Clif Bar Sponsorship

My newest sponsor needs no introduction and I know you’ve all had them, some more than others. It is the company Clif Bar and I’ve been eating these bars since I started climbing. Check out their PAGE as well.

As I’m constantly training 10-15 hours a week depending on the time of year, this newest sponsorship is one that I”ll use on a regular basis. Of all their products, I’d like to point out 3 that I use the most often. The first is the classic Clif Bar, comes in a variety of delicious flavours and all around good. If I’m in the need for some protein then the Clif Builder’s Bar is the way to go. Finally because I love my sugar, we have the Clif Shot Bloks.

As you can see below, these are my training tools.

During every one of my sessions, I now eat at least one Clif Bar product and in competitions I’ll be eating them regularly. If you see me at a comp, ask me if I have any extras if you’ve never tried them and I’ll try to hook you up!

Riom French Cup

This past weekend I went to Riom to compete in a local French Cup. It was a lead competition which is a bit strange for me during this part of the year. Mathilde needed to be on the podium to secure a birth in the World Cups this year.

Yes, I’m in bouldering mode, but I knew the gym wasn’t too high (roughly 13m) which meant bouldery routes. For me, there was two ways of looking at this. The first is that it would put me in the mentality of lead climbing; I wasn’t looking forward to this part of it because during bouldering season I remind myself all the time that in bouldering you need to take risks and try hard. When I switch to route mode, I’m trying to climb efficiently and make very calculated decisions. The second way of looking at it, as I tried to, was to take this competition as a weekend to try world cup class route setting, and it’s nice to see my friends as well.

Both qualifiers were good, the first was in a vertical wall so it was a bit nerve racking. Mathilde and I both topped our qualifiers and had a nice pizza dinner with her parents. Semi finals were Sunday morning and again Mathilde topped, being only 1 of two girls to do so. The other women to top was Helene Janicot who has competed on the World Cup series for the past few years. I didn’t top my semi finals route but there was a really hard move near the top. It kind of took me by surprise because it was only the semi finals and I fell. Another 3 competitors who were tied with me also fell on that move.

Finals were in the afternoon and because I was tied for first I actually went out 4th last. My finals route was very nice, a world cup style contender. It had a delicate vertical section to start it off, a dyno to get into the roof, then a long rightwards leaning traverse, a small downclimb and then the last 15 moves. Overall the route went perfect for me. I don’t have any endurance right now so it feels like I slam into a wall when I get pumped. I got halfway and felt pretty good. The clips are the hardest part and there were a lot of them… I worked quickly through the whole route and got past the down climb section, I was pumped. I almost fell on a few moves through the overhang but managed to burl my way through them. I fell on the last headwall with maybe 10 moves to go. It was the best I was going to do on that route, hands down. I fell, was smiling, laughing and wondering what the other climbers could do.

As it turns out, the route was bouldery enough to secure my victory. Gauthier Supper looked better than anyone else through the whole route but had a weird foot slip after finishing the downclimbing section, he would finish 3rd. Romain Desgranges would take second place after having a hard time with the traverse and not finding a good enough rest to recover.

On the womens side, I actually got to watch quite a few of them climb. I knew that the highpoint was the 4th to last hold with a solid and I was nervous watching Mathilde. She climbed very well up to the top and didn’t make any errors I could identify. On the last few moves, she didn’t look comfortable on the compression. She did an alternate sequence when she realized she couldn’t do one of the moves and locked off to the second to last hold. She stuck the hold but was now in an impossible position to move from. She went to re-adjust the hold and fell. The last climber Helene got through the compression bit but fell two moves later, only slapping the hold that Mathilde stuck. I knew Mathilde had won because I knew IFSC rules. There was an awkward 10 minutes when the judges didn’t want to give her control, but I really didn’t understand why. We wrote the appeal and it went through, Mathilde had won for the women!

It was a bit strange, Helene had done more moves and climbed better on the route, but Mathilde had stuck a hold that was worth more points, a small route setting error in the end. Brilliant of Mathilde to see the skip and unfortunate for Helene.

Hueco Tanks Recap

After a couple of weeks to decompress, move from Toulouse to Chambery, attend the Plenary Assembly for the IFSC and start training again my days have been very filled.

The day I got back to Europe, I moved with Mathilde Becerra to Chambery where we will stay for as long as we see fit. We have an awesome apartment, a great view and the average temperature here is lower than in Toulouse so I’ll be able to sleep better at night. (I’m a warm sleeper) I’ve had the chance to go to the gym a handful of times and it’ll be pretty easy to train while I’m here. They have tons of hard boulders set in a world cup style; they have a campus board and a few hang boards to do dead hangs. I love the first time you get to a gym and you have to look around to see how you’ll train.

The main purpose of this post is to highlight the boulders I did in Hueco Tanks. I was there for 2 weeks, staying at the Value Place and although I didn’t try a few boulders I want to do, I still walked away with a pretty good sheet. The ascents include the following:

I’m pretty stoked on the ascents that I did. There were a few boulders that I wanted to try again (including Slashface and Evangalion) but didn’t get out on tours that were headed in that direction. I also fell on Full Throttle a few times going into the start holds of Dry Dock, c’est la vie…

I tried The Machinist for the first time, scoped out a few lines that I’d like to try and overall really enjoyed my trip to Hueco. I managed to film a few good lines and made the first of a few videos that I released on my YouTube Page. I’ll embed my most recent one below.

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I also attended the Hueco Rock Rodeo in the middle of my trip which was hard to recover from. For those of you who don’t know about the rodeo, it’s basically an outdoor redpoint competition. You have the whole day to redpoint 6 boulder problems on various mountains. They choose the mountain the night before and give you a list of the problems you can try. Obviously if you’ve done the boulders on the list, you can probably repeat them on comp day. The hardest part was that this year it was very warm on comp day and some problems were just impossible for me. You can check out my video of that as well which should be just below.

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As I said above, I’m now back in France. My first World Cup of the year will most likely be in Grindelwald unless I decide to go to Azerbaijan to compete in their world cup as well. The Visa for that country is expensive and an interesting process. Over the next couple of weeks I’m looking to release more footage of me climbing in Las Vegas and more in Hueco Tanks. Also going to be adding some older footage that I forgot about until now!

Stay tuned for that!