Over all, it’s the passion for climbing that tethers Greenspits to its members, this passion was omnipresent during the entire Fête du Spit.
We could feel that passion in the eyes of the bolters talking about the freedom of putting up a “line” on a crag. It also shone in the smiles of sweaty climbers untying their knot after coming down from one of Mollans beautiful routes. It lubricated the knobbly articulations of the relentless that have been climbing for over 40 years and stuck under the fingernails of the beginners who discovered the joys of climbing outdoor. There was such a concentration of passionate climbers that it was difficult not to have pins and needles in your fingers due to the amount of emulation.
It was both a common denominator to participants and organizers and a nice thread that manifested in many ways all along the week-end.
« I know people who dont like climbing festivals. They probably haven’t been to the ”right” one..! Fete du Spit combines everything I like in a festival: climbing, music, dancing, meeting old and new friends, climbers of all generations climbing together, education, art. The laid back atmosphere and not too many people kept it intimate but still with lots of people I didn’t know or haven’t seen before. I hope this festival will keep going in the same style and quality."
Saïd Belhaj, 38.
While some old climbing partners met again, others made great new encounters. Everybody was cheering left and right, exchanged betas, bribed belayers with beers… Well, enough to revive the small flames and feed the blazes, find new projects, plan future climbing trips and remind us why we climb!
Benevolence was also a requirement, with a specific attention of everyone to security : we help and look out for each other, we improve together without any pressure. Climbing has the amazing distinctive feature of being a universal language, a team sport where the number of players is boundless and where everyone has a spot, no matter their skill level.
Some participants came made quite the trip, they came from as far as the Spanish Basque Country or Great Britain to enjoy the event, with the opportunity to stay longer and wander in the beautiful Drôme region which comprises the Baronnies Provençales Natural Park and countless amazing crags.
" With my studies, I planned on climbing less this year. But I think that la Fête du Spit has changed my plans… I left telling myself I would stop later, or probably never. And in the meantime there's still à lot of crags to play with !"
The thirsty for knowledge had enough to quench their urge to learn at La Fête du Spit. Half a dozen masterclasses took place all through the week-end. Rebolting, mental training, injury prevention, trad techniques… The idea isn’t to expose the schedule of the event again but to bring up the other ingredients that make our sport so special: transferring knowledge, learning and sharing.
Some experienced people got involved with enthusiasm to pass on that knowledge. A real joy for those who wanted to discover new aspects of their favourite sport! Not to mention the movie screenings that made us laugh, dream and even cry.
Opening doors, planting dreams… That’s also what La Fête du Spit is about!
"La Fête du Spit, aka the celebration of climbing, or how to gather people who like this sport and want to share some good time. I find everything that I like in it: generosity through the association and it's volunteers, sharing through climbing and around a drink, passing on knowledge through different masterclasses and film projections… Thanks Greenspits for offering that, it's a delight every time! "
Florence Pinet, 33.
Like flour in a bread recipe, volunteers are those who make La Fête du Spit possible. A team of 25 threw their heart and soul not only to pamper the participants during the event but also to organise several weeks beforehand. From the partner research and planning a tight schedule, to putting together the party premises and communicating during the event, not to mention managing the electricity, bolting routes, emptying the dry toilets bags, they were put through the wringer!
Actually, the generosity with which the volunteer team got involved in La Fête du Spit is the cornerstone of how the association operates. Getting involved in a nonprofit project is work, a lot of work, and all of Greenspits’ active members have a pretty busy life. Yet, they choose to give time and energy to bring their grain of sand(stone) to climbing and climbers and the environment and especially to see projects through. Enough to restore one’s faith in humanity !
"La Fête du Spit was really cool. It's an unbelievable luxury to have nothing left to do when coming back from climbing : handing your glass and getting it back full of good fresh beer, handing your plate and getting a dish of rice with vegetables all cooked and delicious… What a treat ! "
Organising such an event requires to think up an incalculable amount of things. From key elements to small details, everything needs to be thought through, calculated, anticipated, reconsidered…
When it comes to La Fête du Spit, a lot of environmental questions were taken into account to lessen the event's impact.
To exemplify :
Dry toilets, on the party premises and at the crag.
The (primordial) choice of food and drinks, organic, local and "wild".
Environnementally friendly materials for entry wristbands (made of bamboo fibers), for dishes (biodegradable natural fibers), LED or low consumption lights…
Practical information and schedules in digital format.
An online sheet available for participants to carpool.
The cleanup of the crag and its surroundings as well as the garden where the parties took place.
Questioning ourselves in order to be in adequation with our values is worth it, right ? We are aware that there is still a lot of progress to be made on this matter and would highly appreciate your suggestions and your help ! Let's meet 6 months before the next Fête du Spit to arrange all that ?
“ What drives me to invest in Greenspits is that I believe in the values that the association showcases. Since the first Fête du Spit, I’ve always been a volunteer. I like the organisation team : we know each other as well in our qualities as in our flaws. And even though we kind of throw it together (or are in fact running totally late) on some aspects, we trust each others and we like what we do. It’s a great satisfaction to see that people are well received, happy to be here and are sharing the energy that we have put in the organisation. It’s kind of like receiving friends home: we want them to feel welcomed and to enjoy themselves ! ”
A good vegetables curry cooked with love + a secret punch recipe + a perfect combo between live musicians and Djs masterfully orchestrated by Mr Laurent De La Fouchardière, proud member of the Sagagnass Sound System... Only the audience was needed… And in the end we still wonder who gave the best show between the artists and the audience.
As soon as 8 PM, dinner hardly served, we were captivated by the swinging beat of Saïd and Toulouse's percussions associated with Zaki Diarra's traditional harp and singing. Their kneecaps already warmed up, ready to do anything, smiles set, the party promised to be epic.
It's 9:30 PM when Piouk Selectik and M begins the warm-up behind the turntables, with influences from world music, funk, soul, followed by Poulpasound's jungle, the Sagagnass and wals-R's techno that had everyone on board with a dance-floor reaching 250 dancers at 3 AM, unheard of for a party of climbers ! More hedonists than seed eaters, it's obvious that the cream of the crop was there that night !
"The saturday night party met all the expectations. The live music then the DJs were wicked and made us dance until dawn. It was awesome to see everyone loosen up, the atmosphere was completely crazy !"
With a concept like La Fête du Spit, we're bound to have participants coming back and arouse curiosity. Sometimes it's hard to stop presales and to decline people. We have decided to keep it human-scaled and to have our values remain the same, even if it means organising several Fête du Spit ? To do so we are waiting for more active members willing to carry the association's projects in all of France ! We are aware that it might be complicated to give time with your pace of life and where you live. But know that talking your annual membership is already of great help. By the way, you who read the article all the way through, are you a Greenspits member ?
"Je crois qu'on est complètement fous en fait ... Qui d'autre a déjà pensé presser 200kgs d'oranges et citrons pour un évènement ?? L'idée était de faire le meilleur punch possible, avec des fruits frais, et car les vitamines ça fait beaucoup pour l'ambiance... Ça en dit pas mal sur les autres thématiques du week-end, et sur l'état d'esprit des organisateurs. On a fait des paris, on a fait au mieux, l'objectif principal ici n'étant pas de faire des bénéfices."
Carole Palmier, 32 ans.
Many thanks to Eline Le Menestrel, Romaric Geffroy and Carole Palmier for their work on this article and website !