Verdon Gorge, Sainte Victoire & Orpierre
First few pitches were quite nice, bolting a little sparse, but managed to fill in the gaps with a few totem cams. About halfway up though the climbing changed from nice friendly climbing, to off widths with massively spaced bolts… At this point it was getting on 6pm. Slowly making progress up the top pitches we came to the Chimney pitches at the top around 10pm to find them sodden, shiny and hold less needing friction to climb up. To add to the misery of climbing in the dark with head torches where you can either see feet or hands at once, never both, it had started to get a bit chilly and the one apple and half an energy bar each hadn’t really been enough food since breakfast. Ben being the best at this sort of climbing managed to get us to within the last pitch through the super slippery, minimal bolted chimneys.
After this mega day where neither of us got to bed till 3am, the next was a rest day. Following day though i chose the route, a nice friendly 6a that was well bolted. Not taking any chances this time I made sure we started climbing before 9am. The climbing was really nice and defiantly would suggest ‘Cocoluche’ as a good warm-up route!
Getting off the route at around 1pm this time had a casual lunch in the sun then got on Wide Is Love 6a. This is probably the most exposed belay both of us have ever been on, you abb off the top and sit a couple of hundred metres up on a blank, pocketed wall. The route is really nice, like super scary indoor jug pulling with a run-out top and polished feet.
The next day we climbed a nice route further up the gorge, before heading to Sainte Victoire to climb a big multi-pitch route i’d had my eyes on.
The last few days of our French trip we spent sport climbing in Orpierre. The extremely generous bolting made a refreshing change from the last few days. Dodging the showers we played around on some of the harder stuff before heading home.
Second night we spent over by Ben Moore so we would be in the right place for a quick trip up in the morning before heading back. Luckily the clouds cleared just as we arrived at the top to have a view over the whole island and down the sound all the way to Jura.