Sunday evening I received a few text messages from Paul.

P: Hey Truong, feel like going to Freyr tomorrow?
T: Hey Paul! Yes that seems nice! What time are you leaving?
P: About 10 o’clock or half past 10 at Maastricht. Is that ok to you?
T: Ok, I’ll be there and text you later when I catch the train.
P: Okay, we’ll be there. Cool!

When I shared my plans with coach Wally, I was good to go. I packed my bags, took a shower, slept and got up early again. My gear was ready to rock’n roll.

In the morning I wasn’t fully recovered from my Sunday training session with Vera Zijlstra at Monk. My mind was totally set to outdoor climbing. It was my first time to climb outdoors again this year. While I’m in my train on the way to Maastricht, I can only think of nice memories from last year.

At Maastricht Paul Lahaye, Isolde Toet and Marieke Broertjes are waiting for me in front of the station. I enter the car while all of them are distracted by a climber with a helmet who passed by the car. Paul is racing to Freyr and within an hour we are able to enjoy a nice cup of coffee and some tea at Chamonix restaurant.

After our drink, we went to the rocks. The weather conditions were good, 6 or 7 degrees. When Paul and I walked into the woods, Isolde and Marieke decided to visit a different area to climb some rocks. Our track was a huge mud track. Fortunately I was well prepared and left my Nike sneakers at home.

Followed by 2 warm up routes Paul wanted to explore Tabula Rasa, 8a. Paul managed to set the quickdraws by a route next to this line. I climbed first, it was a nice way to test my onsight level. The movements are nice but at some height I wasn’t able to climb further. I saw mini holds without any food holds. The route appeared to be Jolie Promenade, 8b instead of Tabula Rasa. It wasn’t our intention to explore this route so we reset the quickdraws.

My second attempt to explore Tabula Rasa went fine until I felt the crux. I was empty and let Paul explore this route. Paul managed well, he climbed too much in Spain lately and he had to get used to Belgium rocks. Isolde and Marieke joined us and encouraged Paul in his route. Again we made a mistake, the route splits up to left and right. Paul picked the wrong end and ended up exploring Esperanza, 8b+. Later a local explained which line belongs to which routes.

I felt like some food after climbing some vertical routes. We had dinner at Chamonix restaurant. We caught up and in the evening we drove back to The Netherlands. Hopefully next time we will be able to climb the correct route.

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