We woke up to beautiful blue skies, but we knew the weather wouldn’t last. The forecast was for rain by early afternoon, so we decided to find a route with a short approach. We chose the “capital of science-friction” Barberine for our destination and Sylvie Phobie for our route.
We parked the car in the village and started the 20 minute approach. An hour and a half later we finally found the bottom of the route!!!
Somehow we had well and truly managed to completely miss the path. We took the left path, as directed, followed the gorge for a while (watching some gorge bashers having fun jumping into pools), and then headed up a scree slope. It didn’t feel right, the scree was treacherous, and when we made it to the bottom of the crag there was no sight of any routes.
We went right, then down, then left, then up, then left some more, then up some more, then down, and then right. Oh my god, this was not what we had expected!
Eventually we decided to abandon the route and head for the lower slabs. The forecasted clouds had built up and the air was getting cooler – which was just as well as we were sweating buckets from all the exertion. We were almost back at the gorge, traversing towards the village, and suddenly we came across a cairn. This must be the path!
We started up hill again, and within a minute or two we made it to Sylvie Phobie.
We didn’t expect to complete the route, there was slight precipitation by then, but we decided we’d get as far as we could. The slabs were fantastic with excellent friction, which lead us to a couple of testing steeper pitches, with some thankfully well placed bolts.
We bailed out after pitch 5. The rain had started proper and I could hear a cake calling my name. On the way down we checked out how we could have missed the path. Easily! The path was the other side of a closed off (with an electric fence) section and was well and truly hidden. There’s no way we could have known to go through there.
Oh well, we found the route eventually and had a great time on the first few pitches. At least we now know where to go next time.
We headed back down to Chamonix for our favorite after climbing activity….
Series - French Cakes
- Tarte aux Figue
- Tarte aux Pommes
- Tarte aux Myrtles
- Tarte aux Myrtles et Bière
- Les Miettes
- Gâteau de Citron
- Gâteau de Chocolat