Sunday 24 April 2011

Tout ca pour ca!

Not some deep, philosphical french thought I'm afraid, just the name of the route we did today. The forecast remains unsettled and so any hopes for a final big day were dashed and replaced with another day of multi pitch rock. As it turns out the weather has been pretty good all day but I'd get loads more done if I had hindsight on my side all the time.

I'd always fancied climbing one of the big routes at the back of the valley at Barberine, on the way up to the Emosson dam, and decided that today was the day. We chose to do "Tout ca pour ca", which goes pretty much up the middle of the face. Encourangingly enough the topo in the Chamonix crag climbs book has a big exclamation mark at the top as the final pitch fell down a few years back. Happily, the rest of the route is apparently fine.

The crag with "Tout ca pour ca" marked in red.

The walk up is easy enough, about 40 minutes, and the key is to keep going until almost level with the crag and then head left where you get to a grassy area. The first few pitches are easy so we moved together up them, and then the final 3 pitches are all sustained at top end 6a, so not too hard but enough for early season.

As per usual in these parts the descent is by abseil right back down the route. Overall really good quality climbing and a good idea for a dodgy forecast - we started late and were still back at the bags for 3.

Busy day at the crag