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Go back to Part 2.
Vatovarindry and Mitsinjoarivo domes.
The next day we woke up early for the longer approach to the Vatovarindry, a large dome on the opposite end of the range. Despite looking at the area map the night before, we screwed up and ended up getting our first taste of a Madagascar bushwhack: waist high thick grass (sharp and slick) with a thicker bottom layer to entangle the feet interrupted by densely overgrown washes. I clung to the idea that Madagascar has no snakes dangerous to humans but at the same time kept thinking about all the deadly serpents on the mainland across the narrow (400km!) Mozambique Channel. Based on Shirley’s profanity I could only assume she had similar thoughts…
La Croix Du Sud.
After about two hours we made the base and Shirley started up the first pitch of La Croix Du Sud
). I enjoyed myself tremendously on that pitch! Anytime the going got steeper a perfect incut edge would appear. The second pitch offered more of the same goodness and I almost felt sorry when I reached the belay. Things steepened on the upper 2/3rds and we found ourselves climbing some very cool, water carved features in the sticky granite! The terrain was interesting but the climbing was never scary. As the day before, a strong wind started up when we were about half way up. By the time we topped out we were both wearing jackets. Despite the PITA wind the raps went smoothly and this time (having seen the correct approach from above) the hike back to camp took us just over an hour. A stellar route!
The Tsaranoro Massif (Sept. 2011).
Vatovarindry (center & home to La Croix Du Sud route, visible in photo) and Mitsinjoarivo domes (Sept. 2011).
Shirley starting up pitch 1 of La Croix Du Sud (8P 6b) on the Vatovarindry formation (Sept. 2011).
Also not Idaho (Sept. 2011).
Shirley on the fun water groove section of pitch 2 of La Croix Du Sud (Sept. 2011).
Following pitch 3 of La Croix Du Sud. View is in the direction of Camp Catta (Sept. 2011).
Shirley climbing the amazing water-carved features on pitch 4 of La Croix Du Sud (Sept. 2011).
Shirley topping out on pitch 4 of La Croix Du Sud (Sept. 2011).
Shirley leading the easier pitch 5 of La Croix Du Sud. The route continues up the steeper headwall above (Sept. 2011).
Pitch 6 of La Croix Du Sud - the interesting water-sculted rock continues (Sept. 2011).
Shirley nearing the top of pitch 6 (Sept. 2011).
The arid views from high up on La Croix Du Sud route on Vatovarindry (Sept. 2011).
Shirley on pitch 7 of La Croix Du Sud (Sept. 2011).
Looking back at Shirley from the final pitch (#8) of La Croix Du Sud. Colorful prairie below dominates the views (Sept. 2011).
Shirley hiking down after our climb of La Croix Du Sud on The Vatovarindry Dome (in background; Sept. 2011).
Shirley on the hike out after our climb of La Croix Du Sud. Unknown dome is in the background (Sept. 2011).
Shirley hiking back to camp after our climb of La Croix Du Sud. Karambony Pillar is in the background (Sept. 2011).
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