Sunday, January 24, 2010

Mess


The van is a mess, even now that we're just with a two, after Corné left.
There are icescrews on the floor and draws in the bed.
We tried to hang up all the stuff but now we have to cook with iceaxes above the sink. Hopeless... video

Saas Fee 3





After the comp we went for a little iceclimb. Easy but fun. Weird to climb with people I've never climbed with. It all was a bit messy, but I really loved swinging my axes in some ice again.
Dennis and me went right. Corné, Tim and Edwin went left. Two little lengths and we ended in the middle together again.
Afterwards we enjoyed pancakes at Menno's place in Grächen. We watched the women's finals online and went back to Saas Fee just before the men's finals started.
And then of course we had the crazy party with people bouldering in the roof, t-shirts getting ripped off and loads of beer.
We went to the area this midday again and the only smell we smelled was beer, no climbing atmosphere at all longer. Time to leave.
We'll head for Rabenstein soon. video

Saas Fee 2






Day two in Saas Fee, luckily back in the camper van, with heating and electricity now. It's just comfy and cheap. And money is not really the thing growing on trees in winter-time...
So, woke up early again, this time the isolation even closed at 7:45 (Swiss time). I took some breakfast and then the waiting, warming-up and getting nervous started. This time I was nervous, much worse then in the qualifications.
I knew I could do something good if my head was ok and if I would feel ok. Maybe even finals.
I started as number 8. Some already climbed and I really needed some music and close my eyes to focus.
The Swiss speaker announced me in Dutch and I started solid in the ice of the route. I like to hack in the ice, maybe more then most of the women. Some climb with really light axes which just bounce back when you try to get them good in the ice. Toothpicks we call them. Most actually never climb real ice. And I'm wondering why...it's called iceclimbing-worldcup....
But then the boxes of ice started and the pump got more. I wasn't very focused and was nervous of being out of time. Maybe I climbed too fast, didn't take the time to get the pump out of my arms. And there I was, figure of four failed, I just couldn't hold on my axes anymore! Finally getting to the real iceclimbing moves and then I was pumped... I knew I was out, I felt, that when you can deal with the pump you can get much longer...
Hopefully not last in the semi-finals :)
Afterwards I checked the results and it turned I became 12th. Not bad for a second Worldcup!
It was live on the internet, even my parents could watch me climb. I hope they will keep doing that, also in the next comps.

Saas Fee 1





So...finally internet again at the appartment of the Americans and Canadian (they say "hi").
And we took a shower too...But I'm not sure if that works as all my clothes are smelly and dirty including the sheets I'm sleeping in.
It took a while to get here and when we arrived we couldn't get any electricity. So I had a free stay at the Americans (thanks).
On Friday we had the first competition day. And the meeting with all the climbers on Thursday, including pasta and the drawing of the starting numbers. Mine was 12.
I had to wake up around 6 on Friday as the isolation closed at 8 in the morning. I was the second climber, so really had to be early. Not the best start, to start on that time in the morning.
But with a bit of running, loads of figure-of-four's and pull ups, I thought I was ready for climbing.
So, my turn, nervous, more nervous then in Daone. So I decided to climb slowly to keep steady and not get pumped, shake a lot. I climbed, climbed and actually didn't find it too hard, but then I heard: 'one minute', which means I have one more minute to finish the route. And I stressed! Wobbly on the holds I suddenly popped off! I was disappointed and thought all girls would top out the route.
But after the 20 girls climbed it turned that I was 11th and thus in half-finals! I was so happy and surprised!
Later on the day we had the speed. Eight Russians, one Romanian and me. The girls don't want to join because it's easy to injure yourself with the meat-hooks you use for the climbing.
I went ok in my first run out of three, fell in the second, decided to go on safe but fast on the third run but fell again! So my first time counted, which wasn't such a good time. I wasn't very happy, and thought I could do better. With an 8th place I thought I should train this thing for next year.
Corne was injured and unlucky and Dennis got pumped (duh). Dennis landed in 29th place (?) and Corne in somewhere last place :(
Though, speed was really exciting! Dennis put up the third time in the qualifications and had a chance to get win! So all nervous and excited we watched and cheered. With some unlucky runs in the finals Dennis landed on 6th place, which is not bad. The ice was not so good, he was nervous and the others are also pretty good. Of course the Russians won, but, hopefully there will be a Dutchman 1st, 2nd or 3rd next time!
Tomorrow the half finals, waking up early again and do something good :)
Pictures by Corne Brouwer. The picture of the dude at the Red Bull table (drinking Red Bull-Jagermeister) is being stitched by his friend Mark after he cut himself with the speedclimbing qualifications. (Maybe speed climbing is a bit dangerous? Who's going to make us some cut-free gloves and trousers? Diederik? Dennis?) video

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The Italians 2





And there was Polenta. Loads of Polenta.
We were forced to eat it. Including the fat which was poured over it.
We all didn't like it, it was just too fat... Poor Italians, they'd been cooking for us since 4 in the midday.

The Italians






In Italy it all goes a bit different then in the rest of Europe.
If you're blond, young and have a good smile, you can get everything done for you. If you speak two words in Italian it's even better.
So I enjoyed my time there :)
Here some pictures of the competition besides the climbers...

Kandersteg


After a train-road-trip we arrived in Kandersteg, Swiss.
It is so great to be in between those beautiful big mountains. I get this thrill of wanting to climb them all and never leave this place!
There is so much to do here. Even if you're over 50 you can still have some fun with ski-walking (langlaufen) in this langlauf-resort of Kandersteg.
But we didn't get there for the langlaufing...
In Ueschinen the is a big cave with a ice curtain and loads of mixed routes!
With an hour walk we got there and I didn't believe my eyes: all routes filled with the world's best iceclimbers. Little puppets hanging in between massive icicles.
Corne took pictures of Dennis and me and hung around the Romenian girls.
My eyes fell out of their sockets by seeing this cool rock and ice, my arms almost fell off because of the pump en my hand broke off because of the cold. But wauw, that's so much fun!
I hung around in an M8- and almost climbed it!
The next day, today, Dennis and me went up again. We really wanted to climb and almost ran up into the valley of Ueschinen.
After some dubbing we decided to get onto a route called Pink Panther. (M9+)
I started and got over the ice, and some further, and then I was so pumped, cold and confused of what to do...I climbed on to the almost top just before the next curtain and went down.
Then Dennis' turn. He struggled, went longer and longer and then lost his axe!
So me again. Further and further...and then I fell, too pumped, nooo! Dennis then climed the route and was satisfied he could still do it. A good test.
I climbed the route third go. And I was so happy I climbed this cool, pumpy, various ice-rock line! Afterwards we tried something harder but had to leave the route. Time was up.
I'm going back there!
Dennis has some nice pictures of us on his Picasa album

Daone Comp 2010





Gosh, it has been some days since the last post here. I haven't had internet closeby and the internet is quite slow...
Daone was so much fun, partying with the Russians (crazy Vodka!), speedclimbing and leadclimbing which was so impressive and motivating.
The day started with the dudes doing their lead climbing. Corne did his best but didn't end up very high. Jurgen tried really hard to fix the undercling, but also fell off pretty early in the route.
Dennis had a different qualification route, and climbed easily through the first drytooling part and had a big struggle in the ice roof. He fell popping off with his feet and handing just on one axe, out of energy, power to get on. But out of all of us he did best!
Later came the speed for me. I failed (I found). I was slow, not used to the snowy crumbly ice and kept popping off with my feet. I didn't want to fall so climbed slow, resulting in a 9th place. No finals for me.
Later around three I got in the isolation for the semi-finals lead climbing. I warmed up well, talked a lot with the other girls and guys and felt pretty ok, not too nervous.
When I got in the isolation where you prepare your stuff, the light and heating went down. So it got quite cold and dark. Not the best seconds before a attempt. But I still felt fine.
I struggled in the route, not yet used to kicking my crampons in the wood and matching iceaxes on one hand and clipping. I got pretty pumped, not so much in my underarms, but more in my hands! When I started on the roof I was so pumped in my hands that I fell off, leaving my axes in the ice.
My mission was to reach at least the roof and get to the rest, but just before the good rest I fell off. Too bad, but not too bad :) I landed in 14th place, which wasn't even last place!
The good thing was, that I gained so much experience and motivation to train hard and loads for the next competition year!
In the evening we had the disaster climbing of the dudes in the speed.
Corne fell. So was out :( Then Jurgen had to climb. He was pretty promising when we trained in the Globe in Holland. So I was really hoping the best for him. But he hit his arm with his iceaxe (meat-hook) Had to quit, get to first aid and get some stitches in his arm. Damn...
The next day we amazed us about some Korean climber and of course Markus Bendler both dominating the field. And then we drove off to Kandersteg in Swiss.
We dropped off Jurgen at the airport, because with his arm he wouldn't be able to climb on.
It was painful to leave him there. We were just starting to form a team, and with a three it's always different then with a team of four.
Jurgen, we miss you here!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Daone Ceremony





Arrived in the Hotel with Corne and just attended the extremely patriotic Italian ceremony.
Bla, bla, bla in Italian, children in Italian colours, old men with Tiroler hats and feathers, fire brigade kids and adults and the local-forest-army-dudes playing some music and a procession through the little village of Daone.
I have some video's, but the connection here is so slow that I can't add anything :(
Tomorrow at 10:30 the speed climbing for the women starts, and the isolation for the men opens at 8. Pretty early...and later on the day I have the lead. Busy day...
I quite excited about it all. Loads of eastern European gilrs competing, 9 from Russia (is that allowed? *Checking the UIAA rules...*) and some other countries.
They first thought I was from Iceland. I wasn't actually allowed to compete (Iceland is not member of the UIAA, why why why...?) and they were worried becuase they couldn't find an Icelandic flag for the opening ceremony. Funny Italians... After showing my Dutch passport it was all ok again and they smiled again (instead of talking emotional Italian).
Now I'll go asleep early, to be fresh for tomorrows comp!

First real iceclimb in Europe mainland!

We arrived in Daone on Wednesday evening and slept next to the big competition wall. We stole some electricity and slept well, though, we felt our throats next day (cold?)
The next day we wanted to try our brand new Black Diamon Fusion axes on the backside of the snow-speed-wall, but then we heard there was real iceclimbing. So we left for a WI5 and climbed until dark 5 pitches and abseiled back in the dark. It was extremely cold but fun!

On the road


Tuesday Dennis and me left for Italy. Really late (thanks to the brilliant Dutch train system) but we didn't really care.
We drove through Austra with a little sleep stop somewhere in Germany and a emergency stop after the Fernpass (the brakes started to complain).
Dennis' van is brilliant. With two sleeping compartments, heating, good music and loads of fun movies. We watched Planet Terror and laughed our ass off.
video

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Off to Italy!


I drove around half of the Netherlands yesterday. Picking up iceaxes (thanks Tim!), picking up a Barryvox and then iceclimbing with the dudes in the Globe. And luckily we climb for free Skabbi...
We did some speed climbing with the Icelandic Hedinn axes and they actually work quite ok. Still have to get used to them :) But even with girly pink tape they still look like brutal meat-crooks. I was pretty satisfied with my climbing, 10.7 seconds (see video) to get up. I could do better with more practice, but for a first time... I fell a lot, looked at my shoes every time and had difficulties reading the route which resulted in my axes popping out. Here also a little video of Jurgen doing good, with 6.8 seconds he was the fastest of us four today. (Knowing that Dennis just came back from Kirov with just 6 hours of air plane sleep over the last 48 hours...)
Dennis and me will drive off today around 11/12. I hope, now packing all my stuff, which looks impossible!

video video

Monday, January 11, 2010

One day left in Holland

Today I guess will be the last day in the Netherlands before I'll leave for Daone.
Really exciting. I'm still very very insecure about my iceclimbing capabilities and train as much as I can. But for my feeling, one month for changing from sportsclimber into world-class iceclimber is a bit too short...
Luckily I got some great advice from a couple Duch iceclimber who've joined World Cups before.
(Thanks Dennis, Niels and Fedor!) Now I know better how to figure-of-4 and what moves I can expect in a World Cup...
Before I had my Icelanders, who were always willing to go iceclimbing with me, especially Siggi was a good reference. He is stronger, very fanatic and doesn't treat me like a 'weak woman' and expected me to do just the same as the guys. I like that attitude, that attitude that is often missing I find when you get to a climbing hall. Most people just watch you climb, stare and don't even dare to talk to you. Which can be very annoying. I just need people to train with!
At the moment one of the Dutch climbers, Dennis is on his way back from Kirov, Russia from the World Cup there in -25 Celcius.
He's just started a blog as well, you can read his adventures on http://dennisvanhoek.nl/
Here some video's of us training at Niels' drytool cave.
video

IceSurfing




In the Netherlands it's rare nowadays to have so much ice and snow. But when there is ice, the whole country get's crazy for iceskating on natural ice. Even if the conditions are not good, they still try to get on the ice.
So, my brother and me as well.
Only this time a bit different. The Dutch Championships Icesurfing were cancelled so we tried out old-fasioned method at Muiderberg.
In the morning we searched for hours and hours to find a 'pollepel' (big soup-serving spoon). It took us a drive to three different shopping centers and a massive search on the attic before we found one. Just one...And we're with 2. But we just went!
The whole day we stood on the ice with wind and snow and enjoyed ourselves with the most simple icesurfing system ever: the pollepel.
We got many reactions from "levensgevaarlijk", to "natural born inventors". And best of all was, that we went much faster then all the kite-boarders with their ski's and snowboards and that whilst the ice was really snowy. The video is my brother showing how to be fast on the ice (me filming).
video

Boreal late Christmas package


Finally, after e-mailing, calling, more mailing and waiting. I now have my new shoes. The Ice Mutant fits perfectly and I tried them straight away in the Globe in Den Haag. Here a little movie on my first first try with the shoes on really really hard ice in the Globe "ískápur". (Diederik filming)
My brother went with me and had his first real iceclimbing experience.
Though, the climbing shoes are a bit too small :( so I have to change them somehow/somewhere. But that's ok, at least it's all here now (after more then 3 months)
video

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Sinterklaas-Christmas-New Year-Birthday-Surprises



Sometimes my family is a bit strange, but that's fun.
We celebrated all big yearly feasts two days after new-years. With surprises and a poem. I drew my brother and had a brilliant idea for a surprise-creation and on the way, with a bit of help from some friends, created a funny poem.
I got a poem from my dad, very sweet and personal and a car-surprise with a new flash-card for my camera. My dad can make poems like no other, exactly grabbing my feelings and even make it in a rhyme.
And of course got some other things, even from Iceland. The best was the little Anasazi rock-magnet (not the 5.10 shoes, a real piece of rock I mean).
Here the pic's.

Drytooling


Here in Holland theres loads of ice now. But it's all pretty horizontal. Good for iceskating, bad for iceclimbing. So we went indoors and enjoyed the hospitality at Niels' place.
Valdi even did better then most of us with hanging on axes! I was just jealous!
Here further not much to train, loads of things to do every day, climbing gyms far away and actually very very expensive. I climb 5 times a week, sometimes 6. It costs between 9 and 12 Euro's per person to climb, Let's say 10 Euro per time makes 50 to 60 euro's a week! Do that for a month and it's more then you're monthly rent or fee at the campsite of Siurana (where the climbing is a lot better then here indoors)
But well, we'll leave for Italy this Tuesday, hopefully more ice, boulders and fun there :)

Happy new Year!


So, 2009 is gone and we're already more then a week in 2010 (weird number) I've been busy iceclimbing, drytooling, bouldering and climbing all around in Holland. And of course enjoyed the nice weather here: really cold and snowy.
Do you have any good plans for this new year? Loosing weight, climbing even harder, find a girlfriend...?
I'm pretty simple and just try a lot, try a lot of climbing, do a lot of travelling and just have loads of fun! No real plans so far. But I'm sort of lucky: I don't smoke, I'm not fat, I already do sports so don't have to start them up :)