My cellphone is next to me when the alarm went off at half past 7 in the morning. 15 minutes later it snoozes again as I hear the same ringtone. It was time to get up. I have to climb as 22nd and I want to be on time at the competition wall.

I’m checking the schedule on the internet. Luckily there are no changes. As I pack my bag I double check my stuff twice. Climbing shoes, shirt, chalkbag, harness, camera, check check! I just need to fix myself some breakie. Around the corner there is a local supermarket, perfect to get some breakfast. Within 5 minutes I manage to get myself 2 bananas, 4 baguettes, la vache quirit and l’eau en bouteille (iow bottled water). It was just 4 bucks, cheap yeah!

Then I walk towards the wall. It’s about 5 minutes away from my hotel. I’m surrounded by shops and mountains. The Mont Blanc is really nice from my point of view! I’m staring at the glacier, which looks smaller every year, as I walk towards the wall.

The sun is shining bright on the main square. It’s not crowded yet. I see people preparing the event. The wall hasn’t changed a bit. On the left side of the wall, I notice the men’s route, “ men 1” sign is right there. I look at the route and it doesn’t look that difficult though.

It’s too warm to stand in the sun. I’m walking towards the warm up area. It’s about 2 minutes by foot. Indoors I see a lot of climbers warming up. Yoga mats, chairs, people, it’s so cozy here.

I’m looking for my own space. Next to Sean McColl and his French girlfriend there is a spot. I’m changing my clothes and explore this gym.

There is 1 tv, demonstrations of the route can be viewed on this telly over and over. Before I’m going to memorize everything, I’ll look at the route myself. The qualification route is in the roof and I try to understand it. I visualise the movements in my head and then look at the demo on tv. I notice a lot of tricks. I think this will be perfect for me!

I’m going to fix some breakfast and then warm up proper by traversing on the wall. I’m putting on some music with my ipod as I traverse on the wall. Nice tunes of Daft Punk is on my playlist. I feel great, I’m glad I have no injuries.

Later Elko shows up. He seems a bit sleepy as he observes every one climbing. He will climb later anyway. The first climbers will start very soon in the first route. They seem to have difficulties in the beginning. It looks like a long boulder. Awesome! I can do that. I’m having a Redbull shot and feel this adrenaline through my vains and body. Just a few climbers to go and then it will be my turn.

I’m entering the route area and get myself ready to climb. Elko is holding my cam and he’s about to record a video. I see the rope in the route from the previous climber disappear and I can’t wait to climb. All I can think of right now is to climb and fight the gravity. When I put my foot on the first foothold, I feel relaxed and in control. It’s not so hard, it feels like a 7a route, is this really happening to me? The route is only getting harder, but not much. There is a boulder movement but I manage to pass it. I’m slowly getting out of the roof and gravity isn’t a problem at all. I feel an unsecure movement coming forward and I won’t let go of the holds. Yeah I got the next hold! I should’ve clipped the quickdraw first though, it’s hard to clip from this position. I realise my foot is way too high. Climbing back isn’t an option, the holds are too bad. I can’t clip the quickdraw, I need to continue. I see the next hold and I might fix that one with my right hand! Unfortunately I can’t fix the next hold and fall out of the route. What a bummer!! I’ve been stumbling too long with this lame quickdraw! Sigh…I need some distraction and all I can think of is this stupid quickdraw. I figured the route was super cool, I want to climb it again! However, I’m not allowed to climb it again, I need to accept my moment and I’ll try to make up for it in my next route.

Video: Truong in Q2

Elko’s first route starts outdoor. I have my camera ready to shoot some photos and support him while he’s going up. It looks nice. He’s managing the small holds well.

He looks a bit pumpy when he reaches the roof. In the roof he’s trying to re grab a hold and suddenly he falls out of the route! It went so well! He’s surprised about this movement.

Video: Elko in Q1

I don’t know what to say when we’re walking back to the warm up area. Yet I ask him a few questions about the route and whether he’s pumpy. I think I should leave him alone.

It takes a while before I can start with my 2nd route. I’m number 65. A few hours later I’m going to warm up. It’s hard to warm up proper again for 1 route if you have to wait for a few hours. I’m a bit dreamy and time seems to tick slow. I’m about to traverse on the wall and conduct some dynamic boulder movements. As I’m done with that, I’m on my way to the competition wall and wait for my turn.

It’s pretty hot and I see people hiding under umbrella’s. I’m hiding under a table, because it’s nice and cool in the shade. Before it’s my turn, I’m trying to understand the route.

Later on it’s my turn and prepare myself on stage. I handed my cam to Elko but there is no sign of Elko when it’s my turn to climb. Oh well, no movie for me. I shouldn’t worry about that. I should climb and move my way up! The route is not so difficult and I try to climb fast. There are some tricky moves however I manage to conduct all the movements. I’m not going to fall here, I want to send this route! In the roof I see an extended quickdraw. I can clip it but I decide to clip when I’m passing the roof. As I’m hanging in the roof, I’m unable to clip this quickdraw. When I’m using my left hand, the quickdraw won’t make it to my rope, when I’m using my right hand, the quickdraw won’t cooperate with me. I’m stumbling for at least 30 seconds while I’m hanging in the roof. Eventually I manage to clip the quickdraw. I continue and I know exactly what to do in this roof. Put my right foot on the front hold and left foot behind at the back hold, cross over to a hold with my right hand. My under arms feels pumpy and it hurts, but I won’t let go. It’s just a boulder movement, I can do this. Next I want to match this hold with my right hand below my other arm. Unfortunately I couldn’t make this movement and fall out of the route. I look at the main square and see lots of people. They are clapping in their hands for me. I don’t feel like I should be proud at this. I’m feeling terrible and I should have managed these movements in the roof. It’s done. Finished. My arms feels pumpy and I can barely untie my rope. I feel so thirsty and I have this feeling that I climbed a bit. It’s done though, with this score I will never make it to the semis. Sigh. Stupid quickdraws …(&*^$#^&*!! At this moment I could shoot myself.

Elko is waiting indoors for his turn. He’s last in this route. His climbing conditions are so different than mine, the gym is hot and the holds are really dirty. I’m giving him some advise about the quickdraws, because I don’t want the judge to disqualify him when he’s skipping a quickdraw. His climbing looks nice.

Video: Elko in Q2

At the same part of the route where I fell out of the route, he manages to clip the quickdraw. And then there is this insecure move to the next hold. He almost managed to grab the next hold, just too low! He can’t reach it and falls out of the route. He’s standing on floor, feeling fit. Such a pity….

We take our time to change our clothes. If it was up to us, we’d catch a plane right away to The Netherlands. What am I doing here? I failed and I know I can climb better than this. I should accept it and just let it go.

Later the speed climbing starts. It’s all about time here. A wall of 15 meters high and one can win this competition when he sends the route first. It’s very amusing.

Video: New world speed record

Then we got informed about the semis. It will be shifted to the morning due to the bad weather conditions. The organisation might cancel the finals, all we can do is wait for now!

Back in the hotel, I was curious about my results of this competition. Elko ended on the 56th place. I managed to grab a few more holds and in the ranking it’s quite a big difference. I ended up 44th from all 83 competitors. I should’ve stayed home. It’s a stupid ranking.

I could regret about my ranking but I rather make myself happy by sightseeing downtown and score some souvenirs. The weather is really nice and I can still enjoy my day. Ice cream, chocolate pancakes, ooh I like this!

The next day the semis starts in the morning and yet we can enjoy the finals in the evening! Luckily we only feel a few rain drops.

The main square is over crowded when the finals are about to start and they’re supporting the climbers.

Photographers are trying to find the best spots to shoot nice photos of the finalists.

The women’s finals seems too easy and 4 ladies manage to send the route.

The men’s finals looks really cool. I enjoy seeing the best climbers working their way up in this route. Jakob Schubert manages to send every route and wins this competition! What a hero.

This day ends with nice fireworks because it’s July 14th which is a French national holiday.

Video: Awesome fireworks

In the morning we’re returning back to The Netherlands. I only have to fly 2 hours, however our flights got delayed due to the bad weather in The Netherlands.

At 19.15 I arrive and walk through the gates of Schiphol. Despite the bad rainy weather, I’m happy to be back here!

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