The National kickoff for the boulderseason was 2 weeks ago. I can recall boulder 1 like yesterday.

Boulder 2 was planned yesterday, also known as the I love problems event at Rotterdam. A major difference between boulder 1 and 2 was the amount of participants. It’s a nice challenge to compete against more participants!

Fortunately I could arrange a last minute ride from Utrecht to Rotterdam Steeppart. Together with Mirthe van Liere we could tag along from Utrecht and arrived at the venue around noon.

When I signed up I received a nice white shirt with a logo from I love problems. We had plenty of time because we had to wait til 2 PM for the competition to start. While I was exploring around I saw Bart van Raaij, chief routesetter, panicking at times. Kenji Tsujimaru was busy with his topo guide and also Jeroen Bliek, speaker of the event, returned from being away for nearly 2 years.

I ordered a toast at the bar and then spotted myself on the Wall of Fame. That made me smile!

Due to my golfer’s elbow in other words medial epicondylitis I decided to warm up proper. I can’t really call it an injury yet although it’s getting really sensitive. I also felt a sore muscle in my lower back which caused me a lot of trouble to get my right leg up. To sum it up, this wasn’t my day to go all out and send problems.

I like the qualification problems. I don’t know who rated the problems though, however some of the problems were categorized wrong. A few problems were too easy to belong in the hardest category. Those problems are nice (orange nr 87 and black nr 12), and very appreciated to put on my ticklist haha! Well I also ran into hard problems, but thanks to the diversity of all problems, I should label these boulders as a success. With a score of 505 points I managed a 5th place together with Hans Busker and Teun Keusters.

A 5th place was a spot in the finals. 8 men and 8 women were advanced to the finals. Due to many ties in both categories, only 7 persons were allowed to join the finals.

At half past 6 we had to be in the isolation area. After a short briefing by the judges, we could start preparing the problems. 8 minutes of preptime to figure out 4 problems.

The startlist was published and my name was on top of it which means i could start climbing first. The first problem was a traverse to the right. It took me so much effort to get there. My right leg wasn’t cooperating and felt my sore muscle so I had to find another solution. Unfortunately a no go in this problem.

The second problems was pretty tough. It was a mint boulder, starting 1 hand on the side and the other full crimp on a tiny edgy hold. I thought I had to crossover with my right hand and match it with my left hand. I couldn’t manage to get to the zone hold.

Later on chief Bart explained me the sequence of the problem. To get to the zone hold, you should match your right hand, put your right foot up and then reach the side / zone hold with your right hand. The distance between the hold on the module and the side was too far for me. Too bad.

I liked the 3rd boulder problem. The start was funny. From an undercling on a module, you had to put your feet against the wall first and then you’re allowed to go to a nice sidepull. Once I got there, I had to jump to the next hold. Finally after 3 times I managed to get the hold on the module and control my swing. I grabbed the zone and crossover again with left and the end was within my sight. I wanted to put my left foot high under my elbow but slipped away from the zone hold. Again no top, however I earned my first zone.

The final boulder problem was set with red holds. I think the problem was kinda morfo. Tall people had more advantage in this problem. To get the undercling (from a module) above your head wasn’t nice at all, even harder when you’re standing stretched out. In my opinion, the setter should’ve put the left starting hold higher. It wouldn’t change anything in the problem itself. Another no go!

I was clearly not having my day / moment. I ended up 7th though during this boulder event. Check the rest of the results here. More photos (125 photos) are available on my Facebook.

I don’t know if I can look back positive on this competition despite my 7th place. The competition contained many problems and it was well organised. I think it’s wise to recover from my golfer’s elbow first. This means less bouldering for me and focussing more on rope climbing. See you next time at Lead 2!

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