I got it.
Simple as that really; five attempts, just to get the body back in the right alignment and next thing you know i’m topping out. Falling off the boss on the penultimate attempt sent so much adrenaline through my system, i was shaking violently, and after LOTS of screaming and shouting while topping out, i sat atop the boulder, emotionally drained with tears in my eyes. Such was the effort i put into this single climb and how much it meant. It’s often said that bouldering doesn’t give the same literary pieces as trad, or mountaineering but i think after going through that experience, it easily could.
So what next? I sat at the bottom saying i didn’t really care if i didn’t get another climb for the rest of the trip, as i’d finished my project but that didn’t last long. In truth, my ticklist has been remarkably sparse, with only really four ascents and a small collection of warm ups. The bright side to that is a pretty impressive list: Ongle Jo 7b at Roche aux Sabots, Carnage 7b+ at Curvier, an old 7a+ project at l’Elephante that finally succumb and a 7a jump start at 95.2 whose name escapes me at the moment. Not bad really!
And the rest of the team have been ticking them off too – Dan got Le Toit du Cul de Chien 7a yesterday to go with his ascent of Oblique, John has been ticking them off, Rich pushing himself a bit (much to my amazement), Mark getting the 5s in, Ryan getting a 6a among others, and the encouragement has been the same regardless of climber or grade. In fact, in some ways, i seem to get a little less, as the expectation of success seems a touch higher. Please do not read that as a complaint, it really isn’t, it’s a sign of the fantastic dynamic within the group i find myself in. Banter obviously reigns supreme as always but the support for the guy on the rock couldn’t be higher. It’s helped to contribute to a phenomenal week.
As so, i’m off to try and tick off another 7. After such a long wait to tick my first here in the forest, now they are finally falling with some regularity, daily it seems. The important one is done too, so no matter what happens, i can go home with a smile but as many a man has said, completion of a project can leave a void behind. I’m off to keep the momentum going and find my obsession for the next four years.