Midi Pyrenees

I’ve been thinking about scale and motivation this last few days. I’ve made four drives across the mountains to go to Targasonne, crossing the Col du Puymoren at 1920m to drop down to the Targasonne at 1500m, the temps in the evening are lovely, nice and cool, but with sunshine and low humidity. What a contrast to the UK. I’m trying one problem, which seems crazy given the hundreds to choose from, but then this problem chose me unfortunately. I’m getting close, very close…

Back closer to home, which is now Ornolac Ussat Le Bain satying at the lovely Chez Arran, before moving into my house sometime in May or June…. I’ve been bouldering at Laramade, which is good. Now the thing is I seem to be operating on this weird myopic level, yet surrounded by large cliffs. I thought I’d better check the sport climbing out, I looked at Sabart, amazing cave and no doubt hard climbing, but to me it just made me feel so tired just looking, I found the cool air blowing form the back of the cave more exciting.

Targassonne, nice socks!

On the way back I checked out some roadside limestone boulders and found a 60 degree roof, pretty much on my doorstep, it was dusty and dirty, had fallen from the quarry wall, but it looked quality. If I had found this in Cornwall I would have thought my dreams had come true. Yet it made me feel guilty, surely I couldn’t get a saw and chisel and brush and start cleaning and working this, not with so much good sport climbing around me. But you know, I probably can, for me its all about the discovery and the new lines, the creative process. Following a line of large holds across a roof, getting harness chaf, falling, falling, working out, working out, I’d rather go the gym, than follow the line of another man!

Here’s the other thing, the peaks of the Pyrenees which are the backdrop to these musings and actions are peeping over ridges, filling the skyline at valley heads, they are snow covered, ice glistening in the sun. The thing is I want to climb them, in fact not even climb them, and simply be on them. But how, can I do them in old 5.10 tennies, do I need a coat?

So in the end stick with what I know, get a wire brush, some chalk and create.


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