Oh yes, it’s true, I failed. For two months, I have been climbing a route in Siurana at the sector El Pati. Her name is “La Reina Mora”. This line has the same start as the famous route “La Rambla”.
When I saw this beautiful line for the first time, my heart felt the passion. The line is a clean 40 meter long crack, straight up to the top of the wall. My first try was amazing even though I was not able to do all the moves. I loved the atypical style and the crazy moves I had to do: It was a mix between open finger locks, hard crimping, knee barring and drop knees.
To work out the beta for the first crux at the beginning of the route, I needed six days. This famous crag is definitely not comfortable to climb and my god, you have to put 200% in it! For the rest of the route, I found many good solutions in a short time. I was completely thrilled from the first try on this route and with each day after as I started to link the sections together.
A big mistake was that I wanted to climb only this route and nothing else. I cut my fingers often on the sharp small holds and with taped fingers it was hard for me to climb the crack. Another crazy thing was that La Reina Mora was always on my mind, even preventing me from falling asleep. It stressed me, made me crazy and step by step I lost the motivation and the joy of climbing.
Note to myself, is that I climbed the route really well and I had several good attempts for a redpoint, like the one in the video. Sorry for the little “Tarzan” cry at the end, I slipped on a foothold…arggghhh…
Next year I will go back, in better shape and also with a little bit more strategy! Being a fanatic is such a natural thing that traps my mind in a tunnel when diving into unknown territory.
Trying a hard route such as this, is a new experience for me and I learned a lot from my errors.
Beside all of this, I had a wonderful time in Siurana with many great people who have taught me a lot. I also began to understand the uniqueness of Alizée Dufraisse. Her approach is completely different and it was eye opening for me to see her style evolve into her projects and it’s success.
For two months I was completely focused on hard climbing ; it was time for a breather to do other things. To relax, there is nothing better than a journey to Lugano, to visit “the family”, our sponsor New Rock. Far away, deep in the mountains, we spent some sunny days with amazing people and a lot of amazing wine…
The result of a lot of good wine is :
Cédric killed all the parasites he still had in his body from Papua New Guinea….and was healed.
Nina was able to reevaluate the importance of a sport climbing route…and was also healed.
Again on planet earth with a healthy Cédric on my side, we drove in the direction of southern France to join our friend Mike Fuselier. Together we discovered a little dream spot: Pic de St. Loup.
The first day felt hard and physical ! The approach is similar to Céuse and then the climbing was on a super overhanging, 40 meter long wall. We were impressed, speechless and at the same time simply happy.
After some time to adapt, all three of us where able to clip the anchor on our third go on the king line « Les rois du pétrol ». Mike’s climb was solid and strong, mine was a huge fight and Cédric’s was more or less girlish ? Because of Cédric’s long climbing break of three months ( Expedition in Papua New Guinea and his health problems after that), he lost a lot of power so he had to climb technically well, hehe.
The route is graded 8c but it felt more like 8b+. Anyways, it has been a while since I had redpointed a route. I feel very happy. Waves of joy went through my body and I realized that this was what I was missing.
This place will always be on our minds for different reasons :
The spot is situated in southern France, one of the best places to be !
In the morning, there is a bakery bus driving around that sells fresh croissants and bread!
All the routes are five stars routes !
There are never ending projects !
There is a wine bar in the village !
Reasons enough to go back soon…
Thumbs up for Cédric who sent an 8c+ after only one week of climbing.
Thanks Raph Fourau for the great company and for the nice climbing pictures. Thanks also to Mike for his never ending jokes and for the « live » photos…
The “Drive Bakery”….