Aug 12 30

With the promise of an afternoon thunderstorm and aching, ageing limbs, I was pleased that we had decided to head for the relatively close Les Cheserys up at the Col des Montets. The weather was supposed to be a lot cooler, but it started out scorching, and we were all a little overdressed.

Undressing at the bottom of the crag after a sweaty walk in

The routes here are all slabby, so the emphasis was on technique and balance…….. a bit of a bugger for me as I’m not sure I’ve got either.

Tish and Astrid started on the 150m Voie du Psychiatre, which wasn’t equipped, while Pete and I decided on La Voie de L’EHM (bolted) described in the guide as one of the best routes on the crag.

Astrid starts P2 on Psychiatre

Pete starts P2 of L’EHM

The climbing on the slabs was completely different to the thuggy granite across the valley. Easier on the arms, but harder on the feet, especially as I wasn’t used to cramming mine into the seemingly undersized shoes. On our route, Pete and I found the guidebook description to be accurate, Pitch 4, a 5c pitch that Pete led was great; balancy, with underclings and small side pulls.

Pete on P4 of L’EHM

Tish high up on Psychiatre

The weather starts to boil up as we near the top of the route

By mid-afternoon the weather was, as predicted looking stormy, so Pete led a 1 pitch route with a tricky start, which Astrid and I top-roped and Tish led; and just as we packed up, the heavens opened. We were on our way down as the crag became a waterfall dotted with French climbers (smug feeling). This was a great place to climb; easy approach, great views and a variety of routes at the easier end of the scale.

Tish on the difficult start of La Gamatte

Especially for Terry, here’s the crux of the day… a tricky 4 pitch problem at the pâtisserie… which one to choose???

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