I have just returned from a weeklong bouldering trip where we had intended to briefly visit Targasonne in France before other spots in Spain. We never made it out of Targasonne… On arriving I thought it was such a beautiful place with a fair amount of climbing. I couldn't help but notice the seemingly vast potential for further development with boulder ridges everywhere. As it turned out, I only had four days of climbing taking rest days in between to try to make best use of my time. I was a bit shaky after a lot of travelling so I settled myself in with a couple of classics in the boulders literally behind where we were staying. I finished the session off by climbing a great 8a called Shadow Dancer.

Mike Adams climbing Shadow Dancer 8a. Photo: Tony Simpson

The second day of climbing, third on the trip, I was feeling quite good. I was eager to try an 8b as this was the only goal I had set myself for the trip. In the previous rest day I had seen a really nice 8b called La Theorie Du Chaos. It was on a smooth arête and looked like the kind of climbing I really enjoy and am good at. I was not wrong and after warming up I managed the line in less than two hours, topping out on my forth redpoint attempt. After gaining confidence from that I went on to flash a 7c+ called La Beaute De La Chose and then flash the 8a+ extension start. I have a feeling both of these climbs are soft for their grades but still; I felt I had earned another rest day.

[caption id="attachment_1647" align="aligncenter" width="580"] Mike Adams climbing La Beaute de la Chose (soft) 7c+ with 8a+ Extension. Photo: Tony Simpson[/caption]

My third day of climbing (after the rest day) did not go so well; I tried another two 8b's. The first called Queen of Hearts, but despite doing well I only managed the standing start 7c+ called Thanatodome before the sun and sore skin stopped play. The second was Psoas Mole a variation on an 8a+ called Psoas Hole. On both of these I struggled with a crucial heel hook as I just felt really bunched. I tried to salvage the day by trying an 8a+ Dyno called Superman, figuring that it would suit my big frame. Once again I came really close but just didn't get the top well enough, even worse I made my skin very sore. This was not a good day and I vowed to learn from the experience. I was left with no choice but to take another rest day to try to heal skin.

[caption id="attachment_1648" align="aligncenter" width="580"] Mike Adams climbing Superman 8a+. Photo: Tony Simpson[/caption]

On the fourth day of climbing I was determined to have a better day. I decided to try my luck at an 8b called La Tombeau De Damme Panc Ashash (Assis), getting up early to beat the sun. The problem is really steep and I struggled to power up for the moves and work them out. The first couple of moves proved really hard and just took everything out of me so I would failed on the last hard jump move to a lip jug. I was about to give up from the pain in my fingers from the holds but thankfully, I decided to take a long rest and have just one more go. I'm glad I did as I just about managed to link the moves together. It was far from a stylish ascent and definitely felt like it was by the skin of my teeth. According to some Spanish climbers that could be the second ascent of the problem.

[caption id="attachment_1649" align="aligncenter" width="580"] Mike Adams climbing La Tombeau De Panc Ashash (Assis) 8b. Photo: Tony Simpson[/caption]

La Tombeau De Panc Ashash (Assis) 8b - Photo Tony Simpson

Feeling relieved and surprised I decided I might as well try some 8's that I had seen whilst resting, I thought they suited my style and were in the shade. Firstly I tried End of Freedom; a technical 8a/8a+, which I did in about 30 mins and then Compression Assis an 8a twin arête that I did in about 20mins. After all that I was totally wasted and had to stop. However after some food and rest I talked myself into trying the 8a+ Dyno of Superman again. The sun was setting but was still just about on the rock. I set to work but had the same problem as before; I was close but was just too out of control. I started to really experiment with my beta and found some crucial foot beta. I was now more in control but was lacking height. I started to panic a bit and out of desperation cleaned a handhold up that was clearly going to be of no use. This must have forced me to rest as after I pulled on, I managed to snag enough of the sloper to hold the top. This was totally unexpected and even my friend was totally shocked. As far as dyno’s go this feels like one of the hardest I have ever done; it made a great end to the trip!

[caption id="attachment_1644" align="aligncenter" width="580"] Click the image to watch the Vimeo Video of Mike Adams sending La Theorie du Chaos 8b[/caption] La Theorie Du Chaos 8b - www.vimeo.com/35608464
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