This article originally appeared on Climbing
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It's the day after a Lead World Cup in Briancon, France, July 2015. In the aftermath of the action, you find yourself alone on the rooftop of the apartment where you're staying. It's sunrise. It's so beautiful you could cry. You do start crying, but you're not sure if it's because you're happy or sad or both.
The sun crests the surrounding Hautes-Alpes, splitting everything into gold and shadow. It's quiet; the world is just waking up. Caducous leaves catch spindrifts of wind in the morning air. Verdigris rooftops sparkle in the encroaching light while pigeons dance on the undercurrents. In the distance, the columns of the collegial church rise up above the famous Grande Rue, a street cobbled together in 1345 as the city's central vein. You can almost smell the bread and the croissants cooling in the cafe windows. You can almost hear the laundry drying on high lines strung above the narrow, twisting avenues. Layers of life, old and new, woven into the modern world.
This is so nice, you think.
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