30 September, 2007

Les Gorges du Verdon

Oh the French climbing, how it beats me every time. We spent the last week in the French 'Grand Canyon' the Verdon Gorge. Most of the climbing is multi-pitch and must be accessed by rappelling all the way to the bottom of the Gorge to get to the beginning of your route. And since I'm not a long route pro by any stretch...the whole rapping into a black abyss is kind of scary. But well, I guess that's all part of the game. Below is a picture of our trailer. Yes, your eyes do not deceive you, we stayed high class in a trailer and loved every minute of our one lavish night in Maurice's trailer. See the Verdon lies in the south of France and we just figured it would be pretty warm. And it was warm during the day, but it easily dipped into the 30's during the night. I haven't even mentioned the wind...which threatened to blow us away in our tent during the night. On our last night, the owner of the camp ground (a talkative older Frenchman, Maurice) insisted that we stay in the trailer on his property. Et voila! A whole trailer all to ourselves...which we heated by lighting the gas stove and just hoping we didn't burn the place down!!! Ah la France.
The climbing was scary, like it always is for me. On our last day of climbing we rapped down three pitches (100 meters) and noticed storm clouds before we even started the route. Because I am not the fasted climber known to man, David led all three pitches faster than I've ever seen anyone climb. As he topped out it began to hail. And I swore we would never ever do a multi-pitch without checking the weather. When I topped out the thunderstorm began full force.

This view is from a little pull off where I met an American woman. As we're looking at this incredible view she asked me how close the next town was where they could turn around. We said 10 miles and she got this disgusted look on her face and said 'gosh, 10 more miles of this!' I'm sure maybe the winding mountain roads were too much for her, but come on!!! Especially with scenery like this!!


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