Friday morning my phone woke me up at 06.00 AM in the morning. I wanted to snooze my alarm, but I got up anyway. You know that feeling when you feel like you just fell asleep but had to wake up? Well I was experiencing it in the morning. Lack of sleep yeah.

I took a quick shower to wake up and got myself ready.

When I was walking towards the car and heard the birds whistling. No one on the streets except me. Nice!

07.00 AM I entered the competition venue. Ulf was waiting for me on the parking lot. Together we walked to the wall to check the routes. It wasn’t clear which route was my first route. The tags still had to be placed by the organization.

I went to the isolation area where I warmed up. Then I checked the video of the qualifications. The first route looks okay and then went to the training wall to warm up my fingers. The holds were cold and so were my fingers.

The holds in the competition wall must be cold too, so I was trying to keep my fingers warm. Time really flew in the morning. I felt a small fleshpump in my arms and decided to focus on the route again.

It was close to 08.30 AM and I thought I was ready to climb. The organization told me to wait a few more minutes. I had to keep my fingers warm but every minute seemed too long. After a few minutes I could start my
route. I started quite safe and kept climbing in my safe mode. Every move was static and controlled, but very slow. As soon as I got to the roof of the wall, there was this hold which I had to pinch with my right. Then my fingers started to feel a bit numb and I tried to continue. I had to go to another pinch in the roof with my left hand. And this is the part where I should’ve turned my abs on. My feet were placed too low, but my hands weren’t ready to pinch on those cold holds. I decided to go. Although the next hold seemed so far away, when I got to the hold, my feet were hold-less. This was a no go. I wasn’t climbing as myself, not relaxed at all, just too tense. Perhaps a bit nervous because this was my first international competition of the year.

1,5 hours later I could start my second qualification. Ulf told me to relax and forget about the first route. I tried to enjoy from the start. I was here to climb and see where I stood in this strong competitor field.

I saw a few other climbers run through this route and I was planning to copy that style. This shouldn’t be so hard. I should just relax and climb! From the start I had this mindset and took some risks during the route. I climbed somewhat faster and got to the roof.

In the roof I knew exactly what to do. I rested first on 2 good holds and then I started the right sequence. It went well with a super dropknee in the roof.

There was a tricky move in the roof but I had to stick it. Finally I succeeded in these hard moves. Just a few moves later, my right knee sticked behind a hold and I couldn’t coordinate well. A small mistake paid by a fall out in the route. Without taking risks I couldn’t get so far. I wasn’t pumped in the route but still, this is so fudged up! I was just getting started. Sigh.

A few hours later, the final results of the routes were approved by the officials. In my first route I ended up 50th out of 58 competitors. Aaah sucky score! Second route I ended up 29th out of 58 competitors.

This score seems okay, but still not good enough! Average score: 40th out of 58. I didn’t end up with the first 26 competitors, resulting in no semis for me. Meh.

I have mixed thoughts about this worldcup. Being first isn’t nice in my opinion. It has its advantage like climbing on clean holds. There are more disadvantages to mention such as, getting up really early and climbing on cold holds. I would rather climb in the afternoon, when it felt 10 degrees warmer compared to the morning. Anyway, my first route just sucked. It’s my fault. Second route went better, I felt more relaxed about it.

The next day, I got over it and supported Nikki in her semis and watched the finals.

Between the semis and the finals there was a long break. Ulf, Elko, Nikki and me went to climb outdoors. Briançon has many outdoor rocks. We went to Mont-Dauphin, which was about 1 hour driving from Briançon. We walked up the hill (read: wooden stair in the forest) for 10 minutes and found the rocks. This area contains lots of pebbles and conglomerates. Ulf and Elko climbed, Nikki and I enjoyed the sun and the view of the landscape.

The finals were nice to watch. This square was full of people. There was no entrance. The finalists were presented in a cool way. They were standing in front of a window with spotlights aimed upon them. It was really spectacular to witness the finals.

I think the men finals was better than the women finals. The women finals seemed too easy. The semis of the women was set too easy as well. There is a new rule from the IFSC though. It doesn’t matter how many climbers top out the route, the one who’s the fastest will be the winner. Fortunately no one from the men sent the whole route. 5 women topped out the final route! Check the final results here.

Anyway, it was nice to be in Briançon. Everytime I see the finals, I really get psyched to train and get motivated. I think that is a part what I was looking for these last few months. Train towards worldcup isn’t easy. Only by competing a lot of worldcups, will get you back in the scene. You’ll know what you’re training for. The goal will be more clear. I think climbing with passion during competitions is important too!

After the finals, there suppose to be an after party. It was held in the center of Briançon. I was there, but this wasn’t a party to me. It was held outside, music style was dubstep and they played till 1 AM. The bars closed at 2 AM and we stood outside in the cold talking to each other or looking for some hot action if you know what I mean. I went home and got some sleep.

The next day I checked out and picked up Ulf. Nikki and Elko were going to Spain to climb outdoors for 2 weeks. Ulf and I went climbing in the morning. We checked this area called Les Ayes. It’s a tricky road uphill. There were lots of unpaved roads. It took us about 30 minutes driving from Briançon but every minute was worth it. When I got there, it was like heaven!

Super nice open area, with a nice small river next to the road. Behind the water was the rocks. You could park the car next to the water and walk 5 minutes and climb on rocks.

It was good to climb between 11 and 13.00 o’clock. Then the sun turned on the wall. We had to leave anyway to catch our flight. I climbed 3 routes, which was really awesome!

Then I got to the airport, checked in my luggage, had to wait for 1 hour and got on the airplane.

The end. I had a really good time, except the party was a bit lame.

Well so far my first international worldcup again. I’ll take my good experience in account for the next time!

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