I just woke up with a nice movie: STS on the Ben. With loads of real climbing, snow and horrible Winter conditions: lovely.
Watching the climbers I wished it was me being filled with spindrift snow and getting soaked with water and sweat that after a while would freeze again...
In stead I'm in Busteni, Romania where I woke up in a room stuffed with climbers. Every bed occupies at least two people. I'm not sure how it really happened but I got an autograph of a climber on my chest and remember doing the same to that climber. So I had to explain something to Dennis and he just laughed. Luckily.
The party was funny and quite a bit crazy as the usual iceclimbing parties. Russians drinking quite a bit too much, the Korean can't cope with alcohol (probably because he's Asian), Radka dancing like crazy and Kendra and me enjoyed trowing peanuts everywhere.
I tried to go asleep but our bed is exactly above the party room so the bouncing music still kept me awake for a while.
After almost 2 months of Winter climbing it's now all getting to an end. I had to say goodbye to people that feel like close friends but will be far away for the next 10 months again (where would we be without Facebook). Thanks everyone for the support, chatting, help, climbing and all the other fun. I'm going to miss you all.
Meanwhile the whole day passed by and it's evening. I just took a shower in the Duct tape shower and packed my bag. We're leaving tomorrow morning at 6. We bought the train ticket and we'll fly around 12-ish to Munich and later Geneva. We're sort of lucky by buying the expensive flight from Swiss as the company that was cheaper went bankrupt this week and the French were on strike causing quite some trouble for other climbers who were also flying from Swiss.
Today we skied. My second time ever on a piste. And I did quite well I found, at least if I compare my skills to that of most of the other skiers. Gosh those Romanians we're just going straight down like suicide torpedo's without making any curve or bend... Dennis tried to practise his snowboard skills but failed as his rental board (the best he could get) was far too small and flexible with bindings that even a beginner wouldn't like. Oh, yes and his boots weren't too good either. I felt sorry for him. He loves the snowboarding but just couldn't do 'his thing' on the crappy rental stuff. My ski's were fine tough.
Later we went for dinner together with Gordon and Kendra. They're now also sleeping in the mountain-hut enjoying movies and chat about climbing. Here in the mountainhut is pretty good to stay. The people are friendly and today I learned a lot about the Romanian history, giving me more respect for the country. Unsurprisingly the issues here today are not too different from what plays in the Netherlands. That worries me sometimes. How far away are we from yet another war? It sometimes really seems it's 1935 all over again...
Yesterday evening we couldn't be bothered all of the finals (is that bad?) We missed out the speed and stuff. The climbing wasn't much better then the qualifiers and the semi's. The women had a strange weird but okay route with Maria, the Russian girl topping out. The men's finals was as epic as the rest of the comp. Three Russian finalists climbed and all popped off one of the first holds. Without consulting the head judge the routesetter stopped the competition, sent back the climbers into the isolation and changed the hold for something loads bigger. Then the three had yet a new chance and climbed quite a bit higher. They had 13,5 minutes climbing time and were traversing left to right and back again. It was long and because the climbing was long it wasn't too spectacular and interesting anymore to watch. I'm happy one of my favourites, Markus won finally after all his bad luck in the previous comps.
The final results can be found here on the UIAA webpage.
That evening we had dinner together with Katherine and Malcolm at their rental home. We enjoyed the food veggies and almost forgot the nuggets. We chatted and I figured Malc has been having quite a bit of the same disappointment in all the comps as me. Mentally we're quite a bit alike. The good thing is that we both still know we can progress and get better but it would have been so nice to show what we're actually worth...
Kendra came with the point that some climbers (Steve House) are looking for a climber to mentor and guide to become better. I think, because theres so much I can still learn that would be a good thing. So, hereby: who know a good mentor. Someone who can guide me up in how to climb proper souple WI6/7, boulder 7C, climb 8b, do proper trad like 7c's, get onto hard trad mixed M10 and more and of course get some proper ED/ABO routes on my Alpine list. Anyone? I don't mean with guide 'put me on a rope and just do seconding/toprope climbing', I guess you got that :)
This week will be our last ice/mixed/alpine Winter week. Romania was my last Worldcup of this season. There will still be another one in Kirov, but with just Russians on the comp, a lot of travelling and expensive housing and more it's not worth going. Actually I just don't have the money for it.
Hopefully without any coach or mentor I'll still be able to reach my goal of the week :)
Fireworks at the climbing structure in between the mens en women's finals.
The twins Dennis and Malc getting ready for the party.