Friday, November 21, 2014

Lebanon...Last call.

We, I and Eva, and recently Emlie, have been held up in Jezzine, in southern Lebanon, for about 3 weeks now.

When I got here, I was faced with 4 days of rain. Starting the engines was a little hard. I would bolt only a few hours a day. Finding the correct lines to start a wall is crucial. Those prime lines lead the future development of the wall for others.

I bolted 8,12 and 14 first. Took about 6 days in all, due to the massive cleaning these routes demand.

I had a small army of warrior cleaners come and go. Soon, with those guys hacking away, I was able to get a couple more lines up ground up.

When Eva and Emilie shoed up, they went to work on their own, alongside Nicolas, a local climber and guide. Armed with two drills for them, they put up a couple more routes while I was stuck with the dangerous end of the stick: Moving from anchor to anchor on lead with my gri gri as partner.

We where able to put up over 20 routes. Most of them ground. Most of them with massive blocs the size of Volkswagens as my enemies. Side stepping and high stepping past these beats with RB's and Mexi-Pins (TM).

All told so far, we have put in about 380 bolts. bust out the calculator... Yup. That means on average, the routes here have about 20 bolts. This was my vision. With Uber safe distances between bolts, guides, classes, beginners and self taught experts even, could enjoy safe zone climbing and learn at their rhythms...

After all this effort, its nice to the rain come down and clean the walls, freeing the dust and earth from the pockets, roofs, slabs and jugs that make up some of the features.

The wall is really cool. most routes have multiple roof systems, with big jugs and good feet to lend to easy terrain. Some lines, like Meridian, have this amazing exposure, but with bolts at every meter. The climbing has been referred to as " Mountaineering " or " Alpine " or " Yosemite " without the cost of the plane ticket and the scar of death or dismemberment.

To recacp. This is a great crag. 3 min approach. Lots of new potential for even easier climbs on the right side and a small " School " crag on the left. All anchors are chained and fully equipped for ease of lower and no twists in the rope. ( The way it should be ).

Below, you'll find a short video of the area, and the topo so far. There are a few corrections to be made, but I am in a rush. I want to bolt another line before the rain moves in.

I also need to emphasize that none of this would be possible without the huge support and love from the following people.

Marc, Chloe, Lena, Rami and Ellie @ Lebanese Climbing Association
Jano @ The North Face
Rob and Beth @ Maxim Ropes
Evertt and Jim @ La Sportiva
John @ Petzl USA
Chris, Eric, Grear, Stacey and Karl @ Climbtech
Kati and Rob @ Big Agnes
Daniel @ So iLL
Jure @ Morpho
Eva Moya Prado
Emilie Pellerin
Khalil and the Town of Jezzine for the Hotel and Laundry
Guy Parent and Francois Sebastien, my mentors :)
Jean @ Urock
and all the climbers, friends, supporters, Facebook likes, blog hitters, pats on the back, keep going stories, instagram feeds, pro climbers I learned from (Lynn, Alex, Chris, Danny, Jason and the list goes on )

And really, my mom. Without whom I would not be able to wake up everyday, faced with overwhelming opposition, evil doers, negative throwbacks, rage induced defamatory emails to sponsors, and impossible tasks, jealousy and egotistical fear, and then, walk RIGHT THROUGH THEM LIKE YOU DON'T EXSIST, because, at the end of the day, the ones who support me know I always take the ethical moral high road, and leave the table scraps to those who want and war for them and the ones who do not, only make me want it more.

What happens if you tell a 4 year to not eat from the cookie jar?

Because you believe in me and my passion, is the reason I can do what I do without fear of reprisal, disgust or losing a step.

Thank you.

Bye bye.

PS. Feel free to come and bolt, guide, take pictures, film, camp, climb and enjoy this area. There are no rules and anyone and everyone is welcome. ;)

DJI00035 from Ulric Rousseau on Vimeo.


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