Location: Cassis, France – Les Calanques D’Morgeiu and Luminy
This morning was basically the same as Tuesday morning – especially because we headed to the same little town of Morgeiu to park. Luminy can be accessed either from the nearby university or the town, and since we were hoping to get some climbing in both, we decided that the town would just be the easier option.
The drive today was… easier, I guess. We had far fewer “Damnit French drivers! WTF!” moments, though that may just be because we were getting more jaded to their insanity. Also of note: Daniel loves honking the horn. I guess it’s his Virginia heritage, but he almost never honks here in the States… now that he had a real reason to, his grin stretched from ear to ear.
Crag #1 – L’Abri Corier
Way too many people. SKIP IT!
Crag #2 – Aguille De Sugiton
Ahh… this is more like it! Less people, and a truly excellent sea-breeze keeping us cool. Actually… almost cold. Glad I brought a jacket. At one point I literally had to stop climbing and brace against the rock to make sure I didn’t get knocked off the wall from the gusts. It was, in a word, awesome.
- Permission Exceptionnelle – 5.7 & 5.9 – Lead = Daniel. He strung these two into one larger climb, since both were sort of short. The first pitch was rather regular face climbing, but at the center of the second pitch… well, it was a really interesting little bulge that we had to work over. Harder for the lead though, since there’s one hidden hold way up top that was truly excellent. Seems to be a theme here… find the hold, crush the climb.
- Les Helvetes – 5.8 – Lead = Rebecca. Really fun route; super long and sort of pumpy, but definitely the kind of face / crack climbing that I love. I climbed it twice.
At this point, we had to retreat off the climbing. The wind had been quite nice and pleasant… but now it was just getting difficult. Literally clawing up a climb, as the wind tears against you, is not fun. Nor is it a safe way to lead routes. So we took the smart move and fell back to L’Abri Corier.
Crag #3 (#1 again!) – L’Abri Corier
Still a lot of people. But they’re university students, and pretty cool, and fuck it we’re going to sneak in between them and climb. They’ve got open ropes everywhere anyways, so it’s all cool. Yes, we do check with the “guide” – turns out she’s actually a professor at the university nearby, who teaches Sports Psychology. They’re climbing outdoors to get an idea of fear while sportsing. Cool.
- Manon Des Fontains – 5.7 – Lead = Rebecca. Very long climb that goes up a huge left-facing dihedral… quite similar to my favorite climb at Rumney (Holderness Corner), and we have a blast on it.
- Choupinette – 5.3 – Lead = Ben. Very short and simple climb, but still a good fun time.
- Passe Simple – 5.7 – Lead = Ben. A longer version of Choupinette, very similar moves.
- Poupette – 5.11b – lead = Daniel. This climb. Short, very hard, tough bouldering moves out of a cave to start. Looks a lot like Cro Magnum from Crow Hill, and Daniel led it beautifully. I… did not. I… did not make it past the first bolt. Rebecca and Bjorn got to the second and third, if I recall.
After the climb, we drove home. Simple story, though it does have a short segment where we get home, then immediately change into swim gear and jump in to the Mediterranean near the Villa in Cassis. Erin calls us crazy. She is 100% correct.