Saturday, 6 October 2012

Where were you when? Dent de la Rancune

We have recently received a very interesting entry from a "friend" sent on behalf of Mike Putnam whose computer operating skills are apparently far inferior to his crazy climbing ability.  As you can see on photo there is a red circle half way up this precipitous piece of rock and then there is an inset of Mike at the top.  As his friend comments "it is impossible on a small scale to convey the context of his ascent and the final summit pose in the one snap, so I've included two."

The submitter continues "signage is also a perennial problem in places where only the seriously ill-informed or congenitally bewildered would dream of going", so "I presume that the signage criterion is required to minimise fabricated claims to location by means of Photoshop, back projection and actual set assemblages in sheds and cellars. We can only offer Mike's assurance that this rock formation is the original and not a mock-up, images of the original abound on the internet and can be compared with the attached snaps".

"About the snaps:

The main snap shows TMAK47er, Mike P, scaling 'Dent de la Rancune' (The Rancorous Tooth) in the Auvergne region of France  on 9th September 2012. The lower circle shows him halfway up the climb. The upper circles show the pose (inset) and its location at the summit.

The second snap (left) shows Mike mustering magnificence at 1493m on a lump of volcanic rock estimated to be 333,000 years old.

Technical details for climbers: Voie normal. grade 6a (English E.1. ) Auvergne France". 

As you know we take things very seriously in this competition and have done extensive background research to verify these claims and have indeed found many other references to this piece of rock.  Apparently it is a great example of "a volcanic plug, also called a volcanic neck or lava neck, is a volcanic landform created when magma hardens within a vent on an active volcano. When forming, a plug can cause an extreme build-up of pressure if volatile-charged magma is trapped beneath it, and this can sometimes lead to an explosive eruption" - see good old Wikipedia.

Well, one thing you can claim for this series of blog posts, they are educational!

Anyway, the scores are in.
1. The Location - 3.5 (Quite impressive although we have had hill tops before and for sheer daftness of things to do when not singing, this is right up there, but there is unfortunately visible signage, so docked a mark).

2. The Pose - 4.0 (Difficult to tell from the main photo as Mike is reduced to a few pixels, but pretty good on the supplementary photo, so higher marks).

3. The X-Factor - 4.0 - (Scored more on the craziness of the photos and what they represent, the extreme triumph of sheer physicality over any semblance of sanity).

Making that a total of 11.5 - by far the highest score from an entry from anyone with a rope dangling from his midrift!  PLEASE do be careful taking these photos.

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