Last year I competed in the L’Argentiere EYBC and it was one of the most fun experiences I have had with the GB team. Despite the really hot weather the climbing was always very exciting!
We flew to Marseille again and drove 3hours to the hotel just outside L’Argentiere. As usual we had a day to relax before the competition which unusually was over the Tuesday and Wednesday this time. The weather was beautiful as usual and so we spent an afternoon at a lake near the centre of L’Argentiere. I really enjoyed it and it was very refreshing in the heat of the sun. The best part had to be making a human pyramid though. 3 on the bottom 4 on top!?
The accommodation we were staying in was a 40min windy-road drive from the wall, amongst all the mountains. My category (youth B girls) had to be at the wall for 7:30am so we ended up getting up at 4.45! This seemed ridiculous to Hannah, Robin and I but after working out the timings a second time we realised this was the only way we would fit everything in without rushing. It was better to get up very early so we didn’t have to rush and get even more stressed.
Orange – I was psyched to have this bloc and decided to try it as my first on as it looked like one I could flash. I had seen it the day before and hoped it was mine! I was nervous but enjoyed every move. Big moves on an overhang.
Blue – Reading this one I knew it would be one of those sketchy ones that aren’t to bad but are pretty drop-able. I decided to get it over with second after watching Hannah climbing it. I flashed it but probably looked a bit shaky!
White – Definitely the most fun! The start was crimps flowed by a dyno and a weird press to finish. This was one of the rare blocs that I smiled on. I caught the dyno which was surprisingly good and finished the problem.
Green – When route reading I thought this was one of the hardest climbs but others were climbing it fairly easily so I gave it a go. All the slopers were what put me off so I climbed it without using them. I popped between crimps, matching and locking off. Another flash! Nobody else tried my beta.
Green – Next, was everything I am not good at in one sketchy bloc. But weirdly it looked quite good fun. Neither Hannah or Robin would go first so eventually I tried and fell off on the toe catch (first move). Not long after I went again and caught it. I got this bloc but I think it took me over 2mins. I got very pumped trying to conquer this volume. When I started to feel the pump I went for it and did the yoga move finish. (See picture)
Green – Mostly crimps on this climb. It was a slab with lots of volumes too. I enjoyed this climb because I could use all my strength, lock off and reach. I found it easy until I had to match the top. It took me a while to get balancedon the last volume before I was able to match the final hold
Blue – My route read suggested this might be the hardest climb but it was ok. My first go was dumb – honestly I just didn’t try hard enough for some reason. However, my annoyance at my self came out in my second attempt and I topped it.
Pink – Looks easier than it is. I had 4 attempts before moving on from this boulder. I was a slow balance start then a jump in the middle. I kept coming off the jump. I got closer but couldn’t hold them. With one attempt left I went over to another bloc then came back and put everything into my last go. I miraculously held the dyno and finished the bloc topping all 8! When receiving my scorer card the judges told me that she couldn’t give me the top because I apparently used another hold.
My mood went from very psyched to really angry in the space of a few seconds. I walked off. Lucinda put in an appeal for me but even after a long wait I lost it leaving my final score card with only 7 tops.
The final results came out once they sorted my appeal. I qualified for the final in 4th but really it should have been in 2nd because I definitely didn’t use another hold. I was happy that 7 tops was enough.
Below are videos of my 4 final blocs. I was really disappointed in my performance in the final and ended up in 5th which is also not where I wanted to be.
This trip was one the most fun but also one of the most useful. I have a lot of things to focus on and this was because of the great support from all the coaches.