No sooner said than done ! After this famous appetizer at the Rocher du Midi in De Charybde en Scylla, the following weekend, we tackled something harder.
It was Théo who first talked about Pestel in Glandasse; real Chinese at first glance. He was rather attracted by Recto Verso, but after leafing through a few guidebooks, I encourage him to go to Esprit es-tu l'axe?, a route that goes straight over the Pestel and comes out nicely at the top. Not to mention that this weekend, Max is back from his (beautiful) canyoning season and is well motivated to find some climbing sensations! Nothing better than a long route that unrolls to recover your health level climbs. The dice are cast, we all three leave in Spirit are you the axis?
|Theo at the start|
The route is 230m of slab or vertical which goes up the beautiful rocky peak posed as if in balance on the bar of Glandasse. The ratings oscillate between 7a and 7c, Mussato equipment. In other words, even if it's not very long, it won't happen in real life!
We leave at 7 a.m. from the car, the approach is long and painful, especially once we reach the foot of the cliffs, to cross to the Pestel. In short, at 9:30 am we start to climb. Théo takes care of L1 in 7a+ and L2 in 7a, a good start. We are surprised by the adherence of the rock. Fortunately it is there because we spend more time with our feet flat than on holds and given our speed of execution, we are surprised that we are still not in the trap after an unfortunate zip. These two lengths are really committed, we're happy to be second to get through the dip and warm up without too much pressure. It seems that the following are better equipped!
|A beautiful committed slab to start|
|Max in L2|
Max leaves in L3 in 7c, a traverse to the right on an incline that is actually well equipped. He puts up a magnificent fight and not far from the chain. Scratch, a Caro crushed against the rock and a great flight for Max! We're really impressed with Théo and all the more so when we put our fingers on the grips… In addition to being very difficult to read, the rock is a bit sluggish and it's far from reassuring in the lead.
I then go to L4 in 7c too, an orange and gray slab. It looks gorgeous! As soon as I get out of the relay, it climbs and I do my best not to fall on my companions! A good fight gets me halfway through the pitch where I'm completely in the wrong direction. Impossible to come back to the other side, draw, shift to the left and here we go again. The sequel is still very much obligatory, it climbs between the quickdraws. I don't try to follow up the end because we have a slight impression that time is passing… Theo joins me already well under way while Max again fails to continue the length! A small zip just under the relay...
|L2, 7a of great beauty|
The following length, in 7a, frankly looks ugly: a cracked rock, not very solid in appearance. Theo devotes himself to going there. It is clearly the most ethereal and mental length. We really don't lead wide, even in second… And we don't take advantage of the climb too much. Let's go!
|Technical end of L3, 7c|
After having curdled well in the first pitches, we are now in the middle of a dodge with a 7b+ slab pitch ahead of us. Max sticks to it and puts the trash well to pass. Finally that is according to the noises heard because of course, as the length crosses well to the left, we no longer see the climber! The crux is really hard, much more than the mandatory 7a announced in our opinion. The throw on the cord, left by our predecessors, delights Max while Theo and I opt for a strategic pendulum towards good catches.
|Strategic decompression break at R3|
We don't look at the time but we feel that it's late, that we clearly haven't made any progress and that it's time to hurry. I take care of the last 7b, very long, on a beautiful rock for ¾ then a garden to reach the summit of the Pestel. The hard step is frankly not easy and downright mandatory. I go back to it several times, first to understand, then to dare to pull on the small scale of the crux and finally to hold the blocking necessary for the movement. These movements finish us off and we watch the sunset at the top of the Pestel… Oops!
|Max in the end of L4, 7c|
Abseils are done in the left lane Babel. But who says sunset also says wind rise… We are flat against the rock, the ropes are horizontal, we have to hang facing the wind. We don't have much time to look at the pitches in which we're going down, but it's steep and not very steep… Yet another matter! We nevertheless observe the drawings of the lichen on the gray faces, bordering on psychedelia.
|R4, now it's hot...|
We are entitled to a few fears of jamming of the strings but everything is going well in the end! Relief and comfort! We eat the chocolate bar at the foot of the face instead of the top but who cares! We got back down safely, tired but happy!
|End of L4|
We still have a few hours to walk to find the car. We innovate by going straight through the forest, in treasure hunt mode. And what joy when we find our own treasure: the path!
|Summit, sunset, not happy…|
12:30 a.m. in the car, time to nibble on a little something and here we are at 3 a.m. in Grenoble. Tomorrow, we have to work! Good night !