Posts Tagged ‘France’

Hello climbers! It has been a while that I have written a story on my blog. I have to admit it is easier to share a photo via Instagram at times. Anyway, I posted some photos of Verdon a while ago and I would like to share my story with you!

My goal of the trip was to climb a lot in a new area. I wanted to do some multipitching and combine it with some sport climbing. My first multipitch experience was far away in Marocco. This time I was looking for a destination somewhat closer to home. We chose for the Verdon in south-France because I haven’t been there yet. I wanted to climb with my French climbing buddies Jérôme and Etienne. They have been climbing there before and could guide me in this area. For me it was the perfect time to meet and check out a new area like the Verdon. From Eindhoven I flew with my packed luggage (20 KG filled with material) and rucksack towards Marseille and got picked up by Jérôme at the airport.

Goodmorning! Selfie Sunday 😁📷 on my way to the 🛫⛰️🌄🌞 #climbing_is_my_passion

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From the point of view of Marseille the village La Palud sur Verdon was faced in the northeast direction. It was a 2 hour drive from the airport to the village. We didn’t even arrive yet and I already wanted to take some photos of the view. I could stare for hours to the water. When we arrived the view was just breathtaking!

For our accommodation we selected a bungalow where we could fit in with 4 climbers. When we arrived at the campsite, Etienne just received the keys for the bungalow. It was a perfect timing to check it out. The bungalow was quite simple containing a kitchen, dining area, bathroom and 2 rooms with a view on the landscape. It was a super cozy bungalow with everything we could ask for.

After we had settled down from the travelling we were going to check out a sports climbing area: sector Pantin du Néant. It was 20 minutes away by car. We parked the car in the forest and walked about 15 minutes. The last part of the approach was some klettersteig traverse. This climbing area is not well known yet.

On the internet you can find a topo guide from Pantin du Néant, however it is not yet the final version (source: Charlotte Durif)
There is a nice overview on Bonoway.
Click here to download the provisional topo guide. Furthermore I have the exact coordinates to find your way to the crag: Latitude: 43° 44′ 6″ N, Longitude: 6° 21′ 20″ E
And the coordinated to park your car: Latitude: 43° 44′ 1″ N, Longitude: 6° 21′ 9″ E

The view was amazing. The huge gorge was 200 meter deep, this is part of a regional nature park of the Verdon, which has a size of 180.000 hectare. Between the gorge there is a riverbed of 25 km. Realizing these facts and looking at the rocks I felt quite small.

After a warm up in a 7A+ route we worked out a 8A+ route, De l’o2 dans le gaz. This route, also known as the king line of the area, started from a plateau which was 200m high from the ground. The route had multiple cruxes of which the last crux was just 5 meters before the anchor. The climbing was really cool, especially the view when you come down from the top. You’re looking straight into the void, that was pretty cool. 😀

The 2nd day we went to the sector La Ramirole. The approach was a bit longer and also a bit more challenging. I had to prepare myself with a harness and gloves to rappel down some parts. I enjoyed the approach and I was distracted by the surroundings.

The nature is beautiful. We were surrounded by trees and once we exited the forest, we were facing massive rocks. This area is perfect for some sports climbing and climbing multipitches. We started with a 6C route. The rocks felt pretty raw. After this route we picked a vertical 8A in sector 3: La guerre des paires. The crux of the route was somewhat morpho for my length, however it resulted into some great photos during the climb.

That same evening another climber joined us, a climbing buddy from Etienne, his name was Baptiste. He was well introduced: the one arm pullup guy. He was a strong dude, he could prove that the following days. For the next day we picked a multipitch: Take it or leave it, from the well-known Patrick Edlinger. It is a vertical 8A and it was 120 meter containing 4 pitches starting with a 7C, 7A+, 7C and ending with a 8A.

To climb this route, we had to rappel down. In my opinion this was quite special. We prepared ourselves, put our harnesses on, rappelled down to the middle of the route for the first stop. From here we rappelled down again to the ground. Our rope was too short, hence 2 times rappelling down. All of the pitches I climbed was on lead. The last pitch took me the most effort. It started with a super cool mantle where you had to place your foot next to your ear to mantle your way up. Then there was a traverse to the right on 2 mono pockets. Eventually I had 2 bad pockets which was spread so far from eachother I could barely fit in between with my arms. With my face almost pressed against the wall, I smeared my feet on friction and had to launch myself for a dyno move. I had to commit for this move, otherwise I couldn’t make it. Unfortunately I couldn’t climb the last pitch in 1 attempt. For Etienne it was a dream come true, he managed to flash this last pitch thanks to our support.

In the photo above, I was belaying Baptiste who just launched himself for the dyno move. Once we got to the summit, we could finally celebrate our team send. It was a successful day where we could take down this awesome multipitch!

On our 4th day we went back to the sector Pantin du Néant. It was more or less meant as an active rest day. Etienne sent the 8A+ route in his first attempt, this was the route we worked out on the first day. I could join the send train and climbed 2 routes: a 7A+ for warmup and the same 8A+ route, de l’o2 dans le gaz in my first attempt. Baptiste also climbed this route and another classic 8A, Pantin du Néant.

I almost managed to flash this route. I could make all the moves and I really wanted to send this line, therefore I saved my energy and save this route for the next time.

The 5th day we went climbing early. We picked an easy multipitch which was quite adventurous. The name of the multipitch was: Alix punk de vergons, a 7B+ multipitch which was 300 meters long containing 10 pitches: 5C, 7A+, 6C+, 7A+, 7B, 6C+, 6C+, 7B, 6C and 7A. It took quite some preparation. We brought a double rope 2×50 meter with us, harness, lifeline, helmet, reverso, some carabiners, micro traxion, gloves, prusikrope, Petzl lightweight draws, comfortable La Sportiva climbing shoes, some Clif bars and water.

The goal was to climb the full multipitch in the shadow. I learned a lot from my multipitch experience but I wasn’t fast enough to keep up with the rest. My rope technique has improved a bit during the climb. Jérôme and I took a break of 10 minutes to digest a Clif bar and drank some water. I was the slowest climber of all, climbed the last 2 pitches in the sun and made it to the summit in 4 hours.

F.l.t.r.: Truong, Baptiste, Jérôme, Etienne. The photo was taken right after we got back from the multipitch. On the background you can see the 300 meter wall which was now facing the sun. 3 days climbing trip was over for Baptiste and he went back home. Tired but still going strong we went back home as well and celebrated our climb with a delicious pizza in the sun. It was another victorious day!

On the 6th day Jérôme, Etienne and I went back to the sector Pantin du Néant. The approach went quick. My focus was to climb super-efficient after all these days. My warm up and also cooling down was the 8A route which I last time didn’t finish. Fortunately I could send the route on my first attempt. Etienne worked out a 8B and managed to send it the same day!

We had climbed plenty routes to celebrate the day. We treated ourselves on a beer and a 3 dish menu in a restaurant. Our week was awesome!

The 7th day we went back to the same sector Pantin du Néant. I had no expectations of this day. Etienne suggested me to try this 8B route, Bébert, les couilles en fer. I worked out all the moves and found 4 kneebar positions.

On my 1st attempt my heelhook zipped away from the biggest jug of the route. It was such a pity to stand on the ground again. After a good break with some baguette and cheese I focused myself on the route again. It became darker as the end of the day was approaching. I was super motivated to commit for the route. I started my climb and enjoyed the moves and swung from one hold to another. I knew I could make all the moves and I knew I could send it, but it was time to prove it. In Neoliet I was training for moments like these, to give everything even when you’re tired. Against all my expectations I passed all cruxes of the route, it finally came down to the last few meters. I had to commit all the moves and finally I reached the chain! Yes!! 😀 😀 I was so happy I could take down this route and finish my 7 day push.

On day 8 Jérôme drove me back to the airport and I flew back to Eindhoven. To cut a long story short, I enjoyed all climbing days. I love the Verdon because it is beautiful and it is perfect to climb during these summer months. I would like to return here every year to climb more routes. My week in the Verdon was a major success thanks to Jérôme and Etienne!

My goal has been achieved, because I could climb a lot of routes.

I hope you enjoyed reading my story and experience. If you want to multipitch, the Verdon is definitely worth to check it out!

Hey climbers! I missed you. I’m back 😀

Since April I have been looking forward to my climbing trip to Céüse. In May I started to train for some endurance to get fit in June.

In June I spent a little less than 3 weeks in Southern France. To get to this area, it’s best to fly to Nice (FRA), from the airport it’s about 4 hours to get to Gap (by bus or car).

This is my escape from the cold dutch weather. Ciaooo! #Eindhoven

A photo posted by Truong Ngo (@truongngocom) on

Once you arrive in Gap, you’ll have to navigate to Sigoyer. This is the nearest village to get to Céüse. I stayed on a campsite: Les Guerins, which offers the basics to survive 😉

This climbing trip I joined a Finnish crew: Anna Laitinen, Markus Lehtonen and Ville Mustonen. Although my Finnish isn’t that good, it was awesome to hang out with them.


Photo: Anna Laitinen


Photo: Markus Lehtonen


Photo: Ville Mustonen

My first impression was that this area has a lot of potential to find really nice gems. For sure it’s one of the best sports crags I have visited. The limestone rock is really cool. It offers loads of pockets, crimps, pinches, jugs, sidepulls, slabs and even some colonettes. What more could you wish for? I was able to adapt quickly to these walls, which are technical and sometimes steep. The bolts are well spaced and sometimes the run out can be somewhat challenging. If you’re not afraid to fall 4 or 5 meters from the last bolt, then you’re absolutely fine 😉

Instead of writing how I spent my time I will share my climbing diary day by day. I hope you can read my old school handwriting 😛 The notes describes the sectors I have visited and which lines I enjoyed (Name of the route – grade – sent – Onsight / Flash or attempts that day). In between I shared some photos of the crags.




Photo: POV from campsite Les Guerins

Breakfast time #ceuse #camplife

A photo posted by Truong Ngo (@truongngocom) on


Photo: Road to the crags


Photo: Just arrived at Berlin Sector


Photo: View from Berlin sector


Photo: Panorama view from Berlin


Photo: Crowded on the wall





Photo: Anna practicing her front lever skills


Photo: Moved into this sweet crib


Photo: Toilet sticker view


Photo: Breakfast front yard / best internet wifi spot


Photo: Table tennis!


Photo: Rental fridges 1 euro per day



Photo: Panorama view Petit Ceuse


Photo: Ville in one of his projects Berlin 7c


Photo: Anna in her lovely route Dolce Vita 8a+




Photo: On our way to a natural lake suggested by Anna


Photo: We got lost.


Photo: We found the right exit!


Photo: Parked our cars.


Photo: Self explanatory.


Photo: Super nice to be here!


Photo: Going for a dive 🙂



Photo: Jumping off the rocks 😛

The best restday ever. #river #swimming #restday

A photo posted by Ville Mustonen (@vmustonen) on


Photo: Cascade sector


Photo: Enjoying Vagabond d’Occident 7c – photocredits to Ville


Photocredits to Ville



Restday at #ceuse. We love to chill around on this playground. @annaliinalaitinen @vmustonen

A video posted by Truong Ngo (@truongngocom) on


Photo: Biographie wall <3


Photo: Biographie wall full of history


Photo: Stacking stones




Photo: Stacking more stones 😀


Photo: These clouds are amazing!



Photo: Climbing Technology bag is awesome.


Photo: Climbing after 10 PM with headlights. Cooling down.


Photo: Ben, Jerry and me 😀


Photo: Approach Climbshop in Gap, I’ve got myself a new topoguide 😀




Photo: That day we ate salmon + chips + veggies, yummie!



Let's crush some rock today! #lasportiva #solution

A photo posted by Truong Ngo (@truongngocom) on


Photo: POV from Demi Lune sector


Photo: Enjoying Femme Noir



Photo: Markus in Poinconneur des lilas 8a+ classic


Photo: Hi Marmot athlete Anna



Photo: I was working out Mr. Hyde 8C+, which was somewhat bouldery and reachy but super cool line though!






Photo: Anna in Bourinator 8a


Photo: Rain and fog isn’t good at all!


Photo: Hiding for the rain.


Photo: After rain comes sunshine. I just had to capture these rainbows <3


Photo: Our hike up was fun 🙂


Photo: Long way to go but I didn’t care cause I enjoyed the nature.



Photo: Rain won’t stop us.


Photo: Watching climbing movies 😀

Hiked up to #cascade at 7.30 AM, that was cool and fun this morning! #ceuse

A photo posted by Truong Ngo (@truongngocom) on





Photo: Markus working out Bourinator 8a


Photo: Waiting for pizza!


Photo: Pizza time!!






Photo: Markus working out Bourinator again whilst the fog came upon us


Photo: Impossible to climb with this fog.




Photo: Anna on her way down when she just sent Bourinator 8a!! Congrats Anna!


Photo: Headlamp climbing time 😉


Photo: I brought a monocular to check out the rocks from the campsite.



Photo: Last climbing day and it was pretty crowded!


Photo: Spectacular panorama view



What did I learn from Céüse?
It’s good to come prepared when you want to climb lots of routes. Make sure you’re fit to climb +30 meter routes.
The trek / hike towards the crag takes more or less an hour. Take your time and enjoy the nature. Eventually your body will get super fit!
My first time won’t be my last time 😉

My trip was unforgettable. These walls are superb, period!! The climbers I met inspired me to climb harder and push my limits. I can’t complain about spending my time here. I hope you enjoyed the photo story 😀

For now, I’m back in Eindhoven with a lot of inspiration and motivation to return next year for another round to climb more gems and classic routes!

I have been posting a lot about boulder movies lately. Now it’s time to turn the table and talk some cool stuff about lead climbing.

When I was competing in lead competitions, I always wanted to climb a lot during a competition! Not just 1 or 2 qualifications and if you’d suck, you’d to accept it and you can go home. And the worst part, most likely you didn’t even enjoy that day.

24h Le Mur Oloron was the 8th edition and held on October 5th – 6th in France. The rules were simple, achieve as many points in 24 hours. How? There are routes varying between 5c – 8c, the harder the route, the more points you can collect. However, only the 5 best routes you climbed, are counting for your score. And on the next day are the finals. Sounds awesome right? Why don’t we have such a competition in The Netherlands? It makes me wonder. Perhaps I should suggest this kind of format next year.

Below is a compilation video with such a format implemented in the competition and you can see how it went down in Oloron Ste-Marie!

Video: 24h du Mur d’Oloron

Sean McColl killed the competition with such a score! Respect.

2nd Worldcup of this year is in France. Check it out now, it’s being broadcasted live!

Video: WC Boulder Millau livestream

At 7 P.M. the finals will start! Find more information about timetables, semis, finals, etc, click here.



Video: WC Finals Boulder Millau livestream

GuiGui knows how to send hard problems. He has been visiting Fontaine Bleau, the boulder forest of France!

This video contains the following problems:

Title Grade Location
Trip hop 8C Boissy aux cailles
Délire onirique 8A+/B Rocher saint Germain
Gourmandise 8B Cuvier Rempart
Khéops assis 8B+ Cuvier Rempart

Check out his sends and first edit by himself.

Video: Guillaume Glairon Mondet, Fontaine Bleau, France

It’s been a few days that I’m back home again. Last Thursday was my climbing day and I’m going to tell you all about it.

I had to wake up early. According to the climbing schedule, I had to climb 4th in my second route.

In the morning I was having breakfast with Tom. It was only 7 AM and I got a nice mini croissant with tea. After breakfast we left to the arena. Our hotel was nearby the arena, took us 15 minutes by foot. It was nice to walk outside and really wake up.

When I arrived at the arena, I had to show my pass to get in. I took a quick look at the wall to check the routes. I saw Jorg Verhoeven as well. He informed me about the blue routes. There were 4 routes set in the wall. I had to focus on the blue routes.

Behind the wall was the warm up zone. It wasn’t big nor high. I always find it difficult to warm up on a small boulder wall though and then climb a hard route. Perhaps I should standardise my training this way to get the feeling of it.

Anyway, I was placed in group B which had a total of 51 climbers. Group A also had 51 climbers. I’m not used to compete against so many climbers though.

I changed my clothes and started to warm up. When I felt a bit pumpy, I focused on the flash route. It was recorded on video behind the wall and repeated over and over.

I wasn’t paying too much attention to the route, just the sequence. I knew where the holds were set and took a look in front of the wall. I was visualizing how the movements would feel like when I will climb the route.

It was almost time to climb. I didn’t feel nervous yet. I was putting on my climbingshoes backstage and prepared myself to climb. I had to wait until it was my turn. The first part of the route went really well. I expected this route to be much harder. The holds were nice however the clipping the quickdraws wasn’t nice. Anyway, no hard moves so far which could have scared me off. At that moment I was believing in myself, enjoying the climb and I could could hear my team members supporting me. I can’t remember the music or anything else. The route was really nice.

Although I didn’t climb all the way to the top, but I was kind of surprised when I fell out of the route. From a sidepull I had to cross over with my right hand and grabbed an undercling with my left hand. I can remember this guy placed his foot on a far foothold and so did I. The next hold was meant for my right hand and as I went towards the hold I felt I didn’t get my fingers properly on the hold. It was small though, but that was the moment I fell out of the route. I wasn’t too happy about that but also I wasn’t too disatisfied about it. The climb went okay I suppose. I just wished I didn’t fall out at that spot. My left arm was starting to get pumpy but I wasn’t tired yet.

My second route was much later. I was placed 29th in the first route. I had to wait 2 hours, which gave me the opportunity to watch other climbers in the routes. From this point of view it looked like the 1st route was set harder than the route I had just climbed. Once in while I was walking backstage to traverse on the wall. Usually it feels easy to stay warm after one route. I memorized the route and was ready to climb.

Just before it was my turn, Michiel and Hans showed up. They were just in time to watch me climb. When I started my second route, I heard them supporting me. Actually I only heard my team cheering for me and nothing else. The moves looked hard but once again I expected it to be hard but it was all okay.

The roof had good holds and getting out of the roof was a crux for me. I knew it was hard to go to this sloper. I placed my left heel behind on the module and I knew I had to cross over with my left hand. It didn’t feel right though, so I went with my right hand to this sloper.

I wasn’t even close to this hold! Perhaps because of my feet placement it didn’t feel right and therefore I got punished.

I knew right away this score wasn’t enough to advance to the semis. I ended up 51st from 102 lead competitors. Just in the middle, what can I say about that? I’ll leave that to you.

I had a brief feedback session with Wouter after my climb. It was good to talk about it and listen to his point of view. I enjoyed climbing though! To be here for a whole week was great. Walking among the best climbers gives such positive energy. The semis and finals were great. The tickets were all sold out which means there were about 6000 spectators to see the best climbers in the world in action!

Below you can see a few photos from the whole event.

I didn’t stay at the arena all the time though, but also went sightseeing with my team. We went to Blocbuster for a few hours and had dinner together.

The other days I have visited Bastille, Les Arches, Arc de Triomphe, Pompidou, Notre Dame and many more venues.

For any inquiries, click here to send me an e-mail.