Targassonne… our final (by a few meters) French destination.

It’s 11:03 am in Santa Coloma de Farners. We arrived here late last night, about 11:15 pm, after spending about 2 hours in Targassonne after leaving Haute-Serre that morning. We meant to spend more time in Targassonne, but exiting the L’Aveyron gorge early wasn’t happening; we left about 2:30 pm, after viewing Penne and Brunequel castles/Chateaus. We still had over 3.5 hours driving south (and an unexpected detour over a high pass in the Pyrennes), and we still needed to orient and find boulders upon arrival using the hand-written topo (free on the web) that was created after the 2004 Petzl Roc trip.

Absinthe. The stand starts at the right hand. This move is an unknown lower start that is most likely in the new guide for the area.

Absinthe. The stand starts at the right hand. This move is an unknown I’m only aware of the stand, but this lower start that is most likely in the new guide for the area.


Our two nights near the gorge at Haute-Serre with friends included sports climbings in the gorge, eating, drinking and talking. We had lots to catch up with since another friend I hadn’t seen in years stopped by too: Dave Struthers. Struthers, from the old PCA bouldering comp days and so cal’s first major new hard bouldering push in years, handily sent an 8a on his second day climbing in years. Dave has logged about  7 days in a gym recently with over 5 years of ZERO climbing. Back in the day, we he established Regeneration, v11 (now being called 12), and an early repeat (maybe 4th ascent?) of Bang On, now v12 or 13 (he, Wills and Tim called it v11). Maybe 12 is good, but Dave still insists it’s 11 even though he was the one that broke the lip edge off of the start crimp of Ben Moon’s stellar line. (he also called Dark Horse 10! Ugh… that’s an ego bruise! 😉 I want so much to call it 11 though I can’t without doing it). Anyways, it was awesome to hook up with Dave and find out how we are all aging.

Targassonne, the love child of Black Mountain and Joshua Tree. Really! There are the painful and sharp broken edge holds of Black Mountain granite, the topouts, sloping crimps and slopers of Josh but with less bite. Then the super clean cut granite crimps of any granite crag with standup problems straight from so cal’s countless granite lines dating back to the early 60’s at least. This place was fun for sure, but we had so little time. Further to the point, our crimp fingers (mind specifically) were woefully lacking in integrity to take this place seriously. I tried the classic 7c+ standup called Absythne with confidence by adding a lower mega move to the high start crimp, but I simply couldn’t force myself to enjoy the pain in my left middle finger enough to hold the long reach to the high right sidepull. My tip is bruised on the left edge, the DIP joint hurts if I hyper extend it, and the PIP joint is simply messed up. But this problem reeked of Black Mountain lines like Struthers’ Man is a Bastard, v10 (maybe also upgraded, who knows until the new guidebook is out), Cosmos (v8, 9 or 10, so over-rated), or the problem right of Smack Down put up by Louie Anderson (memory failing me!), a classic crimp 7c+. Anyways, you get the picture. The ones we did send were more like Joshua Tree: Basa Yaun, 7a, L’Aquarium Envolé, 7a+, El Mezclador, 6a (very Blackish).

Basa Yaun, 7a. Our first 7a of Targassonne.

Basa Yaun, 7a. Our first 7a of Targassonne.

This line is soooo 'Black Tree'

This line is soooo ‘Black-Tree’

Texture was actually enjoyable...

Texture was actually enjoyable…

El Mezclador, 6a.

El Mezclador, 6a.

L'Aquarium Envolé, 7a+. The right hand Jill is reaching for is nasty, crimpy, sloping and tipsy.

L’Aquarium Envolé, 7a+. The right hand Jill is reaching for is nasty, crimpy, sloping and tipsy.

Super cool line that's all about that left hand.

Super cool line that’s all about that left hand.

The setting sun over Targassonne.

The setting sun over Targassonne. (Actually, Targassonne is in the opposite direction, this points towards Ur.)



~ by r. mulligan on 2014/05/14.

4 Responses to “Targassonne… our final (by a few meters) French destination.”

  1. Sent it next day on, first try. You also forgot the stuff I left out for you. Anyway, hope you’re resting up after that marathon journey home!

    • Awesome and congrats! You looked so solid on that last try we saw. I know, after leaving, and nearing the Spanish border, we remembered. 😦 We are home now after our first night’s sleep. Java is an amazing tool for the brain-drained mind.

  2. Great having you guys, too short for sure. Hopefully the endurance training helps…promise I won’t tell anyone you climbed on rope. :). See you next time!

    • So true…next time we’ll actually bring harnesses and some clanky things! Again, many thanks for all your warm hospitality and awesome company! It was also great to see Dave. He still has the power I remember from old…

      Btw, best of luck if you haven’t already sent your project.

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