18 december 2012

Turkey part II

As I stated at the end of my last post, when I had just finished my project, it was time to celebrate vacation. So I did. Since I had been in Geyik Bayiri two years ago for a month I had already climbed a lot of routes in the area, but I also left with a wish list of routes I couldn't send by then. My last week in Turkey I have spend going to different sectors every day to tick the routes of this list, all around 7c-8a+.  It was amazing to climb so many five star routes in such a short period. It made me really relaxed and motivated for every route, so I ended up climbing around 8 routes every day. I even managed to onsight another 8a, called Richtfest.
Over the top, 8b+  (Picture by Rogier Mattens)
Just a couple of days before I left, Tobias, one of the owners of Josito, took me to a new area in the valley next to Geyik Bayiri. After a long walk up we arrived at the crag and it was simply one of the best pieces of rock I have ever seen! A huge cave rose up in front of me. The climbing was even more impressive. I climbed a 7c+ on big tufas, which weren't chalked up at all. Such a natural experience, really finding your own way up and not following others. Afterwards I worked on an 8c project, running all the way true the big roof, really sustained on pretty good holds with a lot of 'gym-like' moves. This route really made my day. I think I have never climed such a good route in such a nice place with such a nice view. I will keep this in mind to motivate me in the training the upcomming months!

28 november 2012

Over the top, 8b+!

I am writing this blog while sitting in the Josito's with a nice cup of tea and a really satisfied feeling. Today I climbed my big project for this trip! I have been really eager to try Over The Top already for a long time, since I had seen a video of this route, but last time I was in Turkey I just didn't feel strong enough yet. On my second day here I worked the moves and it actually didn't feel that hard. The route is really sustained and long though. You have to climb for like 35 meters without any rests to find the hardest moves at the very top. From there you can reach far left to the route besides, to grap some holds in a flake which recently broke off, which makes the route a bit easier. Since I had been so inspired by the video where the original line is being climbed, I wanted to do it without the flake. I ended up figuring out an amazing sequence, making some moves which had to be executed perfectly.
The last couple of days this route has been on my mind all the time, but I couldn't find the right mindset to give it a proper go. After a long competition season I felt mentally drained. Today I woke up with the same feeling, but decided to give it some tries anyway. I didn't even think about clipping the chain yet. I just wanted to get used to the moves. In my 6th try I found myself executing the tricky move perfectly, sticking to the mono, and finishing off! So unexpected! Now it's time to really start celebrating my vacation by climbing whatever I feel like and of course enjoying the sun!

A full trip report and pictures are coming up.

24 november 2012

Worldcup Kranj - A perfect finish of a nice season

That's it, the competition season for this year is over.  One week ago the last Worldcup event took place in Kranj, Slovenia. Since I had been at home for one month, training for the National Championships and this competition, I felt really good. That feeling turned out to be right. I climbed steady, confident and relaxed in qualifications and placed 12th for semi-finals.
The semi finals took place on that same day, so after a quick meal it was time to return to isolation. During observation the route turned out to be completely different then the qualifications: short, hard moves, but pretty cool though! I warmed up a bit more and then it was my turn to climb. I prefer routes where you can climb really smooth, linking all the moves together in one big 'flow'. This route was completely the opposite. Many moves where really on the edge, nearly falling off, recovering, making myself up for the next move and just sticking the next hold again. This made it a really good fight, but when I finally fell off I had a really bad feeling about my performance. When I watched my score it turned out that I hadn't been climbing that bad at all. Everybody was struggling with the route and in the end I placed 15th, my best result in a Worldcup so far! It's a pity that the competition season is over now, because I'm still feeling good, but I'm happy too that I could finish it this way. Now it's time to use that fitness and climb some outdoors. Time for vacation!

14 november 2012

National Champion in Lead!

Pictures made by Tim van der Linden
It has been a long time since I have been so nervous for a competition as I was last week before the National Championships. With the competition being held in my homegym and many people expecting me to win easily it was really hard to stay focused on my own abilities. During the days before the competition I completely forgot how to enjoy climbing and I wasn't excited for the competition at all. But fortunately everything changed during observation for finals. When I saw the amazing route, crossing the big overhang, full of big holds and cool moves, I couldn't wait to get up! 
When it was my turn to start I was really relaxed. I could climb like it was just training, moving loosly and enjoying the moves, not worrying about the result at all. I managed to touch the last hold, which was enough for the victory! After missing the national championships last year (because I was in France, competing in the European Youth Series) I got my title back. Amazing!

Movie of the final route. Skip to 1:24 for the most amazing move in this route.

6 november 2012

News item Dutch Championship

In 3 days, the national lead championship will take place in my home gym, Mountain Network Amsterdam. Yesterday the local television made a live item about the preparation for this event. I was there, to do a small interview and show them some climbing. The item can be seen here (it's the last item):

13 oktober 2012


Huge shopping malls, big automatic cars, fastfood chains everywhere you look, plates the size of a 3-day meal, astonishing landscapes... I always thought that Europe and the US were pretty similar, but it turned out to be completely different then I had expected. This made my US-trip an experience I will never forget. It was amazing!

After the Worldcup in Atlanta I took the plane to Denver. Landed in a very different kind of America, compared to what I had seen in Atlanta, I met with some friends to drive to Rifle right away. In the middle of the night we arrived in the climbing area. After installing the tent, I went straight to bed, to wake up the next day in a beautiful canyon, next to a small river and surrounded by imposing limestone cliffs. The climbing turned out to be great, but very different to the climbing in Europe! Climbing on corners and pinches, without ever being able to place a hand or foot on a horizontal hold, I got extremely pumped in every route. Nevertheless, after falling off and hanging in the rope to work the moves, I always found a really cool solution, which kept me motivated. Because we had just 4 days in Rifle, we mainly tried to onsight routes, which is really hard in this area. Therefore I didn't send many routes, but it was a really good training and a lot of fun at least. I hope to come back here once again and then I will stay longer, so I can do some projecting and hopefully send some of those amazing lines as well!

On the day before I had to go back to Holland we drove back to Boulder. In Rifle, autumn had just come in, leaving the trees with amazing yellow and orange colors. It was pretty weird to see how this landscape changed once we got closer to Boulder. While we were driving through some great canyons, the autumn sun disappeared, temperatures dropped below zero and suddenly it started snowing! Arriving in Boulder we decided to do some training in the climbing gym, considering outdoor climbing was not really an option. The gym was great and I really enjoyed the steep walls, covered with holds I had never seen before. Afterwards we went into town, to see at least some of Boulder and have some dinner.

Next morning I had to wake up really early to catch my shuttle to the airport. After an amazing trip with many new experiences I felt really sorry that I had to leave the US already, but I have to say that it feels good to be at home again. After many weeks of travelling I will have some time to relax, train, catch up with my studies and see my friends and family now.

Picture by Matilda Söderlund

1 oktober 2012

Worldcup Atlanta

While TheNorth Face was organizing an amazing event in Kalymnos last week, I headed to the US for a competition / outdoor climbing / training trip. I started in Atlanta to compete in already the 5th Worldcup of this season. The competition was pretty amazing. The American route-setting style is completely different compared to Europe, but I really liked it! The routes are full of little jumps, campus moves, heelhooks, crazy turns etc. This made it really easy for me to just climb and have fun. I felt great in the qualification and made it to the semi-finals in 12th position!

The semi-finals were kind of weird. The beginning was really easy, with huge jugs, only a bit powerfull. Then, all of a sudden, the moves got so much harder. Although I felt really empty and powerless, I was able to hold on and make some more moves. It felt like a good fight, although I was not really pumped, just powerless, and I had given everything I had, so I was satisfied about my climbing. I ended up in 16th position, which is my best Worldcup result so far!

Today I will fly to Denver and head to Rifle right away, where I will climb outdoors for a couple of days. I am really motivated to climb some rocks now! The last days in the US I will probably spend in Boulder, training and sightseeing, before flying back to Holland already on sunday. 

25 september 2012

Semi-finals in World Championships and the Worldcup in Puurs

1,5 week ago I qualified for semi finals at the World Championships in Paris. The route was amazingly set and I was really excited for climbing. Unfortunately I made a wrong decsision halfway. I decided to clip the next quickdraw from a very big hold / volume. The hold turned out to be pretty bad and I couldn't find a position to clip, so I jumped to the next hold which was pretty good. Hanging on this good pinch there was no way I could reach the quickdraw and there was no way back either. I couldn't do anything and had to let go, which was a pitty because I felt so strong in the beginning of the route and I wasn't pumped at all!

Fortunately I had a second chance just the week after, with the Worldcup in Puurs, Belgium. I told myself I had proved to be in a good shape in Paris and the only thing I had to do now was not making any mistakes. It's always a bad sign if your goal for a competition is NOT to do something, but it's hard to recognize this mistake before it's already too late. I didn't recognize it and ended up climbing very tensed, making many mistakes instead and feeling very empty already early in the route. In the end I reached the 24th position, which is not satisfying at all.  

This weekend I will be participating in the Worldcup in Atlanta (USA). I am really looking forward to the American route setting style, which is pretty powerful with crazy jumps, campus moves and really cool tricks. I guess this will help me to find back the feeling of free movement in my climbing. 

13 september 2012

World Championships Paris - Semi Finals!

Yesterday the World Championships in Paris finally started. The French federation had already been promoting this event for quite a while. Considering the fact that it is organized in Bercy, THE sport palais of Paris, and that this event is really important for making climbing an Olympic sport, it was promissed to be big!
Second qualification. Foto: Truong Ngo
So yesterday was the first competition day, starting with men bouldering and women lead, in which I am competing. It is amazing to compete in such a big event, but the last weeks it also made me very nervous. I completely lost my feeling for climbing and was just focussing on doing everything perfectly. That obviously didn't work out well, but I realised in time that I had to change things.  So the last couple of days I have just been doing everyting I was feeling like. Besides I fixed some mental isues and just kept on climbing, making up routes and boulders which really inspired me. The positive feeling I was looking for returned.
The mental job was done, and during the competition I could climb like I wanted. I could have been a bit more relaxed, but the performance was ok. I placed 19th all together. With 26 competitors going to the semi-finals I am in! I am really psyked to start in semi's tomorrow, to be able to climb another amazing route in such a big arena in such a big event! It's gonna be fun ;)

5 september 2012

Boulder 3

Pictures by Paul Lahaye (www.lahaye.ws)

Last weekend the third national boulder qualification was being held. The competition took place in a brand new bouldergym in the very south of Holland, in Sittard. Although I will not compete in the National Bouldering Championship (I am going to the Worldcup in Atlanta instead!), and thus don't have to qualify either, I decided to compete anyway. It was a nice opportunity to climb some extra cool and creative problems and get warmed up for the World Championship which will take place in Paris next week! This turned out to be a really good decision. The boulders were really cool, I really enjoyed the competition and above all ended up in first place by flashing all four boulders in finals. Next day I woke up with sore muscles, so it was even a good training! 

After two months of vacation the summer holidays are ending as well. University has started again, but things won't really change for me. The next weeks are fully planned with competitions. So a lot of travelling and climbing is coming up. Stay tuned!

27 augustus 2012

End of summer: training in Innsbruck and climbing in Frankenjura

The summer holidays are ending and so are my climbing trips. I have spend the last two weeks climbing (what a surprise!), first in Innsbruck, Austria, for training, followed by one more week of outdoor climbing in Frankenjura, Germany. The training in Innsbruck was motivating like always. The climbing gym was full of climbers from all over the world, training for the world champs. Like everyone of them I came here for the great amount of super hard, super sustained routes. After one week of training my forearms were permanently pumped and it was time to go home.

Picture made during the semi-finals in the Worldcup in Imst, where I
competed before going to Innsbruck
(foto: Heiner Schmidl  http://www.klettern-imst.com)
Back in Holland I had one day to unpack my bag, wash my clothes, repack everything and do some training in my homegym, Mountain Network Amsterdam (aka thea). The next day we left for the Frankenjura, one of the biggest climbing areas in the world. I had never been here before and it has been on my wishlist for a while now. We just had a couple of days and considering the fact that it's only about 6 hours by car from Amsterdam, the Frankenjura turned out to be the place to go. I had a really good time! Every day we visited one or two new areas to do a lot of onsight climbing. The 7's went down really easily, flashing and onsighting twelve routes above 7a in four days, but in the hard routes I got pretty frustrated sometimes. Most of the routes are so specific here. It's so different to the long, sustained routes in Ceuse. I felt like climbing something hard here had nothing to do with being in a good shape, have a good endurance and being able to make a lot of hard moves in a row. Mostly I just ended up at the crux, not even getting close to the next hold.

Fortunately things changed on the last day. We went to an area called Holzgauer Wand, where there was an 8a which I really wanted to try to onsight, called L'eau Rage. The line looked great, so I decided to give it a try, with the quickdraws on my harness. I felt so confident and determined to finish this one. I ended up onsighting the route. Finally I had broken the mental wall which held me back from onsighting 8a. Really satisfied I could return to Amsterdam. After many weeks of travelling I am really glad to be at home now for a couple of weeks and climb some plastic. It's time to close my computer and go to the climbing gym, training for the World Championships, so motivated!

13 augustus 2012

Worldcup Imst

It's always hard to get used to plastic again after climbing outdoors. Since I have spent two weeks in Ceuse I was pretty afraid that I wouldn't get back in shape before the Worldcup in Imst. I had three training sessions in Holland before departure. Fortunately it turned out that I hadn't lost any power or body tension, so I was ready for the competition! In the Worldcup before, in Briancon, I made semi-finals, where I climbed very good, but I was placed back to 26th position by the judge. It gave me confidence that I was in a good shape, but it made the mental game for this competition a bit harder.

In the qualifications I was pretty nervous. In the first route me, together with most of the other climbers, fell at the same hold, so I had to do well in the second one. The route started with a slab, followed by an overhang and ending in the roof. I climbed a bit shaky on the slab, but once I got to the overhang I felt really sure. I didn't even get pumped until just before the top. I fell one move before the end of the route, which placed me in 14th position in the second qualification. In the final result I placed 18th, so I made it steadily to the semi-finals.

The semi-finals were held on the same day as the qualifications. We had six minutes for observation, but when time was over I (together with all the other women) still had no clue what to do. Instead of getting stressed I used this in a good way. I had to figure out the moves while climbing, trust my feeling and take time to read the next section while resting. This gave me the feeling I get when onsighting outdoors, which I really enjoyed. I ended up extremely pumped in the roof and fell after around 45 moves. Really satisfied about my climbing I placed 18th.

I will stay in Innsbruck, Austria for another week to train for the next competition, the World Championships in Paris, which will be held in 4 weeks from now. Time to gain some more fitness and work on some last little things!

11 augustus 2012

Beal diablo

This summer I have been climbing with the newest Beal rope, the Diablo. With 9.8 mm it's not extremely light and thin. Nonetheless I experienced this rope as extremely flexible. With 61 g/m it's pretty light compared to other 9.8 mm ropes and even some thinner ones. My previous experience with light, thick ropes is that they are flexible, but also fragile. In most cases I have to cut off the ends after just one or two weeks of climbing outdoors. Therefore I was amazed how good this rope stayed. After two weeks of intensive use in Ceuse it doesn't show any marks of wastage. In my opinion this makes it a perfect rope, with the flexibility and weight of a low 9 mm and with the durability of a thick rope. I could definitely recommend it!

5 augustus 2012

Ceuse part 2

My two weeks in Ceuse have come to an end. It was an amazing trip. I am really inspired by this area. Almost all the routes I have climbed were amazing: really sustained endurance climbing on smooth overhanging walls at a beautiful location. I just climbed what I was feeling like, one day hard routes, next day attempting my projects, the other day onsighting beautiful looking lines, no matter what the level. This turned out to be a really good strategy. I managed to climb a lot of routes from my wish-list. Some routes I have sent and I could definitely recommend:

- 8b L'ami de tout le monde:  Bouldery route, with good rests in between and some endurance finishing
- 8b Radote joli pépère:  More then 40m of beautiful roofs, cool boulder problems and extremely pumped forearms!
- 8a Carte Blanche: Classic one, really good in my opinion
- 7c+ Mirage:  Another long, pumpy line which combines every style. First 7c+ onsight for me, though it's a soft one I think.
- 7b+ Blocage violent:  Slightly overhanging really sustained route. Got so pumped! Almost all the other routes on Berlin are in this style. Beautiful, technical, pumpy lines all over this sector. If you are ever planning to visit Ceuse you should definitely spend at least one day at this sector. I made it a sort of training, trying to climb as many of them as possible in a couple of hours. If you like training you should definitely try this, it's amazing how pumped you can get ;)

All together I had a really good time. It was also really motivating to climb with people I normally only meet in competitions. So cool to exchange beta, climb each others routes and just have a great time together. I will definitely come back here.

Pictures are comming soon!

30 juli 2012

Ceuse part 1

Foto: Floriaan Drewes
After the Worldcup in Briancon I moved to Ceuse for some outdoor climbing. I had never visited this area before, especially because I was pretty afraid of the long walk up. After being here for one week I understand why so many people walk up that mountain every day. The quality of the rock is really high, huge overhanging limestone walls everywhere! And the view up there is simply amazing. It's a pretty magical place to be. Until now I have just been enjoying beautiful routes, from 7a to 8b. Some days ago I managed to climb L'ami de tout le monde, the most repeated 8b in Ceuse. What an amazing route! I didn't expect to send it so soon, considering the fact that I didn't even get close to the top in my tries before. I was actually just enjoying the moves and found myself clipping the anchor on my 3rd day of working.

Besides I also did my first 7c+ onsight, Mirage, without realizing it, thinking I was just warming up. Pretty nice line though! Right now I have got a bit less then a week left. There are many more routes I want to climb, so enough to do for now. It's time to walk up that mountain again to climb!

28 juli 2012

Worldcup Briancon

Foto: Nonstop Climbing

Last weekend I competed in the Worldcup in Briancon. After Chamonix, this was mainly a mental challenge. I had one week to get mentally prepared. Just before the competition I was pretty confinced that I did the right things during the couple of days I was at home. I didn't know if I was able to climb perfectly right away, but I felt really excited and didn't care too much about the results. This made me feel really relaxed. The feeling remained during the qualification. I really enjoyed the amazing routes and was able to fight until I was too pumped to hold any other hold. It was enough to make semi-finals.

The semi-finals were great. I could keep my head cool, took some rests at the right places and I managed to make the crux move where many people fell. I would have placed 14th if I shouldn't have made a mistake in the beginning of the route. When my foot slipped. my hand got stuck in the rope. In a reflex I grabbed the rope for a second. It didn't influence my climbing, but the judge decided that I had help of the rope and placed my back to the 26th position. I was really disappointed to end last in semi-finals after climbing so amazing for myself, but the decision was made and I couldn't change it anymore. At least it gave me some confirmation that I am strong enough to compete with top 20 climbers and that I can really push my limits in an international competition. Right now it's time to relax and climb some outdoors in Ceuse, before going to Imst for the next Worldcup. I can't wait. A summer full off climbing, nice!!!

18 juli 2012

Worldcup Chamonix

Last week the international competition season finally started with the Worldcup in Chamonix. I had been looking forward to this moment for months, but when the competition came closer, the excitement changed in nerves. This doesn't always have to harm your climbing, but in my case it did. I had been in a positive 'flow' for so long during the national competitions and trainings, that I had not even thought about the possibility that I could get some mental issues. During the competition I climbed really easily in both routes, until the point where I made a small mistake. This made me so stressed, that I wasn't able to look for the right solutions anymore. As a result I fell off in both routes, before I even got pumped. I placed 34th and was really disappointed. But it's a good moment of reflection. Upcoming weekend I will get a second chance in the Worldcup in Briancon. A good opportunity to really enjoy the comps I have been waiting for so long!

29 mei 2012


Last week I've spent climbing outdoors in and mainly around Orpierre. I could stay with former Dutch Champion Mirjam Verbeek, who owns a gite in Orpierre and is really familiar in the area.

On the second day we drove to St Léger, one of the most beautiful area's I have ever been! I wanted to try a project over there, called Abregenief, 8b, in which I failed to make all the moves two years ago. This time the moves felt pretty easy and I was able to do them all in just one or two tries. Unfortunately it started raining right after my workout and the rain didn't stop for the next two days.

The first day after the rain all the tufas were wet and the water was running trough the big roves from the inside out. We decided to stay in Orpierre, enjoy the sun and to climb many semi-hard routes. I did Game over 8a, and Jusque là, ca va 7c+, both on my second go, besides some other routes. It was nice to feel the rocks again and to just enjoy some cool moves. 

The day after I felt pretty exhausted. Nontheles the rocks were dry, so we drove to St Léger. I gave Abregenief four tries, with my best one ending just 2 holds before the hard part was over. Afterwards I felt really exhausted. The weather forcast for the next day was really good, but I seriously needed a restday, so we decided to hope for the best and wait for saturday.

Saturday I woke up with the sun shining in my room, nice! My body was recoverd, but it was also my last day before returning to Holland, which gave me a lot of presure. The tries on Abregenief didn't go well. It was hot and sweaty, I felt worn out after one week of hard climbing outdoors and the presure made me feel really tensed. After 4 tries, which were getting worse every time, I already gave up the idea of climbing the route. From then on I was completely relaxed and on my 5th try of the day I found myself hanging on the final jug!!! Amazing! 8b, check! I could return home satisfied, with a lot of motivation to keep on training and with a lot of new projects in mind to dream about ;)

22 mei 2012

Pictures Lead 3

By Tim van der Linden (nkbv)

14 mei 2012

Lead 3

Yesterday the final national competition of this year was being held in Bergschenhoek. I was leading in the ranking with two 1st places in the previous competitions. I am feeling pretty good at the moment so the goal for this competition was to keep up the good work and top out all the routes. I knew the finals were pretty tough, but I liked the challenge and the route looked so cool that I couldn't wait to climb it! That was the right mindset. I really enjoyed climbing the finals and topped! With 9 out of 9 tops I won this competition and also placed 1st in the final ranking without falling once in three competitions. It has to be said that the routes in the international competitions are way harder, so now it's back to training again to prepare for the first worldcup of this season in Chamonix (12-13th of July).
Pictures are comming soon!

7 mei 2012

The North Face Kalymnos Climbing Festival

My main sponsor, The North Face, is organizing a great event in Kalymnos from the 28th untill the 30th of september this year. Kalymnos is definitely one of the best climbing destinations in the world. It's gonna be a great event with some big names, competitions in every level, big prices and of course a lot of climbing! So don't wait and subscribe yourself. More info on: www.thenorthfacejournal.com/category/kalymnos

24 april 2012

Lead 2

Lead 2 DF10

Lead 2 DF11
Lead 2 DF12Last weekend the second nationale competition of this year was being held in my hometown Amsterdam. The last couple of weeks I am feeling really strong in the training, so this was a good opportunity to see how I would do in a competition. Mentally I felt really good as well and I was able to top out both qualifications and the finals. My feeling was right. Even the finals felt pretty easy! When the competition was over and everybody was leaving the gym I decided to try the mens finals. The route looked really cool, whit a lot of physical moves. After seeing all the men climbing it I knew exactly what to do. The route was hard. Last year it would have scared me, but now I just felt challenged and it was so much fun to make all those crazy moves! In the end I nearly made it to the top. It was a perfect end of a nice competition day. Now I will get back to training to keep up the good work and maybe even get a bit stronger :)

Pictures: Tim van der Linden (nkbv)

19 maart 2012

Sella Part 3 and Lead 1

The last two climbing days of our Sella trip were pretty exhausting. Elko and I were already pretty worn out. On tuesday we decided to take a look at an other sector called VIPs. There were 3 short 8a's which we wanted to climb all in just one afternoon. We ended up doing none. It's always the same with such high expectations ;)
On the last day we returned to Wild Site once more. After such an intensive week of climbing it was pretty funny to feel how hard even the easier routes got. I onsighted a 7b in which I had to fight like I was climbing an 8b instead :P. Although it was a really nice day and a really nice end of a perfect week.

On saturday morning we dropped Elko at the airport. My flight left in the evening so I decided to spent the day sightseeing in Alicante. Like real tourists (with backpacks and a big camera) we visited all the main sights, ate tapas and enjoyed a huge ice cream.

At 2 a.m. I finally got home. By then I wished I had booked the early flight, because the next day (or actually that same day already :P) was the first national competition of this year. Fortunate I didn't even feel too bad the next day. The competition was fun, the routes were super cool and I even managed to top out all the routes, including the finals! Not too bad after such a week and such a short night rest.

Pictures are comming soon!

14 maart 2012

Sella Part 2

After our multipitch adventure we really needed a restday. Considering the fact that it is over 20 degrees here is Spain (and we both are spooky white after a long winter in Holland) we decided to go to the beach. First we drove around to see a bit of the beautiful landscape and visited some authentic villages. Around lunchtime we arrived at the beach. We both got a bit tanned and of course also sunburned, exactly like it has to be :P

Today we headed back to sector Wildsite. I had decided to try something a bit more challenging. I was told that there was a nice, resistant 8a+ on really small crimps, called Tirali Valent. Exactly what I was looking for, except for the fact that the route appeared to be just really slightly overhanging, which isn't my strongest point. However, I decided to give it a try and the moves turned out to be really cool. A lot of crossing, extremely technical, but also some more physical and wide moves. In my first go after working the route I got extremely pumped because the route forced me to move really carefully and slowly. I worked the crux sequence once more and found a better solution. At the end of the day I gave the route one more try and I managed to climb it! I hadn't expect to climb this route so soon at all. It's the first time I climb an 8a+ in just 3 tries! Elko managed to finish another 8a+ as well, so all together it was a good day of climbing.

I won't be able to upload any pictures because of the slow internet connection but stay tuned for the updates. The pictures will arrive when I am back in Holland!

12 maart 2012

Sella Part 1

Saturday morning, way too early (4 a.m.) I had to get up to catch my flight to Alicante, Spain. The good part about leaving this early was that we had 2 hours daylight left by the end of the day to climb some routes in Sella!

I warmed up in a beautiful route called Black is Black (7b) and worked the moves in one of the most climbed 8a's of the crag, Ergometria. When I got down I told Elko the beta and he found his way up. In the last minutes of daylight we hurried back to the car. Of course too late because we wanted to climb as long as possible. Some things never change ;)

The next day we returned to the crag. I managed to finish the 8a I had been working on the day before in my second try. Afterwards I tried a really cool route called Dimension Diamante. I might return to the route once more, the moves felt pretty hard and a bit my antistyle but I figured out some sequences which were so amazing!
After dinner we walked up to Villa Pico to ask for the climbing guide. We actually want to catch some sun as well here in Spain. Sella is amazing and sector Wildsite has enough to offer for several days, but it's North Facing and pretty cold. Elko was really psyched to do some multi pitching, so we looked for a nice long wall and we found exactly what we were looking for.

So today we headed to the city of Calp where a huge wall is situated, surounded by the sea. After a short walk along the ocean we walked up to the perfect orange and yellow limestone route we wanted to climb. 300 metres, 7 pitches. Considering the fact that I have only been multipitching twice (which was in Orpiere where the routes are really well developed) I felt a bit uncomfortable. Especially when we had to look for the next bolts while standing at more than 100 metres high at a point of no return (it seemed to me but Elko later told me that we could have gone back if we wanted to). But in the end I started to really enjoy the exposed climbing and we had an amazing day today. Just before sunset we reached the top. We enjoyed the view for a moment, ate and drank some (which we nearly hadn't done all day long because we were pretty afraid the bottles would fall down:P) and then returned to the car. It was a really cool adventure and now it's time for a restday. I will try to upload the pictures we have made soon. I hope the internet connection will allow me to. Good night!

9 maart 2012

Off to Spain!!!

Morgen vertrek ik voor een weekje naar Spanje: zon, lekker warm (hopelijk) en vooral heel veel mooie rotsen en lekker klimmen! We gaan naar Sella, een gebied waar ik nog nooit geweest ben, maar wat heel mooi schijnt te zijn. Ik kan niet wachten!

Ik zal de komende week ook af en toe wat bloggen vanuit Spanje. Blijf checken dus! Vanaf nu zal ik echter in het Engels gaan bloggen. Sorry Dutchies, maar ik neem aan dat iedereen wel wat Engels kan verstaan dus dat moet geen probleem zijn toch ;)

27 februari 2012


Aangezien het wedstrijdseizoen nog lang niet begint en ik de afgelopen weken ook niet buiten ben geweest valt er niet zoveel te melden. Ik zit echter niet stil. Deze periode staat in het teken van heel veel trainen. Het leek me leuk om daar een klein beetje van te laten zien. Vandaar dat ik afgelopen week bezig ben geweest met het filmen van m'n trainingen. Hier het resultaat. Enjoy!

28 januari 2012

Training MN Amsterdam

Met ingang van volgende week donderdag zal ik in Mountain Network Amsterdam (Thea) een serie trainingen gaan geven. Altijd al willen weten hoe je een trainingsperiode opbouwt. Wel eens gehoord van periodisering? Hoe werk je naar een doel toe? Hoe zorg je dat je zo fit mogelijk bent tijdens die klimtrip die voor komend voorjaar op de planning staat? Ik zal wat laten zien van de manier waarop ik train. Ik hoop iedereen die meedoet zo iets mee te geven waar ze niet alleen nu sterker en fitter van worden, maar waar ze altijd iets aan blijven hebben. De cursus is bijna vol. Er zijn nog een paar plekken over. Schrijf je dus snel in!

22 januari 2012

Afsluiting 2011

Het is alweer even geleden dat ik voor het laatst iets gepost heb. Het eind van het wedstrijdseizoen is altijd een hectische periode. De laatste weken van november was er elke week een internationale wedstrijd. Veel reizen dus! Hier een klein overzicht van wat ik zoal gedaan heb sinds dien:

12 nov: EYC in Pau (Frankrijk). Misschien is het je opgevallen dat ik niet op het NK was om m'n titel te verdedigen. De wedstrijden vielen tegelijk en ik had besloten voor een goeie plaatsing in de eindranking van de EYC te gaan. Hier wist ik me als 2e voor de finale te plaatsen waarin ik uiteindelijk 5e werd. Een plek waar ik toch heel tevreden mee kan zijn aangezien ik alles gegeven heb wat ik had en heel lekker en verzekerd heb geklommen tot diep in de verzuring.

13 nov: De dag na de wedstrijd in Pau mocht ik met een paar ES-Onsighters mee buiten klimmen. Heerlijk een dagje ontspannen na de wedstrijd. Ik klom een 7c+ in m'n tweede poging en werkte daarna nog een heel fysiek 8a dak uit (welke helemaal onder de spinnenwebben zat, iiii!) Sven Laudy maakte wat foto's:

19-20 nov: Worldcup Kranj. Mentaal had ik het erg moeilijk de week voorafgaand aan deze wedstrijd. Het feit dat ik m'n nationale titel kwijt was kwam veel harder aan dan ik van te voren had verwacht. Ik zat niet lekker in m'n vel en een Worldcup klimmen is dan ontzettend moeilijk. Toch wist ik door te dringen tot de halve finale. In de halve finale klom ik me vast in een wanhopige positie tussen een grote module en de wand. Uiteindelijk wist ik hier uit te komen en kon ik nog een stuk door knokken. Uiteindelijk stond ik lachend op de grond, terugkijkend op een vreemde, maar wel erg leuke halve finale. Ik eindigde 24e en daarmee klom ik afgelopen jaar heel steady halve finale. Een mooie uitgangspositie voor volgend seizoen.

26-27 nov: EYC Kranj. M'n laatste EYC ooit! Ik heb ontzettend genoten van deze wedstrijd. Het was m'n laatste kans om nog even te genieten van de gezellige sfeer, de geweldige routes en de mooie competitie van de EYC's. Geen zenuwen of fouten dus deze keer. Gewoon lekker klimmen. Daarmee wist ik wederom 5e te worden. Hiermee eindigde ik ook 5e in de eindranking van de EYC en 3e op de wereld jeugd ranglijst van 2011. Een mooie afsluiting van de jeugdcompetitie dus! Ik heb nog nooit zo genoten van de wedstrijden als dit jaar. Waar ik vorig jaar steeds fouten maakte en het mentaal moeilijk had, ging alles dit jaar vanzelf. Misschien juist wel omdat de EYC's nu over zijn voor mij. Het was de laatste kans om er nog van te genieten en dat kwam m'n klimmen zeker ten goede!

Hierna was het tijd om lekker buiten te klimmen. We reden eerst naar Zuid-Frankrijk (Seynes) en daarna door naar Spanje om in Margalef te klimmen. Misschien hadden we iets beter naar het weerbericht moeten kijken. 2,5 week lang heb ik met tweede North Face mutsen, een dikke North Face donsjas en North Face thermokleding rond gelopen en ik had het nog steeds vrijwel altijd koud. Barre omstandigheden dus. Veel harde wind en de zon liet zich nauwelijks zien. Toch heb ik erg genoten van de mooie gebieden en het buiten klimmen. Ik klom 2 8a's en liet veel unfinished business achter. Een goed excuus dus om snel weer terug te komen!

8a in Margalef en koud onder aan een prachtige rots in Siurana (foto's: Rogier Mattens)