Thursday, December 30, 2010

South Korea!

Oh my.... was my first reaction when Tim (our coach from the Dutch Alpine Club, NKBV) told us we were going to South Korea!
He managed to get enough together to send us all the way to South Korea for the first iceclimbing Worldcup of this season.
So, on January 5th we'll fly to Seoul and climb in Cheongsong on the 7th.
There are quite some competitors on the list, hopefully finally enough to get iceclimbing finally recognised by the Dutch Olympic Committee and bring the sports to a higher and broader we can all get to enjoy the fun of iceclimbing :)

I'm nervous, happy, and a bit stressed. Because the 5th of January...thats in less then a week time!

South Korea had been on my world-tick-list for a while, now still to visit 1001 other climbing, nature, mountain areas, but this one will be too good to be true :)

Iceclimbing workshops

Last week it was workshop time. Iceclimbing workshop time.
As member of the Dutch national iceclimbing team you also have to represent iceclimbing to the ones who don't know all the details of the ice yet.
So thanks to Thomas and Tim we stood in the cold last week, in a positive way.
The workshops were for people who never climbed before or who were interested in getting into iceclimbing.
It was fun and satisfying to teach all the stuff we know.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Iceclimbing workshop!

For the Dutchies who like to test the real ice!
From the website of the Dutch alpine club, NKBV:

Update: oeps, de eerste workshop zit al vol! Op donderdag komt de tweede :)

De NKBV organiseert a.s woensdag (22-12) samen met Thomas Knoope een kennismakingsworkshop ijsklimmen. Deze workshop is bedoeld voor beginners die weinig of geen ervaring hebben met ijsklimmen.

De workshop duurt twee uur en staat onder begeleiding van ervaren ijskliminstructeurs. Tijdens de workshop maak je kennis met het toepassen en verbeteren van stijgijzertechnieken, het plaatsen en belasten van ijsbijlen, klimmen in diagonaal techniek en het plaatsen van zekeringen in ijs.

Na de workshop heb je een goed idee wat ijsklimmen is en beschik je over de basis vaardigheden.

De NKBV zorgt voor instructeurs, klimgordels, ijsbijlen en helmen. Je zal zelf moeten zorgen voor geschikte stijgijzers en schoenen. Mocht je deze niet hebben, dan zijn deze te huur. De prijs voor het huren van schoenen + stijgijzers is €11,00, alleen het huren van stijgijzers kost € 3,50 (passen op Bergschoenen D).

De organisatie is afhankelijk van het (winterse) weer, bij voldoende ijsvorming wordt er geprobeerd om je 48uur van te voren in te lichten. Zodra de weersomstandigheden goed zijn, zal de wand opnieuw worden opgespoten. Er zijn ongeveer 5 dagen nodig om een goede wand neer te zetten.
De workshop zal door de week tussen 19.30 en 21.30 worden gegeven, in het weekend zal de workshop om 10.00 starten. Je wordt hierover ingelicht zodra bekend is wanneer de workshop doorgaat.
Zorg er dus voor dat je goed bereikbaar bent zodat we je tijdig kunnen inlichten.

- NKBV-leden € 15,-
- Niet leden € 22,50

Huur matriaal:
- Bergschoenen D + Stijgijzers: € 11,-
- Alleen stijgijzers: € 3,50

Oud Bodegraafseweg 85 in Bodegraven

Meld je hier aan voor de workshop. We nemen contact met je op zodra de workshop doorgaat. Er worden geen kosten in rekening gebracht indien je verhinderd bent. Afmelden kan tot 24h voor de workshop. Bij onvoldoende ijs op de wand, gaat de workshop niet door. Betaling geschiedt op de dag zelf.

Photo: Saskia climbing on the Dutch Championships, photo by Bas van der Smeede

Playing in the snow

whohooo, we have snow!
So this morning we went out to play. It was just 8 'o clock so nobody had arrived yet because of the big traffic jams and the crappy train system.

Okay, okay, it's not as funny as when you have a T3 Syncro...

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Preparing for January

Pictures: the windmill I went to today to buy flour for home baked bread, my parents garden in the snow today.

Yesterday, today and tomorrow we're having snowy time.
Over 15cm already and that really is a lot of snow, in Dutch terms... So the trains hardly drive, all buses are cancelled, the planes don't fly, the government doesn't w
ant you to go on the roads..

Which means I'm stuck. Stuck at my parents home. Not too bad because Hotel Mama provides a luxury stay with free breakfast and dinner. But, I just want to get home, put my nailed tyres on my bike, go out for a cycle, get the room nice and warm, work a bit on my book, and enjoy the beauty of the white snow in the garden.
And don't have my mum and dad ask me all the time: "do you now have a job, don't you have to work, are you careful with your climbing, what about your boyfriend, are you sure about these Worldcups, I don't want you to go to those dangerous areas for your climbing, and I even heard today: are you having safe sex...?"

Picture: Playing with my food, making a snowman of the 'boerenkool' we ate this evening.

December in the Netherlands is the time of Sinterklaas. And then Christmas. And the New Years eve.And meanwhile for me it's the time to play for Zwarte Piet (see picture), saw wood for my stove to keep my house warm, climb to get strong for January, eat Dutch food like snert, boerenkool and hutspot and plan which competitions I'll attend in January.

Pictures: Zwartepiet! Eefje and me as zwarte piet for the Red Cross in Utrecht.

This year the climbing-plan starts at the 4th of January with a drive to:
  • Kandersteg (CH) for the iceclimbing event (you're all welcome to join as it's a open comp for all categories, so even if you just climb WI2 yiu can join!)
  • The next weekend we'll be in Daone (It) for the second Worldcup (we'll miss the first one in Korea as we don't have the money for it..) they just made a new wall for this years comp and it looks nice!

Picture: The new climbing wall in Daone, picture from the Daone Worldcup website
  • In the week we'll be climbing outdoors in Kandersteg
  • and then January 20-22nd go to Saas Fee (CH) for the third Worldcup of the season
  • then we'll join the comp in Austria or the Icefight in Rabenstein
  • afterwards we'll fly to Romenia for yet another Worldcup (if it's not cancelled...)
  • and then we're off for Iceland for two weeks of hardcore iceclimbing!
Afterwards we'll be skiing and if we find a good sponsor (next to our present sponsors NKBV, Petzl, Boreal...) we might go to Kirov for the last Worldcup of the season.

Loads of things to look forward to!

Here a whole list of all the comps, events and festivals in January in February in Alpine Europe:
January 14-16 (I) Worldcup Daone
January 14-16 (A) EIS Total
January 18-22 (CH) Worldcup Saas Fee
January 29-30 (I) Rabenstein Icefight
January 29-30 (A) iceclimbing comp...?
February 5-6 (Ro) Worldcup Busteni
February 18-22 (A) Glace Glisse Europacup
Please mail me if you know about any other comps going on to complete the list :)
der.steen [at]

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Iceclimbing in the Dutch national newspaper.

Yesterday Dennis was interviewed for yet another kind of media: Algemeen Dagblad.
The result is a very nice article about Dennis and iceclimbing. The positive thing about the article is that the interviewer seems to understand the idea of climbing and doesn't just see it as 'dangerous adrenaline sports' as most do who don't know the sports.

Monday, December 06, 2010

Iceclimbing @Home

After the massive Championship wall in Bodegraven, we build our own little pinnacle at home.
It was all melting around us, so there wasn't much left when we finally had the time to try out the wall.
But it was funny to climb at home in flat country Holland (:

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Dutch Championships Iceclimbing

Bodegraven was for the first time (evarrr) the scenery for the Dutch Championships Iceclimbing.
Thomas Knoope had built an amazing pillar and the NKBV got to the idea to hold a competition on the ice. The first on natural ice.
We were lucky with the weather, today it's around +4 degrees Celcius, but at the time of the comp we had a classic Winter scenery: snow, weather alarm, frost, hot chocolate, gluhwein, and a big bunch of iceclimbers.

We were early for an interview with the Dutch television (SBS6) and earlier we had radio interviews, more television attention, photographers... It was surprising how much media attention we got for the event! And of course we were happy with it, as it's a big boost for the sports. Now, if you're Dutch and you were listening to the radio or watching television on Friday, I'm sure you finally know my sport exists :)

On the wall there were red markings telling where to climb and what's 'off'. It looked all pretty obvious until half way, where you had to be careful where to step and the moves got longer. The last move was really dynamic to the top of the wall: Completely out of balance I tried to reach for the top, missed, got a warning... and in my second attempt I succeeded!
Pffft, that was hard to reach the top, and it was just ice, not even drytooling!

Fedor I thought, would be the one to beat me after Dennis. (Dennis obviously climbed a bit faster then me) but to my surprise there were more: it turned out to be Harald and Leopold who did really well! I climbed just a bit better by reaching the top and so got second after Dennis in the overall ranking.
My first Dutch medal in iceclimbing :) Really cool.

At home we also made a little wall. But the frost is already gone again so we had just a 'flake' to climb on. Fun for the kids, no challenge for us. But, we increased our wall, improved the watering-system and made it higher. So let the frost come again...we will climb...on ice in the Netherlands. How weird is that?!

Photo: Thijs Ruijgrok

Friday, December 03, 2010

Vertical ice in Holland!

For the first time ever: iceclimbing on natural ice, outdoors, own little flat country: the Netherlands!

Today, Friday will be the first Dutch ICEclimbing championships.

Thomas Knoope created his own iceclimbing wall last year. This year the NKBV (Dutch Alpine Club) came to the idea of holding a competition on the wall.
It's amazing to have so much frost (I know...most of you prefer rain instead of snow...but I just love this's just only a bit cold...)
There's a lot of media attention for the event. This morning I had an interview with Radio West and Joost just had an interview with BNR Newsradio. Even TV is expected this evening!

At home we're also creating our own iceclimbing wall on the haystack.

You're all welcome to watch or join the comp. For more information check the NKBV website.
The address: Oud Bodegraafseweg 85, Bodegraven, just behind the N11 bridge. promised, the video of our latest adventure in Scotland, the STS.
(Please comment to help improving my video's, language, blog and more...thanks!)

Photo: part of the competition wall for Fridays comp by Thomas Knoope

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Scottish Tooling Series, hit&run

And yet again another competition.
After Innsbrück we now went to Schotland, Edinburgh.
We were there to take part in the Scottish Tooling Series comp in EICA Ratho.
A friendly competition for climbers, by climbers.
There were more then 60 (!) competitors in all categories (veterans and youth included)
For the qualifications we had to climb 15 different routes. Varying in difficulty from M1/M2 to at about M8 (?)
I flashed or onsighted almost all except one, I fell out on the top :(
So, in the overall ranking I was shared second together with Malcolm [Kent].
Dennis was 'ruling', with climbing all the routes and so being first in the finals!
I didn't do too well in the finals. I missed a draw and had to climb back in the difficult part of the route, and I struggled with the slippery logs... Not too happy with my result but still being first :)
Later more about the whole adventure (incl: sleeping outside, Christmas in Edinburgh, meeting the massive amount of Scottish climbers, the Ian Parnell photo presentation, the night at the airport, climbing with Rob and Malc... and of course a little video...)

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Climbing has to be fun!

Sometimes it's not just hardcore rock-pulling.
Last weekend I was in Ith (Germany) together with the Student Alpine Club from Utrecht (USAC).
And, we had loads of fun :)

Monday, November 22, 2010

Alpin Messe - Pray for Ice

It's video weekend. First a vid of the tradclimbing meeting and now a video of the Pray for Ice competition.
Haha, you really see me fighting in that last route, my looks scary...imagine meeting that girl in a dark alley...
Anyway, it was fun. Just too bad they didn't respect the female climbers too much (no finals, less price-money...)

Pray for Ice 2010 from on Vimeo.

Valle dell'Orco

Some memories from the tradclimbing meeting in Valle dell'Orco put together by Maurizio.

Orco Trad Meeting 2010 from paolo on Vimeo.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

My mind is full of....climbing!

Last days I'm working in Rock Steady (a climbing gym) and put up loads of drytool holds :) And...I went tooling with Fedor (see video)
And...I just saw what my Icelandic friends are climbing these days. Gosh, what do I do here in Holland? The conditions look perfect, now already, and it's just November!

Het is bijna winter, dus tijd om je voor te bereiden op het ijs in de alpen!
Eindelijk weer een klimhal met drytool boulders en routes
Vanaf vandaag kan er buiten bij Rock Steady gedrytooled worden.
Één boulderwand is helemaal ingericht als drytool wand.
Ben je ervaren drytooler of volg je een workshop? Dan mag je met scherp (echte bijlen dus) klimmen.
Binnen kan je in hout hakken en met een beetje fantasie kan je daar ook routes bedenken.
Weet je nog niet hoe dat allemaal moet: geen probleem, Rock Steady geeft workshops, cursussen en meer.
Kijk op de website voor telefoon/e-mail voor als je een afspraak wil maken voor een workshop of meer informatie.
Ben je een echte 'pro' mail dan eens met mij (Marianne) om samen nieuwe drytool/ijsklim dingen te bedenken
Pas op: voor het drytoolen is een helm, handschoenen en lange broek/trui verplicht.
Voor het binnen klimmen moeten je bijlen vast zitten aan je gordel. Bijvoorbeeld met een touwtje of elastiek zodat ze niet op andere klimmers kunnen vallen.
In de toekomst, als er animo, voor is gaan we ook ijsbijlen en stijgijzers verhuren.
Ijsbijlen met zogenaamde 'indoor picks' en helmen zijn al te huur.

Monday, November 08, 2010

Pray for Ice - Europacup flash-trip

No news so far from the Icelandic volcano. So, other things to write about :)

This weekend I went for a 'flash-trip' to Innsbrück, Austria.
We left Friday, landed in loads of traffic-jams, arrived in Innsbrück around 10-11-ish in the evening, slept in the car and climbed on Saturday the 'Pray for Ice' comp...The first competition of the new Europacup series.
Pray for Ice the name is, as it's just dry and indoors. No ice at all...

Around 9 we subscribed, and got to know the rules and details: three routes, all increasing in difficulty, no time limit, men and women had to climb the same routes, no crampon kicking in the wall...
So, nervous as I am, I decided to start early. A bit trmbly, block in my throat, I climbed up the first meters of the first route. And, placed my axe a bit too far on a hold, popped off and...fell :(
So I thought I was 'out', no chanches for the finals.
Second route went much better, but I didn't top out. I was just so pumped that my hands bailed out on me. With my fingers loosing grip on my axes I fell off trying to climb out of the roof-section.
Third route, supposed to be the most difficult one.
Climbing up, quite long and technical moves, pumpy... On every move I tried to rest my fingers by loosening the grip on the axes. I was slow, but got higher and higher. And, even topped!!!
I had no idea how the others climbed untill Lucy (Hrozová) told me she was the only one who climbed higher then me. So, I would be in the finals!
But then she also told me there was no finals for the girls. Meaning she would be first, and I would be second :)
The organisation told us there was not enough time to build a route for us and the mens route would be too difficult for us.
That all, with the way smaller pice-money for the girls, really disappointed me: driving 1000km's to Austria, no finals and not really respected as women in iceclimbing...

But well, it was a good practice. Now I know what I have to train:
  • get faster
  • get more endurance
  • climb more 'fluent' (meaning: think fast!)
Dennis did better on the routes and topped all three. But, he climbed a bit too slow to be with the first six, the finalists. He got on 8th place.

Up for the next comp...Scottish Tooling Series, DryToolStyle and then the Worldcup in January?

Photo 1: Place 1-6 mens.
Poto 2: me in the second route
Photo 3: Dennis in the second route

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

New eruption?

Iceland is full of active volcano's.
First we had Eyafjallajökull and now there is Grímsvötn (On the Vatnajökull)
Last night the Icelandic weather institute measured serious activity around Grímsvötn. There were earthquakes, one measuring 2.9 on Richter (at 2:30h last night) with increased tremor (see graph)
The last eruption there was just six years ago in 2004. Here a vid of the mountain...
They're now flying over the area to see how the thing is developping.
When I get to know more...I'll write some more :)

Monday, November 01, 2010

Iceland 3

Yes, home...bored... after I did...
  • Fitness to do yoga
  • Ikea for a warmer bed cover and some lists for my new pictures (thanks to Gummi)
  • Make an appointment for the VW, new Winter tyres
  • Go to the toilet for a poo
  • Some knitting, a new Icelandic sweater
  • Washing all dirty clothes
  • E-mailing Boreal, Petzl, Cintamani and you
  • Crackbooking
  • Reading the Dutch newspaper NRC
  • Reading a book about neurology
  • Make a video of my trip to Iceland
And now I forgot to take a shower...again. Dirty...

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Iceland part deux

Saturday climbing again.
This time with pro-photographer/carpenter Gummi.
(Should get some lessons from him on hammering...pitons)
The climbing was sweet, the pics even better.
(Later more)

Saturday, October 30, 2010


Went for a day of overhanging-glacier-ice-climbing with Gummi and Siggi.

I tested my brand new Nomic and Ergo axes...

Gummi says: "fór í svakalega töff klifur í dag í Sólhimajökli með Marianne og Fletcher Christian. Tokum fult af myndum og videoum sem byrtast. þessar axir vá þvílikar græjur vá"

And it was so sweet!
Best thing was the dinner and hottub afterwards ;)

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Holland - France - Iceland - Holland - Austria

Jep, I'm travelling quite a bit these days.
First working in France, now holidays in Iceland and then a competition in Austria.
As my internet connection is pretty bad and unreliable, I just type this as a little message and try to upload just a couple pics.
No real ice/mixed climbing yet. But I'll be 'on the rocks' next days :)
Next time more news...

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


Fellow iceclimber and pro photographer Lukasz Warzecha made a little documentary about Stéphanie Maureau: iceclimber, sportsclimber, alpinist and aspirant mountain guide.

Iceland's financial crisis

I used to live in Iceland for a couple years. Exactly in the time that the Icelandic bank system collapsed.

I read and speak Icelandic and so I read the free newspaper (Frettabladid) every day and regularly read one of the other newspapers as well. (Morgunbladid)

I was alway surprised by the lack of information the newspaper gave on the crisis. Before the whole crash, I knew more about it through the Dutch and other foreign newspapers then through the national Icelandic newspapers.

Also other news always seems to be outdated. Often the news articles didn't really reflect what was happening in the world, or I already read the whole version of the story a couple days ago in the online version of any Dutch newspaper.

Now, often people told me that the Icelandic newspapers are very proper, with a good standard, I almost started to believe in that.

But, today I read an article in the Icelandic-English paper Grapevine.
'The Watchdog that didn't bark'. About how the Icelandic newspapers spread political propaganda instead of hard facts about the crisis. And, as I still read the online version of the newspapers, to keep up with what's going on in Iceland...I noticed they didn't change for one bit...

You can read the story here on

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Adventure racing

Some people do more then just climbing...

Like Wodi and his team. (Team Falke sportswear with Fokko Hoeksma, Ton van Os, Sophia van der Linden and Wouter-Dirk Huitzing)
They're taking part now in the World Championship Adventure Racing.
At the moment they're not 'number one' but I just find it pretty hard-core just taking part in such a thing anyway :)
On the website Vertical Dissidents you can follow the adventures (in Dutch)
Wodi texted to Vertical Dissidents: "At the moment we're 24hrs behind on the number one and we're forced to take shortcuts. The third MTB track was pretty heavy, we'd been taking too much time there."

Here a little vid of one of Wodi's previous races in the Netherlands.

Monday, October 04, 2010

What I do besides climbing...teaching more climbing

My mum is PE teacher (she just celebrated her 40th anniversary as teacher, waauw!) and she invited me to give some climbing lessons in her gym.
In return I get free food in Hotel-Mamma.

I was proud having the kids to learn the belay steps, figure-of-eight knot and more in just one hour per group!

Hard work and pretty good to see all kids smile, have fun and learn something completely new.

As it was the first time the climbing wall had been used, my mum wrote a little article for the school website.

Lead Climb-off Rock Steady

As I'm working in climbing gym Rock Steady, I was one of the four putting up the routes for the climb-off of this weekend.
The climb-off is a small competition to give people a last chance to qualify for the Dutch Leadclimbing Championships.
So, the routes had to be quite hard, quite proper and fair.
And thats ...quite difficult.
But we had fun, worked hard and this is the result. (Thanks to Jerry and Robbert for the pics, fun, belaying, screwing and filming)

Saturday, October 02, 2010

Eric Frankenmolen missing! Update: found!

Lost & found...
Eric indeed went to Cham. So, you can stop searching!
He's doing fine and will return to the Netherlands somewhere soon.

An important message from Menno Boermans:

Dear all,

Eric Frankenmolen left his home in Eindhoven, Friday october 1st. He is been missing since then.

He did not take any medicine or liquid food (he needs to take his food by a tube in his stomach) with him.

He is most likely wearing a yellow Mammut jacket.

Please let me know if you see or hear anything from him.

We also have to calculate the possibility that he is on his way to Chamonix.

Thanks! Menno Boermans (

Monday, September 27, 2010

Trad climbing meeting in Italy pt. 2


We woke up just before 8. The alarm kept on ringing. We looked at each other and shook our head.
Mika, the Latvian guy sleeping in the same apartment (the opposite bed) slept...he just slept on...through his alarm.
We took our cutlery, plate and went down.
As Paul was a bit more injured then he said, he wanted to take a 'relax' day. So Markus and Paul swopped groups.

We were scheduled for the sector Caporal. A big wall with more then just a scent of Yosemite...
Lucy, Roberto, Markus and me would climb a 7c+ multipitch. We divided again in two groups. Markus and me, Roberto and Lucy. After the first to pitches of Crazy Horse as warm-up, we decided we'd go further in Crazy Horse whilst Lucy and Roberto went for the harder 7c+.
In the 7b I really started feeling my wrist again. Annoying...sometimes I'm just strong and can do any move whatever I want and sometimes it just hurts...

Markus and Roberto discussing what route to climb on the top of the 2nd pitch of Crazy Horse

So Markus went up and realised after almost pulling out a big piece of rock, that the aid-part really was just for aiding. After me seconding the route we both concluded that this was even harder then 9a... I went up, and down again in the next pitch and got nicely demotivated by all the bird-shit in that pitch...So, we decided to get into something else. Diedro Nachos maybe?
Impressive, impressive, interesting, scary (when I didn't have a no.6, was clipped in on some rusty piton and later when my no. 4 got overcammed and I still had quite some meters to go...)

Me in the scary 6b layback at the top of Diedro Nachos

What an adventure. But, we were way too late. We guessed it was already around 7 and had to abseil and walk back. But then, when we were half way down the path Mauro walked up. He was a bit worried and drove all the way to pick us up. Too kind!

Caporal again, on Wednesday

As the groups were still similar. We decided to climb together today. Dennis and me swopped groups and later Roberto and Markus joined as groups of 5 sound unhandy.
We'd try to climb the first free repeat of Tempi Duri/Strapiombi delle Visioni (6c+, 6a, 7a, 7a, 7b).

Markus in the first pitch of Tempi Duri

Roberto and I went up together and before us Markus and Dennis climbed up. As we were with four it went all pretty slow... In the second pitch (the first chimney I ever climbed) I was a bit in a hurry and forgot to lengthen my placements. Resulting in way too much ropedrag. So I made a belay in the middle :( Ashamed of my unhandy action I had Roberto climbing up after me and finishing chimney.

Roberto leading the 7a in Tempi Duri

Dennis was calling if I had a no. 6 and 5 with me. Apparently they were needed in the next pitch. When I was up I gave them to Dennis and understood why they were needed: a big crack with quite some loose crumbly rock.
Markus went first, I was last.
Then another tricky pitch with a bit of slab.
And then, the last pitch. A difficult to protect 7b...
Markus was a bit demotivated: we were slow, he didn't climb too much and just, well, just didn't had 'his day'. So Dennis and Markus went back. Roberto and me went for the last pitch.
And actually, when I was relieved Roberto didn't fall off (and would have ripped out all the old pitons) I seconded the route. It was easier then I thought. Oh, if this is 7b, then I can climb much more on trad!
Today we were back in time and had an amazing dinner again.
In the night we had a slideshow from Rolando Larcher of an area that really inspired me: Patagonia!

Announcement of the Pata slideshow

It was amazing, impressive, to see the three climbers in ‘an ocean of granite’ as Mauro poetically said. With my mouth open, holding in my breath, not even blinking with my eyes, I watched the movie. For me it looked like love, and I didn’t have goosebumps, but little butterflies in my stomach by the view and the imagination of me doing this kind of climbing as well!

More Pictures on my Picasa

Patagonia presentation

Trad climbing meeting in Italy pt. 1

On the way to the airport


Normally I try to write something every week, at least, that is when things are going on.
But I had no internet at all last week. So, I have to write quite a bit now, I guess.
Because I went climbing :)
Not just climbing, I went to Italy, the tradclimbing meeting in Valle dell'Orco.
I'm not a very experienced trad climber, actually I'm just starting, I find. So this was a good opportunity to see what's actually possible.
I was hoping to find new techniques, new areas and new friends. And that's exactly what happened!

Eindhoven - Ceresole Reale

On Sunday 19th I left for Italy. Quite stressed and worried. We had a bit of overweight and we were flying with Ryanair so we were only allowed to take 15kgs. Just a rope and one set of cams+wires is enough for 15kg. We stuffed the tiny bit of clothing we had in our day-pack and went to the airport.
In the flight I was sitting in between father and daughter. They were going to a big shoe-fair. To see the shoes for the new year. I love shoes, but it always turns out that I wear my climbing shoes or running shoes :)
When we arrived Angelo was waiting for us with a paper "Tradclimbing Meeting Valle dell'Ocro". He excused himself for his English, we stuffed our bags in his Ford and drove to Ceresole Reale. Which is a 3hour drive!
There we were welcomed by all kinds of Italians. They looked all the same: pretty or old and all had black hair. The only name I remembered was Mauro, the one of the e-mail contact.
We got a big bag with a backpack, some Ferrino advertisement stuff, and the brand new topo of the area.
And then, it was time for dinner. Real Italian dinner with lasagna, meat, and of course wine.

The group enjoying dinner

Climbing at Sergent

At around 8 'o clock we arrived in de 'salle' of the appartment-building. We slept quite weird as our blanket had some strange creatures inside and they were really itchy. (Even through my sheets).
We were separated in different groups. I was supposed to climb the route Canabis in the sector Sergent together with Paul Sass from Germany, Lucy Creamer from the UK and Roberto Vigiani our local guide/host. Roberto would arrive a little later so we started in some warm-ups and got ready for Canabis (7b, 6b+, 7a).

Paul Sass in Canabis

Paul went up first and had quite a hard time in the first section. A tiny crack with some pitons. What a thing! It looked hard...
He tried, tried, went for a hold just above a piton and fell, the piton ripped out and he made a hard smack upside down!
That worried me...
Paul was ok, he was even ok enough to belay Lucy on Canabis again.
So, when Roberto arrived we split up in two teams. We first went up a 6a trad, bolted line and then decided to get on Canabis as well.
Roberto basically flew through the first pitch after I bailed out because I found it taking too much time...
The second pitch I was a typical flying Dutchman when I slipped in the 6b+ traverse. Luckily the piton held. Roberto was 'sleeping' a bit, resulting in me 'flying' down :)
The third pitch was a 7a crack. A bit nervous, as I'd never climbed a proper 7a crack before. I didn't climb it in once...and had not enough time to try the whole thing again. Reason one to get back here :)

Roberto Vigiani in Canabis, Zoe Hart belaying

Me in Canabis

Saturday, September 25, 2010

back in Holland

Just back from the tradclimbing meeting in Valle dell'Orco (Italy).
Soon more about the adventure :)
Picture: me & Markus from Germany on top of the cliff after climbing Diedro Nanchez.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Trad climbing meeting in Italy

Packing...and it's limited to one set of cams some nuts, maybe pegs a rope and a sweater. As Ryanair doesn't allow us to take our regular gear due to weight restrictions (annoying!)
Tomorrow we (Dennis & me) will travel to Italy for the International Tradclimbing meeting.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

New Nomics

Earlier today I posted something about some Pr0n.
But, my real babies arrived today @ Demmenie from Alpitec/Petzl.

With my babies I mean my new Nomics (for the rookies: ice axes)
And gosh I'm happy with them! They're beautiful, precise, strong and...renewed.
These are finally more alpine style. Good for dry, mixed, ice and alpine lines. With such versatile axes, you can just have one pair, instead of 1. 2. 3. 4.... Which basically means: climbing gets cheaper :)

You can change the pick for dry/mixed or ice lines, put a hammer or adze on the top and for the oldies: they still have the attachment point for your leashes. That just sounds like adding lingerie and jewellery to a beautiful girl: makes it just perfect.

As I'm working in Rock Steady now, I had the chance the test my axes in real...
wood. See pics: I was hopping and running around everywhere looking for the perfect placements. And I even got myself a whole wall! I can use the wall as I want, slam the axes in, use crampons, and I don't need a belayer, as it's just a long boulder (see 1st pic) :) (Thanks Robbert!) and Rock Steady even had a wood wall. What more do you need as iceclimber in a flat country?!

New cam

Went to Demmenie Amsterdam (=shop) and bought myself a new toy.
It's like going to the sex-shop (or something) because this toy is real Pr0n!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Winter training!

Yes, Summer is changing into Autumn, so time go get started with my axes again.
Yesterday evening we (Dennis and me) had our first real drytool session. So much fun!
I got a mission for this Winter. Part of the mission are the competitions in Korea, Italy, Switzerland and more... So, time to get started :)

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Work is boring...but good for loads of climbing!

Sometimes work is boring, stupid and you hardly get paid for all your effort...But, with this tiny bit of extra money I can climb more :)
I was sanding dolls, preparing them for a paint job. I hope to make promotion soon... ;) But they're right: work less, climb more!

*** Uhhh, Hans Boodt doesn't want me to publish anything from their company, so I was forced to remove the video...***

Goodbye Chloé...

Last Sunday I was climbing in Ettringen.
I had loads of fun, climbed my first 5.12a trad onsight and felt just good.
But, then I got a phonecall...bad news, sad news...

Chloé Graftiaux died last Saturday.
Chloé was one of the most versatile climbers, one of the best even.
She became third on the Worldcup Boulder, won iceclimbing competitions, climbed 8b+, climbed the most difficult things in the Alps, Yosimite and more...

Chloé was descending from the l'Aiguille noire de Peuterey (Mont Blanc massif) when she got dragged by a falling rock. She fell 600m.

So sad...
She was a very inspiring young girl, friendly, fun, enthusiastic, super strong and a bit crazy sometimes (like on the Saas Fee iceclimbing afterparty).

(Pictures: website Chloé and Hans van der Steen)