Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Sylvie Phobie, Barberine

The last few days have seen the foehn wind blow into Chamonix and as ever it's brought humid, warm and unsettled weather with it. It also seems to affect peoples' mindset and the locals in the Valley will tell you that everyone goes a bit loopy when the foehn arrives. 

Keen to get out in the hills without doing anything loopy, Phil and I decided on a day climbing at Barberine. I'd almost written off rock climbing to a decent level this summer due to a shoulder injury, but Barberine is slabby and I figured it would be a good place to see just what I can and can't do right now. The good news is that slabs seem fine and steep pulls are not entirely impossible if at the right angle, so maybe I could be out on the rock after all this summer and not just pottering around on alpine scrambles.

We decided to do "Sylphie Phobie", on the far left of the crag and shot up the lower pitches without incident to reach the midway ledge. By this stage we were both suffering with our feet (it was SO hot!) and general lethargy, possibly due to the humidity but more likely explained by the thought of a beer on the balcony at home, so after a very enjoyable lunch on the comfortable ledge we'd reached, we decided that we'd had enough for the day and headed down. 

Phil enjoying the shade after some sweaty slab climbing.

Wrestling with the Coke/Orangina dilemma.

Conditions right now are really tough to read so Phil and I are super keen on a mission for the weekend but struggling to figure out the best option. We've got ideas in Cham, the Ecrins, Italy and Zermatt so we could end up anywhere! Psyche is high though so whether we're wearing ski or rock boots, I'll hopefully have a good tale to tell by Monday!