Posts Tagged ‘amsterdam’
On the backseats Timo and Noortje tagged along. On our way it was windy and snowing. Fortunately we arrived without any trafficjams.
My first impression of the bouldergym was very nice. Free bouldering among lots of enthusiastic people. The boulders were quite diverse and the holds were awesome and raw!
I was psyched to boulder at Amsterdam. I had a good time among the climbers. The bouldergym looks finished and the bar area was great. The soccertable upstairs is a nice add on. You delivered great work Monk. See you next time!
Yesterday was another national competition: Boulder 2.
Last week I decided to join this competition. I signed up last minute, but my name didn’t appear on the start list when this competition was announced by the NKBV.
I made a phonecall within my network and tadaaaaa! My name was on the starting list. Yesterday It took me 2 hours to get to this venue in Amsterdam. This boulder contest was held in a new climbing gym from Mountain Network.
I arrived just on time. My planning was to arrive earlier though, but I got delayed. I don’t trust internet anymore. I planned my trip to arrive at 11.00 but I arrived 45 minuter later at my destination.
Anyway, I enjoyed the sun and Amsterdam. And when I entered the climbing gym I received a sticker number 72 and a green topoguide.
The entrance is the climbing gym is on a different floor. You have to go by elevator to floor nr. 6! I saw a few photos on Facebook before and I was wondering if it was really that big.
My first impression of the climbing gym: Hmm I thought this gym was humongous. Obviously not, but I haven’t climbed a single route yet though. The funny thing is, when you look outside the window, you can spot the old Mountain Network building! Check it out haha.
I warmed up on a vertical wall and was wondering where everyone was bouldering. It wasn’t crowded at all! I looked on the topoguide and saw another floor plan with a boulder area. The stairs was hidden behind a wall to go down to floor 5.
I walked down the stairs and saw a boulder area. This place looks like Neoliet Tilburg boulder area but bigger. It was crowded and dusty. How am I suppose to climb when it’s so crowded? I was going explore the problems among the crowd.
I believe we had
4 hours 3 hours to climb 6 hard problems. There were lots of hard problems but many of them were morpho in my opinion. Again this was a test to see if I’m getting back in shape. I needed time to warm up proper. The holds were quite rough and new, which made it painful to climb long. I climbed 6 problems in 3 hours 2 hours and took an hour extra rest.
I knew this score was enough to advance to the finals. 8 people is a lot in the finals. I ended up 3rd ex-equo with Elko. He managed to climb exactly the same problems.
Casper was curious and decided to check the new Mountain Network gym out. La Sportiva was present and it was nice to see what kind of shoes they have in stock.
In the meantime I received a Monk shirt from Dirk. I’m part of Monk, so I’m happy to represent it during the finals!
The isolation area was the boulder area. This time the boulder area was open to finalists only. I thought it was summer, but in here it was cold. I needed to keep myself warm and stay focused.
Later we had a short briefing by a judge. He shared the rules and told us we are going to use the 4 minute system. This system works okay if we were with 6 climbers. Now I can get extra rest when my time is up.
The first problem was morpho. I couldn’t even reach the third hold which is lame. I know I had to jump but the footholds were set too low. Not to mention, jumping to a undercling is just lame. I didn’t like this. No matter what I tried, nothing helped. Stupid boulder!
I think the second problem was challenging. Big volumes and only 6 blue holds. I tried different methods in this problem, however the volumes are so not attractive. We were having discussions before we started to climb. It’s a fact that you shouldn’t paint a volume twice. And I think what happened here is that the volumes are repainted twice, which makes it really smooth. In this condition it was really hard to get hold of the volume. Plus the volumes weren’t set proper and it’s skin / arm unfriendly. But the idea was nice though.
The third problem seemed hard but it actually was nice. The final hold was hard to match. It was the crux though. I skipped the bonus hold and jammed my knee between two holds and managed to match the final hold in my second attempt. Finally a small success during this round!
The last boulder problem was hard or missing footholds. Crossing over above your head into a sidepull was just odd. Not meant for me. I tried different methods here, but it’s not my kind of problem. I only got a bonus here.
When I drew conclusions after the competition, I thought that I would end up 5th. Elko seemed to have exactly the same performance. So when I left home, I figured to check out the results on the webpage. Hmmm I ended up 3rd ex-equo with Elko! What a surprise haha.
Oh well, I’m spending more climbing hours lately and it seems to pay off. Although not in the right competition yet, but I’ll get there. Check out the rest of the results here.
Check out the photo set taken by NKBV by clicking on the photo below.
2 days after Puurs, I had my first competition of the year: Lead 2.
I had to skip the first lead and boulder competition due to work.
But now I have more time and I can test my climbing level with this lead competition.
The climbing gym looks quite Amsterdamned.
Anyway, inside that box was a nice ambiance. I was quite on time and it seems like everyone had to wake up first.
I took my time to start my climbing day. I ate some breakfast first, although this pie seems so sweet.
To be honest, I was still pumped from Puurs…it sucks. During my warm up I didn’t feel pumpy yet however during the qualifiers I had to climb controlled and shouldn’t give up too fast. I should just focus on the routes and my goal was to end up in the finals.
Fortunately the qualifications went well. Even though I felt pumpy before I started, I managed to send one of the 2 routes. The other route was simply impossible for me at that moment to send away.
Eventually the judges presented us a provionary score as usual. However, they didn’t seem to pay attention. 4 climbers didn’t get the score that they suppose to have, including me! I didn’t agree with this score and we teamed up like The Avengers and wrote a letter.
The judges took our note very seriously and had to confirm it by video. Later they admit that we’re right about our scores. Hell yeah! It was time to take a peek at the final route. Everyone has it’s own way to prepare.
Soon it was my turn to climb the finals. During the finals I figured I should climb somewhat faster.
It worked out pretty well! Even though I was already pumped before I got started, I managed to end up 5th.
It felt like as if was dying in a route but I kept on fighting.
I must say that this route was perfect for a finals. Perhaps I could have climbed better during this route, but with that little training I shouldn’t complain too much. I’m content with my score!
Check out more photos taken by NKBV by clicking on the photo below.
Although the NC Boulder was held less than a week ago, I’m already looking forward to my next competition. However this NC Boulder competition deserves a bit more attention, by showing a video which I spotted on the web.
I’m sure everyone has seen it already via the climbing federation webpage, but my family and friends who don’t have that much time on their hands to check the internet for updates, I added a compilation / summary / sphere impression video below from last Saturday. Check it out, it’s really worth watching.
Saturday I woke up pretty early, about half past 9 in the morning without setting an alarm. I was at Utrecht and had plenty of time to prepare my things. To be honest, I didn’t think of the competition at all.
I ate a choco pops biscuit and fixed 2 buns with cheese for breakfast. No butter, it’s too much effort for me. I had too much time on my hands so I tagged along with my sister and checked up on some winter tyres. I quickly ate some instant noodles before I left to Amsterdam. The dried noodles were soaked in boiling water. When you add some flavour to it, it was just perfect. It feels light for your tummy.
I prepared my stuff on Thursday when I left from Utrecht. My journey went well. I arrived about 2 P.M. at the climbing gym.
I received a stamp on my right hand. It was black ink, supposed to be a flower. Next I was exploring around. The women’s finalists were warming up already. The gym impressed me though.
For the first time, there was no roof! It changed the ambiance, lots of light is good! The walls were changed into a boulder paradise. There was a huge stage with mats covered all over the place. The organisation must took quite some effort to get this far. I felt so psyched to climb on stage!
The women’s semis was amusing. There were only 8 women though. The results weren’t suprising to me.
It was time for me to enter the isolation area. Jesse van der Werf signed out, we were left with 11 competitors. After warming up and a short briefing from the judges, I had to get ready. I felt quite relaxed. There was plenty of time for me, due to the random list I started nearly as last climber.
I didn’t want to know much about the results. Therefore I started listening some music on my ipod and stretch my muscles. When I sat on the couch next to Hans Busker, he told me more than I wanted to know. He was observing the sound of the audience and figured out the scores. Loud noise meant a top. Some how he knew there was a double dyno problem. Again we heard loud cheering, “Yes, at this point Wally must have jumped into the double dyno!”, Hans told me. These scores seems to suck his attention too much. I focused my attention on my start number.
I could stick it on my own back and polished my shoes. I have a big brush for that, quite easy to remove the chalk and dirty bits off my shoes. I put on my Boreal Falcon climbing shoes and pulled on my laces pretty tight. It was boring in the isolation. The other climbers could have fun while I was waiting.
Meanwhile the isolation area started to get empty. I could nearly start with my semis. My target for today: just climb relaxed. Every time I focus on a competition, it goes wrong. When I focus well at the problems, I know I can do it! If the movements seems impossible, than most probably I’m doing something wrong.
The first problem went okay. It was an orange problem set with positive holds. I could make the movements quite easy. However there was 1 short moment of doubt, but I managed to focus myself in the boulder. Continuous, swing with my foot, cross over, fixate another hold and send it. Yes that felt good as a warm up.
In my second problem, I managed to bump my own hand off the hold in my first attempt. That was so uncontrolled! Then I figured a different method and I could easily remove my hand from the first start hold. The problem contained a really nice no hands rest, however I didn’t want to wait too long. I continued to the last few holds on this module and knew I could send this problem. 2 Seconds later I was hanging on the final hold yeah.
During my breaks I somehow needed sugar. I frequently ate sweets in between. I felt good. I trusted my body. With a long break in between, I could relaxed with my third problem.
The third problem started with a jump from this corner to 2 holds below a volume.
I’m not a pro in dyno-ing and I don’t like sideways dyno-ing.
In my 3rd attempt I managed to fix the holds, and the audience went crazy. I stayed focussed. First send the problem, then I’m able to rest.
Yes, I was hanging on the final hold and raised my hand to thank the audience for their support.
The final problem contained lots of purple slopey pinches. I don’t know what happened, but I didn’t follow the sequence and continued with my wrong hand to the next hold. I knew how to climb it, but conducted a different sequence in my first attempt. I took a short rest and wanted to climb relaxed. Okay, lets give this one another go. This time all movements went well, I climbed it hundred times over and over in my head. Lets go with the flow, pinch, swing around, fix the next hold, match and go for the final hold. There, it’s done and I’m feeling so good!
With 4 tops in the semis I was advanced to the finals. Hmm not bad. I didn’t expect this though, which satisfies me only more. Focusing and being direct when necessary works well for me. I tried this mental thing before during a teamtraining, focus well and prepare well really does work.
Anyway, the semis came to an end. The setters were going to prepare the finals while everyone was having some dinner.
Being a competitor, you got discount on your dinner. Awesome! There was Thai food available.
It looked like some wok-to-go. White rice poured with some chicken curry sauce and with a side dish raw salad with unknown sauce.
I spotted some waffles with Nutella. I didn’t order one because I wanted to save it for after my finals!
In the evening we could start warming up again. At 6 P.M. the isolation was closed. In the isolation area I received Chupa chups lollipops, which was good for my sugar level!
One hour later we had to go forward to the stage. We were presented to the audience in the spotlights. I was standing among 5 strong boulderers and I was the shortest! I’ll show the audience my best and how to roll yeah! After the presentation we turned around to see the problems. We had 4 minutes of time to figure out the sequences and returned to the isolation.
During the isolation I tried to climb the problem over and over in my head. One step ahead so at least I know how the sequence feels like.
The first move was quite tricky. I could barely reach the first start hold. This problem was challenging me! I had to stand on my toes and reach out with one arm to the starthold. Then I was able to match my other hand. Yeah I could reach it, barely. Okay, now I was going to climb the problem as if I’ve done it a million times before. No doubts, trusting my body and when I reached the big volume, I knew I could send it.
I could still switch my feet and finish the problem. Jumping to the final hold, wow it was better than I had expected.
The end went down pretty easy! I was totally in my element.
The second problem was tricky. I had difficulties to get from one volume to another. It was the crux though. I tried to climb this one over and over in my head but it didn’t work. It was all about feeling what’s right and wrong. Balance, using a toe hook was the solution.
In my third attempt it felt good. I could stick close to the module because I switched my feet and placed a toehook below the volume. I could slowly fall sideways into the next volume.
I heard the audience cheering so loud, wow! I felt the adrenaline through my vains. I wanted to finish this one. Thanks to yoga exercises I could place my right foot just below my right hand, and continue to the next hold.
In the background I heard speaker Joost going crazy along with the audience. Okay, I need to match and go for the final hold.
When I try to reach to the final hold, suddenly my hand slips off the hold!! In my fall I was screaming!
Such a pity! Someone please kick me. How could this happen to me? I should’ve send the problem….sigh.
I needed some time for myself in the isolation. The boulder problem was flashing through my head. I still couldn’t believe what just happened to me. I had much time to recover. Actually too much time, cooling down, because the setters were setting 2 new problems. After a short prep time, I didn’t know if I was able to climb this. One problem was quite long with a tricky start and the other was a dyno. New challenges for me!
I find the 3rd problem tricky. It has a dynamic start to a volume, which I could barely reach with my fingers. When I jump harder, I will get a bigger swing. I only managed once to hold the swing. Unfortunately no bonus for me. Pity!
In the isolation I was sitting next to Hans again. We both knew that Nicky had won the comp by sending 3 problems. He deserved that spot. We could still finish 2nd, who ever sends the last problem, would get that position. I knew it was going to be difficult…
The final problem was facing me. I was super focussed, I only thought about two pinches. Using 2 micro holds I have to jump hard and fly. I should’ve brought a cape with me. Then I would’ve send it in my first attempt.
After 4 tries I could pinch both holds. I had to campus for 1 meter, it was just too reachy. I’m trying to fight gravity, it feels weird. Aargh it’s everything or nothing!
I’m going for it, but I barely reach the bonus hold. Negative thoughts flashes through my mind. What a nice problem to end this day. Just a few ticks away and once again I’m giving this problem a go. I was flying to the pinches, and I was able to match. The next move was very delicate yet a powerful move.
I try to go for the bonus but I failed. It’s done. I felt like eating a waffle with Nutella, but they’re long gone…I wonder why they had disappeared, because they gave us their word to wait for us.
My coach came to me and told me it was a great performance. In my head I think I could’ve done better. Especially in the 2nd problem, I should’ve send it. Pity. I shouldn’t complain at all when I end up 4th in the Nationals. The rest of the results are here. It’s my best result ever on a NC boulder though!
I’d like to thank photographer Jorg Kemner! He shot all the action photos! My boulder skills are good enough thanks to all my training at Monk Bouldergym. I was the one who wanted to figure out if my boulder skills was advanced enough by attending this competition. I didn’t have any expectations and that works well for me. Just climb relaxt but focus when necessary! The competition was well organised. The setters delivered great problems which weren’t too morphy, thanks for that. Thank you everyone for your support, I couldn’t perform this well without you. It was an unforgettable day for me!
Besides my leadtraining I added an important competition on my calendar, which is the National Championship Boulder 2011.
Last week I received a mail from our climbing federation with the note that I’m advanced to the championship and I decided not to resign. It took me quite some effort to get this far! It’s a nice opportunity to test my boulder skills this year!
You can find a competitor’s list and a detailed program here, check.
See you Saturday!