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Blog Post..

Gibbon on Holiday in France


So back in October and November, I took a road trip with my girl friend, in my camper van. First destination was to Chamonix, as the conditions were reported to be phenomenal, and they did not disappoint!

The grand Jourass was reported to be in "once in a life time conditions", I was joined by my good friend and long time climbing partner Tom Nicholes. As neither of us were acclimatised we opted for a technically easier route to easy us in.

Still, jumping strait on the shroud, unacclimatized was hard work, but excellent conditions made things enjoyable, even when breathing hard.

Tom only had 10 days free, so after one rest day, which for me included an amazing XC paragliding flight off the Aiguille Du midi, and flying up to Les dru's & up and down the Chamonix Aiguilles and then Up and down the Aiguille Rouges! It was strait back up the midi lift and onto Modica-Noury, and fantastic chamonix classic ice route.

Later a day resting in the Abri simmond hut, we got on the Super Couloir. We climbed the direct start, which goes around M6, which I led. This gets the morning sun, so it's really worth starting way before sun rise, unlike us. Meltyness aside it was a really fun three pitches; which brings you to the upper Couloir; WOW, amazing. Certainly deserves it's name. About 500m of steep sustained magical ice, hemmed in by huge rock walls. Incredible.

Once Tom left I used the last good weather window, doing my duty, and guiding Lara my girlfriend, and other friend (Luke), on the Cosmiques arete, it was a fun introduction to mountaineering, which left her eager to do something more challenging....a good sign.

The next day the weather crapped out in chamonix, so we moved our "mobile chalet" south, and visited the sport climbing mecca of Ceuse.

Our next stop, on our rain dodging adventure was Chateux verte, an overhanging sport crag in haute province, southern france, that stays dry in the rain. I didnt get any pictures, but it's a worth while crag, if your climbing around 7a, and it's raining.

Our final destination before I had to come back to the UK for my work expedition, was the Verdon Gorge.

The verdon gorge boasts some 700m + sport routes on perfect steep limestone. I had wanted to go for a while. Unfortunately we only had two dry days, but we did some really nice routes, and I will be back for sure!

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