Fred Nicole Challenges Le Boa
LE BOA: It was one of those longterm projects, which you never know if it will go for sure. I started trying it two years ago. It was just after completing "L`Isola che no c`é". I enjoy having this kind of projects where you can go back over and over again, and slowly, try after try, you start to visualize the complete picture of it.
It is a sitdown start on a big snake like looking structure, which also gives the name to the problem. Some powerfull moves on pockets underclings that bring you to a tricky traverse with more pockets and a finish with long moves into a big flake. It ends in another problem called "Mosaik", rated V11 or 8a. The first four moves are by far the hardest, but the last ten are quite delicate and bring a great dimension to the line. You can see the start of it at the end of the movie by Bernardo Gimenez: http://www.prana.com/blog/tag/fred-nicole/
For me it was difficult to find the good conditions to do this problem, when I was able do the moves it was to cold or to wet to complete and the dryest season was usually to warm to even try the moves.
Conditions last March were ideal, dry and mild for the season, even windy with a bit of sun. It was a perfect early spring day. And most important, I was feeling kind of fit. A few days before, I did my best try in the problem falling at the very end, and the close departure for India was one more factor to make me climb more accurate. It was my lucky day and I could finally feel what it was like to chain so many hards and delicates moves.
Most of the time I don't grade my boulders anymore, but people are still curious what they could be. On this one my feeling lies around 8c boulder, as it felt as the hardest boulder I ever did on pockets. For sure the hardest thing since "L'isola che non c'é" and reckoning the time spent on it anyway an important line for me.