Showing posts from June, 2013

Le Pilier Sud (TD-, 6a, 1000m), Dent d'Orlu

I started up the steep corner lay-backing and bridging off thin holds. The footholds soon gave way to smooth granite at half height needing a powerful crimp to overcome. At first attempt I backed-off and quickly retreated down to my bridged stance below. I felt at my limit but with twenty-three pitches to follow I simply had to dispatch the initial steep 6a crux pitch. I tried again, this time improving my footwork to aid my upward thrust. Above the difficult moves I stopped to control my heavy breathing and let my pumped arms recover. Easier slabby ground rose left towards my belay with some minor seepage to cross. I clipped onto the belay above the tree line with relief. With the crux dispatched I felt halfway to the summit already.

The second pitch continued in the steep vein up an arête that formed the edge of a slab but the rock was now juggier and technically easier to climb. By the third pitch the route had eased back and now smooth slabs prevailed. I balanced my way up the thi…