Last week I was approached by the board of climbing competition. Casper ten Sijthoff requested if I wanted to set routes for this Youth Lead 2 competition at Eindhoven. That was nice because I didn’t have many plans anyway. My job was to set the most difficult route, the finals! My job was head chief setter, therefore the routes have to be good.

Members of the Youth Lead competition felt that the routes were poorly designed, and not challenging enough causing the competition to end late. I wanted to tackle this problem, if the routes were set well then the competition will end on time and everyone will be happy.

Last Thursday I visited Neoliet Eindhoven. Together with Martijn Dijkhuizen we set up a plan for the routes. I noticed that most of the routes were too easy or had to be reset. My first reaction about the routes was to set it more difficult. I started with my route, filled a sack with white holds and get busy setting. After 4 hours I was finally done with my final route.

From my experience I know it’s not nice to fall out a route especially when the route contains reachy movements or lock down movements. I set one white route with a lot of movements and I hope everyone will get really high. I also set a purple qualification route. My day went by fast.

Yesterday noon I returned to this climbing gym. Erik Jacobs was present to test routes as well. After I tested some qualification routes, I find a few routes not proper enough for this competition. The routes were too simple and too continuous. This meant extra load of work. I don’t like up side down holds and started filling a sack with holds to modify these routes. Martijn reset some routes too. We were busy taking care of these competition routes till past midnight. We fixed route drawings and added numbers on it as well. Unfortunately I was unable to go home by bus at 1 A.M, so I sat on the steering wheel of Martijn’s bike. That was so funny!

Today at 9 A.M. my alarm clock went off and I got up at 9.45 A.M. It was hard to get out of bed, however I had to be present at the climbing gym today. Youth Lead 2 was about to start. I peddled my way to the gym and was exhausted. At the climbing gym I ran into Kim van den Hout and heard her laughing. She requested if I could demonstrate the qualifications. What!? I was tired and didn’t expect this. I just wanted to watch, but I accepted her request anyway. I had a lot of things on my mind. I had to see Martijn to setup the audio for music and announcements and take care of the side walls. First I need to eat a sandwich and warm up properly. Before I started to demonstrate, I had to concentrate and go 100 percent for each route, black 6c, purple 6c, purple 7a+, yellow 7a+ and white 7a went well. The routes were worth climbing! Yes, now it is up to the kids to enjoy climbing these routes.

Next were the finals. When I was looking at my route, I missed a few foot holds and decided last minute to set some more foot holds. It was a good decision and received some compliments. The route was long and the higher you get, the more difficult it was to climb. I was content about it. There seem to be a good division among the youth climbers. My job was done for today, the competition ended at half past 5 and everyone was happy.

This competition went well, the organisation was good and I thank everyone who were present today. Check out the Youth Lead 2 results.

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