Sunday, July 22, 2012

Ceuse Part 3

Climbing at Ceuse is hard at first when your body is getting used to the walk up and the length of the routes. Will and I slowly found our fitness and our projects started to fall. Will managed Mirage, possibly the best 7c+ in the world, as well as Borinator 8a, and a flash ascent of Vagabond 7c. I ended up getting both my 8a+ projects, Encore and Face de Rat, as well as a couple of 7c+s second go and a 7c onsight. We also did a day trip to an old polished crag called Volx where i did another 8a third shot. Feeling fit I tried a couple of 8cs and a couple of 8b+s but they felt really hard and i am not sure if it is a lack of power or just plain focus that is stopping me from climbing at these levels. Instead of getting frustrated my focus on climbing hard was shifted to climbing better and faster between the grades of 7a+ to 7c as a friend that i had met the previous year had turned up psyched on one of my all time goals in climbing.  
Alan Carne was introduced to me by good friends from home, Emil and Mel. Alan has climbed for 37 years, is a local in the Verdon gorge, and really is a legend of the climbing world with some amazing achievements. He turned up in Ceuse and dangled the proposition of climbing 'The Fish' on the south face of the Marmolada in front of me. I had tried to attempt this route the year before but things had not come together and i couldnt have a shot then. Its rare to find a partner psyched, available and capable of trying a route like this. I imediately agreed and we started changing the way we were climbing at the crag. Less projecting, more onsighting, more volume. This was going to be a test of all my skills. I searched the net for info on the route and these are the type of comments i found;  

" July 2001, Neil made another foray into big wall climbing, this time in the Italian Dolomites. Whilst attempting ‘The Fish’ on Marmolada, Neil took a thirty meter fall resulting in serious injuries which included a fractured skull, necessitating a lengthy retreat."   
from a article.
"Despite attempts from the likes of Manollo Zanolla, Beat Kammerlander, Wolfgang Gullich and Kurt Albert and others it took more than 6 years before the route was first climbed free. These failed attempts, from high-profile climbers of the time, helped elevate the route’s reputation into what has been described as ‘perhaps the most legendary climbing route in the history of alpinism’."       
from a article.
"Right then, I felt the whole flake moving outward and instantly started falling with it. It all happened within a split second, yet I felt like the fall would never end. "Keep your head up, keep your head up...!" I remember telling myself repetitively. As I flew past the anchor and read the distress in Stefan's eyes, I knew this was serious. I was simultaneously vividly aware of the deadly flake. Because of the relatively low angle of the terrain above the anchor, this huge piece of rock kept bouncing on the slab, exploding into a thousand little pieces. The rest was a blur. I don't remember impacting the belay ledge with my right foot—which, I am convinced, is how it broke—or my screams of sheer panic, which Stef later told me about."      
from about a fall on The Fish (originally Ines Paperts book, Im Eis.).

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