/ NEW ARTICLE: Ceuse for mortals by Fiend

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JoH - Editor - on 11 Nov 2006
"My first day at Ceuse was not an auspicious start. The campsite and crag were full of skinny, sunbronzed pretty-boys and girls, showing off their pecs whilst fixating you with a hostile blank sport climber's glare.."

Fiend's tussle with Ceuse begins.

Read more - http://www.ukclimbing.com/articles/page.php?id=256
LakesWinter on 11 Nov 2006
In reply to JoH - Editor: good article, it nearly makes me want to go and that's saying something given its sport climbing
John Lisle - on 11 Nov 2006
In reply to JoH - Editor:

That's a really good article - thanks Fiend.

J
whispering nic - on 11 Nov 2006
In reply to John Lisle:
Medicine Douce is pretty tough at 6c+, and Sex,Sea and Sun is a cracking 6a. Don't be psyched out by the skinny youths, they're just eyeing your gut with envy...
Fiend - on 11 Nov 2006
In reply to JoH - Editor:

Thanks Jo - and thanks to kevin stephens for a very suitable photograph and to you for putting that in.

BTW you didn't tell me what grammar you've changed!




Thanks for the comments guys, glad you liked it.
Gordon Stainforth - on 11 Nov 2006
In reply to JoH - Editor:

Great article, Fiend. Beautifully written, and concise and informative.
AJM - on 12 Nov 2006
In reply to JoH - Editor:

Other good routes in the lower grades - Papyrus (6a+/6b depending on which version of the guide), Cannabis ou Nutella (6b), and Pulp Friction (6b) are all good fun in the low 6s.

Marylou (6b+ I think) was fun to play on as well, although a bit too pumpy for me when I was there.

AJM
In reply to JoH - Editor: Good article, thanks.

Not super-inspired to visit that crag though! Massive walk in, only 1 days worth of polished 6a climbing, busy, very hot... :(
Witkacy on 12 Nov 2006 - 213-238-102-7.adsl.inetia.pl
In reply to Fiend:

Excellent description. Sounds awful.
The Pylon King on 12 Nov 2006
In reply to Fiend:


Could have done with more pictures

pictures rule
Fiend - on 12 Nov 2006
In reply to Nick Smith - UKC:

> Not super-inspired to visit that crag though! Massive walk in, only 1 days worth of polished 6a climbing, busy, very hot... :(

Pah! You can climb a lot harder than 6a, and you like the heat (and, go outside summer and I'm sure it will be pretty cool). Still busy, and still a long walk - but if UKC's laziest punter (hi!) can manage it...




Pylon King: Yes, I didn't take any more.
rich on 12 Nov 2006 - host86-135-201-82.range86-135.btcentralplus.com
In reply to JoH - Editor: nicely done that
Marc C - on 12 Nov 2006
In reply to JoH - Editor: Well-written and informative.

PS Is my article 'Lumbutts for Rock Gods' next in your pile?
AJM - on 12 Nov 2006
In reply to Nick Smith - UKC:
> only 1 days worth of polished 6a climbing

Lots more than that. I got a week out of it onsighting 6a redpointing 6b, and I have to say that most of the routes I did weren't overly polished either....


AJM
Witkacy on 12 Nov 2006 - 213-238-102-7.adsl.inetia.pl
In reply to Fiend:

Are you fielding questions?

“If you're climbing F6a, you could get a day or so.”
So the grades given here are wrong, or you do about 50 routes a day?
http://www.lezec.cz/pruvodcx.php?key=215

Also could you expand on your relations with the locals. So far we have:
“pretty-boys and girls, showing off their pecs whilst fixating you with a hostile blank sport climber's glare”
and “The farmer in charge is full of charming Gallic belligerence”
Fraser Hughes on 12 Nov 2006
In reply to JoH - Editor:
> "My first day at Ceuse was not an auspicious start. The campsite and crag were full of skinny, sunbronzed pretty-boys and girls, showing off their pecs whilst fixating you with a hostile blank sport climber's glare.."

Ironic given http://www.ukclimbing.com/photos/search.html?climber=fiend&x=0&y=0
;-)

Anyhow, very well wrien article, if I liked sport climbing I'd be head out there. Fortunatly I don't so I'll have to go on the hunt for Scottish winter conditions.
kevin stephens - on 12 Nov 2006
In reply to Witkacy:
> (In reply to Fiend)
>

> and “The farmer in charge is full of charming Gallic belligerence”

We actually found the farmer to be very freindly, and particularly well disposed to Brits


Simon - on 12 Nov 2006
In reply to The Pylon King:
> (In reply to Fiend)
>
>
> pictures rule


aye - 1st rule - get the piccys in 1st and then the chat - words are boring anyway... pics of nubile females are the best IMHO!

;0)

Si
Fiend - on 12 Nov 2006
In reply to Witkacy:

> Are you fielding questions?

It depends how completely inane they are.

> So the grades given here are wrong, or you do about 50 routes a day?
> http://www.lezec.cz/pruvodcx.php?key=215

Neither, although some grades might be wrong. You could tick off lots of homogenous join-the-dots 6a wall climbs of no real character, however I'm assuming the visitor has some taste and will be going for the more distinctive lines and characterful routes - which they will run out of at lower grades fairly quickly.

> and “The farmer in charge is full of charming Gallic belligerence”

As Kevin says the farmer is fine, note I say "Charming Gallic belligerence", he has an character with some entertaining traits including not making the slightest effort to understand British visitors who have no doubt been frequenting the site for decades.
Fiend - on 12 Nov 2006
In reply to Simon:

> aye - 1st rule - get the piccys in 1st and then the chat - words are boring anyway...

Yes, I can see that maxim from your recent Gravity article.
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Fiend - on 12 Nov 2006
In reply to fraserhughes:


Nick Smith was taking me to task about this today, amusing point, but this lot were even worse than me!!

Witkacy on 12 Nov 2006 - 213-238-96-187.adsl.inetia.pl
In reply to Fiend:

Thanks for the answers, and sorry if you found the questions inane.
Fiend - on 12 Nov 2006
In reply to Witkacy:

Heh, no your questions weren't bad, just a bit wary...
Witkacy on 12 Nov 2006 - 213-238-105-128.adsl.inetia.pl
In reply to Fiend:

I only knew of the place from all the pics of overhanging streaky limestone at hard grades so I was interested in whether the easy stuff is crap.
Also for some reason I just wondered if after the 'hostile stares' and the mix-up with checking in relations bloomed between you and those colourful locals glimpsed briefly in your piece.
Boy - on 13 Nov 2006
In reply to Fiend: Nice article sir.
jfw - on 13 Nov 2006
In reply to Nick Smith - UKC:

there's loads more than one days worth of 6a climbing - carte noire and the adjacent 6a's and 6a+'s at demi lune are particularly fine

i spent a good chunk of the summer there last year - we had intended to go on a road trip - but it was so good there that we just stayed - i reckon the longer trip you can manage there the better

as a boulderer and generally rubbish when i first got there i could not even second 6a - but persevered and ended up redpointing 6b (super mario which is dead good)(rained on my last day there part way up my 6b+ redpoint attempt - boo!).

the routes are generally longer than you might be used to in the uk.

nothing for losing weight and getting fit as f*ck like walking up an hour of hill every day (we were climbing 2 on 1 off).

i think i really began to get the most of it when i was fitter - so unless i'd been doing lots of preparotory fitness training - don't think that personally i'd go for less than 2 weeks - preferably longer.

we then went to chamonix and in between miserable weather did the aiguilles de vert - and i wouldn't have been able to do those routes (AD up and D down) if i hadn't been having those long walking and climbing days.

finally another thing that made ceuse good for me and my boyfriend was that sectors like berlin have really hard things next to really easy things - so while there isn't more than a few things in the 5's if you are climbing 6 (or aspiring to) it really is a good mixed ability venue.

ok another finally - restdays waterfall swimming - orpierre if you do have lower grade climbers

the end

jfw - on 13 Nov 2006
In reply Fiend:

PS Fiend

although not amazing the guide book isn't that bad

and more to the point - it's how the bolting is funded in ceuse - so i personally think its polite to buy it if you can afford to(and it gives me something a bit more durable to tick than computer printouts)

pps if you stay in the campsite long enough you get a free t-shirt

ppps i got two!!

pppps i can't remember if you mentioned that the campsite provides free fridges in the barn - so while there is a danger of accidental and intentional food going missing it makes a massive difference to what you can buy from the supermarket and how frequently you have to go.
duncan - on 13 Nov 2006
In reply to Fiend:

I enjoyed the article. Am I the only person who rather likes the walk-in?

I also loved the beautiful alpine meadow on the top of the mountain and the Via Ferrata up (or down) is a fun trip. Much better would be to do one of the multi-pitch routes on the Grande Face such as the fabulous Inesperance, one of the best sport-routes I've done anywhere. The main 6c+ pitch is pocketeering across an unlikely blank wall. The top 7a pitch is a one move wonder (and not 7a) so it's an absolute must for a confident 6c+ leader.
Michael Ryan - on 13 Nov 2006
In reply to duncan:
> (In reply to Fiend)
>
> Am I the only person who rather likes the walk-in?


Me too.
Morgan Woods - on 13 Nov 2006
In reply to Nick Smith - UKC:
> (In reply to JoH - Editor) Good article, thanks.
>
> Not super-inspired to visit that crag though! Massive walk in, only 1 days worth of polished 6a climbing, busy, very hot... :(

i'm sure there must be something good there for any hot shot 7b Kalymnian red-pointer such as yourself.

great article anyhoo.
Jon Read - on 13 Nov 2006
So when would one visit Ceuse for reasonable (say 15-20 deg C) coolish temperatures in the sun?
jfw - on 13 Nov 2006
In reply to Jon Read:

hey i don't know about climbing in the sun - but the crag is quite high - i was there in high summer and because of the way the crag sits you can follow the shade round from cascade in the morning to berlin and demi lune later on - if you get up late you can slog up in the heat (camel backs are really good for the walk in even when its cooler) have a recovery lunch break then climb in the shade.

it doesn't feel oppresive to be in the shade because of the amazing aspect.
Jon Read - on 13 Nov 2006
In reply to duncan:
I may indeed!
duncan - on 13 Nov 2006
In reply to Jon Read:

> So when would one visit Ceuse for reasonable (say 15-20 deg C) coolish temperatures in the sun?

May

duncan - on 13 Nov 2006
In reply to Jon Read:

Ooops - sorry Jon.

I wanted to edit my post to add that my enthusiasm for Inesperance has a lot to do with it being a multipitch trad. E4 in disguise!
Jon Read - on 13 Nov 2006
In reply to duncan:
Ok, thanks none the less.
Fiend - on 13 Nov 2006
In reply to jfw:

> although not amazing the guide book isn't that bad

I beg to completely disagree. Nevertheless point taken about bolting funding - the effort to drill up there is appreciated. I would suggest that people buy the guidebook to support the bolting, then bring it home to wipe their arses on - the average roll of Andrex has more useful information on it (obviously no need to use it to wipe near (or in the case of Les Euros, not so near) the crag, as there's plenty of exotic and painful natural vegetation for that...

> pppps i can't remember if you mentioned that the campsite provides free fridges in the barn

I did, but very briefly. Worth highlighting as it's a useful feature.
Fiend - on 13 Nov 2006
In reply to jfw & Witacky:

About the "number of routes at lower grades" issue.

You are correct that there are quite a few routes at the lower grades at the crag. If you climbed all of them, it would take you quite a long time.

However, when I go away, although I try to get as much done as possible, I tend to go for the really inspiring routes, and don't climb everything there just because it's there. This article is written from that perspective, and I stand by my suggestion that if you're climbing the lowest grades you won't get many climbing days out of onsighting the highest quality low grade routes. You'll get more days from doing line after line irrespective of, errr, their lines. BUT, if one wants a full week trip doing good lowest grade sport routes, there are better locations - Daurada, Blanca, touring around other French crags, etc.

Of course, one can say that Ceuse does not have to be about getting the maximum mileage of quality routes, which is fair enough.
Michael Ryan - on 13 Nov 2006
In reply to Fiend:
> (In reply to jfw & Witacky)
>

> However, when I go away, although I try to get as much done as possible, I tend to go for the really inspiring routes, and don't climb everything there just because it's there. This article is written from that perspective........

You should really have put that in your essay Fiend.

Great crag, very useful article and discussion about it.

Mick
Chris Fryer - on 14 Nov 2006
In reply to The Pylon King:
> (In reply to Fiend)
>
>
> Could have done with more pictures
>
> pictures rule

http://www.ukclimbing.com/images/dbpage.html?id=535

To date I have yet to take a bigger whipper than the one on Zagreb slapping for the wrong hold right next to a bolt.

ads.ukclimbing.com
Fiend - on 14 Nov 2006
In reply to Chris Fryer:

> To date I have yet to take a bigger whipper

Good effort, and bad luck. Zagreb is pretty stiff, some mighty cranks in it. Bloody great route!
Chris Fryer - on 15 Nov 2006
In reply to Fiend: I got it on first redpoint attempt, once I knew which hold to slap for. One of the few sport routes I have done that still stand out as superb.
Fidget - on 15 Nov 2006
In reply to Fiend:

> Yes, I didn't take any more.

I did, could have used one of those :)

Fiend - on 15 Nov 2006
In reply to cider nut:

Oooops sorry, didn't think of that.
aphex - on 15 Nov 2006
In reply to JoH - Editor: ceuse, best crag in the world.
the walk in is great, if you have to get up early to go climbing at cascade then the walk really wakes you up. its fantastic clean air, blue skys, beautiful alpine meadows... amazing. the climkbing is superb, granted its not really a crag for people climbing below about 6c, the routes tend to be more vertical (ie less pleasant to fall off,) and have more finger destroying crozzles, but zagreb is mega classic, and if you onsight that then get on petite illuson at 7a + it was voed the best route of its grade by grimper and not much harder. If you climb 7c/+ and you go fit then you can almost onsight at your redpoint grade! what a crag, been 4 times, still want to go back. as for the intense stare's of the euro's in the camp they're probably just hungry. i found it generally a really friendly campsite went climbing with loads of different peeps, and gerrard and his family are true legends and bent over backwards to help us out. start training now, go to ceuse, buy a guide, camp at les guerins and have the sport trip of a lifetime.

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