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!