The Old Man and the Sea
A story by Toni Lamprecht.
Around August/September 2009 Toni Lamprecht, Uli Strunz and Benno Wagner spent several weeks in the Gorge du Verdon with the target to establish a first ascent on one of the amazing limestone-walls in this area in the south of France. The result is "Le Vieux et la mer", with 7 pitches up to the 8th french grade. One of the nicest and most beautifull first ascents of Toni, the "old" German pioneer, who had this project in his mind for several years, but who finally caught the "big fish" this past summer:
"If you ever climb a route in the Sektotr Ula in the Gorge du Verdon there's no way not to look at the beautifull, blank looking piller to the right. And so did I, and got soon involved in finding a climbable line in the sea of grey rock. I rapelled several times into the overhanging maze of unclimbable looking stone, until I finally found the only freeclimable line: a serpent- like-creeping-way up on little, tiny edges and pockets. A present, which waited for the one to pick it the first. That was in summer 2008, and I swore to myself to come back one year later.
And so it happened that exactly a year after seeing the crucial way, we started to boulder in the hard pitches to find the solution. We, a team of different climbers: Uli Strunz, the dreadlook-wapponed skiny mover, Benno Wagner, the Young Gun and myself, Toni, the "old Fox". A good mixtureof different skills from jumar-power, drinking and partying skills (not to forget the fanatic climbing-abilities) that promissed success – and so it happened that a few weeks later we redpointed the last missing pitch of our new route "Le Vieux et le mer" (6b, 7a+, 8ab, 8a, 6a, 7a, 7c+, 7a), the nicest fish I've ever caught out of the grey-blue looking sea of rock… ."
The Route was filmed, so stay tuned for upcoming trailers!