Ceuse - Alex and Naomi

Alex: Hi Neal
Me: Hey Alex, having a good day?
Alex: Yes, warmed up on Carte Blanche, and now I will go do L'ami du tout la Monde.
Me: wow, nice!
Alex: see you.....
[couple of hours later]
Me: Hey Alex, did you get it?
Alex: Yes, it took me two goes. also have you done the 7c+ beside it? It is very good, very hard for the grade.
Me: ehhhh....o.k., I'll keep that in mind! What are you going to do now?
Alex: I think I will go and do Carte Blanche now.
Me: Jeez, you're having a great day! Life is good, eh?
Alex: Life is always good as long as you're alive
Me: right, must keep that in mind. Later.

- Alex is a 16-year old Polish kid traveling on his own around Europe for the summer. We met him last year here when he was trying 8a's. His ticklist yesterday was a 7c+, 8a and 8b. Not bad!

Huge positive was Naomi ticking her 2nd 7b. More pumpier than the last one, she did it all. As one of the Aussies said here, when you watch a French climber they always look really good and moving with beautiful movement. But what the French really love is when they watch someone (on a route of any grade) have a fight to the death, almost fall off once or twice, and still make it to the top. Naomi managed both, fighting at the start, almost falling off about a third of the way up, barely managing to recover at a rest and cruising to the chains. The locals would have been proud.

As for me, an uneventful day yesterday as I stuffed up Bourinator at the very top and in doing so managed to remove a significant quantity of skin from some fingers. School-boy error, you must practice all moves properly otherwise you forget and fall off! Still though, lesson learned and a reminder that I'm still not performing at 100% just yet. It's not just about strength and endurance, there's a lot of technique and skills that depend on success at climbing. The main difference between myself and many of the climbers at their peak is their consistency on sports routes over several months or years. I'm easily as strong as many of them, but I seem to only get regular route climbing when I'm away on a trip. Hopefully this winter will be little different from usual with less study to deal with and sports routes close to home!
I'm happy enough for now with it so will go back to the route in a few days. Steep rock is fun, but I'm much more in love with smaller holds on slightly overhanging terrain - it's not just about having big arms, technique counts for so much also.

Dave has arrived with uber-psyche, Berlin today to try another fun day at the best sector of one of the best crags in the world.