Monday, October 17, 2011

New jeans

F*'in cool jeans!
If you're a climber and know Yosemite you'll like these jeans.
Five Ten (brand of the brave) designed jeans. Climbers jeans. With stretch and a good fit so you can now go to the gym in your jeans. For sure I'll compete in jeans on the next climbing comp.
Want to have these as well? Like 'Five Ten Nederland' on Facebook and ask for the jeans on their Facebook page.
They have a mens and a womens version. Check the different jeans here.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Just a blog post

These days I'm pretty busy with all kinds of things.
I have to work (money...) I need to climb and actually I should study (no time for it...) and I have to do administration things and make a movie about the STS and arrange all things for the first aid trainings (=part of my work) and I need
to....uhhh, it's just all a bit too much right now.

So I decided to do none of it all now and read and
knit. On my friends' the wish list: socks (Richard), a sweater (Eva) and a hat (Johannes). So enough to knit for the whole Winter.

Meanwhile Dennis tried to murder me, do I try to learn the basics of Chinese, manage to wash without as washing-machine, and I now will try to convince you that you should be in Monte Cervino tomorrow, in Monk on Sunday, in Nijmegen on Monday, Amsterdam on Tuesday...
Why? Five Ten (Brand of the brave) has the Test Event.
All nice five-tennies in all sizes to fit, feel, test, and climb with! The best excuse to buy new shoes, test them straight away and have your local Five Ten climbers to give you advice (all 5.10 Dutch team-members will be around) More info on the 5.10 Facebook page here.

And then, when work is done, administration done, climbing done, five ten tested, Chinese learned, socks knitted...then it's finally time for China!
3 weeks of climbing and adventure!
Because we'll be away, won't have e-mail, no phone reach, no postbox...we'll be busy...climbing! @Petzl Roc Trip in Getu Valley, China :)

this-is-an-automated-out-of-office-message-I'll-be-able-to-get-back-to-you-in-three-weeks-sorry-for-the-uncoveinance-over-and-out :)

Oh, don't worry about the fact Dennis just broke a bottle of beet-juice ;)
Ow, yes, and the video report of our STS trip, as promised, here:

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

STS - Ice Factor, Kinlochleven

Yay, I won!
We're just back from yet another adventure: Scotland :)

Dennis was lucky (I guess) as he got an 'experience' for his birthday instead of something material like a watch, climbing shoes or whatever. I gave him a ticket to Scotland so we could join the Scottish Tooling Series in Ice Factor (Kinlochleven).

Last year we joined the STS in Edinburgh and Bill Davidson convinced me we should come again this year.
I just gave Dennis the ticket and that was it.
We both don't have the money for hotels, rental cars and all other luxury stuff. So we had to bivouac and rely on amazing friends.
(Thanks guys, your all welcome in our home close to Rotterdam!)

We flew to Edinburgh on Thursday and had 1,5 days to spent in Edinburgh.
We walked around, looked if the castle walls were climbable, found ourselves soaked before we could even try to get close and figured pizza was a better option then deep-fried haggis.

That eve we went to the funniest photo lecture we'd seen for ages and enjoyed the good memories of last years world-cup season when watching Lukasz Warzecha's pictures and lecture for the Edinburgh Mountain Film Festival.
We slept somewhere around Ratho climbing gym (can't tell you where, it's our secret dry-place) and went climbing in the HUGE hall the next day.
Around 1 we were picked up by one of the STS organisers, Neil Silver. We drove all the way to the other side of Scotland, to the tiny theres-nothing-to-do-there-except-climbing-village Kinlochleven. It was rainy but just good enough to walk around and enjoy the beautiful Scottish Autumn landscape (really, if you're into walking you should do walk the West Highland Way)
That night we were lucky, no bivouack
ing for us as we could stay in
Simon's campervan (owner of Big Tree Campervans)
waauw, luxury and a good preparation for the next day!

Saturday was competition day. Together with at about 60 other competitors we climbed the 15 qualification routes.
All kinds of Scottish (and English, American...) Winter climbers joined the comp. It was fun to be around so many different Winter climbers all sharing the same passion: iceclimbing.
It made this tingly feeling come up again, the feeling that tells me I should start to prepare for the coming Winter, the feeling that says iceclimbing is so cool!
We were happy to see Malcolm [Kent] again and climbed together for the day.
Malc popped off a hold in one of the routes and later on the day I popped off a hold as well...a second go gives you 3 points less then a first go so our end score was just 3 points lower then that of Steve and Dennis who both made it to 150 points (10 points per route)

Then up to the finals. I had a mission: beat Dennis...something I wasn't sure of if it was possible :)
See the full results here.
I got quite nervous there in the isolation together with these strong climbers...
It was my turn, after the other girls had just finished and I already had sweaty palms before I even started climbing...
I was slow, but that was allright as I had 8 minutes to finish the route. I came all the way to the top. The only thing left was the final clip that would make a finish to the route. I struggled for 3 (!) minutes on that last move, figure-of-four, pull-up, figure-of-nine, pull-up again and on it went, I hugged the log, tried to stand on the wall, locked-off even more, but I didn't see a chance to get close to that last clip far away on that wall...Frustrated and confused as I was I had to let go, not because I was pumped but because I was out of top for me! Shit...I guessed Dennis with his length could easily make that clip, and Malc with his enormous strength could do the same... I watched Malc and Steve both struggling to get that last clip...and failing...But Dennis...he hugged the log, could stand up, reach and...clipped.
That made the highest score of us all...and he'd beaten me again.
So now I can really say Dennis: you're a better drytooler then me ;)

That evening we learned how to drink Scottish beer and Dennis got a proper lesson in drinking al kinds of nasty stuff...and Whisky.
We learned that skiing down stairs is forbidden in Scottish pubs and that you can make amazing art from candles and lollipops. The music was surprisingly good for a local band (with the local supermarket cashier as lead singer, the chef of the climbing wall on guitar and other locals on drums, guitar and more)

The next day we climbed...or we tried...tired as we were of the beer the late night and the rain (Dennis and I bivouacked in the rain) ... We drytooled at Birnam Quarry (near Dunkeld) and Dennis actualy managed to climb the M10(+) 'Fast & Furious'. I was tired, knew my attempts were limited and failed in my third go :(

Fun and friendly as everyone was, we were invited to stay at Lindsay & Beth that evening. They cooked us delicious chicken and we even got a bedroom!
Beth and Lindsay drove us to Ratho where we took a bus to the city centre. We bought some new 2nd-hand books for this Winter (we like to read English books) and then it was already time to leave Scotland again.

Next time I hope we can do some real outdoor Winter stuff as well :)

Soon (hopefully tomorrow if it all works out) an video of our trip :)

But now still a video of my previous adventure, the LMC (see blog post underneath)

Pictures: Dennis&me, and Steve Lynch.

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Dirt Devils and the LMC 2011

What better can you fill your weekend with...then just run through the mud, cycle single tracks in the night, drag tree trunks up a hill, monkey-hang with a heavy backpack, swim in stinky dirty lakes and only have a map and compass to 'turn' the right way.
That is the best description I can give you about what I did last weekend.
It even had a name: LMC, which stands for Limburg (Dutch province) Mountain Challenge.
It's an annual event organised every first weekend of October.
Years ago I volunteered with the organisation KNAV'98 and set out the night part of the race. I found it so much fun that the reminder this year resulted in participating in the race.
for over 20 hours you run, cycle, swim, run and cycle even more trying to become first on every Waypoint. GPS is not allowed, only a strange, vague or incomplete map and your compass.
On the way you try to complete tasks like dragging a tree trunk up a hill as fast as possible, run up hill in the sand to fill a bucket with water, only using little cups, measure the height of a hill, find the name of the pilot that died in a plane crash in the area, find letters and clips that are hidden in the trees/bush, figuring the meaning of names in the local Limburg dialect... and with that you score your next waypoint.
I had a bit a strange group. As the rule is that at least two of every team (team is 3 or 4 p.) have to be from Limburg (I'm not) and I subscribed to it alone...I was put together with two people I didn't knew at all. Rick and Leon.
The amazing thing is that doing such a race is one of the best teambuilding activities you can do, ever! So after 24hours together we really were a team and even decided we wanted to join the race again next year. Together!
Our team name was Dirt Devils, really fitting as we swam in such a dirty lake that we smelled rotten for the next 20hours. Maybe the name should have been Dirty Devils instead... :)
We completed the race (which is not as easy as it sounds, often teams don't complete the race) and ended somewhere on the 5th of 6th place. Luckily not third. As then you have to organise next years race.
The LMC is organised every year by volunteers. It's a hell of a job to plan a race where you cycle over 140km, run I-don't-know-how-many-k's and do all kinds of activities in between. The organisation had been working on it for a year, literary! (Big, big respect to them!)
VAV-Zuyd, from Valkenburg won this years race and 'Van geen wijken weten' has to organise next years race.
Soon a little video about the race. Here already some articles (in Dutch)
(I'm the one in the light green shorts :)

p.s: I LOVE my Tikka headlamp! Without my lovely new Tikka with rechargeable battery that lasts much longer then your average single-use batteries! The compact headlight is even water-resistant, so I could keep it on when swimming in the dirty lake :)