With new year I was one week in Font, with some delay my thoughts about that week. It was good to finally touch some rock again, that was almost 6 months ago. With new year the weather can be tricky in Font, actually you never know what you're up to. At the beginning of the week we where 'blessed' with blue skies and lots of sun. 2012 had a nice ending, unfortunately that all changed in 2013. Where we began the week with blue skies, we ended that week with grey skies and rain. Well that's Font, nothing to do about that. And enough about the weather, climbers (me included) always complain about the weather ;)
I wanted to try Gecko assis (8b+) this trip but due to bad conditions (oops complaining about the weather again, sorry) I had to change my plans. The first day I had a little dyno succes, finally I did La Puce (8a)! A nice jump in a steep overhang/roof that took me a long time to send. I tried it on multiple trips and always came 1 cm short of the jug, but not this time :) The second day my focus was on Sideways Daze (8b), a short and crimpy boulder problem. I can be short about the results of that one, a miserably failure. Bouldering is not all about success, most of the times we fail and sometimes we are even totally chanceless. In Sideways I felt totally chanceless that day, those edges are so small and they really hurt my fingers. Because of that I soon lost my motivation for Sideways, maybe next time? After this defeat I wondered a little bit around in the forest, looking for a problem to get my motivation back. I found Verdict (8a), a crimpy problem I looked at a few times before but never tried. A French local was trying this one and was kind enough to show me the beta. It looked good and more important for me at that moment doable. I about the same time I got my ass kicked on Sideways I stood on top off Verdict. That felt good! When I walked back to the car I walked past T-rex (7c+). The sun was slowly beginning to set, but feeling good of sending Verdict I wanted to do this one two. Within a few tries I sended T-Rex, thanks to beta of some Croatians. This problem , with its long moves, really suits me. I briefly tried the sit start (8a) and made it twice to the final move. I was getting to tired and called it a day. It is strange how thin the line is between failure and success. After trying Sideways I was pissed off and thought that the whole day would suck. But it turned out to be a good day and I managed to do two nice boulders that I wanted to do for a long time.
The third day I wanted to take it easy and recover a bit. Due to the upcoming bad weather in the next days I didn't had the time to relax, I wanted to make most of my time in Font. I choose to try Conviction (8a). Because I was still a bit tired off the last two days I hoped that I could send this one rather quick, a few months back I had worked a few hours in this boulder so I knew all the beta. Conviction is situated directly right of the Island (8b+) and when I arrived at the boulder German power house Jan Hojer was projecting the Island. It was very motivated to see Jan killing the Island. I wanted to try the Island two, but first I had to settle a score with Conviction. I wasn't that strong that day and struggled a lot with conviction. The nature of the boulder, a two move power problem, makes it 'unforgivable'. I mean it is hard to feel the progress and having a feeling to be close to the send. I was getting closer and closer but still without the feeling that it was almost 'in the pocket'. It was getting to get a bit darker and Jan was already joking about the head torches when I, a bit surprisingly, sticked the topjug. Not the worst end of 2012 sending a project just before it gets dark! Jan wanted to try the Big Island (8c) and I was very motivated to try the Island, we decided to come back after a rest day (everyone needs a rest day on January the first!).
New year was crazy in party capitol La Chapelle la Reine, the small village where we slept. At twelve o'clock there was absolutely nobody outside and I barely saw some fireworks in the distance. A big contrast to my hometown of Rotterdam. We popped some bottles champagne and 'deserved' the rest day the day after. The second of January I went back to the Island for a workout try. I have been twice to Conviction and looked a lot at the Island those times but hadn't tried it yet. Actually I never tried anything as hard as the Island yet, so I was a bit nervous about trying it. I hoped to be strong enough to be able to move a little bit in the problem. Thanks to Jan's beta thinks got better than expected. I was chanceless to send the boulder that day, but that wasn't the goal at all. I was able to do all single moves but one, the one move I couldn't do was the crux but I was close on that one. What a pure power boulder is that one, hard compression between bad slopers. I never tried anything that hard, and it was motivating to find out that I wasn't completely chanceless. I know now that it is in my reach to climb the Island. It will take some more days of work and I need to get a bit stronger, but I feel it is possible. We had 3 more days in Font and I wanted to work in the Island every day...but it rained all those days so the end of the week was a bit disappointing. It was still a nice little trip and I found myself a project. This definitely will help finding motivation to train in the gym.
The Island, 8b+. Foto Sophia Bitloch
La Puce, 8a. Foto Roman van der Werf
Ubik asiss...one of the fastest drying boulders in Font.