My family and I planned a little trip to Saint Leger du Ventoux, located in the south-east of France trying to escape from the bad weather that covered Italy. The forecasts for the first 2 days were unstable but for the other 2 days seemed good. Reasons enough to even try to get good conditions.
We left Italy the early morning of May the 1st and after 5 hours trip long we arrived in Montbrun les Bains, so we went to see the house we had rented. It’s so comfortable, big enough for 4 people, located into a huge lawn, with an outdoor swimming pool, and so we decided to empty the stuff from the car and to have a good lunch.
My brother and I were so sycked to climb since the weather was so good, we went up the car in direction St Leger but the crags were all wet so we moved to see a new climbing area for us called Malaucène that looked amazing from the guidebook photos. Luckily some routes was dry so we started climbing. The warm up was so funny because it was our first time on this type of rock and therefor the climb was totally new.
Around half past 7 I started to try one of the two project of the trip, the route is called Le Zoulou Blanc and it is about 20 meters high, graded 8a+/b on the guidebook. It’s an amazing line, probably one of the best I’ve ever done, on a super compact limestone with perfect pockets. I was really hopeful to send it.
|Water source, Malaucène.|
The second day of climbing I return back so excited to climb the project but unfortunately the crux holds were wet, so we moved to St Leger to search a new project. Almost all sectors were still wet but our ticklist project was dry (except the feet start), the route is called Spit Bull graded 8a+/8b too, but I felt it more like an 8b (harder than any others routes I’ve ever done), not comparable to the other project in Malaucène instead they have the same grade.
It’s a short route ,about 15 meters, without hands rest. Thus being preheated Andrea did one try to put on the quickdraws and to figure out the beta. My time came and while I was climbing, he explained to me the movements, but two sequence were so hard to link when you try the whole line from the start, so I found an easier beta for these two "cruxes". Unfortunatelly the second day was already over !
Third one came and we went to St Leger because we wanted that Le Zoulou Blanc was completely dry in order to make some good tries. To finish the warm up I decided to climb something of new, so I found an amazing route bolted between 2 slopy tufas, 2 meters distant called Jamais deux sans trois graded 7a+ but it looked harder. The bolting was very long and I was scared but I could not pull back so I started climbing and when I reached the chain my legs were more pumped than my arms. AHAH SO HILARIUOS ! :)
|Jamais deux sans trois 7a+ St Leger ph Pierre Zanone|
Then I made my first go on the 8b and I fell down 2 holds before the jug. The second go was so similar but this time I feel down just one hold before the jug. DAMN !
I wasn't sure whether to make one more attempt because I was tired, but my father encouraged me and I decided to do another one. The wind started and the conditions become better and in a second I found myself at the final step but this time I stick the jug. The Project 2 was completed !
|Spitt Bull 8a+/b , St Leger. Ph Andrea Zanone|
DAY 4 – LAST DAY
The day after we went to Malaucène again, hoping that the project 1 was dry. We reached the crag and luckily the routes was almost all dry so after a good warm up I had my first attempt of the day but I fell down at the first crux because one pocket was wet. I dried up the pocket and I made my second attempt and after a strong struggle a reached a good hand rest, the hardest part was over, I just had to overcome one more step on an amazing one finger pocket and the game was done. Luckily my finger don’t betrayed me and I climbed this project too. Vengaaa !
|Le Zoulou Blanc 8a+, Malaucène. Ph Pierre Zanone|
After a good lunch I remade the 8a+ into pieces for the video and for some photos, so I would like to make a huge thanks to my Father, my brother and my Mother because they have made this possible.
NOW I’M READY FOR ANOTHER ADVENTURE! WE’LL SEE WHAT IT WILL BE!
Here there is the video about this TRIP : https://vimeo.com/66152058