Monday, 16th of august. Aiglun, 20 degrees, little wind....perfect, let's go climbing in Ali Baba!
'La paroit dérobée'. photo Fred Labreveux
Three weeks after my first working out together with Arnaud Petit, I was finally able to climb all the 8 pitches in one day and at the same time in one go.
It was definitely the most beautiful and most ambitious climbing I ever did in my little climbing career and it was just a big big pleasure to move in this route. At this place, thanks a lot to the route setter Philippe Mussato and Ben Peyronnard.
10 days ago, I was giving a first try together with Arnaud Petit, Stefanie Bodet and Titi. But I wasn't strong enough, I fell two times in the 6th pitch on the top...out of the game. In contrast, Arnaud was a pure machine! More of his ascent on his web page: www.vagabondsdelaverticale.com
After this try, I was just dead for one week...unable to do any efforts, Ali Baba costs you all the energy of your body. First you have to walk more than an hour in the forest and to climb on fix ropes to reach the foot of the wall. After you have to climb 'cash' an 8a and if you climb bad, your body is already full of lacatate!
The second 8a is full of slopers, the difficulty is more or less regular, so you have to climb soft to avoid to be pumped.
I was surprised, because this time, it was a little freshness in the air and so the first two pitches the fritchness was really good. After a little 7b+ you are reaching a good platform, the sandwich platform!
Well and now Ali Baba begins! Pitch 4, a fantastic 8a with a hard boulder start (after the sandwich....hard...:-)) and a special tufa nose in the end.
Pitch 5 was the most difficult for me. It's a long 40 meter 8a+ and the conditions are really important because you have to crimp a lot of small holds and I think in case of a fall, it's really hard to recover and to reclimb this difficult pitch. I knew that, so I was concentrated and I climbed well, with big fights, cries and all this stuff...;-)
On this part, It's time to talk about Cédric. Jep, the key for an ascent in multipitch climbing, is the climbing partner. Or in my case the jumar-partner. Cédric did everything for me: he was jumaring the route as quickly as possible, he was hauling the bag, he was stressed more than me because he really wanted tme to succeed. This is true love!
Pure Love. photo Fred Ripert
After a one hour break, I attacked the most physical 8a+. The last attempt I was falling two times on the top of this steep and 15 meter short 8a+. This time I was fighting like the real Ninamachina and I did it!;-)
Short, steep and physical, pitch 6, 8a+. Photo Fred Ripert.
Adrenalin, adrenalin....I had to stay concentrated for the last and ultimate fight....one more 8a+....I wasn't thinking about a possibility of the ascent, I was just thinking about this last pitch. I knew that I lost already all the power in the six pitches before and I knew to reach the top, I had to climb perfectly and an ascent was just a game in my head.
Well, everybody knows that I have a strong character. (Sometimes too strong....;-)) When I will do or have something, there is no way, that's Nina. And this is the reason why I was reaching the top of this route. A real bullhead!
The Ultimate Fight in the end of pitch 7, 8a+. Photo Fred Ripert
Hihi, to be honest I was close to vomiting when I clipped the chain. The last 7b+ was really painful for the skin, but more or less easy after the rest of the route.
The feelings are just incredible after a realization of a dream....and normally, after an ascent, your body needs a long break. This was not the case. The next two days were a big mission to film and to take photos in this wall. I had the pleasure to work together with Röbi Bösch for the photos and with Julien Nadiras and Fred Ripert for the film images. A big respect for these three guys because working in this wall is definitely not easy!