Archive for rock climbing
I grabbed The Whitefire Crossing (by Courtney Schafer) in the Barnes-and-Nobles of Provo, Utah, after one great day of ice-climbing and because of the nice cover! The main plot is about a smuggler+mountain guide taking a hidden mage away from a magicians’ city. The Whitefire is the mountain range the group must cross to reach a safe haven where magic is banned. The first part of the book is quite enticing, taking place in the mountains with several stories of climbs and rescues. There is however a limit on the number of climbs you can describe in a book and the second part of The Whitefire Crossing is more tepid, in my opinion. This is the author’s first book and the way characters interact with one another somehow reflects upon this. The plot is indeed rather predictable and the very final twist not really unexpected. (The [unavoidable] love relation is clear to anyone but the main character from the very beginning of the book!) The cover is also going against mountaineering (obvious) practice that the most experienced climber stands at the back when going down… The Whitefire Crossing still remains an enjoyable book (I had to rescue over and over from my son’s room as he kept stealing it from me!) and I am looking forward the sequel, The Tainted City, as obviously are more enthusiastic reviewers, here and there. And there.
I went back climbing to Morgiou on Saturday night, achieving an easy 5c there but my son was in a hurry to get back to CiRM to watch the (football) game, so we did not try anything else. We started at 7pm, so the temperature was quite enjoyable. Too bad there is not another window of opportunity before I leave!
On Thursday evening, my son and I went climbing—along with Jean-Michel Marin who took those pictures—in the vale of Morgiou, on a spot called Royaume de dégun (dégun meaning nobody in the local provencal dialect, the name is apparently borrowed from a book by Gilles Del Pappas with the same name published in 2002). As we were in a hurry for the evening meal, we only tried the easiest route (5a). It took us a while to find the way into this small cirque, although it is only 20mn from CiRM, and it also took some pondering before going through the swarm of bees that elected the rock crack next to the path as home… But the nice thing was that, by 6pm, the rock was in blessed shade. The limestone rock is fairly characteristic of the area, with tiny “water droplet” holes for fingers and a very good grip for the feet. Most of the routes (including one called théorème de l’engambi, like most routes there a reference to a book by a local author, not to a climb by a visiting mathematician) in this spot are 6a/6b, because the cliff starts to lean forward at the top. I hope we can find some time to go back and try the 5c routes…