Bouin ripete Agincourt 8c nel suo Vintage Roc Tour

Interessante obbiettivo, questo di Seb Bouin, di ripetere le vie principali della storia della scalata francese, indipendentemente dal grado e dallo stile. Anche quando si tratta di vie non proprio indimenticabili dal punto di vista della bellezza. Come è il caso di Azincourt, o Agincourt, con la quale Ben Moon aveva dato una stilettata ai francesi, aprendo in casa loro il primo 8c d’ oltralpe e nominandolo con il termine che ricorda la battaglia della disfatta dell’esercito francese contro gli odiati abitanti d’oltremanica. La via, che si trova a Buoux, è molto boulderosa e si risolve in 10 movimenti estremi, con piccoli mono e biditi che costringono a centellinare la pelle e i tentativi. La foto è di Sam Biè. Ecco le vie riuscite finora RP

– “La Boule” 8a+, Sainte Victoire

– “Magie Blanche” 8b+, Mouriès

– “Azyncourt” First French 8c, Buoux

– “Guerre d’usure” 8c, Claret

– “Le super plafond” First french 8c+, Volx

Ecco la presentazione (in Inglese) del tour:

Two weeks ago I did  “Azincourt” the first French 8c in Buoux! The first ascent of this route was done in 1989 by Ben Moon. That’s why it is named after a victorious English battle against the French. This route is really unusual because of its style and location.

 

Indeed, there are about ten hard moves, not a lot for a route. Furthermore, the crux has a very “buouxien” style to it: You have to pull hard on a mono in order to stretch out as far as possible to a flat two-finger pocket with your left hand and then lunge to another good mono for your right hand. The difficulty of the crux is that it is tough on your skin and finger tendons. This can be frustrating because you cannot work the crux for a long time. If you do your skin can tear or even worse you strain your tendons. You must, therefore, be efficient and make every run count. Above all climb sensibly in order to avoid injury.

The route is perched  on the overhang of the last hard routes of Buoux (next to “La Chiquette du Graal”, “Le spectre…”,…). This adds a bit of a run out when climbing.

Small anecdote, I did the route a second time Saturday for the video.

I’m going to make the most of my most recent send of the first French 8c in Buoux to present and explain in more depth my Vintage Roc Tour:

The main objective of this Vintage Roc Tour is to revisit historic, let’s say classic, French routes from 7a  to 9a. Included amongst these classic routes are the first French quoted routes (first 8a, 8b….) as well as routes that have made it into the French climbing history books ( the most “epic” routes).

In order to do this I am going to go to different well-known French climbing spots and try out some of these classic routes: Buoux, Le Verdon, Le Cimaï, Mouries, Les Eaux Claires, Claret, Les Calanques, la Turbie, Volx, and others…

The final idea is to present these classic routes and the evolution that has occurred between the first 7 grades and the first 9 grades. I would like to reflect upon the part that these routes played in forming our climbing history  and the role they played in shaping modern climbing.

How was modern day climbing created?

What was the evolution between the first 7a and the first 9a? ( The route styles, the difficulties, the places, the equipping of routes…)

Why did they evolve in this way? (equipment, relationships between climbers, developments, physical facilities and difficulties, techniques, psyche and training,…).

Which ones are closest to modern climbing and which ones are the most different? Is there a difference?

Was the perceived difficulty of routes the same as it is today? Do the grades of these classic routes correlate with the grading of modern routes?

A further aim would also be to interview climbers who have done these routes in order to get a feel for the viewpoints of the time.

 

The Vintage Roc Tour has got off to a good start. I will keep you informed as the project advances.

Currently I have already done several classic routes, here are a few:

 

– “La Boule” 8a+, Sainte Victoire

– “Magie Blanche” 8b+, Mouriès

– “Azyncourt” First French 8c, Buoux

– “Guerre d’usure” 8c, Claret

– “Le super plafond” First french 8c+, Volx

It makes sense to do this project with my EB partner who made climbing shoes for the climbers of the time. We will make videos of the ascents of these classic routes. There will be serval episodes, the first one being of the route at Buoux! So stay tuned!

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