Wednesday, 19 October 2011

The Vultures Are Circling

... but this is not, at all, a bad thing.

We've been happily parked up near the entrance to "La Maison des Vautours" for the last ... well, at least the last week but probably longer. Days are flying by, spent climbing in the sun on the walls of the Gorges du Tarn (harder, single-pitch) and Gorges de la Jonte (3-4 pitch climbing at usually consistent grades).

In the Jonte, the re-introduced vultures love to glide by the cliffs, rising on the thermals - from our position on the wall, we can see their immense size and grace as they appear right near us, turning their heads to check us out (still living? eh, not interested).

Climbing highlights? It's hard to go past L'arete Oest (the West Arete), Les femmes et les grimpeurs d'abord and Le Reverent in the Jonte ... although there have been many others, that in less auspicious company, would be considered classics. And Gorges du Tarn has so many fantastic single pitch routes to push ourselves on (most of them are super hard!), I don't know where to start.

In the evenings we've been hanging out with Sam and Al, and their two dogs Rosie and Jem - British climbers who like us are loving the van life and who are great company.

All up, life continues as normal - fantastic.

Friday, 14 October 2011

The West Arete - L'Arete Ouest

What a line! Straight up the edge of the block - three stunning pitches. If you look closely, you can even see us climbing...

... and our view of the route, from the second belay. An awesome route.

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Les femmes et les grimpeurs d'abord ... or, women and climbers first!

Jen leading and Mark on belay on the third and final pitch of "Les femmes et les grimpeurs d'abord" in the Cirque des Vases, Gorges de la Jonte - 5c, 5b, 5c+. Absolutely brilliant climbing, in a stunning setting with great weather. Photo by Al.

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

... where are we now?

So we've been a bit busy the last month, moving from here to there, seeing family and old friends, doing some climbing, doing some admin and (as usual) having a good time. As a consequence, the blog has suffered ... whoops.

But we're now settled in the Gorges du Tarn and Jonte - with fantastic weather and loads of climbing, and unreliable internet connections too. So surely, the blog will be updated with our stories soon?! We shall see!

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

A Van Haircut

Step 1: Hack at excess hair with old kitchen scissors.

Step 2: Consider leaving it like this, and risk being mistaken for a Spanish / Italian climber.

Step 3: Use beard trimmers to even it out. Worry about hypothermia.