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