mercredi 26 janvier 2011

Grenoble's tornado redpoints Champagne... 2nd go!

Grenoble's tornado Quentin Chastagnier came down to the french reviera with Thibault Saubusse these past four days. The aim was to climb mainly in Gréolières, and to pay a one day visit to the famous 8b route ChampagneChampagne was bolted and freed by Laurent Jacob back in 1986 on the exceptional cliff of La Turbie, right above Monaco and the sea. This 2nd pitch route, which can easily be accessed by the top, goes right through a white vertical wall. This incredible wall, which at first appears completely blank, just have the right among of tiny  holds to make the climb possible! Technical climbing, precise climbing shoes and finger strength are the keywords to succeed in this masterpiece!

The discreet climbing legend Laurent Jacob
After the accession of the climbing legend Laurent Jacob, the route waited nearly 20 years before being repeating in 2004 by the local figure Fred Oddo. After that I'm not exactly sure, but I'd say that only two other climbers, inducing the extraterrestrial Adam Ondra in 2006 also succeed in linking the wall! 
So this monday, Thib and Quentin abseiled down the route with all this in mind. The conditions were perfects, even if the route was still fully in the sun. After a quick beta check out that went pretty well, Quentin decided to give it a try..... and ended up linking the route! The run was an epic fight! Quentin was sometimes still searching some betas, looking for holds... and pulling like never on really tiny holds!!! In fact, the evening, when we were celebrating around a bottle of champagne and a huge "tartiflette", his finger tips were still a bit hearting him from crimping that hard!
As a reminder, this is far from being the first hard slab route Quentin redpoints since he has done quasi all the routes of the famous slab cliff near Grenoble called Les Lames. This includes the classics La poudre 8a, Taillée pour l'aventure 8a, Le singe nu 8a, Combat de rue 8a, Amour toujours 8b... but also the less done Loin des foules 8a and Bienvenue à bord 8a+/b both in a day, Amour sauvage 8b+, 69 8b+, La mémoire des vaincus 8b also on his 2nd go in a day!!! Actually the only one remaining there is the really hard Guerre crue project! According to him, most of these routes are very much comparable or even harder than Champagne in terms of difficulty, and at least as beautiful and interesting... Anyway congrats for this rare ascent of Champagne... and for sure we will see him back here sometimes soon to crush some other projects in Gréolières, or bolt some on the pieces of rock we've prospected together...

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