Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Still at home...waiting for Summer holidays

There I am, still at home.
Now bad to be here though, enjoying my garden. Just ate my first home-grown carrot. But, I'm living here because I have a mission. That mission involves a thing that most call 'hobby', some call it 'sports', and for me it's a way of life...
And I really wanted to be abroad now. Climbing! I actually had a chance, Fontainebleau with a new friend. Canceled work, changed appointment days, changed the job interview date, skipped climbing with Dennis, that all to get one day of climbing in Font. But, I sort of blew it. (Long story that makes me sad).
So here I am, still at home, in the rain, being bored, not motivated to do any of the things I actually need to do (filling in tax forms, learning for my exam on Thursday, putting together a little photobook for the Outdoor Fair in Fridrichshafen...)
I'm still lying on bed, thinking of what I actually want.
What I want is pretty simple, but it just doesn't seem to fit in this world: climbing.
But every time when I want that more and more I get into a vicious circle: climbing > no work > no money > no climbing > still climbing > not accepted by 'normal people' > less money > less climbing > less understanding by 'normal people' > more work > less climbing > more money > more climbing > less work > no work at all > ...
I wish I was a millionaire. I'd climb, all over the world. Live in a cave, as close a possible to all climbing areas, find friends to climb with, eat pasta with tomato sauce for weeks, cookies for breakfast and lunch and when I take a restday, once every two weeks, I feel my fingers, stiff but satisfied. Again another great route finished.
Talking about fingers, Martin Fickweiler has a crack climbing course in Ettringen in September. Wanna join and learn more about how to stick cracks? Read here more on his blog.
And, as bored as I am? Interested in new fruitboots? On 'Cold Thistle' more about how to make them.
Millionaire I said, yes, that's what I'd do with money. Use it as a tool to build up life experience. No big house, big car, big husband...Just freedom and see the world as it is. Figure new cultures, new habits, new thoughts, new food, new nature, new roads. Roads that can lead me to freedom in my mind.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Santiago de Compostela

Now you thought I'm active and venturous. True, maybe. But I learned that somewhere. From childhood on actually.
My parents, both PE teacher and fanatic sporters decided to do something different this year.
They'd been to China, walked through Iceland, been in alpine climbing but now, they're into cycling.
They decided to cycle all the way to Santiago de Compostela in Spain! They'll do the pilgrimage. Not that they're very religious, it's just the magic around it that they love.
My mum writes, my dad is photographer. So, expect some nice pictures from their trip here on their blog: hs75muiden.blogspot.com

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

! GriGri 2

Unfortunately the new GriGri 2 has a problem... (In Apple terms: As it turns out the GriGri2 has an issue...)
Under serious force the handle might block, causing failure in the automatic breaking system.
So, I have to sent mine back and get a replacement.
Maybe you have to sent yours back too? Check out the details on the Petzl website here.
Petzl says: "Because the safety of our users is our primary concern, as a measure of precaution Petzl has decided to take the following actions:
- Increase the mechanical strength of the handle on all GriGri 2's since serial number 11137.
- Recall all GriGri 2's with the first five digits of the serial number between 10326 and 11136, and replace with a new revised GriGri 2.
Petzl will pay for all shipping costs to complete this replacement."
For Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg please contact Alpitec by e-mailing to recall.grigri2@alpitec.be
For Iceland, please use to contact form on the Petzl webpage.
Living in another country? Check the Petzl website here.
Want to know how to use your GriGri2? Check out the 'technical notice' here.

Curry that makes you...

Okay, I like cooking. And I prefer to cook simple (one pot, one frying pan meals). Today I was up for some Thai food.
I opened the curry pack, added it to the coconut milk and suddenly saw the name of the curry company. Do you spot the name?
So, does this curry make you...?

Monday, June 20, 2011

Worldcup Boulder Eindhoven 2011

The day after. Or actually already two days after the finals of the Worldcup Bouldering in Eindhoven.
Because of a mistake. (Won't tell you any names or details) I was climbing in Ettringen during Dutch the qualifications last April. At that time I was pretty quiet and light about it as I thought 'well, just happens and outdoor climbing is better then indoor climbing'. But somewhere in my brain there is a little voice that keeps on telling me 'Girl you're stronger then last year, you should have been there. And why don't you just write it down or say it that it's not your fault that you weren't there on the walls.'
And now I just told you.
I was told only the best three climbers would go for the 'Wildcard' for the Worldcup in Eindhoven. Later, after the qualifiers in April I figured it was the best 4 after the national team members. Bit painful...

I have no idea where I'll be next year (Yosemite, Iceland, Canada...?) But if I have that chance to qualify again, I'll try to do so :)

So, no competition climbing for me last weekend. Though I suddenly still got involved.
I'm national judge and the organisation was short in judges, so suddenly I was there.
I had 'to get into' the rules and system, but that was quite easy. And the positive thing was, that I had a first row view!

On Saturday evening I had so much engery after seeing all the climbers, that I decided to go and climb as well. And Monk it was. A full evening with all kinds of funny, strange, difficult, slopey, long, short boulders. Satisfied I left for the hotel in Mierlo.

Saturday, semi- and finals-day. The Dutch only had Vera and Nicky in the semi's.
Though, it was a busy day.

Mountain Network, a Dutch company that owns several climbing gyms in the Netherlands, was responsible for the venue (structure and the stage). And as the Netherlands is quite unpredictable weather wise you always have to count on at least some rain. This weekend was not just forecasted with 'some rain' but with LOADS of rain. So you'd expect a proper roof above the climbing walls and isolation. But nope...some sail that flappered in the wind was the only thing to protect the climbers and boulders from the rain.
There were even rumours that the competitions would be canceled because of it!
And then there was the structure itself. Four times I found a little pin on the floor under the walls. It was not just a little pin, it were crucial little things that work as locks and so basically keep the structure together. With such a pin missing, the structure can basically drop down with just a bit of wind. So four of these missing...
I climbed up with the excuse to fix the holes in the roof and also placed two pins back...
Now I can go on and on with complaining about the structure and safety (for example how to work with scaffold-hooks and how this was all a perfect example of how not to work with it...) but, I was writing about climbing and not about safety issues in stage building. (Though...hopefully it will all be better next year...)

This post is not finished (yet) due to some internet problems here, it keeps on disappearing. Really annoying. So tomorrow I'll write some more :)

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Via Ferrata clinic

Jeroen, Monte Cervino ('de berg' in Dutch, the mountain) manager, routesetter but most of all climber, asked me to help him with the Monte Cervino/NKBV Via Ferrata clinics that he planned.
I'm more into leadclimbing trad routes then walking iron paths but I was up for this new kind of teaching.

All around you hear people landing in serious accidents on Via Ferrata's. Last August 2010 a helicopter flew out when Dennis and me were climbing the Salbit (CH), it turned out to be a serious Via Ferrata accident. A couple weeks later we heard the news that climbing legend Kurt Albert died in a Via Ferrata accident.
And I remember me with my brother and parents on a Via Ferrata with a guide over 15 years ago. Just attached on a sling and a screwgate krab. Clipping over to the next wire? 'Just hold tight and move over the krab.'
When you don't know any better you'll never know that it's actually quite dangerous what you're doing.

With that all in mind I thought it's very, very important to have Via Ferrata clinics, especially in a country as the Netherlands, where we don't grow up with mountains around us.

Our focus in the clinics was not as much to learn all Via Ferrata skills (as for that you need to build up general experience with climbing Via Ferrata lines and that's not what happens in just 3 hrs. time) but more make people more conscious of all potential factors on a Via Ferrata.
We started with some theory involving the use of a Via Ferrata set and a helmet, a bit of Via Ferrata history and preparation in the valley before you attend a Via Ferrata.
Then we focused on short-term preparation involving weather forecast, topo, what to pack in your rucksack and more.
And finally we could start climbing. First half-way the wall. Abseil down and try again.
Then higher, all the way to the top of the wall. Most had never been so high, so it was quite an experience.
We practised all kinds of skills like passing other people, how to help with mild accidents, what to do with severe accidents, what to do with thunder and lightning, and we tried to teach consciousness with answering together questions like 'why do you have to wear a helmet', 'what happens when a 30kg child falls in an Via Ferrata set', 'do you know how to get back when you're on the top of a Via Ferrata climb', 'where to go with lightning'...

The participants were all very happy to gain that much information in just 3 hrs. time.
So, Jeroen and I were satisfied. Via Ferrata clinic take 1: great success :)
Hopefully we can keep on giving this kind of courses and so prevent accidents and teach the beauties of outdoor activities.

Interested in a clinic? Please contact me to see what we can arrange on Monte Cervino.

Were you on the course? All pictures Jeroen and me took are on Picasa here.

Do you use a Petzl Scorpio? Some are being recalled for inspection, click here for more information on the Petzl website.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Live to climb, born to climb

Dutch climber Michel Kleinjan and his wife (? are you actually married or should I say 'girl' or 'woman' or 'chicka'?) Leonoor just decided to sell their house and live in a 'wooden shed' close to the biggest and best climbing gym in the Netherlands. (Mote Cervino, Bergschenhoek)
Their idea after years of 'hibernation': work to live instead of just work to work to pay off rent and mortages...
It's inspiring and motivating!
Good luck guys, it's worth a big, big pie! (With fruit, without raspberries ;)

Picture: one of the pies we chose in a bakery in Elbsandstein, on Gerkes birthday. When I'd just met Michel and Leonoor for the first time.

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Advanced First Aid for Industrial Rope Access

What I do besides climbing, is educating myself into safety issues.
This week a 3 day training in first aid on heights. Suspension trauma's and more...
Soon a little movie about this weeks training I'm doing at Orange Access.

Monday, June 06, 2011

Ibbenbüren climbing weekend

Been quiet on my blog lately.
Sorry for that.
Been busy with...climbing.
A competition in Arnhem (5th, quite okay but should have been better) and last weekend I was involved in family business with Dennis' family (which was quite nice actually) and of course...climbing. This time another area in Germany, not Ettringen but Ibbenbüren was our destination. For the first time.
Eveline told us to go there and borrowed her topo to us. (Thanks)
It was quite okay. Pretty friendly area, good for families, beginners, semi-beginners and even for us there was something to climb.
Though, when you get there for the first time without any guidance it might be hard to figure the right path to the climbing sectors. The 'treasure map' in the topo only helped just a bit...
And when it's as damp and hot as it was this weekend, it's quite hard to climb without chalk!
Most is bolted but I had the chance to play again with my 'Elbsandstein knots'.
Fun and worth another weekend!