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planetFear - Rock Climbing, Adventure Racing, Mountain Biking

French Alps Part 2 - Sous L'Oeil Des Choucas 300M WI7, M9 FFA

Posted by Tim Emmett
Thursday 22nd January 2009

Here is an excerpt from the full article :-)

 Coming soon ...

" We decided with the purest line, a route called L’oeil Des Chucas, a 1000ft overhanging ice/mixed climb with 2 sections of aid (A2) and only 1 repeat since it was climbed in 1996?

Starting off with a couple of Scottish 6 pitches, the first aid section succumbed to tenuous WI 7 ice smears partially detached from the rock caused by warmer temperatures a few days before. Everything I had ever learnt was needed to get up this one, included several words with myself on a couple of occasions, it was pretty spicy! Jerome reached me at the belay and reassured me that if it had been his lead we would have retreated. Thankfully I handed over to him for the mixed pitch to the first hanging icicle, I was glad for the breather.

Thankfully when the ice blobs petered out there were some excellent cracks and good rock allowing a traverse left to the ice. Jerome took a belay below the final and largest hanging icicle and started hauling the BASE rigs. If we could get past this, then we would gain access to the final ice pitches and gateway to the exit point. Come on !

 

I set off via a tiny pocket and 4mm edges on good rock up to the first roof. Clipped the peg and made some funky moves through the overlap. Come on Timmy. I was super psyched and itching to find a way to free the pitch. Easier climbing lead to the final roof, where a 10 metre traverse marked the gateway to the ice. As the holds disappeared, the loops of old aid tat lured me to them. Only 3 meters from the ice now but all I could reveal were 2-3mm edges that sloped towards me, and footholds that could make good smears in a pair of Five Tens, but so not the way forward for booted crampons. Come on Timmy, find a way mate, there has to be a way. Jerome shouted encouragement from below, so close yet so far, I felt like the only other option was to jump for the hanging dagger..."

 

 

Read more blog entries by Tim Emmett

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