Posts Tagged ‘Groningen’
I was ready to go at 07.30 in the morning with some lack of sleep. I was suppose to go to Hilversum to tag along to Groningen with Pascal Heger and Mirthe van Liere. Unfortunately I just missed my bus and got delayed with an extra 30 minutes. I cancelled my ride and tried to get to the venue by public transport.
When I was on board in the train, there was more bad news. There were suicides going on on my track. The police had to stop the trains and I got stuck in the middle of nowhere. Anyway, at 1 P.M. I finally arrived at Groningen. Yes, with the same travel time I could have been at Fontaine Bleau!
I was 30 minutes late for the competition, however I was lucky enough to join the competition. I signed up before and paid my entrance in advance. I thought about my tactics during my train ride and was exploring around for hard problems. I was curious about which problems would be repeated a lot and which problems are worth lots of points. The competition wall was full of hard problems and some are spread out on the other walls. I liked that!
I had till 6 P.M. to complete 6 difficult problems. I started to warm up with some easy boulders and then I got distracted by the competition wall. There were so many people, enjoying and climbing. I just had to stand between them.
I was going for a nice black 7c problem. It required a kneebar on sandpaper. I managed to send the problem on my 4th go. My first artificial 7c was in the pocket yeah!
Then I saw Marijn Janmaat working out a red problem on the same wall. I was lucky enough to flash this beauty 7b. Later on Jesse van der Werf suggested me to climb a white 7b problem. It was set on the competition wall with big jugs, big moves and easy to score points. I managed to flash that problem as well!
I was already half way with my score and started to explore the cave for more problems.
My eyes were focussed on an orange 7b problem with again great big holds. Jesse was working in that one. After 2 attempts, I was just unable to reach the end hold due to a bad slopy pocket. In my 3rd attempt I figured another sequence. I matched a pinch before the end and used the pocket as intermediate to the end hold. It turned out great!
Then I saw Wolter Westdijk working out a green problem. It was a 7c with lots of movements on the same wall. The moves looked quite easy, perhaps it was rated hard because of the length. Anyway, I managed to flash this nice 7c problem. It was quite easy though and it was great that this problem was good for my score.
I went outside and looked into Hans Busker’s list. He pointed a green 7b problem on the Polsar Kip wall. Big hold and a technical problem. I liked that. It took me quite some toehooks, tension and campus skills to send it. Eventually I sent the problem with my own sequence.
Next I was checking out big boss Ferdinand Schulte’s list. He was wearing his down jacket and observed the venue. I was convinced that he had send the most difficult problems. At first he didn’t say anything about his score but eventually he couldn’t resist my awesome questions. With four 7c’s and two 7b’s I was quite amazed about his performance. Meanwhile Hans had the same score as Ferdinand. I had only two 7c’s and I really wanted to score another 7c to catch up and make sure that I was in the finals.
I was looking around for another 7c, my last one. On the Torenzijde I spotted a nice green 7c problem. It went around the corner, then a few moves up and back around the corner for the final move. I tried to cut off this great problem by going straight up. It wasn’t easy, but I managed to realise it! After a few attempts I sent the problem, yeah!
After that I tried some fun problems. My qualification was done and I could finally take some rest. It was only 4 P.M. Time to digest a delicious sandwich!
I changed my clothes and walked around like a boss, just like Ferdinand. Hans and I set up our tent while it was still day light.
Next we tried to figure out who was advanced to the finals. We’re surprised about the results though, 9 men seem to be in the finals instead of the usual 6! Later Sven Verhoeven signed out and only 8 finalists were left.
My assumption was correct, I was happy I had send more than two 7c’s and four 7b’s to get in the finals. I was lucky with my score!
The routesetters started to set the finals.
Just before the evening the youth and 40+ competitors started their finals. While the barbeque got prepared, the youth climbers were climbing really hard in the cold weather.
I noticed that these kids use lots of tape. Some even ripped a big piece of skin off their hands and fragile fingers got taped. What a pity! They didn’t gave up though, respect for that.
Meanwhile I was standing at the end of a long line for the barbeque, supporting youth climbers. It was worth a plate of pasta / salad / meat / sauce.
A few hours later Roelien van de Vrie told me that we all had to climb at the same time in the finals. The format was changed as well. In stead of 3 attempts, we got 4 minutes per boulder. This competition would took a while to end! 4 problems, 4 minutes per climber, you do the math. The audience seemed to get used to the cold weather.
In the isolation area we’re requested to join a climbers research. After each problem we had to fill in a form about our thoughts. The data will be used for a graduation project. After the briefing we’re send outdoors. It was so cold! We’re introduced one by one and then our prep time started. 8 minutes for 4 problems, that shouldn’t be too difficult!
Alright, back in the isolation it was time to warm up proper. Due to the major temperature difference, I felt a light headach and my muscles started to cramp away. I filled my bottle of water and tried to stretch my muscles. I didn’t feel relaxed, more or less warm. I got my nerves under control though.
It was my turn for problem number 1. I walked to the wall and turned off some of my emotions. Problem 1 felt easy though. I like the fact that we were able to start easy. The most fun part of this problem was when you face into the audience during the problem and had to move your feet. Putting my foot on this foothold wasn’t easy but I didn’t give up and managed to send it in my first attempt!
Problem number 2 was somewhat harder. I just failed before the end. I wasn’t able to pinch the hold before the end. I knew I could send it in my second attempt. I tried to cheer up the audience and they encouraged me to send it! It went smooth enough and I was going for the final holds. Yes I got it and I won’t let go! I thank the audience for their support and run back into the isolation.
Back in the isolation I heard the ladies talking a lot about their problems. We didn’t speak a word about the problems. Did you send it? Ehm, raise shoulders and I don’t know…was the standard reply. It was so funny. Boss Ferdinand put his purlple headphones on his head whereas Jesse seemed to die every time he got back from the competition wall. Marijn got lost in thoughts. Hans was unsatisfied about his zippers in the 2nd problem and the rest was just sitting around.
During the 3rd problem I had a vague idea about what to do. I wanted to use the sandpaper to go up on the side but it felt hard in my first attempt. I changed thoughts and went straight up to a triangle module! It didn’t seem to work either. I switched back to my first thoughts and tried to conduct it. I had to put my right foot as high as possible. There, my heel was on the first hold and here we go! Yeah I managed to grab the next hold on the corner and swing around to grab the next hold on the module. I keep swinging and place my left heel on my left hand hold. From here it was okay and a few seconds later I’m hanging on the final hold! Top on problem number 3!
I wasted too many attempts in this problem. My goal was to climb with precision, but I failed. I felt like climbing the final problem! It got big holds and it was set on 2 walls. You had to use this hanging element which was quite fun. I underestimated the 3rd hold, it seemed further away than I had imagined. I fell out of the problem there, too soon, noooo! Later on I managed to get the 3rd hold because I jumped from a lower foothold. On to the hanging element! Big jugs were set in this element, awesome!
I was hanging on one arm, I might as well chalk my other hand. I lowered myself on this element and again chalked my other hand. I was just hanging there in front of the audience, chalking my hands haha! Now I had to get back up and I didn’t want to campus my way up. Perhaps I can place my feet behind the next hold, ooooh I put my foot between my arms and yay I managed to pull a figure of four! It was easy and efficient this way. Now I had to get to the second wall, but I didn’t get even close. I tried to push myself away from the wall, hanging on to this element. It seemed to work and I managed to get closer to the wall. I could grab the next hold, placed my right foot on the foothold and went for the final hold! Yeah I just sent all problems!
The final problems weren’t so difficult. It was required to send it in the first attempt, every other attempt felt like a punishment. It seemed correct that Ferdinand had won this event, Bruno needed 2 attempts less than I. He got 2nd while I was on the 3rd place with 4 tops in 8 attempts. I wasn’t unsatisfied, however I was happy to be in the finals. There is a really nice compilation video, created by Mirthe and you can check it out here.
The ladies needed a super final because the problems were too easy. Roelien managed to send the problem and won this event, Mirthe got the 2nd place and Elena ended up 3rd.
The rest of the results can be found here. After the price ceremony, it was time to celebrate my win. Just like any other year, it was nice to sit at the bonfire where we talked hours about the final problems.
Despite the cold windy weather, I enjoyed this super event! Thank you all for organising.
Come weekend (July 2nd – 3rd) Groningen will celebrate their 12th edition of the Bjoeks Boulder Experience. I can’t resist so many invitations and finally signed up for this competition.
There are over 200 competitors and there is limit to this competition. Only 50 gaps left to sign up! Bouldering, enjoying the sun, barbeque, they will set up nice problems to enjoy. Join me, they know how to organise this. Here’s the linky. Do your thing.
See you next weekend at Groningen!
Saturday morning I travelled by train to Groningen. This weekend I was about to compete in the annual BBX 11 event.
I was prepared for a long train ride and watched a movie but fell asleep. 2 Hours later I arrived at Groningen. Now I just had to travel towards Kardinge for the climbing gym. I asked a bus driver if he was driving in that direction and he replied with a Gronings accent. I suppose that was a yes and took a seat in this bus.
As the trip was coming to a conclusion, I could see the Bjoeks tower named Excalibur in the distance, it appeared to be 37 meters high. It was huge. Then I figured I should have brought my climbing harness with me. I walked to the climbing gym and ran into many locals from Eindhoven at the parking lot. How nice, there seem to be many Monk climbers present.
After I signed up for this competition, I received a goodie bag and a number on my hand. I changed my clothes and explored their new boulders outdoor. The NKBV wall was set nice in the sun.
The qualification problems were nice. I like the diversity of many boulder problems. New holds in combination with new volumes are good for some awesome boulders. Although the walls at Groningen were quite rough, especially new volumes. The rubber of my climbing shoes got worn out. I took a short break after two hours of bouldering. During my break I watched some of the WC soccer competition South Korea – Greece and enjoyed some currant buns and Powerbars.
After my break I wanted to send one more boulder. It was a difficult and also my last problem. I managed to send it and filled in my score card. The best 6 problems are in for the finals. Difficult problems get a higher score. The best 6 climbers of each category were selected for the finals. Luckily I managed to have enough points. Ties Linders, Sven Verhoeven, Jesse van der Werf, Youri van Vliet, Dirk Mol and me were the lucky finalists.
The atmosphere around this event was great. Many friends were present and it felt like home. Mean while the youth finals were already busy on the NKBV competition wall. For a second I thought it would started to rain because I saw lots of clouds above us. But I had nothing to worry about, online weather forecast predicted no rain for today and they were correct.
To cut a long story short, I witnessed the youth and 40+ finals. Then I had some barbeque, pasta salad with hamburgers. It was delicious. Herman Engbers and Tobias Kamphuis were the problem setters of the finals. They reset the problems for both men and women at the same time. We had a lot of time to prepare our problems.
While I observe the women finals, I tried to visualize myself in the men’s boulder problems. When the women started their 3rd problem, I figured it was time to warm up in the climbing gym.
The temperature outdoors was quite cool. I had to warm up proper and started to stretch my muscles. I brought a new pair of Falcon shoes with me. I saved these shoes to climb the finals. I love these shoes because they fit so well. I had little time left to get used to my new shoes. I refilled my Powerbar bidon, because it’s important to get enough fluids in my body during this competition.
We received our start list. I could start 5th. The format was 3 onsight attempts for each problem. And we had 4 problems. After each attempt we were sent back to the isolation area.
Before I entered my first boulder, I wanted to involve the crowd for more enthusiasm. I heard lots of Eindhoven locals cheering for me however I tried to involve everyone. I think I succeeded and it motivated me so much. I managed to flash the first problem.
Back in the isolation area, everyone was a little bit on edge. Boulder 2 was set with a nice start. I had to convince myself that I was able to do this. The first move I matched my hand on the right hold before I continued to the next hold. I got it, and I matched my hand again, so I will grab the next hold with my left hand. Then I was going for the bonus hold and felt the pressure on my shoulder. I figured I could conduct a no hands rest between these modules. Awesome! I didn’t see this before. I was so happy I was wearing long pants, so my upper leg won’t get scratched against the wall. Unfortunately I fell out of this problem at the very end for 3 times.
Boulder 3 contained a dynamic move. A dyno towards a module. I don’t like to jump in a boulder so I tried to find other solutions. I didn’t manage to grab the bonus hold at all. I refused to jump, my mind wasn’t set for this at the moment. I guess it was an advantage to have 3 attempts in this case so I couldn’t waste more energy in this problem.
In the isolation area we knew Dirk was about to win because he managed to send the three boulders. He was doing very well.
I had to send the 4th and final problem. It looked like a route, this was my game. Climbing routes without quickdraws and rope, yes! There were only big holds, nothing could go wrong right? I prepared the route well. Lately I have seen quite some climbing movies on the internet. The crux of this boulder looks like a crux in this movie, check out after 9 min 30 sec. Oh well, it was amusing for the audience to hang upside down on your feet. I’m not surprised and turned on my route mode for this boulder problem. I climbed the first part quick so I had some energy left at the end. I managed to flash the boulder and the crowd went crazy. Awesome boulders, I was totally in heaven.
This competition was fun. I didn’t care about the results. The finals was great and so was the audience. Usually I would go home after such a competition but I decided to party along after the finals.
The party was nice and lasted till early in the morning. I met a few Groning supporters, yeah. I slept a few hours and woke up due to the heat in my tent. Today’s program was about deep water solo. Climbing without rope above water. To end this long story, I didn’t compete. I had some breakfast and enjoyed the sun while packing my stuff.
The photo’s and results were published local. But now the results are online too. Dirk won this game followed by Youri on a 2nd place, Jesse ended up 3rd , I was satisfied with my 4th place, Ties ended up 5th and Sven 6th.
My competition for this weekend was over. BBX organisers, route setters Herman and Tobias, thank you all for your support and running such a big event. Now it is time to train for routes.
Last Saturday I attended the 10th Bjoeks Boulder Experience which was held in Groningen. The weather forecast was not that good but fortunately there was no rain. I went there with Dirk Mol, Kim van den Hout and Tom Hendriks. We left Eindhoven at half past nine an arrived there two and a half hours later. I walked around the crowd and it was nice to see a lot of familiar faces.
Together with Rens Schop I decided to look for fun boulders to warm up. Soon I had found a nice sixth grade Bjoeks boulder and it went okay. After two hours I was in for a break and I thought I would have collected enough points to make it to the finals. I was currently number six, but not everyone had filled in their score list yet. To be sure I did some extra boulders to increase my score. Luckily I was able to make it to the finals with two six and four five graded boulders. I was number five but Dirk and Rens did not have enough points to join the finals.
Before the finals began, there was a youth and 40+ finals. The youth finals was easily won by Tom Hendriks. Time went by fast and we got hungry. After stuffing my belly with barbecue, the women’s finals began. It was really nice to see how Kim van den Hout won.
The men’s finals started at about ten o’clock. Finally it was our turn to impress the crowd. I had to compete versus Ferdinand Schulte, Jesse van der Werf, Youri van Vliet, Marijn Janmaat and Govert Schoof. There were four boulders and three onsight attempts. The boulders were long but spectacular which made me wanted to climb it. In my opinion I couldn’t reach some holds in the first three boulders. The last boulder was the best though and I wanted to send this one badly. It took me three attempts but I was finally able to finish the boulder! This score was enough to keep me on fifth place. It was a nice event and I’ll sure be back again next year.
|Men’s||Women’s||1. Ferdinand Schulte||1. Kim van den Hout||2. Jesse van der Werf||2. Berber Brouns||3. Youri van Vliet||3. Marieke van de Ven||4. Marijn Janmaat||4. Corien Prins||5. Truong Ngo||5. Aukje van Weert||6. Govert Schoof||6. Mirthe van Liere|