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Cave uprising

One moon ago it all began. We were four in the car.

Our climbing ambulance was rushing to Supreme Dimension in Beez. But it was already too late. Heaven’s sluices opened. Soon the Meuse's climbing crags laid besprinkled with soaking backpacks and drenched backpackowners. Climbing church wasn't open. Only old Satan might've left the gate ajar for us.. No... nonononoo NO.

Next thing we gaped around like Jimmie Angel must have after he crashed on a table mountain into Venezuelan jungle. Eyes shooted up. Dark holes in rock seemed to peer down. Vines' restless tentacles grabbled beneath into the abyss. Daunting as it all was, the roof sheltered from the rainforest madness. Backpacks opened. We got more relaxed. And then... as our hearts skipped a beat.. there was IT..

Had we been warned. Tiny hairs in our ears still trembled from the whispers from a mysterious stranger who lived to tell the tale of the encounter, in a dark bar where we gained the dirtbag's trust. We flashbacked to the scarred adventurer's cold sweat, caught off guard, diminuendo muttering the Modave thing... Glucose Pour le Moineau.. suddenly realizing the indiscretion of such extraversion, closing shut.

What should I disclose to warn you for the terror?.. Don't be at ease, don't be fooled. The thing is NOT named after –nor located within– the peaceful village of Modave nearby. Following etymological speculation does more right to the dreadful fate that awaits those who bump into this manufacture of dark 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 confrontation may not be recounted from a notebook –that you don't have when you're face to face with the Modave thing– but nightmares sure bring back shraphnel of the confrontation. And on the aftermath we can all 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 might get how we were dropped from the sky. Only a squeezed out toothpaste tube could figure how done we felt. And only a porcelain in an elephant shop might sympathize with 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've graded now was the first few meters.


Internet stock photo of Huy.


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

Benjamin Piraprez.. What have you bolted in the 90's? You Dr. Frankenstein.. Two rainy days later me and Hans left our jobs in the afternoon. We had to go back to process what had happened. Aha.. four pieces. The introduction roof; the continuation into a second steep part where it's incredibly hard not to cut loose the feet; the short straight up bouldery part; and eventually the far away ending roof part.

Each time a voyage
I'm on when I've got to have it
Project you're a perfect (UIAA) 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

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 turned red. My shoes?! NO! Go back??? Back to.. THAT?!... Two of the bravest climbers decided to not let me perish just like that on the quest back into the belly of the beast.

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! 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

There are more things in heaven and earth Horatio than was dreamt of in our philosophy. As my foot glided around in my soggy shoe, lubricated by slimy snails, I magically conjured a subtle twist.
I was in the most cruxy of cruxes of the first part. With the twist, elephance was turned into elegance, like a kiss changes a frog into a prince. My charcoal key was suddenly gold.

Two weeks and other trips and a project later. Emergency space blankets glistened in the sun, covering your windows. You woke and took shoes from the freezer. Later at work they went out again when you sneakily shoved an icecold footbath underneath your desk. The heatwave was relentless. At that moment the dazzling sun was forcing me, Hans, Taco, Katie and Fré towards the shade of the terror.

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 didn't spare the twist. My disbelief got an uppercut. A mono was skipped. I was hanging on higher when everything rational spoke against reality and suggested falling. Like the weed between the streetstones, trampled and run over by streams of dirt, growing, kept down, now I rose. Boom.. the first part. From dark spots in the Hoyoux jungle, swayingly fireflies blinked up as to wake each other.


Taco climbing out of the middle of the first part.


I climbed on into the second part with still a little bit of breath. Modave: “ok loser, now what about the continuation into the second part?”. I soon realised we had just been playing in the hall all the time. The real gate opened now. The true monster appeared. Luckily I was not alone. Helped by Hans’ beta I prepared for a great gig in the sky.

Let me tell you how it goes
Crimps that hurt, holds that verge
Strange beta usurps so freak what you heard

A day after getting a taste of apocalypse in IKEA's ant nest, we had no choice about the soothing doom underneath the godforesaken Modave line, in the cave of desperation. We gave it all. Taco got close to founding the future’s holiday for crazy beta sends. Me and Hans looked to invent something to swoosh through this, like Jean-Joseph Merlin, inventor of roller skates, in 1760 through Huy's streets.

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, in the chalkbag with skulls on, next to the 2m10 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


Stefan in part two.


We were four days after I send the first part. It was summer solstice. Friday. After inventing I rested and I went. With every move the crew down heared grunting as if papabear every time 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.

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 even consume for a living. Despite decadence no longer the Hoyoux or Seine held the record of being pumped. I did.

Fireflies drifted into the early night. I had send the first part a handful of times as well as the fourth. I had just send the second. The short explosive third part still remains to be explored. The second would be nice to link to the first, widely considered to be two extra French grades. With the third the accessibility goes up another French grade, and again one with the fourth.

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



--------------------------------------------------------- GALLERY ---------------------------------------------------------

Left/center: One of the key sequences filmed twice by Taco. Right: Machine de Marly.