Monday, July 29, 2013

Tout a Blocs and return to rainy Ceuse!

Hey all!
Time for a post about my little trip this summer! I've been slacking with updates, mainly because not much has happened (yet) in terms of hard climbing :P since I've left Frankenjura, I've stayed a few days in Briancon (thanks to Markus Jung who picked me up in Grenoble after we'd accidentally meet through a carsharing website :D) where I met up with my friends Jakob, Dominik and Anja. We watched the World Cup competition which was amazing as every year and had some good climbing  in the crags around the place. A big shoutout to my friend Domen Škofic who finally got to display his talent on a large scale, taking an amazing 4th place in the final! I am so psyched to see my friends with whom we used to train in the gym together climbing so well, deservedly so after all the hard work put in at the gym (while the others drink beer and live the dirtbag life... :D)
 The Briancon area always amazes me with its diversity of rock types and climbing styles in such a small range of kilometres. We enjoyed some nice long routes on limestone in Grand Bois in les Ecrins, it's a nice, quiet place with the best view possible. The routes have a little downside for me since there's some chipped holds here and there, usually at the cruxes, so in this sense Ceuse still ranks at the top of my favourite French crags. But often you come across a real beauty of a route, and in any case it was nice workout after the intense WC afterparty! We also climbed on granite boulders of Ailefroide and gneiss walls in Entraygues, and checked out for the first time the very cool single-pitch routes sector in Ailefroide called Face bouc (similar style to Entraygues).
Here in Face bouc I managed an ascent of La proue, 8a+, in Entraygues I had some goes in San Ku Kai, the ex-9a now given 8c+ which at first got me really psyched because I could do the moves (and also because it's great to climb), but linking it proved a little tougher... Maybe one day ^^
otherwise I've done a few 8a's so I'm getting super psyched for the projects in Ceuse! Today we intended to have our first day up there but the unexpected rain ruined it for us. The meteo looks much better for the days after so motivation is still high :) and I plan to stay for a few weeks... :)

The Tout a Blocs was a nice experience, too. For those who've never heard of it, it's an annual boulder meeting in L'Argentiere, just next to Briancon. This year it combined an European youth Cup (Dominik and Anja did it, big ups for the efforts!) and a French bouldering comp which was open for other nations, too (so they did it too, while me and Jakob escaped the heat and went to Entraygues). The finals of the latter were amazing to watch - it was a great atmosphere, a big crowd cheering loud and interesting problems for the best six guys and girls. Between the two comps there was a meeting outdoors in Ailefroide which we attented and had a cool day climbing boulders and meeting some new French friends. All in all it was great to experience it and it surely makes me want to see it again :)
Ailefroide bouldering :)

the evening finals... it was PACKED and a great atmosphere!

Hoping for good weather and loads of endurance now! We're off to Ceuse tomorrow! ALLEEEEEEEZ!

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