Ceuse - boo to all tick marks!

And finally the Bourinator goes down! Jeez, what an epic for a route that should have gone quickly. Still though, it just shows that sometimes you can't be overly confident about a route as it'll come back to bite you in the ass :) Just showing the strategy and quirks of climbing, a day and a half of rest after being a bit worn down, I warmed up on Naomi's current project, a 7b. After a bit of a rude reminder of that route and how reachy it is (seemed to have blanked that part out when I was recommending it to Naomi - ooops!), Bourinator went easy. The start wasn't even stressful, I wasn't pumped on it at all, and only managed to make a bit of an epic of it at the top after grabbing a (what turned out to be) non-hold because someone had ticked it with chalk. I ended up having to throw big style for the final jug even though I wasn't even stressed. This is the fascinating part of climbing - I'm after finding out on this trip that I can cruise a fingery 7c/7c+ in a maximum of two goes, but when it gets really steep, I'm not naturally designed for this physical climbing and struggle. Interesting, I'll have to sort that out over this winter. Still though, stoked to get this done as it's dragged on for a good few days now! To finish off the day, I put the quickdraws on Petit Tom, the other goal route of the trip - hopefully it goes quickly now, time is getting short!
The biggest disappointment of the trip is that I'm now not going to have time to put into L'ami du tout la monde, the 8b. the big positive is I now know that I could do it, and I'd guess it would go in about 5-6 attempts. Not enough time now for it, but I'm happy just to know that and walk away. It's been a really successful trip by all accounts other than that.

You'll notice my comment of tick marks on routes. It's especially common in sports climbing, although quite common on hard trad routes (especially for gear placements). I'm taking my own bit of a stance on these and removing them all from routes I attempt. It feels like just a game of joining the dots (or ticks) if every hold and foothold has a line against it. Yes, it's harder without all the holds marked but for me at least, way more satisfying. And anyway, do you really need to put a foot long line to a hold that is big enough to put your arm into, and you can see from the ground 30 metres away!? I'm noticing it's moved the difficulty of Petit Tom up a notch without ticks (the wall is perfectly smooth so especially hard to see the foot edges) but I'm psyched for it this way. I don't think the other people trying it are too impressed to see me brushing all the chalk off the routes but they'll get over it ;)

Naomi is settling into Dieditic Line, 7b. She was of the opinion that it was above her in difficulty after the first couple of goes (she tried to onsight it, then went bolt to bolt on it) - huge reachy moves and a real crux - holds maybe only half a joint in depth on a vertical wall. But her first proper redpoint attempt yesterday, she fell off on the last hard move. The mental block is gone now so it's just a case of getting on the route fresh and in good conditions. Game on!

Ceuse - the general scene

Ceuse 10 - meltdown!