River boulder, Laramade

Leaves are falling, autumn has arrived. 

Three or four years ago I found a really good boulder  in the Vicdessos valley, near the popular and developed area of Laramade. I was very surprised no one had found it before, being about 45 degree overhanging some evidence of cleaning or chalk would have been visible, but nothing showed any sign of having been climbed on. 

Initially the wall seemed very hard. I spent about a year with the occasional visits spent trying moving and envisaging the lines. After a couple of forays up the far left and far right of the face at about 6c /7a ish I decided the original line I was trying was too hard, it was not an eliminate but it did not necessarily follow the easiest line. Two years ago, I started to understand that climbing the easiest line was also in fact quite hard.

I feel very ambivalent about climbing this problem. I expected a far greater sense of joy. I think that having a long term project over a period when so much has happened and changed; deaths, marriage, births, global pandemic and Brexit. That it is what it  is and that is not much at all. I thought I was having an existential crisis, but I think in reality my reaction is actually in proportion.

I’m not sure of any of the grades on this boulder, By the river I suggest 7C it could be harder though. I simply haven’t climbed enough problems recently to make a good comparison. The project line is quite a bit harder!

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