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):