By the end of our first week in Ceuse a decent Irish squad had assembled. Neal and Naomi had been here 3 or 4 weeks, Caroline and Myself had a week under our belts, Andy and Carole had been cutting their teeth at Orpierre while camping at Ceuse for a few days before undertaking the walk in and Finally Kev arrived and wanted a good daily pump fest to provide some mileage and boost his trad stamina for the Autumn. It was great craic both at the campsite and crag. It was interesting to see the effect the different mindsets and agendas had on people’s daily routines. It was something I’d never really noticed before but then again I can’t remember being on a climbing trip with such a varied bunch of converging plans. Neal and Naomi were just passing their holiday midpoint and the drive to go home with some ticks and was clear. They had both been here before and knew what to expect so arrived with a game plan, a wish list and lots of focus. It was unfortunate that we hadn’t all arrived at the same time because I would have loved to be able to join in with their redpoint psyche but we just were not at the point of our visit yet. Caroline and myself arrived after a great few months on UK sports and a healthy redpoint head but 3 weeks of down time and relocating across Europe had taken its toll. We had no route fitness and Caroline had never been to Ceuse before so we needed mileage and lots of it to get use to the style of climbing and the length of the routes. Carole and Andy were at the beginning of their mega trip and just wanted to climb lots and relax. As a result of the different mental phases we ended up climbing with Kev, Carole and Andy more than with Neal and Naomi, only catching up with them occasionally as they whizzed back and forth across the crag to each of their respective projects. In the end I think I worked out best for us. I was able to just climb whatever anyone wanted and place the draws and in the process I clocked up a rake of routes and Caroline enjoyed building lots of easy mileage on the 6’s and 7’s while taking a much needed break from pushing herself. After two weeks or so Team Ireland had dwindled to just Caroline and Myself. Before everyone left we managed a visit to Orpierre and a day bouldering in Ailfroide where we met some more Irish by chance (Howard, Bridget and Niamh). After that we had two much needed rest days and the following day’s constant rain forced a third. In total we had been away from Ceuse for 6 days! With Fatigue no longer an issue and a promising weather forecast for the final week we could look forward to more climbing that tested our weaknesses with no pressure or expectation of success – I just need to climb on a different style of rock for a while and remember to try and learn what I can along the way. Bliss!