by Nina Caprez
There are some lines in the world, where the path of a passionate climber has to go through. One of them can be found in my favourite climbing place, in the gorges of Verdon.
‘Tom et je ris’ is a pure endurance route (8b+) and simply a must for a passionate climber! I was sharing this little adventure with my good friend Mike Fuselier. You can’t imagine the mission it was to find the line..! After hours of errantry we finally found the belay of the route, but the colonettes were wet from the heavy rain 4 days ago. What a shame! Well, ten days later, everything was dry and we were so excited when we were standing once again on the top of the route . Mike was checking out the moves on the abseil down and sent it right after that.
I did a proper work out of the route and ten minutes later I did a go. About one hour later with the forerarms completly pumped, I reached the top. Thanks to Mike for the hours of joking and laughing and to Fred Labreveux for the nice pictures.
Three days after the Verdon trip, my boyfriend Cédric and me were already on the ferry to Corsika to retry ‘Délicatessen’. This was our second journey to the col of Bavella because of the rain during our first stay three weeks ago….
The first day was really frustrating. Of course, there was no more chalk on the wall and also it was so hard to get used again to climb on this flat and technical wall. The route had even turned harder since Cédric had broken a little hold on the crux on our first trip. After checking out and falling down plenty of times on the crux section, Cédric could finally climb the first 8b with quite some luck!;-) He did the next two pitches, 7c+ and 7c, directly but on the flat 8a pitch in the end, he had to try three times before sending it. I was climbing in top rope and I can tell you that I had no chance to climb all the sections. I was really happy for Cédric but also rather demoralized for the next day…
But after a good meal and a night full of sleep, the confidance was back and after three trys in the 8b, I found the right balance for this slab and could send this delicated pitch. Arriving at the first belay, I could feel the adrenaline throuhout my body. With this bunch of energy I felt like flying through the next four pitches. Once more on the top, I was recognizing what a privilege it is to have the opportunity to climb such incredible walls!
Many thanks to Arnaud Petit and Stefanie Bodet. Arnaud was bolting this route a couple of years ago and the two of them were renewing all the bolts right before our first arrival in Corsika. I have to admit that ‘Délicatessen’ is the most beautiful and aesthetic line I`ve climbed so far. Its difficulty is mainly given by the very dedicated style rather than by the physical effort. Your feet and legs are suffering much more than your arms!;-) I absolutely recommend this piece of art to everybody!
Thanks also to Stefan Schlumpf who once more was sharing a big adventure with us and for his fantastic work.
Here is the topo, go for it, it’s so fantastic!