Too late. Deluge had come. We found Beez besprinkled with soaking backpacks and backpackowners. Climbing church wasn't open for our lost souls. But a few kilometer from Beez satan did keep his gate ajar for us, least we have no other explanation.
Next thing we gaped around, like pilot Jimmie Angel once after he crashed on top of a table mountain into Venezuelan jungle. Our eyes shot up. From dark holes in the limestone rock we felt something peer down. Meanwhile vines' restless tentacles grabbled beneath for us in the abyss. Daunting as it all was, the roof sheltered from the constantly pouring rainforest madness. Backpacks opened. We got more relaxed. And then... did we know.. as our hearts skipped a beat: there it was.
Had we been warned. Tiny hairs in our ears trembled revoking the whispering, recalling to mind the mysterious stranger who lived to tell the tale. For a moment we were back in the dark bar where we gained the dirtbag's trust. We recounted the scarred adventurer's cold sweat as he opened up and eventually, caught off guard, diminuendo muttered the Modave thing... Glucose Pour le Moineau.. 'till all of a sudden he realized the indiscretion of such extraversion and he closed shut.
Internet stock photo of Huy.
Adventurers. Don't be at ease, let yourself not be fooled. The thing, last located in Marchin, is NOT named after the peaceful village of Modave nearby. No. The following etymological speculation does more right to the dreadful fate that awaits those who bump into this manufacture of pitch black night forces (with a little help from Merriam Webster dictionary):
MONSTER (English, Swedish, Dutch, German, Danish, Norwegian), MONSTRE (French, Catalan), MONSTRUM (latin), MONSTRO (Galician, Portuguese), MONSTRUO (Spanish), MOSTRO (Italian), монстр (Russian), MONSTRU (Romanian) a thing that seems to live, of strange or terrifying shape, of unnatural or extreme ugliness, deformity, wickedness, or cruelty
DAVER (transitive Scottish verb) to stun, to daze, to stupefy, make senseless, groggy, or dizzy by or as if by a blow, to overcome especially with paralyzing astonishment or disbelief; to make inactive, to deaden and shiver, shudder, have an intense shivery sensation, a chill down your spine, to experience a sensation of coldness
The first chaotic confrontation.. face to face with the bloodcurdling Modave thing.. Hrrrrrr... Still from time to time shraphnel of memories spike my nightmares. At least on the aftermath the four of us can frantically inform you. You hear that right. All four of us survived that fateful day. The miracle of this feat will be hard to grasp for now reader. Later.
Little helicopters who went against Godzilla. Only they realize how we were dropped from the sky. Only a squeezed out toothpaste tube knew how done we felt. And only a porcelain in an elephant shop related to how awfully we withstood. On the VH-scale Glucose is graded 'BL+'.. Beyond limit +.. But you need to send before you can grade. All I could grade now was the first few meters.
Benjamin Piraprez.. What have you bolted in the 90's? You Dr. Frankenstein..
Let me down, good lord
I’m pumped and climb like a clown
Strictly biz, we don't play around
Back to the ground, prepare for another round
Two rainy days later me and Hans left our jobs in the afternoon. We had to go back to process what had happened. So there we were, keeping up our head, going up. But what? How? Whereto? Ever? But we tried to just climb how we could, not stopping, because did you ever stop to look, well it makes you blind.
Hans could do it. For me it seemed too hard. At least I got now that there's four parts to the impossible madness of Glucose pour le moineau:
- The gates to the roof (PART I);
- The part that furiously throws you off countless times (PART II);
- The straight up explosive boulder (PART III);
- And the long upper roof (PART IV) which can be climbed starting from the flake that cuts across the wall, a line recognized as Bras dessus + Toit de Glucose. This roof with far moves and hard feet was my project last autumn when I stepped up my resting game big time, changing my climbing. I had sent it after a handful of sessions. PART IV The other parts are even more agressive and betaintensive however..
The landhouse of Roiseux, starring in local legends of deer disappearing, demons and deluge (more).
Each time a voyage
I'm on when I've got to have it
Project you're a perfect (UIAA grade) ten, I wanna get in
Can I go up, so I can win
I wanne find a way to work it
No diggity, I got to give it up, give it up
I wanne see Ondra work it
No diggity, I should bag it up, bag it up
But now I'd been trying PART I and it had me lost. Once it was night, in the safe shelter of home, on the verge of shaking off the madness, ready to leave it behind, to heave a relieved sigh, all of a sudden my face shot tomato red. My shoes?! NO! Go back??? Back to.. THAT?!...
I had to. Two of the bravest climbers decided to not let me perish just like that on the quest back into the belly of the beast.
3 / 5
At the end of the next work day, each of them appeared at the horizon with a backpack at every possible side. Ride of the valkyries. To Huy! To the start of the wild Hoyoux river and onwards! Beyond early 19th century electrogalvanization steel factories! Into the heart of Condroz! Caroline.. Hendrik.. Take the map and put a cross beyond the Meuse river where once Ogier the Dane, the mythical knight of Charles The Great, abode his cursed new home valley.
Ogier the Dane (Holger Danske) would have lived for at least two decades near Huy.* This statue can be found in Hamlet's castle Kronburg and is sculpted by Hans Peder Pedersen-Dan in 1907.
Pulling draws is my forte
Each and every day, true climber way
Can't get projies out of my mind
I want to free my route all the time
We passed the Triffoys valley and found our way to the flanks of the Hoyoux valley. To doom rock! We dared up the thing once more.
I arrived to the half-fingertip holds and my thumb turned out and pressed on the miniscule top of the vertical edge, the good millimetre. And then it happened. There are more things in heaven and earth Horatio than was dreamt of in our philosophy. Lubricated by slug slime my foot moved softly around my soggy shoe. Was it me, was it the rock or was it a breeze of wind that forced me to change my habit? I magically conjured a subtle twist from the right foot or hip. Elephance turned into elegance.
I cut loose into the open air and lost all sense of up, left or right. My left hand reached out for the flat hold. My fingertips clenched it but the rock violently flung me outward. My head said I was falling because the momentum said I should but I stuck and swung back. Some guests had claimed this method was impossible. Last year already Hans showed them wrong. Lately I kept trying Hans' method and found a way now days turned dark later and later. But it had gotten very late so we packed and headed home. June just begun. We didn't expect to be back soon.
4 / 5
But two weeks later adamant weathergods decided otherwise. Inavertably some dark fate brought us back. Leuven found itself in a heatwave. You, reader, hid behind your windows covered with glistening space blankets keeping the heat out, putting shoes on from the freezer and sneaking an icecold footbath underneath your desk. At the same moment the dazzling sun was forcing me, Hans, Taco, Katie and Fré towards the sheltering shade of the terror once again.
East face to the west side
I roll my eyes, each time surprise
Got some tricks in the stash
Stepping up, stay fresh
Fast when it comes to the gas
>I flung out .. all suggested falling .. but I swung back. Like the weed between the streetstones, trampled and run over by streams of dirt, growing, kept down, now I rose. Boom..
Then a few more agressive moves came, for which you had to find your own very specific body position each time. Whoosh.. A few more times I cut loose to skip small strenuous holds, I felt like the wind going through Modave's ashes. *clip* I made it to a point where I thought my endurance would never allow me.
Taco climbing out of the middle of the first part.
PART IOut of the blue a firefly blinked up as to wake others. From the earliest dark, underneath elderberry bushes, a few more yellowgreen lights swayed up too and soon they were everywhere, dancing and glowing through the Hoyoux jungle.
I climbed onwards into PART II with still a little bit of breath. Modave: “ok loser, now what?!”. We'd just been playing in the hall, now the holds got so small we could not cut loose. The true monster appeared. Hans had some precious beta and I found out the moves, one by one, scream by scream. We found a way to skip PART I and climb straight into PART II, for gradual progress.
Let me tell you how it goes
Crimps that hurt, holds that verge
Strange beta usurps so freak what you heard
5 / 5
Friday four days later. I'd just got a taste of apocalypse in IKEA's ant nest and was drawn to the soothing cave of godforesaken desperation. Helped by Hans’ beta I prepared for the great gig in the sky. We gave it all. Taco got close in PART I to make this day in June the future’s holiday for crazy beta sends. In PART TWO Hans and me continued inventing beta to swoosh through the roof, like Jean-Joseph Merlin whirled through Huy's streets in 1760 after inventing world's first known roller skates.
Dealing with Glucose was not considered noble art by all. Some denounced it sounding like it's playing piano by slamming the keys hard. It's not. An outsider spoke of Modave in a way 'Entartete Kunst' was once coined. Then asked me. "Can I use your chalk?" Oh yeah, it's there, it's the chalkbag with skulls on attached to the 2m10-tall escaped prisoner with the scars and the tattoos saying “GRRRRRHAAAOOOJMGKLZ!!”.
You think you're hapless
You don't know what the true crux is
You gotta fly to play
Not just pop up, bang-bang, to make your way
Summer solstice made the sun touch godforesaken black spots it may only reach once a year. After trying some moves I rested and I went up. I lit the fire. With every move the crew beneath me heared grunting as if every time papabear stepped into another room to discover rascality by Goldilocks.
Only in the middle of the second part I could allow myself a blitz pseudo-rest from far moves and weird body positions on undeep bidoigts. I went on for more terrible moves,...
Stefan doing the far move, soon after the pseudo-rest.
... upwards.. A whole chunck of memory misses but somehow I even got onwards and reached the dropknee. Moments or eternities later I put a draw in the chain and almost couldn't clip from disbelief.
PART II, I couldn't believe it..
It's time to go for the real line, the classic Glucose M1! And then — who knows — the whole extended classic: Glucose M3!
But... In 1668 Rennequin Sualem built a hydraulic machine on the Hoyoux to pump up water for a fountain of more than 50 meter high. This prototype was a test for the later Machine de Marly on the Seine that had to pump up more water to the fountains of Versailles than the whole of Paris could consume for a living. The historic efforts of decadence in vain, not the Hoyoux or Seine any longer held the record of being pumped at that moment...
The concerto of birds suddenly reached through to me and the first fireflies drifted into the early night, later with so many I was wondering if the others also saw it or if I was crazy?
Is it possible? Stand up against Glucose's terror? Who knows.. Did Engis II (the first and probably most northerly found Neanderthal, that other little branch at the tree of life) ever come across the forbidding rock, here, 20km from the Awirs cave where the unfortunate kid's skeleton was found? Some things nobody knows.
I wanne see Ondra work it
Holding tight all day, every day
Route's blowing my mind, maybe in time
Glucose, I can send you first try
Machine de Marly on the Seine.
Notes*: Did Ogier the Dane really settle in Huy? Around the time of Charlemagne's death and the treaty of Verdun (843 A.D.) history and legends are hard to tell apart. Sure thing the noormannen in different parts of Scandinavia send out Vikings with spears and provisions to the West and South. On their drakkars the Vikings sailed along the North Sea and up rivers like the Meuse beyond Liège. These people plundered and burned, but they also made political deals in these feudal ages. There are suggestions that Rollo took the deal to protect Paris, establishing also Normandy, while all the way in Istanbul the Viking Varangians came to work as an elite-security team for the Byzantine emperor. Ogier would have struck a similar deal for a Frankish king.