Climbing... no more excuses!
At Santa Linya in Spain Ramon Julian Puigblanque repeated Catxasa 9a+ with temperatures up to 39°C, while at Fontainebleau in France 55-year old Jean-Pierre Bouvier freed Fou Rire en aller-retour.
Rock climbers are famous for always finding a thousand excuses for failing on a route. Too hot. Too cold. Too damp. Too dry even! Too reachy. A move ideal for the short! And so on and so forth.
A man who cares little about all of this is Spanish climber Ramon Julian Puigblanque who just the other day made the first repeat of Catxasa, the nth 9a+ by Chris Sharma at Santa Linya in Spain. Nothing special we hear you say, especially seeing that Ramonette has pushed himself on-sight to 8c+, and on routes harder than this he rarely needs more than another two attempts. So why this news? Well, the World Champion repeated the route with the mercury sweating a full 39°C... amazing!
Another reason often used by us climbers after having failed is that we're tired and too old. But in this case too there are some excellent examples which prove the opposite, a quick glance at the over-50'ers Manolo and Stevie Haston reveals that probably we all still have much margin to improve and have enjoy ourseves. Another climber who enters into this "evergreen" category is the 55-year-old Frenchman Jean-Pierre Bouvier who in the Fontainebleau forest on the outskirts of Paris has now sent "Fou Rire en aller-retour", a traverse - there and back - which he has graded 9a. Congratulations obviously go to "JP" as he's often called... Those who don't know the name Bouvier take heed: he shot to fame in 1981 when he freed Chimpanzodrome at Saussois, one of the famous sport climbs in France and its second 7c+ after Patrick Bérhault's La Haine. This equates to 30 years of driving passion at the top! Yes, there really are no more excuses!