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A Mountainous Ordeal

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(by Max Cave)
We were travelling down the south coast of France on a train whilst keeping an eye on the scenery so we knew where to get off. We picked 'Le Trayas' simply because it looked quality. So with no plan at all, we hopped of the train and instantly spotted a hench ass mountain... Of course Storror's being Storror's, we wanted to get to the top, so we set off. 

After asking a few locals and walking for ages we managed to get to the base of the mountain, but there was no clear path. It was already evening and the whole point of climbing this mountain was to catch the sunset from the top.

We discussed the sitch for a bit and realised we obviously werent gonna let a lousy hill beat us... After an hour of fighting our way through thorn bushes, trees and brambles we came to what looked like a path, which was a big relief seeing as we'd just been royaly fucked up by the first section haha. 

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The path looked like it winded it's way to the top of the mountain. After having a rest and checking out our bloody and bruised legs for from the jungle of thorns we just crawled through we began walking. The walk took us about 2-3 hours and during that time we soon realised that reaching the top for sunset wasn't gonna happen. We got to the top (boring/tourist top) but wanted to reach the tippy top/storror top. There was no public path up there and trying to find our way through bushes and trees on crumbly steep hills in the pitch black wasn't that easy so we decided to camp it out and climb in the morning.

We'd recently stocked up Storror style, and had loads of meat to cook so started collecting fire wood. After setting 3 chopped trees 2 bushes and a HELLA loads of logs alight we had a nice fire going. Toby sharpened us some sticks and we started cooking our sausages and kebabs on the fire. 

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We were all chilling by the fire finishing the last of our food when we hear the sound of a van or car. We look down the road and a massive van comes around the corner shining it's headlights right at us. It soon hits us that this van wasn't standard. It was a fire truck!!! HAHAHA... Some angry fire bloke got out and starting shouting at us in French. One of them spoke English and explained to us that making a fire in the south of France is highly illegal especially at the top of an mountain in a national park and you'll be fined 130€ each due to the risk of forest fires and all that dangerous stuff...

The big boss fireman won biggest twat of the year by picking up all our drinking water that we'd just lugged up a mountain and started putting out the fire with it, even though 3ft away was a fucking hose attached to a truck with countless gallons of water and fire exstinguishing apparatus... After wasting all our water he finished putting out the fire with this hose. They give us a final telling off and send us on our way while they bomb it down in there phat truck. We had a little chat and started the long walk down the mountain in the dark to get some drinking water. 

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Mountain mission failed...
 
After a day of trying to spear fish, the group decision was to go give the mountain mission another crack, we couldn't let the mountain beat us. This time we would be knowledgable motherfkcers and not make a single mistake... we thought.

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Mountain mission back on.
 
We started the walk from the windy path, this saved us from getting cut up by the thorn bushes, and saved us a lot of time. We also gave ourselves enough time to reach the top for sunset. After another 2-3 hour trek up the windy run-down path we reached the same place as the previous night, 'the tourist top'. We found what looked like the best way and started climbing a steep bank, rocks crumbling from under our feet and the only suitable handholds being bushes and dried roots. The path cleared after a while and it became easier to climb. We were in the mode, no one was really talking, just climbing, so no one noticed the weather changing and the sky getting darker.

We only realised when a loud rumble of thunder came from a few mountains back. 
Storror's being Storror's we took no notice and carried on, at the time it didn't occur to any of us that being up the top of a 1400 ft mountain in a thunder and lightning storm wasn't the smartest of ideas. 

We all hit the tippy top and were super hyped because the view was unbelievably good, well worth the nasty climb. We spend about an hour taking pictures and videos and messing around with one of the most incredible backdrops in Storror history. While this was happening Drew pointed out how ridiculously calm the air was considering we were exposed at the top of a mountain.

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The Calm Before the Storm... We thought about it for 3 seconds and carried on pissing about. 

In the distance we could see a dark death cloud getting closer and closer and cracks of lightning every now and again. Hmmm. It started to rain and the wind picked up. Now you see any logical explorer would take that sign as a cue to set up shelter and take every precaution possible... We got the GoPro out, took our clothes off and called for a right good RAIN DANCE WOOHOOOO!

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The rain turned to painful hail and the wind was blowing hard. This was when we realised we might not be in the most stable of situations... Bollocks.

As we were running to cover under a clump of trees where our bags were, a lighting bolt hit the mountain next to us followed immediately by a roar of deathly Cato Aspmo thunder and as we were waterproofing all the camera gear another bolt of lighting hit the mountain on the other side of us. SCARY SHIT.

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We were getting soaked so we went back out to find better shelter. Scuttling over wet slippery rocks and shimmying across death drops while getting hammered by hail stones we managed to find cover under a fat rock overhanging the back side of the mountain. All freezing and huddled under this rock we were laughing at how shit of a situation we had got ourselves into.

We waited under the rock for about 30 minutes for the storm to pass, praying that our bags and cameras under the trees hadn't been destroyed. Sure enough the weather calmed and we clambered out from underneath the rock to warm up, dry off and check our kit was ok. Luckily it was and we were treated to a top quality sunset, mother earth's congratulatory gift for surviving the storm. Somehow, like always, we ended up stark naked so thought we'd take loads more photos before sitting cosy and warm in our fresh dry sleeping bags to watch the sun go down.

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Over some snacks and Storror sandwhiches we decided to try sleep up the top of the mountain to catch sunrise in the morning and so we could say we've slept at the tippy top of a mountain. This proved to be pretty much impossible, Toby kipped behind a big boulder so did alright, but Benj, Drew and I only clocked about 2 hours sleep each. Trying to get comfortable on jagged rocks with gale force winds making your own sleeping bag slap you in the face was impossible. We stargazed for a good few hours and ended up joining Toby one by one behind the wind break boulder.

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We woke up to an average sunrise and all sat there eating our breakfast and chuckling about the previous evenings kaffuffle. On the way down through some almost untouched Lord of the Rings pathways we think Drew was recovering from a slight onset of hypothermia from the night before, while the rest of us were stripping down to cool off, he had his sleeping bag wrapped round his neck and countless layers of clothing and was still cold... nightmare.

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Moral of the story: Don't climb a 1400ft mountain in a raging thunder storm (unless you're accompanied by professional idiots that rely on luck 99% of the time... aka Storror)
 
This whole ordeal was of course filmed and will feature in 'Chaps On Tour 2013' so if you wanna see that, subscribe to StorrorBlog, safe, cheers xoxox
***Stay tuned for the next Storror story 'Wild Boar Attack'


// Want more? MAX GOT SHOT...
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