14 December 2009


That little cave is about 25m high!! (Photo: Dry Tool Style on Facebook)

The Dry Tool Style competition at l'Usine exceeded my expectations, the number of hard routes and the number of climbers able to climb them (never really in doubt, this is France) and the number spectators. Jeff Mercier, Etienne Grillot and Emmanuel Bazoge (and loads of others) put together an awesome competition with a slightly unusual format that favored anyone who had climbed on the comp routes previously!! Despite this and a travel hangover I managed to get through to the final then super final, strange what an audience can do to my climbing.

A good crowd

There are about 20 routes at l' usine with potential for more, a topo will follow here and/or on Malc's blog.

Malc watching a super-finalist working part of Jeff's Bichette Light M[14/5?] that crosses the roof. The super-final route comprised a M8 start in to the roof section of Bichette (M13?)

Boris working the same line. Later I got to about 4th place in the comp by climbing some (the easy bit) of this route. First prize nomics, second sun glasses, third a rope and I got a flask hmmmm.

Malc and I climbed well for the audience despite me choosing a M7+ sandbag for the first route. I just scraped a redpoint of "God Jull" M10+ to get in to the final then almost (i like to think) flashed "L'Usine" 11?, baulking at the final move. The super-final was a red point of one of the hardest routes at the crag at night with a lazer pointer showing the holds, interesting but I was seriously flagging by that time.

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