Bonjour! I am here in Verdon Gorge in France to try and climb my long term goal, Tom et je Ris (8b+, 32). I first heard about this route through Toni Lamprecht (from Germany) when we were in Madagascar in 2007. Toni and I were talking about amazing lines around the world and then he mentioned this route. He described Tom et je Ris (aka T&J) as a 60-metre tufa of impeccable quality and beauty, proudly situated looking down into the Verdon Gorge. With his recommendation in mind I went to check it out for myself. I first visited Verdon in 2009 straight off the back of our Kalymnos trip (with baby Coco only six months old). I was lucky enough to try the route for a day, but unlucky enough to have the heavens open up and we had to leave.
So here I am two years later, attempting the route of my dreams.
OMG, the exposure is overwhelming, the first time you lower in to the route is an intimidating experience to say the least, but you do get used to it. As for the route, well, I am in heaven and hell at the same time. Itâ€™s for sure the best line that I have ever been lucky enough to try. T&J tackles one main orange tufa for most of the route but actually swaps and changes between three other tufaâ€™s, making for an extraordinary ride. On the flip side you have to contend with a long walk in (1 hour 20mins), super-long scary run-outs, aggressive holds, loss of visuals with your belayer and a limited climbing window (sun at 2pm). But the ride is all worth it. I have so far managed to work out all of the moves but I donâ€™t know if I can piece it all together…Iâ€™ll keep you posted.