Hey climbers! I missed you. I’m back πŸ˜€

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 πŸ˜‰

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.

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Photo: Anna Laitinen

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Photo: Markus Lehtonen

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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 πŸ˜‰

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 πŸ˜› 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.

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Photo: POV from campsite Les Guerins

Breakfast time #ceuse #camplife

A photo posted by Truong Ngo (@truongngocom) on

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Photo: Road to the crags

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Photo: Just arrived at Berlin Sector

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Photo: View from Berlin sector

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Photo: Panorama view from Berlin

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Photo: Crowded on the wall

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Photo: Anna practicing her front lever skills

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Photo: Moved into this sweet crib

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Photo: Toilet sticker view

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Photo: Breakfast front yard / best internet wifi spot

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Photo: Table tennis!

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Photo: Rental fridges 1 euro per day

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Photo: Panorama view Petit Ceuse

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Photo: Ville in one of his projects Berlin 7c

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

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

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Photo: We got lost.

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Photo: We found the right exit!

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Photo: Parked our cars.

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Photo: Self explanatory.

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Photo: Super nice to be here!

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Photo: Going for a dive :)

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Photo: Jumping off the rocks πŸ˜›

The best restday ever. #river #swimming #restday

A photo posted by Ville Mustonen (@vmustonen) on

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Photo: Cascade sector

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

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Photocredits to Ville

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

A video posted by Truong Ngo (@truongngocom) on

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Photo: Biographie wall <3

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Photo: Biographie wall full of history

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Photo: Stacking stones

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Photo: Stacking more stones πŸ˜€

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Photo: These clouds are amazing!

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Photo: Climbing Technology bag is awesome.

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

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Photo: Ben, Jerry and me πŸ˜€

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Photo: Approach Climbshop in Gap, I’ve got myself a new topoguide πŸ˜€

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

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

A photo posted by Truong Ngo (@truongngocom) on

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Photo: POV from Demi Lune sector

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Photo: Enjoying Femme Noir

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Photo: Markus in Poinconneur des lilas 8a+ classic

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Photo: Hi Marmot athlete Anna

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

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Photo: Anna in Bourinator 8a

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

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Photo: Hiding for the rain.

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

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Photo: Our hike up was fun :)

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

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Photo: Rain won’t stop us.

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Photo: Watching climbing movies πŸ˜€

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

A photo posted by Truong Ngo (@truongngocom) on

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Photo: Markus working out Bourinator 8a

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Photo: Waiting for pizza!

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Photo: Pizza time!!

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

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Photo: Impossible to climb with this fog.

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

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Photo: Headlamp climbing time πŸ˜‰

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

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Photo: Last climbing day and it was pretty crowded!

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Photo: Spectacular panorama view

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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 πŸ˜‰

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 πŸ˜€

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!

NKBoulder2015Dear climbers! Come Saturday is a big day for competition climbers. I’m announcing the National championship Boulder which will be held in Delftsbleau bouldergym!

Instead of competing, I will be cheering and encouraging the competitors through a microphone πŸ˜€

So who are the lucky competitors? Below I listed them for you.
Regarding the men’s category, we’ll have 2 extra competitors all the way from Innsbruck. Nicky and Jorg, welcome back in The Netherlands for this comp!

Women Men
Rianne van den Berg Mark Brand
Nikki van Bergen Bob Giesberts
Elsa Doornbos Nick ten Hoopen
Kim van den Hout Teun Keusters
Nora van Wassenaer Don van Laere
Mirthe van Liere Nicky de Leeuw
Amanda Meijering Maarten Nieuwenhuijsen
Irene Pieper Tim Reuser
Lisa Sanders Ferdinand Schulte
Eva Vink Timo Tak
Roelien van de Vrie Jorg Verhoeven
Jesse van der Werf
Wolter Westdijk
Giel Wiegers

Anyway, would you like to cheer along at the National Championship Boulder? Get your tickets here. Your ticket might be worth a prize too πŸ˜‰ Semis will start at 13.15h and finals at 19.15h.

I’ll see you Saturday may 23rd! Over & out.

Hello there!

Last week I made a last minute call to visit my friends in Fontaine Bleau. It was a good decision with a lot of fun, rowing in a boat, playing tennis, enjoy champagne, having dinner together and last but not least climb in the forest! It was a good time with Jerome, Karine, Etienne, Margaux and the rest.

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Instead of working out all the time, it felt good to be one with the nature and enjoy simple boulders. For example this boulder in Bas Cuvier – La Paillon directe.

Video: Bas Cuvier – La Paillon Directe

Climbing without fear is the best way to enjoy and to be free :)

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New year 2015 and I’m happy to announce that La Sportiva is my new sponsor! Wuuhuuuu, I’m so happy!! πŸ˜€

Today I picked up a parcel at the post office. And I will share you what’s inside the parcel.

Unboxing

I will introduce you to these lovely Futura Blue climbing shoes! I’ll give you a short review.

Out-of-the-box

What’s your opinion about the design?
I just unboxed it and these shoes really has a sick design! As you can see, the colours are blue, yellow and black. Perfect colour design if you ask me. This model is toedown and pretty narrow. I’m not sure about toehooks, I haven’t tested it yet. However on top of the shoe there is some rubber at the big toe side. The heel is hard and on the side it’s soft because of the leather. Therefore you’ll be more aware of the heel placement on the surface. My heel fits really nice in this shoe. There is almost no dead space in the entire shoe for me, which I think is really important when you want to get the most out of it!

Will the rubber stretch?
To be honest, I’m not sure how much the rubber will stretch as I still have to break it in.

Vibram-Rubber

Are the sizes the same for all models?
My regular shoe size (Vans) is 41. For this model I wear size 37.5, the smallest model I could fit. I know this model is comparable with the Testarossa: 37.5, whereas the Solution differs one whole size up to 38.5 and on the contrary Python fits me size 37. The models are different and the sizes too. I suggest you to fit all sizes and see which one fits you best.

Calfskin

What are the down sides of this model?
Well, considering the rubber is quite flexible, I think it could wear down fast if your foot placement isn’t accurate. The price (+/- 126 euro) is a tad high however you’ll be purchasing 100% quality.

Futura Blue in a nutshell:
You could use these shoes for sportsclimbing and bouldering. The material is made of calfskin. The sole is Vibram XS Grip 2 (3 mm) with LaspoFlex midsole which means you can really bend the middle part of the shoe. The edges are PD 75, and highly asymmetrical. It has a strong pre-tensioning and a fast lacing systym, similar to the Solution model. The weight of the shoes per pair in medium size is 450 g. This model is available between 32-46. Extra is the pull on aid and the all round rubber protection.

Futura-Blue

Well as of now, you’ll see me climbing on La Sportiva shoes! A big thanks to Summit Outdoor!! In the future I will post more reviews about different models.

Have fun climbing πŸ˜€

Good afternoon you all!

Dust 2015 was a great event yesterday! I was waiting in front of the gym at 9.45 AM, so psyched to climb!

Waiting
Photo credits: Chris Waitzman

I wasn’t the only one waiting at the door though. Among a crowd of psyched climbers we were all waiting for the gym to open.

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I felt quite excited when I peeked through the windows and saw Monk was ready to receive 250 (!) climbers.

Prep

And at 10.01 AM the gym doors were open and I was the first climber who received a scoreform!

register

Yeah I was ready to climb. Once again my mind was set to climb the most boulders of the day. I didn’t want to spend many attempts on each boulder, simply because there was no time for that. I was aiming to climb boulders which could lose lots of texture after many climbs. After that I spent time on some hard boulder problems. It took me quite some time to finish 8 hard problems. I decided not to spend more than 5 attempts for each hard problem. I think that worked out well.

enter first

After that I spent time on queuing and climbing many problems. I liked many problems, different styles and different kind of holds. Some of the holds were really sharp! Some of the boulder problems I didn’t even try, it would take too much time waiting. The new walls are definitely a nice add on to the gym!

At the end of the day I was quite surprised my skin was still okay. I expected to have bleeding fingers but that didn’t happen. I climbed 78 problems out of 94 total problems. Even though my top 8 wasn’t really high, I was proud at myself of achieving such a list.

scoreform

afterevent

This year Dust felt dustier than ever. In the ranking game I ended up 9th with my top 8 hardest problem. In the All You Can Boulder category I ended up 2nd with 78 problems.

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Tim sent 92, quite impressive! I guess I could call my day a success πŸ˜€

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With 4 bags of chalk, I’m good to go for another few weeks πŸ˜‰ Thank you for the great boulders Monk and thank you Black Diamond for supplying me with chalk πŸ˜€

Last weekend I signed up last minute and joined the first comp of the year which was Boulder 1 competition at Sterk Bouldergym. I knew I couldn’t go all out 100% due to my leg injury which doesn’t seem to recover. Anyway, I wanted to test myself among this strong competiterfield.

It felt like a test to see if I was fit or not. I arrived on time despite the cold icy weather (code yellow). I checked the problems before I changed my clothes. The 8 qualification problems looked cool at first sight.

It was time to start and I felt confident enough to start with the 2nd boulder problem. I could flash it in my first try. Awesome but I wish this boulder was set harder to make more difference in this field though!

On to the next vertical problem number 8. I had to be careful because the volume where I would put my left foot was set really high. Before I started, I brushed the holds with an official extended brush. I could feel the balance in this boulder and could match the final hold in my flash attempt.

Boulder 1

I didn’t set up a plan for the boulders. I was missing a few judges during this comp though. I was looking around and handed in my form where there was no queue at all. I ended up at this jump boulder where you have to aim for 2 holds set on a volume. This boulder was shared with the ladies. Somehow I couldn’t reach the 3rd hold on top of the volume. You couldn’t see the hold from the start position, so I had to jump blind for this one. Unfortunately I didn’t succeed however the rest of the boulder looked fairly easy with 2 screw on edges.

I went to boulder number 6. This one contained small screw on crimps. This should be no problem. Dennis started first and slipped away hard on the edges with his fingers. It was my turn and the same happened to my right hand. In my 2nd attempt my left hand slipped away on the hold. The screw on holds looked kinda chalkless if you know what I mean. Everyone slipped off these holds. I was waiting for a bit and let other climbers climb on these holds first until they looked better to me. It was my turn again and the edges felt so different, I could even chalk my hands during the problem.

Crimps

I admit this felt really different with unchalked edges. It was unnecessary to fall in my attempts but eventually I managed to send this problem.

The same judge was judging boulder number 7 on a vertical / slab. I noticed this boulder could be send easy if you were a bit taller by immediately go to the left volume and put a heelhook next to your right hand. This was impossible for me. I climbed onto the volume first and went for a jump to the left without any handholds.

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After 5 attempts I still didn’t succeed and went to the next problem.

Boulder number 4 was a sitstart with a double dyno to left. I tried 2 times and didn’t even get close. I knew this boulder wasn’t meant for me and gave up on this one.

Then I went on to a boulder on an arrete. This was the first qualification problem. It went okay but I spent too many tries. I had to place my left foot high on a hold and put pressure on it. This didn’t feel so good but eventually I could match the final hold.

Boulder number 3 wasn’t set for me. From the first sloper to the 2nd sloper was a shouldermove and reachy as well. I was fully stretched and couldn’t move. Even with an intermediate crimp in between and a toehook with left on the side this felt like a challenge way above my level. I felt upset that I didn’t fit in between but I just have to accept it.

From my point of view I think the competition would be nicer if there were more judges observing around. It would also give more peace as a climber because there are fewer long queues. Anyway, the qualification went not too bad. The atmosphere was nice and within no time we’re climbing in a dust cloud πŸ˜€

I ended up 10th with 4 tops in 9 attempts and felt quite disappointed. I needed at least 5 tops with 1 or 2 attempts each to advance to the finals. It was a pity that I couldn’t fit in between some holds and couldn’t try the rest of the problems. I have to accept it and will keep on training and get stronger to make this up next time πŸ˜‰

Finals

The finals was set spectacular. A lot of reachy moves however it looked like a nice challenge! During the comp I was missing a host / speaker. I volunteered to be the MC during the finals. Tim liked it and set me up with a mic!

Speaker

The audience was sleepy and I had to wake them up first. Once they were awake, they were cheering the finalists yeah. This was pretty fun!

Speaker-action

Eventually we ended up before 6 PM including the price ceremony! Check out more photos here, here and there. The complete results can be found here.

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