After all the rain we had yesterday meaning all we could do to keep ourselves amused was to have a weight session at the gite, when the sun came up today we we're raring to go out and crush some boulders.
We decided to go to Cuvier Rempart and try the big 4 which consists of 3 7c's: Big Boss, Fourmis Rouge and Tristesse, and also a 7c+: Big Golden. When we arrived we headed up the hill a bit to warm up on some easier stuff. We climbed 2 7a's: Laser, and a nice little climb called Ridicule and also the super classic easy arête: L'Angle Alain. Then to get the hight factor warmed up we did Watchtower 7b+ which is pretty damn high.
Now fully warmed up with the sun beaming down, it was time to get on the big 4. As Big Boss was in the shade we decided to try this one first. Will hurt his finger so had to stop which is a bit of a shame on his first day... I almost flashed the problem but then had a bit of a hard time getting to the same point again. After a few more attempts with some different beta I topped out! Feeling good we then moved to the next (Fourmis Rouge). This took a little bit longer and was quite scary at the top. Slapping for slopers at about 4 or 5 metres is not the nicest thing to be doing but I managed to pull it off. Joe was really close to this climb and I think he will go back to get it sent. Tristesse had been in the sun all day so I was a bit sceptical to whether it would be doable. To my surprise it only took me about 10 minutes to get this one done. My favourite of the lot!
The last one was Big Golden, the 7c+. I still felt ok so started working the problem. I managed to get quite far but I could tell I didn't have much left in the tank. After lots of unsuccessful attempts I had to call it a day. A little disappointed I didn't manage them all but still happy with the rest. I will go back fresh to see if I can get Big Golden finished.
Today was kind of a rest day. We headed to Franchard Cuisiniere at about midday and warmed up. I climbed a hard 7b called L'Arete Du Star and then moved on to Rencard; a nice 7c just down the hill a little bit. This felt similar to an indoor style problem and only took about 5 minutes to get done.
After that I had a few goes on Karma which I had tried before but it felt even harder than last time so I heroically gave up.
Feeling tired with not much skin, we went for another session on Duel (an 8a slab) which I had also tried previously. I made even more progress than my attempts back in October getting just below the high crux move. Definitely need another session on this before we leave.
So all in all a pretty good "rest day". Tomorrow, we head to Marlanval to try Elephunk.
A mixed bag of emotions today. We set out to Marlanval to try Elephunk (8b). We got there and it looked slightly damp but it turned out we had perfect conditions. It only took me about half an hour to get all of the moves done. All that was needed was to link it.
The problem has a steady-ish start into an awkward hand flip and a tough move into a vertical crack. There's one more quite hard move which needed perfect body positioning, then you're into Mac 4 7b+ which is not too bad but is quite snatchy.
After a few goes from the start I did everything perfectly and got through all the hard moves into Mac 4 and my left hand ejected out of the crack. Devastating!
The way you hold the crack, it crushes you're little finger and was tearing a hole in the side of mine. Which meant I had to stop. I am going to rest up tomorrow and not climb in the hope that the hole in my finger will heal up and allow me to go back and get it sent!
I'll let you know how it goes in a few days.