Climbing trip in Orpierre with Mirjam Verbeek

Since our very first outdoor climbing trip (with Ambers) in april 2012, we fell in love with the rocks. We decided to get more experience and do an outdoor course to learn outdoor techniques. Our choice is an outdoor climbing course with former multiple Dutch champion Mirjam Verbeek. We booked one week from monday 15 okt - friday 19 okt.

The fun thing is that we were very impatient and we really want to do something outdoors before the course. So we went a lot of times outdoor climbing with the Ambers and done the NKBV outdoor course. So before the course of Mirjam we could already manage the basic outdoor techniques. Mirjam adjusted the course to our level so we could do more advanced things. 




After 6 months of waiting, it was finally 14 October. Time to depart! We split up in 2 groups, Mirna and Ralf by car and WH and me by plane. The car group departed early in the morning and arrived early in the evening and thanks to Ralfie’s driving skills, it only took 10 hours! The plane group went from Amsterdam to Geneva in a one hour flight. After we picked up our rental car, we did a city trip in Geneva. What a beautiful city! Airports that are closer are Grenoble, Marseille and Nice, but the tickets were too expensive.















Usually it takes 3 hours driving from Geneva to Orpierre according to the route planner, but with our Chevrolet Spark, it took like 3,5 hours. Stupid weak engine...











Everyone was tired after travelling and we were not in the mood for cooking so we went out for diner. After diner we went early to bed to prepare for a week full of climbing. We stayed in Mirjam's guesthouse, a French gite. It's located in the center of an ancient village called Orpierre. It breathes a medieval atmosphere. There is still a village mentality, everyone says hi to everyone even if they don't know each other. The people are very nice and friendly.















Course day 1

After our breakfast (thanks to WH/Mirna for buying bread in the morning while all the lazy piggy's were still sleeping), we went to the crags. It felt cold in the morning but that disappeared very quickly because the sky was clear and the sun was shining. After a short hike over an ascending path we arrived at the crags. It looked so beautiful, especially with the bright blue sky and the autumn colors! It was the first day climbing so we started with some easy routes to get used to the rocks. Mirjam checked our skills in climbing, clipping, belaying, falling and more.













We climbed till the late afternoon and went back to the village to do some grocery's for the week. Then we chilled a bit and then we made our diner together.











Course day 2

Again a bright day with a lot of sunshine. Today we climbed a lot. We started with easy routes and climbing up to our max. Mirjam set up a toprope for us in a hard route so we could focus on climbing instead of clipping.



























Course day 3

Day 3 is the semi rest day. We planned to climb only a half day. After breakfast we went to the crags in the backyard. It was cloudy with no sunshine and also very windy which made it feel extra cold. Mirjam showed us some rescue techniques and photographers technique. The last one was the most fun. She explained how photograpers climb up the ropes to make 'helicopter view' pictures.










Course day 4

After the semi-rest day we were full of energy for another climbing day. Fortunately the sun and the bright sky showed themselves again. We had another sunny day! We prepared for the multipitch route we planned for day 5. We climbed to the first pitch and practiced belaying from a pitch. Then we abseiled down. After the lunch, we did some more climbing.











Course day 5

After 4 days of climbing it was time for the real work! We did a multipitch route with 4 pitches! Our very first multipitch experience was so great! Especially the last part was hard, but our efforts was richly rewarded by the nice view and satisfaction (and the food :)















Unfortunally we are at the last day so we decided to go out for diner for the last supper in a Chinese-Vietnamese restaurant in Laragne.

Saturday morning we had our last breakfast together and the car group left after breakfast. The plane group went to Grenoble to do some shopping at Au Vieux Campeur (Mekka of climbing stores), and flew back in the evening (almost missed the plane hehe).

It was an awesome week with a lot of fun and we learned a lot of new things. Orpierre is so beautiful and there is so much to climb from easy routes to very difficult routes. Everyone who loves climbing must have been here for at least once in his lifetime :)

*thanks Ralf for the grammar check

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Comment by Daniel on October 24, 2012 at 22:08


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