So what can I say about the bronx?
In Spring 2015 I decided to go and look at Le Bronx, one of the first 8c+’s of France. Its on a cliff called Orgon which was once one of the most popular cliffs in the South, but today is almost completely forgotten. The routes are covered in cobwebs, the ground is all overgrown, and very few people go climbing there any more. Since I’m a bit weird, and I have a soft spot for strange things (I married Caroline after all!) I decided to go have a look and see what it was all about, to discover some of the history.
What happened after was one of the strangest, most frustrating yet incredibly interesting and enlightening experience I have had in climbing. After almost climbing the route on my first try (I skipped the first slab moves because of wet foot holds), it took me another 10 sessions to finally clip the chains for real. I got worse and worse in the route, falling lower and lower, until I could finally find a way to let it all go.
So many days, so many tries, so many emotions. I learnt so much about my climbing and myself, all thanks to this route, and so afterwards I knew I had to do something for the Bronx, and for all the guys who created it, and created our sport. I guess its my way to say thanks.
Obviously, nobody just wants to watch me fall off a route for 15 minutes, so with my friend Pietro Porro, the mad artistic genius, we came up with a little story that, we at least find funny. Whilst the story might not be totally true, all the details come from true stories! Francois really did do 40 pull-ups to train for the route, and Yuji did always fall on the last move (its the only hard route from the time he didn’t do!)
So there we have it, Le Bronx, in all its glory. Its a beautiful monster, and I love it!
I hope it inspires people to open their minds and think not only about performance, but everything it can represent.
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