With the crazy global warming this year we decided to survive summer 2018 in French Alps in Briançon. It’s a perfect place where you can escape from heat wave and you can still climb all the time. Some afternoon showers made sure the air cleared for the photos and made it safer for making BBQ in the evenings. Well not all was just about enjoying nice view and having fun on evening cooking sessions, the main part of the program was training, getting stronger, mentally and physically 💪.
We started with coaching already in end of June with Chris and Ruud from Netherlands. Good climbers but still with some room for improvements on technique and tactics for the ascents. One of them especially had a problem of falling on the last move or clipping the anchor which is definitely not the best thing to do 😉. At the end they sent really nice and some technically hard routes up to 7a in Mont-Dauphin, Entraygues, Le Rif d’Oriol, Rue des masque, Ailefroide and Fessourier.
After a week of coaching Dutch humans, it was time for Slovenians. Us actually… me and Anja 😊. Yes, I also need training, so we organized coaching for ourselves in Ceüse. Perfect crag to get in shape physically with a nice 1h walk up for the breakfast, than climbing cool routes with amazing view and descending in the end of the day. Unfortunately it was a bit too warm to try my project there (just a stupid excuse, the truth is I was simply too weak) and we decided to check out Gorge du Verdon. Ramirol… I’m not gonna write about it. You need to see it for yourself!!!
Climbing in Verdon is just amazing. Sometimes can be hot in summer but you can choose shady walls on more than 2 kilometers of curvy wall. We stayed not enough time there to climb it all so for sure we will come back. Soon.
We stayed just a few days in Verdon because I had to visit Psicocomp in Spanish A Coruña, just next to Atlantic Ocean. After coming back from Psicocomp in A Coruña Amy from Switzeralnd joined us for coaching in Briançon region. She said she was afraid of lead climbing. Top rope was fine but when she had to climb first her performance was much lower than she was hoping for. We found a perfect place for curing the fear in Mont Dauphin. If you ever have similar problem I recommend you visiting this place 😉. Nice routes, bolts close together and no ledges to hit while practicing falling. Apparently it worked for Amy since in the afternoon in Rue des Masque she successfully lead climbed 6b and did an awesome attempt and a cool fall after a big fight in 6c. Fear was not there anymore so she could just focus and enjoy the climbing. It was fun to watch. Next day we went to granite slabs in Ailefroide to practice foot technique and in the afternoon to the canyon George where we were just enjoying climbing until nature scared us away with a nice thunderstorm 🙂.
Amy had to go back home and Chris decided to come back, to finish the projects where he was falling from the top and continue learning the techniques and working on power and endurance. It was fun watching him climbing more fluently and decisive, without grabbing a quickdraw or saying take as soon as things got a bit harder. He was fighting “a muerte” until he reached the top or fell after a great fight finishing with a long flight.
One week later joined us Christine from Switzerland as well. Christine has been with us already before on the previous coaching trips and we were excited to climb with her again. One of her strongest points of climbing is her passion for climbing and trying each route, even if it’s too hard for her. It’s great tool to learn new climbing skills also in harder routes. Our goal was to achieve more believing in herself while climbing. So, in other words we can say; Never give up! When things start to be tricky or hard, climbers normally give up and say take or just they are subjected by their habits (grab the quickdraw, not believing in themselves, etc.). The whole week we were practicing on delaying reaction on her habits and at the end we achieved that she continued moving to the next hold and keep going even if it was already hard and pumpy. Constant climbing keep us present in the moment without thinking about the sending or fear. Still Christine flashed 7a in Grand Bois and 7a in second attempt in Mont-Dauphin. We also learned a bit of foot technique in Ailefroide, on amazing (sometimes scary) granite slabs.
In the end I can say it was a great summer climbing camp in Briançon region. We learned a lot of new skills, improve old and we all definitely progressed on our climbing journey. Summer is going to end slowly, so next camp in autumn is knocking on the doors and we are looking forward to sunny days on Kalymnos.
See you next time, as usual, on the rock again.