Posts Tagged ‘La Sportiva’

The past few weekends I have been visiting Berdorf, which is my favourite forest. I always enjoy nature, especially when it comes down to climbing on sandstone.

I remember the first time I set foot in Berdorf with some climbing friends from Nijmegen. In April 2007 I climbed my first 7c Scramasax in sector Isatis and I was aiming for more beautiful gems.

Sector Takla Makan


Since my first visit I came back to this area many times to repeat the same fun routes. 7 years later my focus changed. Instead of climbing just the popular and the hardest routes in this area, my wish is to climb all the routes within my reach.


According to the 2nd edition of the topoguide Berdorf counts 16 sectors and a special chapter with combinations of lines. Last weekend I managed to finish 2 sectors by climbing the easy routes. So far I finished the sectors Gentiane, Bleausard, Scheffelchen and Takla Makan. Some of the sectors are nearly finished because I only have to climb 1 more route and some of the sectors are unclimbed and still new to me.

Sitta, Saka, Contact

The total sum of routes which are ticked off in my topoguide comes down to 90. My most recent sends can be found here. I’m proud of this number and I can’t wait to climb more outdoor routes in this beautiful forest!

Hi climbers!

As you know the lead season started a month ago. The first lead competition was held in Tilburg. I consider Neoliet Tilburg as one of my home gyms where I like to climb in the amazing roof.

The qualification routes went pretty well. The first route was set in the roof. I had no trouble with the roof climbing and it felt like a warm up route to me. The second route was set on the main wall. It was more a long boulder with a challenging start. Fortunately I could boulder my way up and because of this I advanced as 2nd to the finals.

I can cut my story short about the finals. My left foot slipped from the first hold. My attempt was over. I felt unhappy, however I know how to cope with disappointment. Unfortunately I ended up 8th.

After the competition I went to Italy for 2 weeks. I just got back from a relaxing holiday to Arco when 3 days later the 2nd lead competition was held in Amsterdam. I had to change my focus from rock to plastic in a short period of time. Before the competition I climbed routes in Tilburg and had another boulder session in Monk. With a rest day in between the climbing sessions I was hoping for a peak moment during the competition.

This competition was held in Mountain Network Amsterdam. The first route was easy, I topped this route without getting pumped in my forearms. The second route went really well until I fell on the last move. I advanced as 2nd to the finals.

I had plenty of time to prepare for the finals. The route contained a lot of moves. My endurance level was being tested during my climb. I could climb and fight until I was totally pumped in my forearms.


I ended up 2nd which currently places me 3rd in the overall ranking. I’m happy with the result and will try to keep my place or advance to the top!


For now there are no lead competitions planned. The next one will take place in September, at Rock Steady Bussum. After that the last competition at I-VY Climbing Sittard in October. I will keep you posted 🙂

Last weekend was the final option to qualify for the Lead Nationals. This competition was held at Ivy climbing gym in Sittard. It was a beautiful weekend to climb outdoors but I signed up for this competition last minute. It was my 2nd competition of the year and wanted to check out my lead fitness at the moment.


I climbed a few routes to warm up. When I checked out the competitors list, I saw a lot of climbers who didn’t show up. I was hoping to compete against 18 other men, but only 12 showed up 🙁



Here’s a side note to all competitors: Please sign out if you don’t compete. Thank you in advance.

@NKBV: I think we could improve this process by changing our current signup process. There are 4 qualification comps in total. When you sign up online for a competition, you should pay immediately instead of paying on arrival at the competition. This could be a major block to enter a competition, however it shows a clear list of the competitors for a game. Ulf suggested another alternative: when you sign up and not show up at the competition, you’ll receive a yellow card. When you receive 2 yellow cards, you’re out of the game – disqualified – no championship.

From the climbing gym’s point of view, it’s good to know how many competitors show up. I see benefits for the gym, judges and motivated competitors. This way we could avoid the no-show-ups, this is a win-win situation for everyone I think. I hope the competition committee will read and think about this process for next year.

It was fun to see that there was a big difference between age. No longer was I part of the youngsters, but part of the old climbers. Well old climbers like me, came prepared with comp experience 😀 I was here to collect points, so I could still enter the lead championships. In short, there was no room for errors, pure business.

The first qualification was fun. From sight it looked like it was a 6c but when I climbed it, it felt more like 7a+. I made a little mistake at the end of the route however I was able to recover from that and managed to top out the route.



Q1 (Custom)

The second route seemed a bit harder. Chiefsetter Ollie climbed the route as a demo and tried his very best to make this route look like at least 7c+ / 8a.



The crux part for me was to get past the round volume. When I was climbing, I felt okay getting into this kneebar but passing the following 3 holds was the crux. It was enough to advance to the finals of this comp.

Q2 (Custom)

Overall pic (Custom)


The final route was a nice test piece for me. Again it was set in the overhang. I focused on the last few holds. I knew it was going to be hard from ¾ of the route. The first part of the route felt good to me. I was struggling with some feet sequence but that didn’t stop me from climbing.




At the end I was surprised that only Casper managed to climb higher than me with 1 hold. I expected at least 2 climbers would pass me, but that didn’t happen. I was happy I ended up 2nd!! Yeah! Silver wooohooo! 😀


I collected enough points to enter the Lead Championships for this year. My goal for today was achieved. I guess my fitness is okay so far and still have some time to train hard 😉 Click here to view the overall results. See you next time in Amsterdam! 😀

@Paul Lahaye: Thanks for the awesome photos!
@Anouk: Thanks for driving and making snapshots 🙂

outdoor madnessYesterday I was informed about one of the biggest outdoor events in The Netherlands: Outdoor Madness, which is supported by Salt.

It will be hosted in Bergschenhoek on October 4th.

There will be challenging outdoor activities. Between the activities you can enjoy healthy drinks and snacks. Check out this less healthy Madness burger!


If you’re looking for outdoor clothing, you’ll be at the right spot. Sample sale. Yes, that’s right: Sample sale.

You won’t need any tickets for this and there will be plenty brands available: La Sportiva, Arc’teryx, Super.Natural, Icebreaker, Mountain Hardwear, Hâglofs, Maloja, Macpac, Bergans, Blue Loop, Schoffel, Chillaz, Nathan, Buff, Berghaus, Salomon, Trangoworld and more. Shop till you drop 😀

There are some side events as well. Click here to see which ones. Or check their Facebook.

Most likely I will be there to check it out. Will you be there as well?

Navigate to:
Outdoor Valley
Hoeksekade 141
2661 JL, Bergschenhoek

See you around!

Hey there!

I just spotted this video and want to share it with you.

Everyone in the climbing scene probably have heard of La Sportiva ambassador Jorg Verhoeven and we’re proud of him! He free climbed The Nose on Yosemite’s El Capitan. In my opinion one of the most impressive climbs in history. Louder Than 11 did a good job on video editing.

Check it out!

Video: Jorg Verhoeven’s ascent of the most famous route in the world

After my trip to Ceuse, I maintained my endurance by climbing some routes for training.
However without any goals or trips, I decided to join a lead competition: Lead 3, which was held yesterday at Monte Cervino climbing gym.


I didn’t have any expectations though. All I wanted was to test myself in this field. What was it like to compete again? Did I get nervous?


Well, to be honest when my alarm went off on Sunday at 07.30 AM I wasn’t really motivated to get up. I prepared myself and just went for it.

Once I arrived at Bergschenhoek, venue of the competition, I was quite disappointed. Another 6 competitors signed off in the men’s category and 3 in the women’s category!? I was left with just 9 other male competitors. Quite sad in my opinion.




The 2 qualification routes were nice, the final route was more exciting and challenging at the very end. It was good to catch up with some old friendly competitors. This competition was also a good test with my La Sportiva shoes! I was able to test both models: Futura Blue and Genius. It’s easy to smear your foot on the wall and walk up which was necessary in the second qualification route. And wearing these shoes almost feels like cheating. I love how sticky the rubber is and how precise and aware I am when I climb with the No-Edge technology.



I wasn’t nervous. Instead I enjoyed the climbs and ended up 2nd. I used my competition experience and had the same mindset as Gerke: forget the rest, it’s time to shine in the finals. Boooom, a silver medal in my pocket! I wanted to win but a top 3 made my day as well. You can check out the results here.



It’s good to have no expectations, but it’s better to set a goal. My goal for this year: aim for a spot at the National Championships 2015.

I hope next time there will be more competitors. It will be a better and fun challenge. You can sign up here. I’m excited already and you?

September 8th update: NKBV released some awesome photos of this event. Click here to view the photos.

For any inquiries, click here to send me an e-mail.