Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Never last! 6C+


 Patrik "Padde" Svensson spending a misty morning in Mont Sarrasin, climbing the beautiful slab Never Last!.


Friday, March 22, 2013

Marginal droite 7B


Gudmund Grønhaug trying Marginal droite in Apremont.


Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Increased efforts

Something that I have come to realize since I left Sweden in September, is that when being on a big trip, staying in the same place for a long period of time, I tend to fall in to this mood where I am not trying as hard as if I where to be, say on a one week stay. Even if I keep thinking that I'm always giving my everything on the problem I'm trying, in my subconscious I know I can always come back another day. This inevitably leads to me not trying as hard as if it was my "only chance", and I can't help pondering about if I would be sending more if I where traveling around more than I am.

When I was checking the weather forecast in the middle of last week, I realized that the days that where come, could be my last days climbing in Font this trip. I have been here for a long time now, and all along I have been able to try my projects thinking that there will be new chances to finish them. But a forecast predicting yet another week of solid rain, which there is no way on this earth that I will be albe to sit through after this winter, meant that I will soon be leaving. Therefor, there would be no more second chances. This all came with a wierd feeling, and it was very hard choosing which of all the problems on my list I would aim to try finishing. A couple of the ones I ended up going to, I didn't really expect doing, but they still meant too much to me, not have one last go. Looking back on these three days of climbing, I can't be anything but happy with how it all turned out, since I ended up doing most of the problems I tried.

By the time it was friday afternoon, I was starting to get pretty worked. Thinking I would only have the time and energy to try one more climb, I went to la Tour de Babel in Dame Jouanne. A problem I had been wanting to do for a long time, but after trying it last weekend, I doubted wheter I could as it then had felt extremely hard. However, this time I didn't feel as week when reaching between the huge spans, and in a couple of goes I managed to do it. Very happy to cross another dreamclimb off my list, I was ready to call it at day, when Neil and Haroun started covincing me to try adding a sitstart to the problem. We had been talking about how obvious it was, and I still didn't believe Neil saying it wasn't already done. Despite this, I was not too keen at first. Mostly because I didn't think I would ever be able pull off even the stand again.

I haven't ever done allot of first ascents, and until the other day, none of the ones I'd done was in Font. When the idea of this being my chance to do one appeared in my mind, I tried the moves that is added when sitting down. They where not hard, but still makes it tougher to keep the upper part together. After resting and having one failed go, I once again found my self struggeling on the cruxmove up in the standstart, hearing Neil screaming "you got it, you got it". Disagreeing with what he was saying, I still managed to stretch out just enough to reach the hold I was going for, and kept fighting all the way to the top.

A while later I was sat in the restaurant by the parking with a café crème, celebrating a nice day in perfect weather surrounded by nice people. I was thinking that even if I would prefer staying, this would be a pretty sweet day to remember as the last day of climbing in Font this trip.


Friday, March 15, 2013

Sydde and his project






Fredrik Sydstrand working the sit and repeating the stand to La Directe du Surplomb de la Mée.


Tuesday, March 12, 2013

To my self in the future

Note: This is a post I'm writing mostly so that I will always be able to look back and remember the second of March 2013 - The day I climbed Duel.

It was the day I moved out of Neil's gite. A gite in which I had been sitting looking out through the window on rain and snow falling almost solidly for two months. It was also the first day I started feeling well again, after coming down with stomach-flu earlier that week. I was still feeling frail and tired, and when I went out climbing the day before, I wanted to try something not so powerful. I ended up following a friend to Duel in Franchard Cusiniere. I had tried this renowned slab briefly a couple of years earlier, without getting further off the ground than a couple of moves. This time things felt better, maybe because I had been doing some easier slabs the week before (not that any of the slabs in Fontainebleau are easy), and started to get a feel for it.

Thanks to help from Padde with powerspotting me half way through the climb, I could work the moves higher up, and managed to figure how to get quite far up the climb. However, to me this thing isn't over until you are stood on top of it, and by the time my feet and fingers had gone too cold to keep going, there were still a couple of moves I could not do. I had however reached those moves going from the ground, and with that I was very happy and feeling full of hope. Psyched to be able to work one of the dreamclimbs on my Font-ticklist, even though I felt weak as anything, I decided to go back the very next day.

All through that night, I kept waking up, thinking about the moves, eager to get back out there to see if I could figure out a way to do the top. Around lunchtime the next day, I returned followed by Neil and his film-crew, who had come along to do some testshots for Neil's upcoming movie-project.

I had done some deadhangs back at Neil's hangboard, and was warmed up enough to go straight on the climb. Pretty much right away, I split my finger on one of the holds. Feeling frustrated and disappointed, thinking that I wouldn't be able to keep going, I taped my finger really tight to see if I could maybe work out the last moves anyways. To my big surprise, I was still able to hold the crimp I'm grabbing to do the part of the climb which I had yet not done. Off course I didn't get as much purchase off it as before, and when I kept falling due to feet slipping and not being able to figure out a working sequence, I was on the border to leaving it for another day.

As long as I can remember, my dad has been saying that I am stubborn as a dog with a bone. I suppose that this is true in some ways. Even though things felt hopeless, I didn't want to leave without having done the top part. I thought that it would be so much easier to come back knowing that I could do all the moves, and even more important, how to do them. I kept trying, thinking before each go that it would definitely be my last, and eventually I climbed the top.

As I walked back down from the top of the boulder, a hawk was circling over us. This was noted by my friend Jan and his wife, who had just arrived from Belgium. They said it was a sign that I would climb the problem today. I thought they where being stupidly optimistic, but Jan, who probably is the calmest person I've ever met, just looked at me and said I had to believe. "When you believe you will climb it, you will do it no matter what". I suppose what he said had some truth to it, and in that moment a spark of hope lithe up inside me, together with an idea. Maybe the tape on my finger wouldn't matter on the lower holds. The split was in the center of the tip, and since the holds lower down are so small, perhaps I could place the tape so that the very tip would still be free. I had already proven to myself that I could climb the top with it, and if what I'd just figured out would work, that would mean I could do the problem today. It was definitely worth a shot, so I put my shoes back on, and after having fallen of the top crux, I took a ten minute rest, now knowing it could go.


Before going out, apparently I had told Neil I was giving myself to three a clock, then I was leaving. I had no idea until Neil told me afterwards, that by the time I had returned from a short walk, got my shoes back on, my hands chalked up and grabbed the starting holds for my next try, it was one minute to three.

Half way through the crux sequence again, my hand slipped. Thinking I was off, I managed to save my self by grabbing the next hold. This however meant I had to do the sequence slightly different from how I'd done it before. Lucky for me it worked just as well, if not better! As I mantled over the top I didn't know what to think or do. Neil and Haroun, who were the only ones left, just looked at me. Normally I feel relief and happiness when sending something, but this was just too big to know what to feel. Off course I was exploding with happiness inside, but there was more to it. That moment alone was worth the two months of being sat waiting for dry weather.

Neil met me as I once again walked down from the boulder and gave me "a well-deserved hug". "It´s going to take some time for you to sink this in I think. It´s a great achievement for any climber to do an 8A slab in the forrest. THE 8a slab...". Those are words I will remember, along with the day that I climbed Duel.


Monday, March 11, 2013

Sunday, March 10, 2013

La Cage aux Fauves 7C

Sydde rounding of the day by cruising yet another problem I couldn't get up.


Saturday, March 9, 2013

La Grande Marche

Martin Idegren battling with not so typical moves for being Font on La Grande Marche in Canche aux Merciers.


Friday, March 8, 2013

L'Angle Ben's 7A+


A to me unknown irish climber stepping up, what proved to be, a bit to high on 
L'Angle Ben's in Isatis.


Thursday, March 7, 2013

A terrible sight



Font rock in a state I wish never to see it again.


Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Kheops 8B


Henrik Sennelöv on his dreamclimb, Kheops in Cuvier Rempart.


Tuesday, March 5, 2013

One move wonder


Simon almost getting the pocket on Fata Morgana.


Monday, March 4, 2013

Canche aux Merciers blues

Joel working his way towards the end of the blue circuit in Canche aux Merciers... 
...while Padde makes sure he´s feeling safe.


Sunday, March 3, 2013

Hotline 7C

Me placing my foot to do the last move of the Rocher de la Reine-king line. 
Photo: Martin Idegren.


Saturday, March 2, 2013

Tonnerre de Brest 7B

Simon dealing with poor feet...

...before reaching the top of Tonnerre de Brest in Coquibus Longs Vaux.


Friday, March 1, 2013

Sunny Sablons morning





Resting between goes isn't to hard when you can wander around in a beautiful setting like this.