Saturday, July 3, 2010

Le France

Le France. That means 'the France' for you ignorant Americans that may be reading this. Our travel was pretty easy overall.

Our flights were on time. The meal on the plane was delicious. We complimented the stewardess and she was taken aback. "That's the first time I've heard that" she said. We can hardly wait for the delicous meal on the way home. The rental car was a giant headache. We got to the car guy and he told us that it would be 600 dollars more than what we reserved it for. Then I told him we'd like to add the insurance which the internet reservation said would be an additional 400 dollars. He politely explained to us that the insurance cost had gone up and would now be 1500 USD! I told him that was ridiculous. He told me, "Yes, it's more expensive now isn't it." I said, "dude, we can't pay you 1500 dollars for car insurance." He said "well then you should have reserved it online."

Having not slept for over 30 hours we were not able to make good decisions and this guy knew that he could rip us off. We deliberated some more then went to the next desk over and asked how much we could get a car for. We got a car for half of what he wanted to charge us. Right in his smug face. So we ended up with the Renault Twingo. It is awesome and we love it. We drove around the city of Geneva and found a pizza place. Of course, we don't know a lick of French so we had trouble ordering and ended up with 2 pizzas and 2 Carlsberg beers. We didn't know how to ask for a box so we just ate em down. This is Elissa standing outside the restaurant. We didn't have a road map but we were fortunate enough to park under a road sign that said "France". We followed the sign and ended up in France.

Then we drove an hour to Annecy and camped by a lake. The next day we drove 5 hours to Gap and got all the supplies we needed at the "L". The "L" is basically Wal-mart without the Wa Mart. Nice place.

THE CLIMBING: OK, let me put it to you like this....The climbing here is DOPE! It's better than you could ever imagine. Fatty blue and white striped limestone and pockets. SICK pockets. So our first day out I got used to the stone by onsighting a few 7c and 7c+ routes. Then I put down an 8b wit da quickness! Bawse! And yo, my Queen Collete was able to hook up a 7c route second try. WERD Coltrane!

Oh sorry, that didn't happen. I was just living my fantasy again. The reality is that climbing here is amazing but hard for sure. Very pumpy. Kind of like the Red but actually difficult. You know, like hard moves and less rests. But we are loving it. The first day I warmed up then tried a 7c onsight. the bolts here are really far apart. Kind of like the run out to the anchor on Tuna Town but every section is like that and you're actually pumped and doing hard moves. So one move from the onsight and I grabbed a draw. I know, I suck. I was scared. Whatever. But in our first two days I was able to climb some amazing routes.

Blocage Violente: one of the very best 7b+++ routes in the world. Perfect angle and holds the whole way up and relentless. I got Colinator to hang the draws for me then I flashed it. Scary! It's hard to stay calm and relaxed on these runouts that we're not used to. I also got a 7c onsight at Berlin and a 2:go on le Privelige du Serpent. I've heard about this route my whole life and it did not let me down. Again, one of the best 7c+ routes in the world. I sampled 2 8b's but I really don't think I'm going to project anything. There are just too many good routes here to spend time on just one. It's going to be an onsight/2:go trip I think.

The Colley Lama has been getting pumped! She keeps getting on hard 12c's that are bloc and relentless. She got a little frustrated and at the end of the day we were walking past some enormous pristine anti-slantys. She fired a 7a onsight and got a little confidence boost. Every route is so good. That 7a she did was like Realization tilted back the other way.

On top of all the good climbing....we're in France. This place is so cool and so different. The town of Gap is really chill. Right now we're in the town square sipping espresso under an umbrella. The double picture above is in case you're really drunk reading this. Everything else will be blurry but this picture will be crystal.

Wow, check out that cliff. The cow says "le moo". She is quite impressed with her homeland. I too am quite impressed with France. There are certain things that are better and certain things that are worse compared to 'le states.' For example: We can't watch Comedy Central and without the Colbert Report I have no idea what is happening in the world. So in honor of Stephen I'd like to give my own 'tip of the hat/wag of the finger' to France.

Tip of the Hat: Coed Bathrooms.

Nice job France for thoroughly kicking sexism to the curb. Listening to the woman in the stall next to you plop a deuce really seems to even the playing field. And by the sound of it....there's no reason women shouldn't be able to command a battleship.

Wag of the Finger: No fixed draws

Come on Ceuse, maybe you haven't heard but you're the best sport climbing in the world. I just flew half way around the world, drove 6 hours, hiked and hour up hill and now you want me to hang my own draws? Seriously, how bout we get a couple of these skinny little Frenchmen to carry a boat load of steel bent gates up here and properly equip this place.

OK, it's getting late. We're hungry for some pizza and Peroni's so we're going to drive to Italy to get one. We hear it's good over there.


Tyler Willcutt said...

I put up half of those routes years ago. The other half is choss.

Anita said...

Y'all may as well be speaking French with all this "7c, 12c, +++++" lingo. I don't get it but I get that those are some big-arse rocks and you two are climbing them. My doG!

Glad you arrived (and remain) safe. Love the blog posts and the pictures -- thanks for documenting it all.

I like the cow.

Oui oui!

Anita said...

Love your blog, guys, and really love the pictures. Keep `em coming! Scary creeper guy in the woods though; I think your instinct to leave was right on.

Now, if you go to Paris for any reason, find Le Bouledogue Cafe and steal a bar stool or a table for me:

OK, I do not advocate the commission of crimes, I'm just sayin.

Beautiful shot of the two of you in this group, by the way!