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The Tout a Blocs 2009

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June 28-July 2, 2009 — L’Argentière la Bessée and Ailefroide, Southeastern France — As a precursor to modern day bouldering competitions the TAB event, presented by The North Face, has always tried to mix a high performance spirit together with an enjoyable ambiance where any climber can take part and do his best in front of a large audience.

Cool bouldering for every participant is the goal of the organization team During the qualification round everyday climbers can share and enjoy great climbing with the best champions.

The event started out as a local comp and grew to a National Open, then to the French Championships in all categories and finally to a World Cup event. At TAB we have found a great balance between plastic climbing and natural bouldering, competition and cooperation, sport and spectacle – 450 climbers during 3 days and over 2000 spectators at the finals!

The commitment of the French Climbing Federation, the Communauté de Commune du Pays des Ecrins, Le département des Hautes Alpes, and the Region Provence Alpes Côte d’Azur together with all our Sponsors have given us the support and confidence to present TAB 2009!

So what’s on offer this year at TAB 2009?

  • An international Open with the best climbers on the bouldering scene (over 15 represented countries)

  • A European Youth Bouldering Competition – The International Federation have succeeded in giving Youth its chance – a FIRST in the Bouldering World!

  • The Jurassic Contest – solely for the oldies, a chance to show that experience still counts, and a great opportunity for those who, despite their years, are still pulling down hard!

  • The Ailefroide Gathering – natural boulders, outdoor action and just great fun set against the backdrop of one of the most beautiful bouldering parks in Europe.

Highlights from the 2007 Tout à Blocs. Photos courtesy of


What is bouldering?

Bouldering is a compressed effort lasting just a few seconds but involving 200% energy! No rope, no fear, just fun, chalk and power. This is the bouldering philosophy.

The goal is to reach the top of the boulder (max 4 meters high) with the least attempts as possible. Spectacular falls are arrested by specially designed mattresses called pads or mats. These are carefully and strategically placed to ensure no danger to the climber in the event of a slip.

The Competition.

The Qualification Round It is a 2 day « Contest ». Played out over 3 hours each day the climbers will try to do as many problems as possible over a course comprising a total of 30 to 40 problems. These will be designed in secret by a professional route setting team led by top climber Tony Lamiche. There will be no imposed order of routes or number of tries. After this ‘long’ qualification round we will present the results: a « scratch » ranking and a ranking for each category including Youth and Jurassic.

  • The best climber in each category will go through to the final round

  • youth bouldering finals (based on the ISFC rules)

  • Jurassic finals

  • «The great final » a fantastic show with the world’s best climbers (5 women and 5 men)

Top tunes and friendly folk featuring the PACA podium truck

Jokes, japes and jocularity from our very own mad TAB ’09 presenter “Christopher” Trade stands featuring the latest climbing gadgets and some serious promos! Good food from Emily – bio sandwiches, tasty snacks plus hot and cold beverages

New: various demos during the registration (Tuesday) including slack lining and a dry tooling contest sponsored by, to remind us about the L’Argentiere Ice Climbing Festival in January and that this place truly rocks in winter as well. Back to Basics in Ailefroide : A Bouldering Beginners workshop organized by the « Bureau des guides des Ecrins »

Exposition on the diverse and abundant flora and fauna within the Ecrins National Park

Photo contest : pros and amateurs alike can participate in this open contest featuring 5 themes : L’Argentiere, Ailefroide, Finals, Chalk, and Fingers

A jury will award prize money to the best shots and the pictures will be shown to the public and featured on our website.

Demos throughout TAB 2009 from the local talent featuring some of the area’s most impressive mountain boulders.

Get more info, register and see the event schedule at: