Last Saturday there was a cool boulder party at Utrecht. Boulderhal Sterk was celebrating their 4 year anniversary and I was part of it!

I signed up for the PRO category and I was there at 12 PM. My goal was to become one of the finalists. I wanted to flash many problems because it will deliver 3 points per boulder. Jelmer gave me a cool retro head band which was matching my yellow Sterker shirt.

I was ready to rumble. After 6 hours of climbing, I could tick 24 out of 30 boulders. It was enough to advance to the finals!

In the finals I had to compete against Don van Laere, Elko Schellingerhout, Mark Brand, Bruno Geurts, Max van der Heijden and Max Deelen. We had to climb 4 problems with 4 attempts for each problem. The first attempt was onsight and the other attempts were redpoint. I liked this concept without isolation. We could see others climb and also copy methods from eachother.

The first move was pretty hard on the first 2 problems. That was a bit frustrating.

However I could show my skills in the last 2 problems. I climbed boulder problem number 3 in my second attempt.

On Instagram I placed a video of the last problem.

Overall, I had a good time, spending a lot of quality time on the boulders. It was a privilege to make finals in this event. Thank you boulder gym Sterk for organising this party. Congratulations with the 4 year anniversary!!

The city of Antwerp will host the first Deep Water Solo event of the Benelux. The open competition will take place in the weekend of 16 and 17 of September at the brand new Havenhuis.

What is Deep Water Solo (DWS)?
Deep Water Solo, also known as Psicobloc, is a form of solo rock climbing that relies solely upon the presence of water at the base of a climb to protect against injury from fallings from the generally high difficulty routes.

Antwerp Deep Water Solo
This event will be organized by Rocks in Town and sponsored by Petzl. The qualification level for women is 7A and for men 7B.

Would you like to know more about the competition rules, click here. The total amount of price money (3200 euro) will be divided amongst the winners. Registration fee is 15 euros.

Challenge yourself with this deep water solo event! Click here to sign up. I think it will be a cool experience so I will for sure participate!

Practical information:
Location: Zaha Hadidplein 1, 2030 Antwerp
Qualifications on Saturday 16th of September between 11.00 and 17.00 hours.
After-party on Saturday on 16th of September at the Havenhuis.
Finals on Sunday 17th of September between 10.00 and 17.00 hours.
This event will take place during the Open Havendag 2017.

Everyone who climbs with a rope, recognizes the grigri from miles away. For years I am a huge fan of the grigri. You can call it my favourite belay device.

I am being belayed by a grigri and I’m using it myself to belay others. The new grigri+ is for sale and with the Petzl Grigri Tour you can experience it yourself! During this event you will get information and a demonstration from Petzl on how to belay properly with a grigri+.

Check the movie and set the date in your agenda.

Hello climbers! It has been a while that I have written a story on my blog. I have to admit it is easier to share a photo via Instagram at times. Anyway, I posted some photos of Verdon a while ago and I would like to share my story with you!

My goal of the trip was to climb a lot in a new area. I wanted to do some multipitching and combine it with some sport climbing. My first multipitch experience was far away in Marocco. This time I was looking for a destination somewhat closer to home. We chose for the Verdon in south-France because I haven’t been there yet. I wanted to climb with my French climbing buddies Jérôme and Etienne. They have been climbing there before and could guide me in this area. For me it was the perfect time to meet and check out a new area like the Verdon. From Eindhoven I flew with my packed luggage (20 KG filled with material) and rucksack towards Marseille and got picked up by Jérôme at the airport.

Goodmorning! Selfie Sunday 😁📷 on my way to the 🛫⛰️🌄🌞 #climbing_is_my_passion

A post shared by Truong Ngo Official (@truongngocom) on

From the point of view of Marseille the village La Palud sur Verdon was faced in the northeast direction. It was a 2 hour drive from the airport to the village. We didn’t even arrive yet and I already wanted to take some photos of the view. I could stare for hours to the water. When we arrived the view was just breathtaking!

For our accommodation we selected a bungalow where we could fit in with 4 climbers. When we arrived at the campsite, Etienne just received the keys for the bungalow. It was a perfect timing to check it out. The bungalow was quite simple containing a kitchen, dining area, bathroom and 2 rooms with a view on the landscape. It was a super cozy bungalow with everything we could ask for.

After we had settled down from the travelling we were going to check out a sports climbing area: sector Pantin du Néant. It was 20 minutes away by car. We parked the car in the forest and walked about 15 minutes. The last part of the approach was some klettersteig traverse. This climbing area is not well known yet.

On the internet you can find a topo guide from Pantin du Néant, however it is not yet the final version (source: Charlotte Durif)
There is a nice overview on Bonoway.
Click here to download the provisional topo guide. Furthermore I have the exact coordinates to find your way to the crag: Latitude: 43° 44′ 6″ N, Longitude: 6° 21′ 20″ E
And the coordinated to park your car: Latitude: 43° 44′ 1″ N, Longitude: 6° 21′ 9″ E

The view was amazing. The huge gorge was 200 meter deep, this is part of a regional nature park of the Verdon, which has a size of 180.000 hectare. Between the gorge there is a riverbed of 25 km. Realizing these facts and looking at the rocks I felt quite small.

After a warm up in a 7A+ route we worked out a 8A+ route, De l’o2 dans le gaz. This route, also known as the king line of the area, started from a plateau which was 200m high from the ground. The route had multiple cruxes of which the last crux was just 5 meters before the anchor. The climbing was really cool, especially the view when you come down from the top. You’re looking straight into the void, that was pretty cool. 😀

The 2nd day we went to the sector La Ramirole. The approach was a bit longer and also a bit more challenging. I had to prepare myself with a harness and gloves to rappel down some parts. I enjoyed the approach and I was distracted by the surroundings.

The nature is beautiful. We were surrounded by trees and once we exited the forest, we were facing massive rocks. This area is perfect for some sports climbing and climbing multipitches. We started with a 6C route. The rocks felt pretty raw. After this route we picked a vertical 8A in sector 3: La guerre des paires. The crux of the route was somewhat morpho for my length, however it resulted into some great photos during the climb.

That same evening another climber joined us, a climbing buddy from Etienne, his name was Baptiste. He was well introduced: the one arm pullup guy. He was a strong dude, he could prove that the following days. For the next day we picked a multipitch: Take it or leave it, from the well-known Patrick Edlinger. It is a vertical 8A and it was 120 meter containing 4 pitches starting with a 7C, 7A+, 7C and ending with a 8A.

To climb this route, we had to rappel down. In my opinion this was quite special. We prepared ourselves, put our harnesses on, rappelled down to the middle of the route for the first stop. From here we rappelled down again to the ground. Our rope was too short, hence 2 times rappelling down. All of the pitches I climbed was on lead. The last pitch took me the most effort. It started with a super cool mantle where you had to place your foot next to your ear to mantle your way up. Then there was a traverse to the right on 2 mono pockets. Eventually I had 2 bad pockets which was spread so far from eachother I could barely fit in between with my arms. With my face almost pressed against the wall, I smeared my feet on friction and had to launch myself for a dyno move. I had to commit for this move, otherwise I couldn’t make it. Unfortunately I couldn’t climb the last pitch in 1 attempt. For Etienne it was a dream come true, he managed to flash this last pitch thanks to our support.

In the photo above, I was belaying Baptiste who just launched himself for the dyno move. Once we got to the summit, we could finally celebrate our team send. It was a successful day where we could take down this awesome multipitch!

On our 4th day we went back to the sector Pantin du Néant. It was more or less meant as an active rest day. Etienne sent the 8A+ route in his first attempt, this was the route we worked out on the first day. I could join the send train and climbed 2 routes: a 7A+ for warmup and the same 8A+ route, de l’o2 dans le gaz in my first attempt. Baptiste also climbed this route and another classic 8A, Pantin du Néant.

I almost managed to flash this route. I could make all the moves and I really wanted to send this line, therefore I saved my energy and save this route for the next time.

The 5th day we went climbing early. We picked an easy multipitch which was quite adventurous. The name of the multipitch was: Alix punk de vergons, a 7B+ multipitch which was 300 meters long containing 10 pitches: 5C, 7A+, 6C+, 7A+, 7B, 6C+, 6C+, 7B, 6C and 7A. It took quite some preparation. We brought a double rope 2×50 meter with us, harness, lifeline, helmet, reverso, some carabiners, micro traxion, gloves, prusikrope, Petzl lightweight draws, comfortable La Sportiva climbing shoes, some Clif bars and water.

The goal was to climb the full multipitch in the shadow. I learned a lot from my multipitch experience but I wasn’t fast enough to keep up with the rest. My rope technique has improved a bit during the climb. Jérôme and I took a break of 10 minutes to digest a Clif bar and drank some water. I was the slowest climber of all, climbed the last 2 pitches in the sun and made it to the summit in 4 hours.

F.l.t.r.: Truong, Baptiste, Jérôme, Etienne. The photo was taken right after we got back from the multipitch. On the background you can see the 300 meter wall which was now facing the sun. 3 days climbing trip was over for Baptiste and he went back home. Tired but still going strong we went back home as well and celebrated our climb with a delicious pizza in the sun. It was another victorious day!

On the 6th day Jérôme, Etienne and I went back to the sector Pantin du Néant. The approach went quick. My focus was to climb super-efficient after all these days. My warm up and also cooling down was the 8A route which I last time didn’t finish. Fortunately I could send the route on my first attempt. Etienne worked out a 8B and managed to send it the same day!

We had climbed plenty routes to celebrate the day. We treated ourselves on a beer and a 3 dish menu in a restaurant. Our week was awesome!

The 7th day we went back to the same sector Pantin du Néant. I had no expectations of this day. Etienne suggested me to try this 8B route, Bébert, les couilles en fer. I worked out all the moves and found 4 kneebar positions.

On my 1st attempt my heelhook zipped away from the biggest jug of the route. It was such a pity to stand on the ground again. After a good break with some baguette and cheese I focused myself on the route again. It became darker as the end of the day was approaching. I was super motivated to commit for the route. I started my climb and enjoyed the moves and swung from one hold to another. I knew I could make all the moves and I knew I could send it, but it was time to prove it. In Neoliet I was training for moments like these, to give everything even when you’re tired. Against all my expectations I passed all cruxes of the route, it finally came down to the last few meters. I had to commit all the moves and finally I reached the chain! Yes!! 😀 😀 I was so happy I could take down this route and finish my 7 day push.

On day 8 Jérôme drove me back to the airport and I flew back to Eindhoven. To cut a long story short, I enjoyed all climbing days. I love the Verdon because it is beautiful and it is perfect to climb during these summer months. I would like to return here every year to climb more routes. My week in the Verdon was a major success thanks to Jérôme and Etienne!

My goal has been achieved, because I could climb a lot of routes.

I hope you enjoyed reading my story and experience. If you want to multipitch, the Verdon is definitely worth to check it out!

Hello climbers!

Recently I have been training for the lead season again. I find it fun to transition my boulder strength into endurance, which means getting totally pumped in the forearms.

The summer weather has motivated me to climb more. I have been climbing a few weeks in a row now to gain endurance. Yesterday was the perfect moment to test myself during the kickoff for the national lead competition.

The two qualification routes went quite well, I collected enough points to advance to the finals.
The first qualification felt relatively easy to me. I think most of the competitors topped this route. The second qualification route felt more bouldery than the first route and was set on a vertical wall.

The final route began with a run start. Nowadays you are seeing a lot of these running problems set on boulders. It was the first time I saw this set in a route. The setter took a small risk there, but fortunately it went well because everyone managed to pass this first part. Anyway, I didn’t want to do this move statically, so I ran and jumped towards the next two holds 🙂 Fortunately I managed to grab the huge jugs and could cruise most of the time in the finals route.

Unfortunately I didn’t top out the route but I enjoyed the climb a lot. I just missed the podium by ending up 4th. Instead of 3 competition routes I climbed almost 10 routes that day and had a lot of fun. In my opinion, having fun is an important factor during a competition day.

Check out the results here. All photos are copyrighted by NKBV.

Would you like to compete too? Sign up here.
See you on the next lead qualification! 😀

September 3rd 2017 – Lead 2 Mountain Network Amsterdam
October 15th 2017 – Lead 3 Grip Klimcentrum, Nijmegen
November 5th 2017 – Lead 4 I-VY Climbing, Sittard

Today my friends from boulder gym Kunststof celebrated their 1-year anniversary.

Throwing a boulder party called Kunst|Werck is the best way to celebrate your anniversary. 31 fresh set boulders were the results of last week. From toehooks and heelhooks to hanging upside down and running on volumes. Piece by piece they were fun and creative to climb.

I always get super psyched to climb when I visit this gym. In my opinion they have succeeded well. It was fun to watch other people climb, however it was more fun to climb all.

I ended up on the podium with 4 other climbers. It was good to hear the announcement at the end of the party: a second boulder gym will be open soon in Utrecht! 😀 I wish you all the best and see you next time!

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