Madagascar Big Wall:
fast on-sights and serious runouts
At the end of September and at the beginning of October a mixed French-Polish team (Pierre Muller, Denis Roy, Marie-Claire Hourcade, David Kaszlikowski) was very active in the climbing regions of Madagascar. During the first two weeks of the stay they repeated lots of major routes on the big walls of the Tsaranoro Massif in the Andrigintra National Park in southern Madagascar.
Denis - called ‘Superman’ by the base camp people - climbed the 21-pitch-long Gondwanaland, 7c (7a obl), on the highest (800 m) East Face of the Tsaranoro Be massif. Gondwanaland, opened in 1996 by a team from South Tyrol team, was graded ABO+ and has been repeated very few times since then. The line offers very delicate climbing on insecure slabs, where taking a fall is very risky. A British team, in cooperation with the French-Polish one, partly re-equipped the badly rusted old anchors on this line as they didn’t give a chance to hold long falls (a destructive effect of sea breezes). When this was done, Denis Roy on-sighted the route in 8 hours, leading all the pitches. The previous repeats of the route had usually taken two days. Roy, accompanied by Pierre Muller, also climbed Rain Boto (7b+, 7b obl., 420m, 6h, OS) on Karambony East Face, Always In The Sun (7c+, 7b obl., 450m, 6h OS, with the most difficult last pitch) on Andohamara North Face, Le Crabe aux Pinces d’Or (7b+ , 6c+ obl, 320m OS, 5h) on Mitsinjo Arivo East Face; and Out of Africa, 7a, 6c oblig. 600m OS on Tsaranoro Kely East Face.