A couple of weeks ago I went down to the French Alps for a holiday with my family, but also to take part in the European Youth Bouldering Championships which took place as part of the Tout A Blocs bouldering competition at L’Argentiere-la-Bessee.
We went down the day before to register, and check out the wall and the problems. The layout was 4 blocs on the main stage, another bloc and an indoor area.
I thought the first qualification round went quite well at first as I did I bit less than half of the problems. Then while waiting on the campsite for the afternoon qualification it started to rain. We went down anyway to see what was happening and we were told to come back the next morning. We came back the next morning and it was still quite wet as there were thunder storms over night. So it was then rescheduled for early that afternoon and the time was reduced to an 1hr 15 minutes from 2hrs. We were then explained the rules by someone who spoke English and we had got it all wrong.
Originally we thought it was like any other bouldering scoring system where you get 10 points for a completed problem, but it was different. Each problem was worth 1000 points and those points where shared between the people that completed that problem. This was frustrating as I had done quite a lot of easy problems in the earlier qualification. So I just decided to try lots of hard problems in the second round and class this completion as a learning experience for next time as I didn’t have enough time to do as many problems as I could have with the full 2hrs.
The second qualification was a bit weird as it rained for about 20 minutes in the middle of it but they didn’t call it off. But I still managed to get one of my hardest problems in the middle of the rain on one of the outdoor blocs. In the end I came 17th out 50 odd competitors which was not bad considering that I didn’t know the rules.
The senior final was pretty awesome, which was held on the main stage in the dark. It was packed with spectators all cheering on the competitors. The problems all had some sort of leap in them which were all very impressive to watch.
It was a fun competition and it looks good for next year as I will be in the same age group. After the comp I still had another week of holiday to look forward to.