I really wanted to write a post about the inauguration of François Petit’s new gym Climb Up Aix located in Bouc-Bèl-Air close to Aix-en-Provence.
For this opening the gym had organized, among other things, a lead master with 12 internationals climbers who would compete on an afterwork “extreme” route.
The invited climbers were:
For the women: Mélanie Sandoz, Matilda Söderlund, Hélène Janicot, Charlotte Durif, Mina Markovic and myself;
For the men: Thomas Ballet, Dave Graham, Guillaume Glairon-Mondet, Domen Skofic, Chris Sharma and Sean McColl.
Very nice people indeed !!
Sean and I arrived in Aix-en-Provence on the 1st of April to discover the new gym and spend our 20 minutes trying the extreme route. For me, the work went really well, it was route set by Gérôme Pouvreau and I loved the route rightaway. There were basically 3 big sections: a first vertical and very technical part, a second part more overhangy and quite powerful, and finally a vertical finish on slopers both technical and physical !! All of that for an estimated grade of 8B+/8C for the women and I think 8C+/9A for the men.
The day after the work of the route, all the climbers were invited to try the best part of the gym : the Clip’N’Climb. It’s a new concept invented by Entre-Prises to discover climbing in its most playful and fun way ! Back into childhood for a couple hours, time was flying, it was so much fun …
Finally at 7pm the official opening ceremony started with a “dance&climb” show, speeches, food, … and at 9pm it was time for us to start the Lead Master Climb Up Aix. The gym was packed (more than 1000 people) and there was already a crazy atmosphere. I climbed in 2d position, relaxed and really excited to try again that route that I really enjoyed working the day before. And then, surprise, the climb of my life, everything was finely tuned, the mouves were flowing one after the other, and finally after a beautiful fight, I fell a few mouves before the top. On top of that, the crowd was crazy, the atmosphere was amazing and carried me all along. It was such an extraordinary moment, I’ll defenitely remember it for very long … !
Whatever happened next, I was ecstatic abut my climb and didn’t care at all about the final result. I rarely climbed that well of my entire life ! Then I watched the girls climb and fall one by one below me. What ?? What’s happening ? Did I just win ??!! Can’t believe it !! And to top it off, my climbing and life partner Sean had also won the Master !
In the end we both had so much fun during those two days, we loved climbing the extreme route, we laughed and played with the Clip N Climb, we got to share privileged moments with climbing legends, met very nice people … Anyway it was just G R E A T !A big thank to François Petit, all the people organizing this event at Climb Up Aix and finally to the crowd who was amazing and carried us to the top !