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powdherb

[TR] From Cezanne to Cassis to Icy Chamonix... - Several 6/18/2010

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Trip: From Cezanne to Cassis to Icy Chamonix... - Several

 

Date: 6/18/2010

 

Trip Report:

This is a combination of two TRs I posted in the Ski Sickness Sanitarium. I think it does it more justice to post them on a climbing forum....

 

The week started with some trundling near the home of artist Cezanne in order safely secure the "paysages de Cezanne"

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In a quest to combine some of my favorite things: pizza, beach babes, and climbing I though it would be a good idea to go to Italy, where it came from.

 

Conveniently, my cousin was forecasted to get married in southern Italy, where some of my Italian family lives. The south of Italy is glorious, not quite on pace with the chaos of the North, but still quite chic and sophisticated in its own way. The beaches down there are just stupid. Huge limestone cliffs with caves and pristine turquoise waters shimmering below compose the backdrop for you as you sit at a cafe eating your 3 Euro wood-fired pizza and snacking on vine-ripened Italian tomatoes. The area is also famous for its take on the famous french dessert called La Profiterole, which is small crispy fried bread balls filled with ice cream and then covered in dark chocolate and allowed to cool.

 

Anyway, on the way down we stopped on the Italian Riviera in a town called Levanto, which was quite pleasant. This town is near Cinque Terre, but not quite part of it. After this stopover and beaching, we continued down to the wedding, where I could literally write pages about the food and beaches, but I won't waste your time. You can just look at the pictures.

 

We were enjoying it.

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Then we headed south to check out some nice beaches and acquire some rays.

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The reason the food is so good in Italy is because stuff just grows. Look a nice bouquet.

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Liz gets wet.

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After like 10 days of eating and beaching, it was time to burn some mozzarella, so we went to another beach on our way back called Finale Ligure, which just happens to be an epicenter of extreme in northwestern Italy. Crazy good limestone everywhere, with awesome fins and cracks galore.

 

 

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We met up with our detachment of Swedish friends from Cham: Michelle and Amanda. They ended up camping in various illegal beaches and parking lots for like two weeks before they finally got sick of being kicked out of their squat at 6am everyday.

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Finale is real nice.

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Babe Squad.

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We enjoy the beach at night too.

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Girls; they like ice cream.

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But sometimes they drink too much wine after.

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The next day we wanted to climb some psicobloc, but there was a pesky ledge here that would break your head.

 

 

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The Germans wanted to get naked and get wet.

 

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The scenery helps.

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We were having too much fun, we had to go back to Cham and find a suffer bivy ASAP!

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My first goal was to climb the fabled Rebuffat route, which consists of 7-9 pitches of amazing alpine granite that accessed by a ten minute walk from the midi cablecar and ends at the summit.

 

Does that look like something that interests you?

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Ross and I were able to enjoy the route with perfect temps and no other people on the route. It was tres agreable.

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We took a steep variation to the right which I think was the end of the Contamine route. Some nice hard overhanging cracks and beautiful corners.

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Ross rode it.

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We arrived at the top station just in time for some lunch. I called up liz and she came up with some sandwiches and spandex and wine. We feasted then rapped back down and climbed the last 3 pitches again. The whole concept was pretty ridiculous.

 

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Look at that.

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The finish is a sporty pitch. A bit spicy.

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The day before Liz did the cosmique arete with Ross while I was working.

 

She had to repeatedly hold the the French army boyz' hands.

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A variation that lead to some nice alpine cragging.

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I think that's about it.

In order prepare for the day ahead we drove 150 miles per hour to the coast to climb 10 pitches at 4:30 in morning so we would be back in time to take a 2 hour nap at lunch at noon.

 

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Chef Ivan, Au bord.

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This route put up recently (2006 I think) in the Cap Canaille area is ten pitches of a variety, finishing in some crazy conglomerate.

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Me on tete on one of the final pitches.

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THEN IT RAINED FOR 3 WEEKS.

 

In order to mourn my girlfriends departure, we decided to go to Les Calanques where I took a 50 foot whipper and woke up floating in ten inches of water.

 

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Finally this morning it cleared for 15 minutes so Tom and I decided to climb the Chere Goulotte on the Tacul Triangle.

 

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Is there really a difference in 85 degree ice and 90 degree ice?

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Gear Notes:

500 Quickdraws, peanut butter, bullets.

 

Approach Notes:

Watch out for shit in Italy. Scorpions in Aix.

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I don't know whether to laugh or cry. C'mon, that is just plain ridiculous. . . .

 

Well, I suppose I shouldn't be envious, my looks and skills are a better match for the Cascades- I wouldn't fit in anyway.

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Wow... wine, women, beaches, cragging and alpine routes... the French have it figured out.

 

 

 

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o..m..f..g!

(they really need to come up with a special smiley just for t.r.'s like this, but for now:

:rocken: )

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