I is going well after several weeks of multipitch climbing.
Now we’re heading off towards our next destination for some days. This time it’s not going to be any multipitch climbing any more. We need some crack single pitch climbing now…
5th– 6b+ – 7b+ – 6c – 7c – 7c – 6b+
|The Nr. 0.75 BD Cam crack!|
|Tim in the bouldery start of the 7b+.|