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And the van is finally full, we're leaving!
The driver plays the radio at full blast, local folklore as "zuk","tsapiky" and a similar style of music, which plays so loud that it saturates the loudspeakers, but apparently it doesn't irritate any passenger, only me. The car doesn't really want to go uphill, but we go downhill or on the flat at full throttle. Everything inside and outside is shaking, hopefully the car won't fall apart today. We are trying to avoid numerous potholes, chickens, and African cows - zebu, and at the same time try to not lose the speed.
Sometimes... we stop suddenly due to purposeful stops "commercial", such as unloading beer bottles at a certain place, picking up bags of coconuts at an another village, unloading a non-functioning motorcycle a little further and taking more passengers on the roof when we got on the dirt road as there is no police check point anymore!
There are also "technical" stops, because something broke in the car and it needs to be fixed. Unreal things can be seen here, like replacing the cooling hose with a several plastic coca cola bottle or replacing the rubber shock absorbers with bamboo ones.
The taxi-brousse sometimes gets stuck in the mud, so it is necessary to unload everything, free it and load everything again. There are also a lot of stops on the program, the meaning of which completely, but completely, escapes us.

In the next village, the dirt road becomes impracticable, and all passengers continue by hiking.
It's where adventure starts...

Due to the pandemic, the island was closed to tourists for almost two years. In April 2022, after its reopening, Magdalena and I will finally find ourselves under those fantastic walls. I've been there before several times, but I still get goosebumps every time I look at the impressive walls.
The villagers haven't seen any white people in those two years, so everyone in the valley looks at us like UFOs. The advantage is that nobody wants candy, pen or money from us this time. However, there are several disadvantages which I never experienced before.
In April, it is still quite hot there with some unpredictable storms, so you can only climb in the shade and sometimes you will get wet from head to toe in just 2 minutes.
Unfortunately, the shadow comes quite late on most walls (early afternoon), and insomuch as the sun sets between five and six in the evening, there is not much time left for climbing. If you add to that long or complicated approaches overgrown with tall grass and no less complicated returns in complete darkness with a headlamp, routes without a single trace of chalk on the hold, then every day becomes such a mini-expedition.
The grass and bushes are so high and thick in some places that we get lost in them or even get stuck inside, and it takes us two or three hours to reach the wall, which should theoretically take an hour. Pushing your way through the thick bushes will absolutely exhaust you, so you'll come to a wall physically and mentally completely exhausted and you almost don't even want to climb anymore.
In the end, you'll end up going for a few pitches anyway, because otherwise the whole thing wouldn't make sense.

Walls without a single trace of chalk, the dream of every fanatic onsight climber, can easily turn into a nightmare, especially on the slabs with 10m runouts between the bolts. The distances between the bolts are so big that sometimes you have no idea which direction you should climb. So you try to climb on the right side, but after some metres of climbing you get stuck there on the blank part of the wall, you down climb a few meters and go straight, straight direction to the next bolt, but you get stuck again, this time you can't down climb anymore because is too hard, you can't jump down either because you'd kill yourself, so you try grab some not existing holds put your feet on friction against the wall, you almost start cry and swear five times in raw on the climbers who drilled it so stupidly...and with close eyes you do finally the move.
Of course, it's a completely different story when there is chalk on the holds, so climbing with those runouts is more fun. After four pitches like that, you're mentally exhausted, and at the same time it's slowly starting to get dark, so you should start to do abseil so that you can enjoy at least half of the return journey through the bushes in semi-darkness, not in total darkness.
… Uff, what a day!! Scratched legs and hands from the grass, totally dehydrated and climbed only five pitches out of twelve.

Big walls in the valley are ones of the most beautiful and most impressive in the earth. However the first climbing experience on this little crimps and slopy slabs could be terrifiaed/horrifiaed due to the spicy or even dangerous bolting, usually the first few slaby pitches after then the walls are more vertical. In the past the climbers opened the routes usually with limited material amount, so they put as less bolts as possible manily on the easy pitchs just to have enough material to top out the wall.
There is also another categorie of climbers who wants to show everybody that they have bigger "balls" then others and they are doing big runouts by pourpose, unfortunately there is not a lot of people repeating and the line gets quicky eaten by liquens.

The first "europien standart" hospital is in Reunion Island, in case of accident if you are lucky enough and if you have enough money to pay a rescue its takes about 24h travel include pivate aircraft from Fianarantsoa if not it's about 48h to get there. Even a bannal accident could be fatal with unpleasant concequences. Alan Carne told me about his bad fall back in 2018 when he struggle for many months because of too long rescue and infection of his injury.
However, as always if you adapt your climbing goals to the actual condition, you can still have fun even if reality is different from your initial dream. Observing the surrounding nature helps a lot to change a mindset, seeing playful lemurs which are always looking for some forgotten banana around your tent, chameleons who try to always camouflage in the best possible way and they look so uncomfortable when you manage to recognise them in the trees.
In the end, we had some cool climbing days and great times with the locals, but please next time I want some slightly more romantic holidays and I want to top out some routes!!
In the end of our trip, we got a chance to meet Thibau, climber, who was working on french embassy and on the weekends he was developping sport climbing areas around capital city Antananarivo, so he had a good drill, some bolts and loooot of motivation.

We didn't need long to convince each other to go back to Tsaranoro and team up for bolting new line.

Our goal was to find and open inspiring route which could become good challenge for 6C/7a climbers or good warm up route for stronger climbers. With safe bolting distance that you don't need to be scared "all the way long, only sometimes" and to get pleasant first touch with this incredible granite.
Thibau previously bolted few easy pitches ground up, but not me. Almost with zero experience, but with strong hope and endless motivation we put 100% energie to learn as fast as possible to create our best during our one week stay.

One day on the wall, we could hear a loud music playing all around the village.
Ones we were back in the camping they let us know that tonight is party for celebrate traditional circoncision of small 2 years old boy Davino, all the Valley is invited to dance until the sunrise to make this celebration unforgettable. Bare foot dancers get crazy and they are dancing so intense and fast that in few minutes everything is surrounded by deep cloud of dust, that's why we call this kind of village party "bal poussiere" (dusty bale).

In the middle of the week I'm hanging on a small hook suspended on the tiny crimp, shitting to my pants from uncertainty if it's going to break or not, I am trying to drill efficiently a hole to put another bolt; asking myself 'why I'm doing this' the answer is suprisingly clear & easy: "Evening beer always tastes better when you reach the peak of your physical or mental strength".

We managed to open one of the most interesting line in Tsaranoro (in this lever) with all different styles of climbing.

After all of this (one of the most incredible party and climbing adventure) we couln't chose a better name for our route than "Circoncision" which also totaly signified another step in our climbing lifes. Please...go, climb and enjoy!!

"Circoncision" 7a+ max, 6c oligatory, around 150m 5 pitchs ground up + lately Thibau add 2 last pitches from the top.


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