Saturday, 12 December 2015


It was autumn and the sunset matched the colour of the trees. Each morning I’d wake up go, buy pasties and go climbing. My half term couldn’t have been much better. Each venue bringing something slightly different; the dark reflective pines of 95.2, the hustle and bustle of Cuvier, the vast quantities of boulders on offer knocked me flat and quite often I’d finish flat on my back after being spat off again.

I’m going to choose three reasons why this was a trip of such variety. The first would the feeling of just learn to climb afresh. I felt like I was ten again venturing out of England for the first time to touch European sandstone. Each sequence was subtle. A perfect example was Beurre Marga 6B+ at Isatis. This climb like the patterns on the bark was complex and full of intricacies. This wasn’t about strength or power, it was about learning. Each go I slightly further, a foot move and hand move. Until I was stood on top of the boulder knowing I’d climbed that perfectly.

The second was climbing hard. You don’t go to font without wanting to come back with some hard ticks to your name. I improved massively over this trip and it was on the last day I did the hardest boulder. This was Rencard 7C. I’m a simple climber, I don’t like fancy toes and heels. All of that just seems to complicate the climbing for me. Although a simple move can have just as many tricks. Rencard was a pull off the floor to a bad sidepull off a bad sloper. The first go I didn’t feel like I could pull off the floor, I thought of quitting then. The next go I managed to pull off. The next go I touched the next hold. Maybe I could do what had originally felt impossible for me. When it all came together I was ecstatic it felt right at the limit of what I could do, the hardest possible moves. Any climbers dream.

The third were the ones that got away. L’ange Naif 7C would be a perfect example. This boulder consisted of one big move. You had to fly. I made progress and eventually I was almost getting my fingertips over the top. However my ability can’t last forever and I started to get worse and worse. I left defeated. Still this has only made me hungry to return.

So what’s next? Well I am once again going to Santa Linya. Last time I failed on Rollito Sharma but this time I am set to do it. Let’s hope it plays ball.