The Belgian solves the last problem at the Petit Clocher du Portalet for the time being. He succeeds in La promesse de l'aube (200m, 8c) after having climbed “L 'histoire sans fin” (8b +) for the first time last week. But why did Didier Berthod approve these projects?
The heart of the new test piece on the granite pillar high above the Trient basin is a tapering crack - according to Berthe "the last piece of rock on the Petit Clocher" that was waiting to be climbed. Up to there, the first 130 meters of the route run moderately in the sixth degree with a “sensational 6c hand tear”. Didier Berthod, who was there when setting up the route, had already planned the tapering crack. He has not yet succeeded in doing it.
Seb Berthe already shone last week when he first started the route "L 'histoire sans fin" (8b +) with Siebe Vanhee - another project that Berthod had been working on since last summer. When asked why he was approving his projects, the trained priest replied: “At the moment I am focusing more on sharing and the human experience with other climbers.” We will talk to the Valais in more detail below. But first to Seb Berthe:
He rates the key length of “La promesse…” as 8c. He writes: “This is where the business begins: 45 meters of technical and sustained climbing. It starts with 10 meters of technical wall climbing with bouldering trains on small, finger-heavy grips (this part should be a 7c + route). Then comes the sticking point: a 6-speed, heavy bouldering problem with side grips and gastons with bad kicks, which I would classify as FB 7b + / 7c. Then you have to climb an endurance route in area 8a, with some tricky laybacks, finger jams, balancing pulls, knee clamps and bad kicks.
Didier Berthod: "It's not my routes"
The Belgian needed two days for the red point ascent. He thanks the first climbers Fred Moix, Jean-Elie Lugon and Didier Berthod. But why did the fitters approve the route? We asked Didier Berthod, he writes:
“I decided to open these projects because I saw no point in keeping them to myself. For one, they are very difficult for my current level. And on the other hand, these routes don't belong to me. I didn't open it alone. Of course, the first free ascent of one of these routes would have been a nice gift, but for me that is not an essential element of my current climbing approach. I try to prefer sharing the passion and the human experience.
And indeed: the experience with Seb and Siebe and all the other climbers up there was super great. This year I didn't find enough time to project 'La Promesse ...'. I concentrated more on 'L' histoire sans fin ', in which, by the way, I have a lot more trouble in the key point. "
Berthod had just finished his long climbing absence last year. He spent 12 years in the monastery, was completely away from the climbing scene - now he's back. We talked to him about his comeback on the beta broadcast last November.
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Credits: title picture Fred Moix