The last few weeks.

Betty the Berlingo and the Verdon Gorge. Can’t think of a better way to spend the weekend. Photo Davide De Masi.

Despite working full time at the moment (well four days a week but still, ugh), I’ve still managed to get out and about climbing some of chamonix’s premier slitter and pocket pulling in the Verdon gorge.   The summer is in full swing now and its hot hot hot!  Good for climbing granite in the mountains but not so conducive for southern french limestone adventure sport which is where this tale begins…..Its always a happy time for me when I’m packing up my van for an adventure and psyche was high with the anticipation of going back to one of my favorite climbing areas, the mighty Verdon Gorge.   For some reason I had it stuck in my mind that it was a mere 4 hour blast down to the gorge from Cham.  Well its not, trust me.  6 hours later and after a rather confusing and frustrating stop in Grenoble for supplies we were soon thumbing through the guide to find a suitable objective to fulfill our need for steep pocketed limestone whislt sunning ourselves in our choice new beach chairs.  We opted for a route which I had actually done on my previous trip some 4 years ago to kick things off, Ticket Danger.  I remember it being a good’un so I more than happy to do it again.

Pocket pulling extrodinaire Davide De Masi some 300m of the deck . slick.

The steep and pumpy penultimate pitch is a utter classic.

A couple more days of sunny bolt clipping on the belvedere and mid afternoon naps had us feeling pretty happy about life.  Despite not doing anything majorly hard or long it was just good to be out on some of the best limestone I have ever pulled.  The highlight of the trip was a peddle boat trip up the gorge and a spot of deep water soloing to conclude our weekend away. Very nice.

on the way up the gorge in the peddle boat. Nice shirt Dave! Photo Davide De Masi

DWS in the Gorge. Photo Davide de Masi

Dave showing me how its done. 

Back in Cham now and Saturday saw me head up for some granite Tradding on Pointe Adolphe Rey with Gavin Pike.  We opted for a route called Salluard.  It proved to be a real gem with lots of fun climbing in a great setting and not too far from the lift.  The soft deep snow caused a few problems on the approach but we were soon sending fine golden granite in the sun forgetting all about football and other such trivia.  😉

Gav on the wade up to the base of the route. The route is on the left hand skyline.

this photo really is this way up!

Gav eyeing up the next section with the North face of the Tour Ronde in the background.

Gav in the fun handcrack at the start of pitch 6.

Gav about to squeeze into the tunnel on P7.

Thats all for now but stay tuned for a write up of my recent trip up the Forbes Arete on the Chardonnet……..


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