Gorge du Tarn and a Stranded Belgium Police Man!

Trying to make the most of a week off work Amy had we planned a trip to Gorge du Tarn in France, I was keen for Amy to experience the great climbing and the idyllic setting of the Tarn. It did seem a bit of a shame to be going away during the best spell of weather for many years in the UK! However experiencing France and new crags is always fun.

The drive down through France was very enjoyable. As usual when in the van we took it easy and completed the drive over two days. Using my new All the Aires guidebook I got hold of, we found some great motor-home aires to stay at. I very much recommend this book to anyone driving around France (they also do a version for Belgium, Spain and the Alps), it's great for peace of mind to know that after a long drive you can rock up at a safe place, often in a nice little village and more often than not free, with water top-ups on tap. Choosing an Aire in the guide book is a bit like window shopping, they all have photos, descriptions and GPS co-ordinates. Once a stop-off has been chosen it gives a nice point to aim for, making the 'time-remaining' read-out on the satnav slightly less demoralising!

A nice little 'Aire' stop to spend the night somewhere in the middle of France

Arriving in Gorge du Tarn
As far as climbing trips go this trip was pretty chilled, almost a holiday!

Mm Morning Swim

Cooling down

Amy enjoying the summit of  Pegasus a great little multipitch in Gorge du Jonte with a proper summit

However amongst regular swims in the Tarn, nice multipitch routes, coffee, lunching in the van and red wine (French of course!) I did get up one route I was super happy with. First red-point I managed Les ailes du désir 8a, the whole 50m of it! I had previously onsighted the first half which is 7b+ on another trip. I had had a quick play on the upper section before but found it to be hard and, living up to it's name (Wings of Desire), VERY runout! This time I managed to hold it together to work out the moves and even though it was a real fight I managed not to have to put my wings to the test on the successful red point.

Photosphere Panorama of the amazing cave of Tennesse Sector

Lowering off after Les ailes du désir 8a

My van getting x-rayed in a spot customs check on the way home!