Posts Tagged ‘Slovenia’

A while ago, I posted a movie about Yuji Hirayama because I think he’s an inspiring role model. I just spotted a new movie of him talking about Mišja Peč! Check it out below.

Yuji Hirayama – On the road to Slovenia, Camera & editing: Rožle Bregar

Perhaps a bit late but I’ve got some more photos and impressions of the final Worldcup at Kranj.

My day started with a breakfast in the hotel at half past 9 in the morning. I believe every climber was present. It feels pretty cozy staying in a hotel like this. After my breakfast I was kind of bored. We were all waiting until 17.00 h to support Jorg in the finals. I explored Kranj again but the stores were all closed.

In the afternoon Nikki, Elko and I decided to eat cake at the pizza restaurant across the hotel. It was really good and delicious.

I was hanging around in the lobby with my notebook for the rest of the afternoon. I wasn’t the only one, Alizée Dufraisse was sitting next to me checking out internet. Actually I was curious about her life style. She told me she was into Russian culture, language and everything that has got to do with it. Very interesting. After a few hours my afternoon passed by and it was time to go to the climbing gym.

Climbing gym

I was at the climbing gym about half past 4. Slowly it was getting crowded. See for your self what this place looks like today.

At 17.00 h it was getting pretty crowded. People seem to have more interest in witnessing the finals. Most of the chairs were taken.

Audience and the competition wall

Very crowded as you can see. The men were introduced to the audience followed by the women. After that it was time to prepare the route.

Preparing the route

Not much later it was Jorg’s turn to climb the final route. I recorded the route in HD quality. Have fun watching it!

Jorg in the finals, Worldcup Kranj 2010

I always enjoy watching top climbers doing their best in a route. Jorg managed to end up 6th, which is a very good result. Read more about results here .

The next day my weekend was over and it was time to go home. I enjoyed my weekend a lot. It was nice to get to know other climbers. Unfortunately the Worldcup season has finished now. I can’t wait to start my next Worldcup season. For now I’ll start resting and plan a climbing break for a few weeks so my body can fully recover.

When you check out the view it’s obvious that I’m back in The Netherlands. It’s as flat as a pancake.

I was dreaming really nice until my phone started playing a song. It was exactly 07:00 A.M. in the morning and time to get up.

I’m getting dressed and fix myself some breakfast. I was having breakfast among French and Austrian people. After digesting some dry buns with ham and drinking some strawberry flavoured juice I was heading to the climbing gym. It’s 10 minutes walking from the hotel. It’s pretty easy to remember, just turn left and walk straight ahead and then turn left again. Fortunately it didn’t rain, the weather is just about the same as in The Netherlands, which was 12 degrees in the morning.

When I arrived at he climbing gym and saw the nice volumes I got really psyched. Left of wall was a demonstration of the routes. I looked at the route and paid a lot of attention to the holds and the structure of the wall.

I’m going to change my clothes and warm up. The isolation area was somewhere in the back. You basically walk through this aisle with dressing rooms. They were all empty, obviously it’s normal to change in the hall near the warm up wall.

I traverse back and forth and try to crimp a lot with my fingers. My fingers feel warm. I’m going back to the competition wall and watch the demo of my first qualification route. I feel like a sponge. I’m recording everything I see. And suddenly the speaker is announcing the first climber! I observe how the first climber is climbing and it looks quite nice. And then I’m returning back to the isolation area to get my harness and warm up again. I notice that I don’t have enough time to warm up anymore yet I have to climb very soon.

Meanwhile Elko and Jorg are present too. Then it’s my turn to climb. I’m sitting on a chair and have to get ready to climb this route.

I stretch my fingers and walk towards the wall. I’m trying to relax and imagine that there is no gravity. In my head there is no gravity and suddenly I get surprised when I have to grab this undercling with my right hand. It’s not going that simple as I would imagine however I manage to pass it.

Truong in the 1st qualification route, Worldcup Kranj 2010

After the roof I have 2 nice holds. Then I have to lock off my left arm. I put my right foot on this yellow hold and go for the next hold. I can feel my fingers touching the next hold, but it’s not enough. I’m out of the route. I keep wondering what did I do wrong. I can think of a lot of reasons why I fell out of the route but I simply don’t want to think about it. Lets climb the 2nd route!

I have plenty of time to prepare my 2nd qualification route. I wonder what went wrong though. There are some movements which I find pretty tough. It felt difficult. There is a positive hold in the roof. When I have to clip a quickdraw, everything still seems to go well. When I want to grab a hold with my left hand, I’m taking too much time to pick a hold. I’m hanging too long with my right arm and I’m getting pumpy. This is not the right moment. I’m trying to match this hold, but I can’t match it. I have to continue to the next hold. I can’t go for it with a pumpy arm like this. I can’t stretch, I’ll only have to pinch harder. I decide to jump and I miss the hold. You can see it back on the video below.

Truong in the 2nd qualification route, Worldcup Kranj 2010

I ended up 54th in the ranking. I rather forget about this result. Oh well, all I can do now is support my team members and shoot some nice photos of the climbing gym.

I like this climbing shop. They sell a lot of cool holds!

By the way, via my Vimeo account you’ll find my team members Elko, Nikki and Jorg climbing their qualifications. Not all the routes are uploaded, because I only have a limited upload account (: The rest of the results are here.

I’d like to share another fact. Nikki nearly placed herself in the semis and Jorg managed to send 2 tops. The semis was quite tricky with lots of sloper holds. Many good climbers fell when they got at this big red volume, however Jorg managed to pass this red volume! He climbed well and advanced himself to the finals!

Jorg in the semis, Worldcup Kranj 2010

I’m back in The Netherlands!

2 Months ago I booked a ticket to Slovenia. I didn’t bother to check the weather conditions. My goal was to climb a lot of routes outdoor and visit some nice cities.

I had 12 climbing days and 2 times it was bad weather at Mišja Peč. I have been lucky with the weather.

Mišja Peč – October 2010

As you know, the first week I climbed very little. I just explored some crags to see what it’s like. My goal was to climb 10 routes each day. Well I was too optimistic about my goal. It takes a lot of time to pick a route, check the rope, check the quickdraws etc. I changed my goal very soon. Each day I’ll just try to climb an 8-graded route. Well, not much later I managed to send my first 8b of this year. And 2 days later I repeated another 8b route.

– 8b, Mrtvaški ples
– 8b, Lahko noč Irena

Both routes are pretty fun. (you can read more about these routes in my previous posts.)

Last week I didn’t really try difficult routes. In my second week I mainly focused at popular routes. Below you’ll see a list of all the routes from last week.

– 8a+, Popaj
– 8a+, Sunce v očeh
– 8a, Čao bejbe
– 8a, Corto
– 8a, Giljotina
– 8a, Iglu
– 8a, Oktoberfest
– 8a, Samsara

In sum I managed to send ten 8-graded routes. It’s nice to add these routes on my ticklist. I also climbed lots of other routes to warm up. The best and nicest 8a routes were Iglu, Samsara and Giljotina. I like Iglu because Gabor set the quickdraws, worked it out and belayed me. Thanks to him I could flash the route. Samsara is the most popular 8a route of Mišja Peč, it is a nice and beautiful line.

Jenny, Bruno, Truong

Truong in Samsara

And Giljotina is also located on the main wall, it contains one difficult move but it is really nice. I won’t go into details for the other routes because I’d like to share a brief story.

Climbing 2 weeks outdoors is enough for me. In the morning when I look outside the window and catch some sun shine it really motivates me to get up. Each climbing day I try to be at the rocks between 10.00h and 10.30h. In the afternoon I was surviving with bread and a jar of Nutella chocolate, some fruit and sometimes a Powerbar. In the evening I have dinner with Matjaz and Eline or I go out for dinner. It makes my day.

I can’t really imagine what it’s like to climb outdoors for a longer period. The most important thing about climbing outdoors is that you need to enjoy it at all times. I’m talking about enjoying the moment, enjoy being in the nature, enjoy the rocks, being injury free and believe in yourself. I believe in myself, without my motivation I couldn’t climb these routes. I enjoyed and learned a lot about my climbing moments.

Besides climbing I also visited Ljubljana which is the capital of Slovenia. It is about 120 kilometers from Piran.

Distance Piran – Ljubljana

And I visited Triest in Italy.

The other rest days I spent in Piran. I need to recover from my climbing moments.

Recover tactics

I really had a fun climbing holiday and met lots of friendly and nice people. I hope to see everyone very soon again.

October is a good climbing month, just like last year. The conditions are good and it gives me the best climbing memories. I achieved my goal this holiday. I climbed a lot. Perhaps I’ll book another ticket to Slovenia again to climb at Mišja Peč. This climbing area is a must for every route climber.

Mišja Peč – October 2010

It is almost November and I have 2 more lead competitions scheduled in my calendar. I just have 1,5 week to recover and prepare myself for the NC Lead at Arnhem. Wish me luck!

Lahko noč Irena, that’s the name of the 2nd 8b project which I was working out the other day. It means “Goodnight Irena”.

As I mentioned before, this project is 2 routes next to my other route. It contains 2 boulders. The first boulder starts after 5 meters. The second crux is just before the end of the route. The wall is slightly overhanging and quite huge. Yesterday the climbing conditions were pretty good. I managed to send this route on my 6th attempt. I believe that this route is much harder than Mrtvaški ples, it’s just not continuous. I was only 1 block removed from the send. And yesterday it was my moment to climb it.

I arrived at 11 o’clock in the morning at Mišja Peč. The parking lot was fully parked with cars. It’s weekend and the weather is good which means that it is crowded at the rocks. I’m lucky and found a spot to park my car. I grab my bags and run up to the rocks. I see people everywhere, they are even hanging in my nice warm up routes. Today the sun is shining again, just like any other day.

I’m going to explore the other side of the rocks. I see that it’s pretty crowded. My German and English friends whom I met earlier are here too. There are bags and ropes everywhere.

I’m trying to find a spot to put my bags. I’m putting on my harness to warm up. All easy routes are occupied, so I suppose I have to warm up in a 6c+. My fingers feel a bit warmed up. I take a look at my project. To stay flexible, I need to stretch my muscles. I discuss different methods with other people who are also trying to send this route.

It is time to go for an attempt. I’m getting ready for this route. My German friend is going to belay me.

I arrive at the first crux. I’m placing a lolotte with my feet and drop my right knee to grab a side hold. Then I grab a small aggressive hold with my left hand.

The difficult part starts here. I need to deadpoint to an undercling and place my feet super high on dirty black sloper holds. Then I have to jump to this big jug, one of the best holds of Mišja Peč. I succeeded to climb through the first crux.

Then I cruise my way up. There are lots of different holds, crimps, side holds, tuvas and finally arrive at the second crux.

With my left hand I have a small hold and cross over with my right hand to a pinch. Then with my left hand I need to go to another side pinch. I’m placing another lolotte with my feet and drop my right knee to grab this micro hold. Now I need to place my feet higher and go to a sloper edge. Unfortunately I couldn’t grab the left hold. I’m working out this part and know for sure that I’ll send this route in my next attempt. There is really nothing difficult about this part, it’s just a matter of figuring out the proper sequence, hold on and continue.

Meanwhile it was noon and the sun started to shine upon the route. My next attempt will be at 5 P.M. The sun won’t be that warm when climbing so late. In the afternoon there aren’t many people climbing in the sun. I’m going to take a long break and eat a Powerbar, some sweet bread buns, and drink lots of water.

One hour later it seems to get a bit cloudy. This is my opportunity! I could send the route now or later. I’m going for the send and get my orange Falcon shoes ready. This time an Italian is going to belay me. He says he’s going to encourage me when I’ll be climbing the route. I like this and I get very enthusiastic. People wishing me good luck and lots of fun and I know I will need it.

I arrive at the first crux again. I manage to jump to the big jug. Then I climb my way up to the second crux. I hear lots of people cheering and it feels like an adrenaline shot. During the second crux I’m holding on to the micro hold with my right hand and put my feet up high.

I’m looking at the sloper edge and I’m going for it! Yes, I got it! Quickly I match my right hand on a side pinch above my left hand. I know I can send this route. Just 10 more movements to go.

I try to relax and look behind me. It is the greatest view from this point. I’m looking down and people are sticking up their thumbs and smile to me. I smile in the route and focus again. I can’t make any more mistakes.

The 10 movements went well and I arrive at the anchor. I managed to send this route! What a nice feeling. I turn around and enjoy the amazing view.

On the floor I receive many compliments from Germans, Czechs, Hungarian, English and Polish people. They shake my hand. I feel like I’m a celebrity. I’m proud at my send, because it wasn’t easy.

This was my third climbing day in a row. I know my body and feel that I’m getting in shape. I think traversing at Monk Bouldergym and climbing routes at Amsterdam and other climbing gyms definitely made me achieve my goal. I still have time left to get in super shape. My holiday can’t get any better.

By the way, I’d like to thank the people who belayed me and encouraged me, without them it wasn’t possible for me to send these routes.

It is time to get some rest now. It is a good plan though, because Sunday will be just as crowded as Saturday at Mišja Peč. Alright, it’s time for me to end this story and enjoy my weekend.

Goodnight people. Ciao ciao.

I’m one week away from home and I’m still doing well.

I’ve seen a lot this week. I’ve seen Piran by day and it looks really nice. Below you’ll see a few impressions of Piran.

Furthermore, the first few days I explored some climbing areas; Osp and Mišja Peč. It’s about half an hour driving from Piran. I haven’t been here before and I have to admit that I like it a lot. Especially because it’s October and it should be cold however the sun is warming up the rocks in the morning and I like that.

My journey to the rocks is kind of funny. The first few times Matjaz and Eline showed me how to get to these climbing areas. Now I’m on my own and I’m allowed to drive this awesome car by myself.

I usually warm up in 6a – 6c routes, but there are so many routes. I don’t even know where to start.

After a few hours I ran into a familiar face, Gabor from Hungary. I haven’t seen him for years at Tilburg. Nowadays he climbs here every week at Mišja Peč. He knew a lot about which routes are nice. He introduced me to the rocks with a topo guide. After 3 pages of descriptions he was finally done.

Then I saw another familiar face, Natalija Gros! One of the well known competition climbers of Slovenia. I talked to her and she recognized me as the photographer of the Worldcup parties. That’s a nice image I suppose. I exchanged phone numbers so we can climb together this week.

There are lots of other people I have met in this area. Gregor Vezonik was also alone and asked me to belay him. That was no problem. He managed to send the famous route Mrtvaški ples, a 8b. It means the dance of the death. I feel encouraged to climb this route as well and work it out. It feels difficult but fortunately I manage to make all the movements.

A few days later I climb together with Natalija at Mišja Peč. We suppose to meet at 10.30h at the rocks. She was already getting ready when I arrived at the parking lot. She offers me a Red Bull! Hmm I dig that, she has her trunk full of those cans anyway.

Before we start climbing, she needs her time to stretch her muscles. Meanwhile I get ready to climb. I feel like climbing. The sun is warming up the rocks and we haven’t even started yet. I really enjoyed climbing these nice warm up routes and got to know Natalija better.

In the afternoon I work out my project and it is going well. I know for sure that I can send this route. The movements aren’t complicated and very direct. Natalija gives me the explanation of this route. It motivates me a lot. Unfortunately she had to go in the afternoon. Anyway, it was fun climbing together.

Last Thursday I managed to send Mrtvaški ples in my 5th attempt. It contains a lockoff for your right arm. At the same time you have to put your feet pretty high to continue with your left hand. After I grabbed the next hold, I felt this adrenaline shot in my body. I was so psyched. A photographer was hanging next to me, shooting pictures of Mina Markovic. He stopped shooting pictures because I was passing by in front of him.

I had to keep my focus. I heard people encouraging me on the ground. Alright, I have to finish this route. I still had to pass a roof and swing my right foot pretty high on a slippery foothold. I like such movements. Not much later I managed to clip the anchor and my first 8b of this year is a fact. German, English and Slovenian people sent me their congratulations when I was back on thefloor. I was so psyched about this route, I wanted to climb more of these awesome classic routes!

When I look back at this route I find it such a pity that I sent this route. It feels like you want to own something for a long time but once you have it, you don’t feel that excited anymore. Anyway, I enjoy this moment to the best. I can now look forward to a new route.

By the way, I already picked my new route, which is 2 routes next to this one. I already worked out this route and I’m only 1 block away from the send. Soon I’ll share you more about my new project. For now, best wishes from Slovenia!

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