Charles Sherwood joined me for his annual summer climbing trip. The weather had "been" perfect but true to form all that changed. The alpine forecast was for snow and mixed weather for the week . We decided that the best thing was to clear off until there was a better forecast. We jumped in the car and headed through the Mt Blanc Tunnel for Finale Liguria. We climbed in the afternoon in very humid conditions and were finally forced from the crag by a thunderstorm.
The next day we launched ourselves at on of the classic climbs of the area which were very steep and intimidating However we also learn't that for classic climb read polished limestone and the grade of the climb bore no resemblance to what we had to deal with. In the end we couldn't actually finish the climb due to a combination of heat and having no strength left.
Next day we ventured onto the sea cliffs of Capo Noli an area I had climbed on many time before but this was Charles first visit.
On our final day we climbed at passing through the breath taking village of. Charles was keen to lead as many climbs as he could . The well bolted climbing of the area make this ideal.
Still there was no real improvement in the alpine weather [ or at least for the projects we had in mind] So we decided to head down the Mediterranean cost to the world famous climbing area of Les Calanques, just east of Marseilles. We found a wonderful place to stay and the food and wine were exceptional. On the wednesday we arrived in Cassis parked the car all excited to climb in the Calanques for the 1st time. But no! There was a big red sign saying the whole coast was closed due to the high risk of forest fire. There was nothing we could do but move on. But where? After consulting the map and the weather forecast we hit upon Buoux . The last time I had climbed there was 31 years ago. Then it was just before the Peter Mayle "Year in Provence" revolution which changed Provence from a back water to the chic place it is now: Our Auberge had a swimming pool at its foot.
We spent two days here climbing in a wonderful solitude .
We returned at 7.00am the next morning [after having a spectacular dinner in the town of Moustiers]. I was psyched for for the entry to the climb : A spectacular 45 meter free rappel into the gorge.