I recently came home from 2-weeks of climbing in the Briancon area and the climbing was over expectations! The place was a good choice for me and my family since we wanted to go in the summertime but didn't want to climb in the heat. And of course it was a great opportunity to visit our friend David and his family.
First of all I want to thank David for making this trip so awesome, showing us the best crags, routes, the best coaching and for letting me an Norea train on his fingerboard. It was much appreciated!
Moon athlete David looking strong (editors note: he looks fat...)
I could never have dreamed about how good it actually went for me. Although I had been sick and recently had a 5-weeks period without any training AT ALL, I made some of my hardest and most fun routes ever.
I made this trip's first 8a, Doux Leurre, on the first crag I visited. I found the moves quite easy on top rope, but then the struggle came when I tried to lead it. At my first try to send it I really freaked out. When I made it, it just felt easy, still scary though. The long and easy part between the two cruxes was to my rescue....I guess my endurance wasn't the best since the routes in Sweden usually tend to be half as long as they are in France. David and I are equally tall (or short...) so we could share each others beta which made it easier.
David then drove us up on a really bad dirt road going on uphill for an eternity, there we found the best crag I have ever visited! And the best route I have ever climbed, Le Petite Danseuse (8a+). It was love at first sight. Doux Leurre gave me a big confident boost, so I dared to try an even harder route. This was much more of an endurance route than Doux Leurre and it was definitely harder. I found some very cool heel hooks which made the moves easier and made the small tiny crimp feel bigger. I can't believe I almost didn't know about heel hooks for some years ago, now I'm a Heel hook addict, thanks Steklund... I managed to send the route on my third try :-)[caption id="attachment_7202" align="alignnone" width="581"] Climbing in Ailefroide, Face Bouc[/caption]
Me and my climbing friend Norea from Sweden made some new friends from the French National team, Solene and Camille at the same cliff. It's always fun to meet climbers from other countries in your own age and they were both very nice and good climbers.
We met again when watching the world cup qualification. Unfortunately my parents didn't know the world cup final was going to be the same day as our return home. But we had time to see when Hannes Puman from Sweden climbed into the Semi-finals!
In summary, this was a fantastic vacation. Two week weren't enough. I promise, some day...I'll be back.