Leaving behind most of our skin on the boulders, our wayward journey continued south.
Feeling strong and confident after the surprising success in Font, I felt it was time to get my feet back on the ground and get properly shut on some old-school sport classics.
"The legendary 90s testing grounds of Buoux"
"La Rose, possibly the worlds first 8b"
"Roger absailing down from the base of Rêve de Papillion, France´s first 8a"
"With a perfectly decent tent in the car I still joined in with Roger and checked into a Hotel!
Buoux was like expected a total bust, and we got completely shut down. After a long driving "rest day" down from Font I got straight on La Rose in the mid day sun, and with barely any skin left, got nowhere on the crux and struggled with the rest.
Setting my goals a bit lower, I settled for the (supposedly) easier classic, Rêve de Papillon, france´s first 8a.
Having wasted what little skin I had on La Rose, it felt painfully sharp and impossibly hard. In the end I didn´t get in a single decent attempt and barely managed to climb the crux sequence bolt to bolt..
Roger faired no better and also got shut down on every route he tried.
Having sampled some of the Buoux classics, we soon realised it was a no go this short trip, so
the next day we went to the awesome wall of Seynes.
I had been there for 10 days a long time ago and looked up at one of the other super classic´s of southern France, Dinosaure (8a+), but not been strong enough to try it.
But the route never really left my mind, and seeing as we were in the area, I was psyched to finally get on it.
From where we were staying close to Buoux it was a 100 km drive, and knowing the wall was south facing and got sun early, we got up and started driving in the dark at 5.45.
This how ever, was to no avail, at the crag at 7.45 it was already 20+ degrees in the sun, and as I made my way up the route it only got worse.
Slipping and sliding I managed to climb bolt to bolt, but linking was out of the question.. So having made my way to the top, I ended up cleaning the route without a single redpoint attempt.
Roger, boiling hot from just standing on the ground, decided it was no point in even trying, so at about 10 in the morning, we left and went shopping instead..
"Dinosaure at Seynes"
"The perfect tufa line of Dinosaure"
Tired, and with our feet firmly planted back on the ground, we left the boiling heat of southern france and got back on the road towards our final destination, Santa Linya in northern spain, to meet up with Jarle and Sindre who would be arriving at "Casa Wang" later the same day.
We got to the house at the same time as Sindre and Jarle returned from a quick session in the cave, and after weeks on the road, it felt like finally coming home.
"The cave, all dry and shit"
"Sindre, sporting the latest in oil platform fashion"
"One of our more short term house guests, Inbal, happy to have clipped her first anchor in the cave"
Life back in Santa Linya was very much the same as before.
We immediately got back on the projects in the cave (day 1), tried to go somewhere else on day 2, and went running on the rest day (day 3), and then repeated the process.
As always this soon turned into 2 days in the cave and then rest, since Jarle was psyched on Fabelita (8c) and had little time.
Jarle, just having made the second accent of Leoline Exstension (8c+) in Norway, (after Adam Ondra´s first accent last year,) was in great shape, although lacking a bit of the endurance needed to hold on to the the "jugs" in the much steeper terrain of the cave.
"Adam Ondra making the first accent of Leoline Extension last year"
Somehow managing to adapt to the style and putting up a great fight, Jarle, on his last try on his last day, pulled it out of the bag and sent Fabelita.
"The traverse crux"
"Skipping the bolt at the mono to save some much needed energy"
"Jarle fucking up his leg in a desperate attempt at resting before the final hard move to the anchor"
"Roger, happy with the results after his first attempt at making paella"
"Sindre, a bit more sceptical"
"Exchanging one cave for another we found our way to St. Lorençe de Montgai"
"Sindre making a quick second go accent of Preventiva (8b)"
With Jarle gone, we tried again to get back to the rhythm of one day in the cave and the next day somewhere else, and succeeded a bit better then before.
"Sindre gets up one of the rarely repeated 8a´s on the blank looking right hand side of Terradets"
"I struggle on the super classic (and super polished) Red Bull"
"Sindre onsighting another classic, The Order of the Phoenix (8a) at Alós de Balaguer"
"I on the other hand climb badly and need 4 attempts to get up the "easy" 7c+.."
"As always it´s freezing cold in the shade and boiling hot in the sun, here on one of the rest day runs"
Sindre, having spent this seasons cave days on last seasons project, la Fabela pa Enmienda (9a), finally regained some lost endurance, and looking stronger then before, got up la Fabela (8c+) three times in a row.
Now while I say three times in a row you have to realise that he only got in one good try in a day due to conditions and the length and difficulty of the route, and since we only spent every third day in the cave, 3 attempts basically meant 9 days.
But before getting up la Fabela (again), he spent his cave time making links and basically training on the route, and when he then started going from the ground, he fell at the crux of the first pitch several times before finally sticking it.
He then went on to falling in the upper crux twice, before his third successful accent of la Fabela of the season (5 time in total) finally made the full link to the top, becoming the second norwegian after Magnus to get up the magic grade of 9a.
"Sindre, "el grande noruego" most likely the first man over 80 kilo´s to climb 9a in the cave"
Not long after, Sindre got called back to work, and having postponed our shopping trip to Barcelona long enough, Roger and I ended up going in to the big city with him.
"Not normally a big shopping fan, I must admit that sofa testing at spanish IKEA was right up my ally"
And in a shopping kinda mood, I decided it was time to get a big-ass tv at the same time, considerably upgrading the "comfort" standard of our humble abode.
"The living room, finally turned liveable"