12 maart 2015

Santa Linya and Boulder 2

After two weeks at home I started to feel a bit restless. I needed to get back to Spain, get some sun and climb some rocks! But actually I had to be in Amsterdam to go to university. I managed to find a five day gab where I could escape without anyone noticing. So I booked my flight and Frank came to pick me up in Lleida. This times destination: Santa Linya. I had spotted a route in this impressive cave I really wanted to try: Rollito Sharma, 8b+. The moves are super athletic, with many heel- and toohooks, drop knees, jumps etc. On the first day I managed to stick all the moves, but the crux was really desperate. I could only make it 50% of the times after hanging in the rope, and it was actually only this move the whole route was about for me, not really my style since I normally project huge endurance routes. I decided to just commit for this one, since the route was really cool and it was a good power training anyway. On the last day I could climb the first part to the crux moves more or less effortless and I was really close to sticking the last hold of the crux, but unfortunately I just needed some more time, which I didn't have. It was a really good trip though and I got really motivated to train again and to come back to this place. Hopefully I can plan a longer trip in the near future ;)
Finals at boulder 2 (picture by nkbv)
Back home I got straight back to training again. After climbing 6 days in a row it was time for my first national competition of the year: Boulder 2. It has been a really long time since I have competed in bouldering. After my knee injury last year I got really scared of falling, so I decided to just quit bouldering for a while, because it only frustrated me. When I started bouldering again this February the fear was gone, but I totally forgot how to make all those crazy circus moves ;) So to be honest, I was pretty nervous for this first competition and I was thinking about not competing at all.
But things turned out great. In qualifications a lot of those scary crazy problems were set, but I managed to flash 7/8! This gave me a lot of confidence and it really felt like a victory every time I grabbed the final hold of a scary problem. That good feeling made me flash all the problems in the finals as well. A good start of the competition season I guess! 

1 februari 2015

Roadtrip Spain - part 2

Right after I wrote my last post I injured myself (never try to go to a mono dynamically!). Fortunately I was allowed to climb again after only three days of rest and already after a week I could work in hard routes again. I guess I was lucky this time ;) But I had only two weeks left before going home and I still couldn’t hold any pockets with my right hand. With the bouldery routes in Mallorca this appeared to be a bit problematical. When it started to rain very heavily the decision was quickly made: Let’s go to Alicante! So the next day we took the ferry back to the mainland.

Our first stop was Gandia Bovedon, a big cave near Valencia. On the first day I managed to send Trasnochando, 8b, on my second go!  The days after I climbed the best routes here and then we moved to a new sector, Bovedos. In just a couple of days we worked the best lines in the two area’s. With long days of onsighting 5 or 6 7b/c+’s I was completely exhausted but really satisfied after four days in Gandia. What a nice place!
Since we had climbed the best-looking lines we decided to spend the last two days in another area near Alicante, Cabezon d’or. This might be one of the best area’s I have ever seen! Gigantic walls, all slightly overhanging, covered in tufas and most of them not even developed yet. It was the perfect place to finish my trip. On the last day I even managed to flash another 8a, a 40m mega pitch! I definitely have to come back to this place.

Now I am back home I will get back to training. I got so motivated after this trip! I have seen many routes I am really eager to climb, but I guess I have to get stronger and improve my endurance to be able to. So it feels good to be back and to start working for those routes!

A small ticklist from this trip:
- 5 8b's
- 1 8a+ second go
- 9 8a's of which 2 flash
- and a bunch of 7's onsight / flash

17 januari 2015

Roadtrip Spain

I have spent the last 1,5 month in Spain, climbing outdoors. The trip started in Margalef, where we stayed for a couple of days before going to Oliana. The plan was to do some small projects. I managed to finish two 8b's I had tried last year, Batuka and Rocaïna Dura (8b/+), both in the second go of this year. That was a good start! Right before we wanted to leave Margalef it started to rain very heavily. All the routes were wet so we decided to leave for Oliana early.
Rocaïna Dura 8b/+
In Oliana the weather wasn't any better, but at least the largest part of the wall stayed dry. On the first day I managed to flash Mishi 8a and I worked the moves on Fish Eye, an 8c which is on my wishlist already for a long time. The end of Fish Eye was wet, but I could do the crux moves pretty easily so I decided to wait for it to dry up. For the next days the rain didn't stop and most of the routes were soaking wet now. It was hard to try Fish Eye, so I kept working it in parts.

After a couple of days we were getting bored of the projecting in routes which were not fully climbable, so we decided to take a break . We drove to Villanova de Meia to do a multipitch. It has been a while since I have climbed more than 50m and I have to admit, I was pretty scared ;) But it was a nice adventure and by the end of the day we could look back, satisfied, on the 8 pitches 7b MP.
Back in Oliana things didn't get any better. Fish Eye was dry now and I could make all the moves, but winter started to kick in, and it got pretty cold. When it was sunny, conditions were perfect, but the crag seemed to attract fog. I had one very good go on Fish Eye the first day, I fell only 5 moves before the anchor of this 50m monster! The days after we were waiting for sun, but every day we walked back to the van early in the afternoon, too cold to give any proper goes. The waiting didn’t pay off, the fog returned every morning and we both got pretty sick (literally) of the long days spend in the cold air. We decided that this wasn't any fun anymore, that we had to drop our projects and head for a warmer place.
Flashing a 7c+ in the 'secret' sector Es Grau des Ruc on Mallorca
Next day we took the ferry to… Mallorca. And guess what? It was super warm and sunny. What a relieve!  At the moment we are exploring the island. The hard climbing isn't as developed as in Catalunya, so it’s harder to find the nice, hard routes. But the climbing is really good so far! I managed to climb Commando Madrid (8b) and Capitan (8b) both third go. Stay tuned for a bigger report of the climbing in Mallorca!
Sunset at Mallorca 
Working in Odissy L1, 8b at Mallorca

22 november 2014

Dutch Champion in Lead

Yoohoo, I defended my national title in lead succesfully! I have to admit that it's a big relieve. With the international season already ended, all my friends celebrating a well deserved rest, so late in the year, I had a hard time to stay focussed. It feels like I am getting more and more nervous for this competition every year. 'What if I just slip off? That has never happened before, but it has to happen once, right?' Thoughts like that have been chasing me all week long.

Luckily nothing like that happened. Jorg had set a super cool route, which I really enjoyed climbing (once I was higer up and the biggest nerves were gone ;) ). I managed to top out. Super satisfied with my performance I could finally relax, enjoy the ambiance and watch the men in their super spectacular route. It was an amazing competition. Congrats to the organizers!

Now it's time to go to Spain for at least 1,5 month. 1,5 month of sun, nature, outdoor climbing, relaxing, beautiful routes, nice people. So excited!!! I will keep you updated once in a while when I find a wifi spot ;)
Article in the NRC yesterday

16 november 2014

Worldcup Kranj - 12th!

The Worldcup in Kranj is finished, so the Worldcup season is over. The week in Terradets really paid off. I felt much more motivated and energetic then the last couple of years in Kranj. In qualifications I was able to give a good fight. Although things didn't go perfectly, I just held on and kept on trying, refusing to let go. It's always hard to find this state of mind in a competition, but I guess I found it in Terradets last week already.

After qualifications we had only a couple of hours to eat and prepare for the semi-finals, which were held the same night. The semi-final route was pretty amazing. It crossed two walls, had many sections which were hard to read and the moves were really 'tricked'. During climbing I had to change the plan I made during observation many times, but the solutions came naturally and I was really enjoying the moves. In the end I had some struggle with my quickdraw, not being able to hold on long enough to clip. I guess I just have to get a bit stronger on that point. I was able to give a good fight though. I am really satisfied about my climbing and ended in 12th position. So close to finals again! It's a good end to a long season, which began pretty hard but got better and better towards the end.

Next weekend I will compete in the last competition of this year: the National Championships in Amsterdam. After that it's time to climb outdoors for a long, long time. I can't wait!  

14 november 2014


Right after the semi finals for the Dutch Lead Championships (which went well btw, I topped the route and placed for the nationals, which will be held the 22nd of November) I booked a flight to Spain. After all the competition I needed a little break to charge for the last Worldcup. The last couple of years I have always been too exhausted to perform in Kranj. So I thought, what if I do some rock climbing just before the competition? Maybe I would be a bit more rested and most importantly, super motivated.

 So that's what I did. I've spend last week climbing in Terradets, a beautiful crag in Catalunya. The 35m wall is covered in tufa's and almost all the routes are super sustained and graded between 7c and 8a+: THE perfect onsight training! I spend the whole week onsighting and finishing missed onsights in my second go. After a couple of days I really found the 'onsight-mode' and I was able to send some nice routes:
- 2 7c's and 4 7c+'s onsight or flash
- 8a onsight (Effecto 2000)
- 3 other 8a's and an 8a+ second go

After this trip I feel really inspired and energized. Some sun, long nights sleep and a bunch of beautiful routes were exactly what I needed to get rid of the jetlag. Right now I am preparing for the final Worldcup of the season, which will start in Kranj, Slovenia tomorrow. I am really looking forward!

30 oktober 2014

Asia trip Part 3: Worldcup Inzai

The Asia trip is over. After 3 weeks of travelling I am back home again. It was an amazing experience: so many new impressions, different cultures, nice people and good climbing. Although I had a really nice time in Japan, I also started to feel the consequences of all the travelling. Flying and changing hotels all the time was taking its costs. I felt more tired every day and I couldn’t catch up with sleeping. I decided to not pay too much attention to it and just enjoy being in Japan: training in the super cool climbing gyms and visit some touristic sights. I hoped this would give me some new energy.

At the competition in Inzai I realized I was just too tired to perform well in another competition. I climbed good mentally, but physically I felt empty. I couldn’t get pumped anymore and fell early in the route, placing 19th. All together it was an amazing trip with some good results,  great experiences and many nice memories I will never forget. Thanks to the Belgium team for adopting me for a week ;)

This weekend I will compete in the semi finals for the Dutch Championships. Right afterwards I will fly to Spain to get some sun and recover for the final Worldcup in Kranj.
Worldcup Mokpo (Picture by Heiko Wilhelm)