The UIAA organised its International Youth Camp 2022 at Ariege in the south of France, and the MCC was represented at this event by Emma Clarke, Yumi Feng and Bastian Spirek. Here they share their experience with us.
This July we were fortunate to join the five day UIAA international youth climbing camp in Ariege, the “least populated and most unspoiled” region of France, right at the base of the Pyrenees.
We were really looking forward to the camp from the beginning and now, in retrospect, we can say that it exceeded all our expectations. The organizers and instructors put a lot of effort into providing everyone with a memorable experience despite all the different age groups and skillsets. Whether someone is sport climbing 5b routes or can climb 7a multipitch, the mountains in the nearby area around the camp had something to offer for each of us.
A great deal of thought has been put into the planning, and each day brings a different experience in stunning settings. Participants are given different options depending on their previous experience and skills. During the trip we were able to practice several multipitches in beautiful locations, trad climbing, sport climbing, alpine climbing across a ridge and canyoning. The unique location of Ariege mountains made all the activities possible to be conducted. Through all of these experiences, we were supported by several experienced voluntary climbing instructors, ensuring that we felt safe throughout, even when learning new techniques.
Apart from the practical training, this camp experience is also great for meeting like-minded people. We are being connected with other participants from different countries with different backgrounds. After spending five days climbing, training, cooking and living together, we have become friends with both participants and instructors. We have received several invitations from other climbers to come climb in their countries and of course we have also promoted the great sport climbing crags in Malta.
In summary, we can say that in the 5 days we learned an incredible amount about alpine climbing, made many friends and can only recommend to everyone to apply for the camp next year. Special thanks to Bibi (Christian Biard), the organiser of the camp, who made it all possible and always took good care of us.
Photos for the article were provided by the various group participants. If you’re the photographer and would like attribution, please contact email@example.com
If you’d like to represent the MCC at future international events keep an eye on our website and social media channels for announcements!