Ali-Baba gets first onsight ascentby Björn Pohl - UKC Aug/2012
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Ali-Baba, an 8 pitch route at Aiglun in south eastern France is a veritable Marathon with the single pitches weighing in at 8a, 8a, 7b+, 8a, 8a+, 8a+, 8a+ and 7b+. On this master piece signed Philippe Mussatto, even the 7b+'s are tough, and until now, no body, including Adam Ondra who made an attempt back in 2008, had been able to onsight it. Gérôme Pouvreau and Florence Pinét decided to have a go.
On his blog Gérôme says he set off with the goal of doing it onsight, but that he really didn't believe it would be possible.
Then, the further along he made it, the more he felt the pressure. Somehow he managed to make it all the way despite cramping forearms at the end of the 6th pitch.
According to Gérôme, the key to success was keeping a steady pace and don't nap mid route. I'll try to remember that however illogical it may sound.
A few days later, and after one attempt ending in the 5th pitch, it was time for Florence Pinét to give it her all in one last attempt (as you all know by now, last attempt success is by far the most common).
After some problems in the very physical 6th pitch, where she fell once, she succeeded, making it the 2nd female ascent, after Nina Capréz'.