Ah Switzerland! Finally I have made it back to the promise land of Europe. My bro Seth Giles and I arrived on the 19th of June in Geneva. Met up with my fellow Salt Lake sista Carleen, who was very hospitable, hooked us up with a sick ass apartment in the old town of Geneva, where all necessities are within walking distance.
We arrived a couple days prior to the rest of the crew, Dave Graham and Jon Cardwell. While waiting for their arrival me and Seth endulged ourselves in many exciting festivities of Geneva. We arrived right on que to a huge art/music festival which in turn lead to some intense dance parties and late nights wandering lost and drunk in the streets of Geneva.
Once Dave and Jon arrived we picked up our rental van and departed from the party scene directly towards the fresh mountain air and stunning scenery of Verbia.
Verbia is a small ski town rumored to be one of the richest places in the world and home to many outdoor sports such as Base Jumping, Kayaking, Skiing, Mountaineering and Rock Climbing. This valley has the most solid granite blocs I have ever laid my hands upon.
A couple days of kimmin it with our crazy wing-suit flying friend Yves was a mandatory beggining stage of our trip.
Dave has spent many years prior to this developing an exotic underground bouldering area known as Fionnay. Massive blocs nestled in the midst of the swiss alps, between ancient stone villages seperated by wee fields of wild flowers mixed with tall, green grass. Where is Dave, can you see Dave crutching through the field below?
As we parked our baller C8 Citreon minivan fully loaded with climbing gear in a small field near a freshwater river, I could sense the huge blocs of granite lurking in the forest below. Hhmmm awaiting our presence they are.
The air temperature felt cool but the conditions were not prime due to the prior days of constant rain leaving the boulders covered with moisture in the depths of the trees, like a hot foot in saran wrap. Thus the wetness never leaves. None the less we approach the saturated blocs with smiles on our faces to find an enormous overhanging rock all chalked up, this was it. A 15 meter roof with numerous variations and exhilerating features, we battled the shit temps by making quick work of the shorter most lines before calling it a day. We decided, tis not the time for Fionnay and we shall returen later this fall in hopes of supreme conditions.
Now onward to the Petzl Roc Trip in Millau, France where we will have our ways with the notoriously long routes of Gorge Du Tarn. As we Drove thru for the first time, jaws dropped with sweaty palms, the motivation levels escaladed quickly in a matter of seconds. After making calculated decision on where to start climbing we found ourselves underneath the towering wall called Tennessee.
Talk about amazing, never seen anything like this in the states. Without hesitation we dashed up the warmup route a 7b+ with a bouldery start to a long vertical wall of ice cream scooped sloper pockets, than right on to a 7c and 7c+. Doesn't sound like much of a climbing day but keep in consideration the length of these routes are up to 50 meters long. After getting all pumped on few routes and nightime creeping in, the end of the day had neared. Build stamina we will, tis the beggining, one must learn the differences in technique and style of the French limestone.
Whats next? we wait for our dank camera to arrive next week, than onto the infamous Ceuse, oooodaaladdy!!