Thursday, 28 May 2015

A weekend in Verdon

Every time I start abseiling down the walls of Verdon Gorge, I am wondering whether one can really crap their pants because of fear.



Independent on how poetic you are, the abseils down the Gorge are very impressive and oftentimes scary. However, the climbing that they get you to is worth it. Stunning sheets of blue and yellow limestone extending for hundreds of meters with the tranquil river at the bottom. The holds are mainly water-droplet shaped pockets that make the climbing very meditative and technical. The vultures flying behind your back when you try to locate that next pocket complete the picture.

When I heard of the place for the first time back in 2008 (or was it 2007 ?), my homie Aras and I immediately got the plane tickets to Nice via Norway. Sounds like a stupid itinerary, right? But they were incredibly cheap and - as we later found out - forged. We still managed to get to the place and get a good dose of exposure and limestone fun.

Back in the day
Flashback FM
Fast forward to 2015 and I still haven't learned how to travel reasonably. This time Saule, Marty and I took a train to Geneva on Friday night to pick up Laura and our rental car. What followed was a 6 hours long night-time drive through France. At first there were Marty's stops in the middle of roundabouts. Then I started seeing wild boars with mohawks.
The gang

Finally we got to the rock and it was as good as I remembered it. Saule and Laura wanted to climb the "chicks with no pigs" style, so Marty and I roped up for a fun route Les Extraterrestress. Fun climbing with some cracks in the initial pitches with face-climbing topping.


Saule and Laura

The next day Saule and I climbed the ultra-classic Les rideaux de Gwendal, while Marty and Laura ventured up the even more classy Pichenibule. I couldn't free the 7b pitch, but the rest went very smooth and we had enough time to have lunch in town and then climb Ctuluh in the evening. The London couple decided to take some harder variations on Pichenibule and we met up on top to grab pizza dinner in the excellent Pizza Pepino.

Abseiling in. If you look carefully you can see Marty and Laura.
 







With the fingertips sore, we went for some shorter climbs on our final day and did a combination of Serie Noire and Samba Triste with enough time to get some food in the bakery and get back all the way to Thalwil. Looking forward to going there again! Verdon delivers!





Making the most of it!
Verdon delivers!

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