105 Photos - Aug 17, 2013
Photo: Hol chilling in the sun in the evening of our first day in Malaucène.Photo: Us in Malaucène.Photo: Our new tent in Malaucène - essentials visible (water and beer).Photo: Hol in her hat.Photo: The best bike I've ever ridden!Photo: Bike riding around the French countryside (a necessity due to wet weather preventing climbing).Photo: Us in our bike-hats.Photo: Two VERY nice bikes!Photo: Hol and a cocktail in Malaucène.Photo: Old building in the Malaucène backstreets.Photo: View over Malaucène.Photo: Us in Malaucène.Photo: Hol in Avignon.Photo: Châteauneuf-du-Pape.Photo: Châteauneuf-du-Pape.Photo: Hol and a Coke in Châteauneuf-du-Pape.Photo: Ice creams (in Malaucène).Photo: The cliffs of Les Dentelles (now the rain has gone away).Photo: View from near the top of Les Dentelles.Photo: Grasshopper.Photo: View over vineyards from Les Dentelles.Photo: Hol packing up at the end of the day.Photo: Hol at Venasque.Photo: Hol at Venasque.Photo: Hol at Venasque - hiding in the shade.Photo: View from campsite 2 at Orpierre.Photo: Home (mark 2).Photo: Heading off through Orpierre for the day's climbing.Photo: The little village of Orpierre, surrounded by cliffs.Photo: Orpierre nestled amongst cliffs and trees.Photo: Attention au chien.Photo: Lunch.Photo: Reward (fine cheap wine from Malaucène).Photo: On the way to the legendary cliffs of Céüse.Photo: First glimpse of Céüse.Photo: On the long hot walk up to Céüse.Photo: View from the cliff-base at Céüse.Photo: Being buzzed by a glider at Céüse.Photo: Us at Céüse.Photo: Biographie.Photo: Me pulling on the first holds of Biographie!Photo: Biographie.Photo: View from Céüse.Photo: Céüse.Photo: Céüse.Photo: On the way back down after another long, hot (and hard) day.Photo: Hol at night.Photo: Breakfast.Photo: Sunflowers on the way to the Ecrin.Photo: Sunflowers.Photo: Sunflowers.Photo: The tiny hamlet of Les Etages (from where our walk up to the Soreiller hut, and the Aiguille Dibona, starts).Photo: About to start the walk up to the Dibona.Photo: On the walk up.Photo: First glimpse of the Aiguille Dibona.  Our target was a route called 'Visite Obligatoire' that heads in a straight line to the very summit of the highest point.Photo: The Aiguille Dibona (the Soreiller hut just visible at its base).Photo: The Aiguille Dibona - stunning.Photo: Us with the Aiguille Dibona behind.Photo: Chocolate cake and Orangina to calm the nerves, in the Soreiller hut.Photo: View from the window of the Soreiller hut.Photo: Topo for our route (route number 8).Photo: Scoping out the start of our route, the evening before, with the help of a friendly Dutchman.Photo: Us outside the Soreiller hut.Photo: Us sporting very fetching hut-issued Crocs!Photo: The smiles hide the anxiety facing us the next day!Photo: The Soreiller hut and the Aiguille Dibona.Photo: Evening from the Soreiller.Photo: Evening light.Photo: Nighttime.Photo: Early morning start - on the route by 7am.Photo: Cloud gradually lifts, for a stunning day!Photo: View from the foot of the Dibona.Photo: Hol on pitch 4, about to lead through the roof above.Photo: Hol on pitch 4, lead through the roof.Photo: Hol on the 12th and final pitch, to the south-summit.Photo: Me on the south-summit.Photo: Hol on the south-summit, with a friendly Frenchman.Photo: Us on the north-summit (the true summit).Photo: Hol on the north-summit.Photo: Hol on the north-summit.Photo: Me on the north-summit.Photo: Hol getting bored, waiting for a group of very slow people to abseil from the summit.Photo: Hol.Photo: Finally, abseil part of the descent done - view back to others abseiling.Photo: A surprising amount of snow to cross on the descent back to the hut (not easy in trainers!).Photo: Hol in the snow.Photo: Hol slip-sliding down.Photo: Off the snow, and not too far back to the hut.Photo: The hut again - a welcoming sight!Photo: Success - 7.5 hours of climbing and 2.5 hours back to the hut...another 2.5 hours descent to Les Etages awaits!Photo: New arrivals scoping out the route we've just completed!Photo: Cheerio to our Dutch friend.Photo: Cloud descends as we head back to Les Etages.Photo: Last view of the Aiguille Dibona!Photo: Les Etages comes into view again, thankfully!Photo: Les Etages, and gloriously, the only bar is open!Photo: Evening light from Les Etages.Photo: Hol in the bar (beer in the foreground!).Photo: Beer - very welcome indeed!Photo: Dinner in the car!Photo: Next morning, after a surprisingly good night's sleep in the car!Photo: Hungry, as we head back to Calais the next day (a mere 950ish km away!Photo: A bed in Calais - very welcome after last night's car!Photo: Luxury!Photo: Back in York, and a round-trip of nearly 2150 miles!