Chris and I didn’t realize it at the time, but we coincidentally planned our France climbing trip in decreasing order of approach times. At Céüse we did the famous 45 min- 1 hr grueling uphill approach every day and then at the Ardeche our approach was flat and about 20-30 minutes long (once we figured out how to do it and didn’t have to employ kayakers to get our gear across the river), though it did involve easy traversing on cables for a small part of it. There were also scorpion sightings, humongous river otters and hoards of French tourists in mega-industrial “campsites”- it was pretty intense. The approaches at the Gorges du Tarn were quite a bit different… on average they were about 2 minutes long. In fact, a lot of the best sectors are right off of the road which runs parallel to the beautiful (and cold!) Tarn river. In fact, the whole setup was pretty similar to the Ardeche; in other words, a ridiculous number of limestone crags surround a river in a remarkably striking Gorge. However, the differences were only improvements- the rock quality is way better and there were much less tourists.
Best sport climbing top out… ever?
L’actual campió d’Europa Romain Desranges ens envia un video on apareix fent “Digital crack”, el 8a més alt de França, 3800m d’alçada. Un video de Fred Ripert amb imatges gravades des d’un drone!
European Champion Romain Desgranges sending “Digital crack”, the highest 8a in France at 3800 m. A video from Fred Ripert recorded with a drone!
Le champion d’Europe chamoniard Romain Desgranges dans “Digital crack”, le 8a le plus haut de France au sommet de l’aiguille du midi à 3800m d’altitude. Une vidéo signée Fred Ripert avec des images inédites issues d’un drône !
In Spanish, “psicobloc” literally translates into “crazy bouldering” which is probably the best way to describe deep-water soloing, a scary but exhilarating form of climbing in which the climber ascends without a rope (aka: soloing), but does so over the ocean so the water serves as protection in the event of a fall. Perhaps the most revered location to practice DWS is Mallorca, one of the four Balearic islands in the Mediterranean sea off of the coast of Spain. As I explained in my other blog post about the sport climbing on Mallorca, my friend Nat, who just so happens to be a super strong rock-climber, has been living in Palma, the main city in Mallorca. So, when the opportunity presented itself to go to Mallorca and crash on his couch for a few days while sampling the islands climbing, I couldn’t resist. Nat graciously agreed to host me and show me both the sport climbing and DWS.
Continue reading “Mallorca- psicobloc!!”
A mere 2 weeks after my 11 day adventure through Spain I set off for Portugal with Jason. Before coming to Spain Portugal was never on my “must visit” list but I figured since it’s so close, and since I may not ever end up there again, I should go check it out. Of course, if possible, I wanted to sprinkle in some climbing throughout the trip. By seeking out climbing in all of the areas I travel, I find I get to explore places that I wouldn’t find in a guide book, and, well, I get to go climbing! This makes the sight-seeing a litte more bearable because sometimes (or all of the time) I get a little bit tired of going to museums or seeing my 1000th cathedral of all time.
So, after researching Portugal I found that one of the best climbing spots to go to is Sagres, which is on the Algarve coast on the very southern tip of Portugal. We had booked our tickets so that we could fly to Lisbon and into Porto, neither of which were anywhere near Sagres. But, after reading more and more about it we decided to take the plunge and rent a car. (and by “decided” I mean we debated the topic until the last possible moment )
|“Little Yosemite” sector in “The Chamber” in
Sagres. Check out that 6a+ crack and the
chimney start of the 6b+ to it’s right!