10 years separate these 2 photos of me and Francois Legrand. The first one is taken in les Calaques when I was living in Aix En Provence after finishing high school in the year 2000. The second one is taken in Buoux last weekend at the Escala'Buoux festival. Many things have happened since then but some some will allways be the same. When I left Aix after living there for 6 months I remember Francois saying -"if you stay with climbing I'm sure we will meet again". And here we are as if it was yesterday... we've met several times after I left Aix but now it's 10 years later wich makes, at least me, really sentimental!
Anyway, after leaving Spain (and soon to return) there has been some festivals going on. First up was the yearly MelloBlocco bouldering festival in Italy. It attracts over 2000 people so it really feels like a big gathering. I've been there a few times before so I knew what to expect. And the rain didn't seem to stop anyone either. And as usual there was alot of partying and we played with the Sagagnass on the friday eavning. This time we had several guests (well I suppose I'm also a "guest", ey Fouche?) with Nico Favresse on the mandolin, Philippe Ribiere on the mic and Cody Roth finishing the set with style. A great party and the next eavning we were on the dancefloor instead!
Dj Lafouche and Cody behind the decks in Melloblocco.
After Italy I spent some time in Toulouse climbing at the nearby crags and climbing some amazing routes! I was so happy as the rain had stopped and I finally found some climbingpartners who were free! Then we were of again for the festival in Buoux. I was great to meet some friends and also see some real legends such as the Menstrel brothers, JB Tribout, Legrand, Yann Ghesquier etc. They had also reopened and rebolted the ouest sector so there were some real classic to do. And that is appart from all the other routes that were on the list! I was happy to finally do Chouca, Tabou, No Mans Land etc -real benchmarks of their time.
Francois Ze Big on Chouca, 8a+.
flashing a nice and probably classic 8a at the reopened ouest fase in Buoux. photo: Fred Labreveux/Grimper
On the way back west we climbed at Cantobre and La Verriére to get a last taste of France before going back to Spain. Next up will be Rodellar (if it is dry) and then Mallorca. I hope the water will be warm enough for some psicobloc..! And as usual there has been alot of things going on appart from climbing. I was lucky to run (yes -I was out jogging!) into the dosso n'goni (Mande harp lute) maestro Zaky Diarra in Toulouse. So tonight we will have a final jam before checking out of Toulouse -namo!
trying out some fine harps with Zaky before bying a new one. damn, how will all these things fit in my allready PACKED home in Gothenburg..?