This past summer I was fortunate enough to take a two month trip of a lifetime to Europe with Alex Johnson, Josh Levin, and Nick Milburn. We boarded a plane in Atlanta the day after U.S. Nationals (which went very well) and flew across the Atlantic Ocean, landed in Munich, and began our European climbing trip.
European Summer 2011 - Joseph Gifford
We started off climbing in the Arco, Italy World Cup. I competed in the sport and bouldering competitions. After we had finished all of our competition climbs we decided to go to Masone, sector F, just a couple miles from the village of Arco. Due to lack of a car or friend with car, we decided to rent some bikes and “just” bike up to sector F. We had no idea that to get there we had to ride up an extremely long and steep hill, on bikes that only had one gear. Finally, after we arrived, we tried a climb called Fuego,13d which was an impressive climb. I ended up sending it, barely gripping on to the crimpy finish on my third try.
After we had finished climbing in Arco we traveled to Ceuce, France but it rained the entire time so we only climbed one day in the cold rain. But on the second day it rained a lot, so we climbed on the little wooden wall in the barn below the Ceuce cliffs and had a small completion between the four of us. Next we traveled to Briancon, France and competed in the world cup for four days and then boarded a plane to Barcelona for the most “spectacular” climbing yet to come.