1. The best crag in the world?

    I write this Blog having just got back to our Gite in Gap after a great day climbing in Ceuse. I’ve only ever had 1 day at Ceuse and that was way back in 1995. I am now wondering what I have been doing with my life for the past 20 years! Many claim it to be the best sport-climbing cliff in the world and it would be hard to argue with this claim. Bullet hard limestone, stunning location, world class routes in all directions and at least on the routes I climbed today a definite old school feel about them. We headed up to the Berlin sector and warmed up on a technical 6b+ face climb that really reminded me of the Styx wall at Buoux, keeping you on your toes, literally speaking all the way to the belay. Blocage Violence and Changement le Look both 7b+ quickly followed. Does sport-climbing get any better than this? Both uber-classic routes and the latter a gift from the French legend and early Ceuse pioneer Patrick Edlinger. I absolutely love this style of climbing, which requires good technique, strong fingers, a steady head and is no gift at the grade either. Proper old school sport-climbing and an antidote to the over bolted, over graded and bland sport-climbing often found elsewhere in Europe. Roll on tomorrow…
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  2. Deja Vu

    After a quick 15 hour flight from Salt Lake City-Chicago-Dublin and finally Paris, the once far away magical forest of Fontainebleau was within my grasp. I love returning to an area 10 years later for its as if I had never been, everything fresh and new but still so familiar, a bit of deja vu was clearly present. We snatched up our spiffy French car and hit the road, after sussing out our living sitiuation with a good friend the time had come to attack the precious boulders. Unfortunately the ever present moisture and dew had devoured the boulders and never seemed to evaporate. Climbing in Fontainebleau is by far one of the most technical styles of rock in the world, its also extremely temperature dependent. The conditions were completely horrible, and even the thought of projecting anything above the warmup grade was out of the question. It was fun for a day or two but after 3 weeks of the continuous let down, my mind began to go a little cuckoo. Nearing the end of our France adventure, in hopes of being in the best shape ever and ready to give the full on Utahn invasion of Great Britian, the exact opposite was at hand, too much delicious pastries, wine and cheese mixed with no climbing, made for some ruff times ahead.

    (Balance 7c+)

    With the dreams of Fontainebleau behind us it was time to venture onto the next chapter. England! Sheffield!

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  3. 4 weeks of my climbing life and Gorge du Tarn

    In order of date this is what I have been up to since I did Donnafugata on Torre Trieste. After Donnafugata I was waisted for about 3 or 4 weeks, with no real energy to do any thing real hard plus it was warm. Then La Saume came in to play. Its a new crag at 2300 meters that is in the shade all day. I sent a few 7c and 7c+ up there all mega cool routes and I have worked on a 8a+. Well its a summer crag and this morning I got word that its been snowing 30 cm at 2700 meters in the area of La Saume.... Draws in! Might have to go with my Ice tools to get them back down? The picture below is from La Saume.


    Gorge du Tarn is back in play! And its all about "ABUS Routes!"

    In fact Tarn has never been out of play its just been on the back-burner due to the lack of a dated topo and the huge re-bolting project, but the area has never been closed.

    I have a few thoughts on Tarn...

    First its 12 years since the last topo was published. Climbers not respecting the area is one reason this has kept back publishing a new topo. An other reason is the fact that it needed to be re- bolted. That has now been done. But its not FREE as many climbers seems to think. Its costed 104.000 Euros to re-bolt and a hundreds of man hours to make that happen. Some old areas are not in the new topo, respect that as FFME has most likely not secured agreements with the landowners.

    The new topo is in in French, English, German, Italian and Spanish. The pictures are super good and plenty of new stuff to do. Tarn is all about the "Abus" for me! Abus is the local term for the long and committing routes that are plus 60 meters. You climb

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  4. Practising on my lead ability

    This summer I’ve put a lot of focus on practising my leading abilities. I was able to lead when I felt safe on the moves, but you can’t really lead on your limit if you can’t take a fall, and I couldn’t.

    In the beginning of the summer I’ve been in Sant Leger in south France with my family and friends for two weeks. It’s the best place I’ve ever been to. The access to the cliff is short and the climbing is very fun! It’s a totally different kind of rock than I’m used to here in Sweden, much longer routes and a different kind of structure.

    St. Léger

    View of St. Léger

    I had some plans about practise leading in Sant Leger. But we where a little but unlucky…The first week my dad got a cold and later I also become ill. It didn’t affect me so much, I had to take it easy one day. But being ill on your climbing vacation isn’t fun at all…you don’t want to miss a single day of climbing, off course. So I wasn’t happy about that.

    But now to the point…When dad got a cold he couldn’t put up top ropes for me, which resulted in that I had no choice, I had to lead. Actually it was good because I needed the practice, but most of all I wanted to hang on a toprope, at my limit.

    It didn’t go so well at the beginning. I made easier sixes, but when it started to get harder I got panic.

    I don’t now how, but finally I started to get used to the scary feeling. And I took my first fall outdoor…I didn’t die. After the fall it went better.

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  5. Crushing le mur des 6 clopes 8b/+

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