donderdag 16 september 2010

Worldcup in Puurs!

Just home and I decided to participate the Lead worldcup in Puurs, Belgium the 24th of september. First I hesitated but I always like to have some more experience!

I'll keep you up to date!

dinsdag 14 september 2010

Summertrip 2010 – Overview

I’m just back in Belgium from the US. I’ve been in two different climbing areas, Squamish (Canada) and Rifle (Colorado).

In January 2010 I bought my flight to the US and Canada and I decided to go on a climbing trip of two months on my own. This was the best decision I made in a long time.
On the 7th of July it was time to go, I packed my stuff and jumped on the plane. After a long flight I stayed in Seattle for one night, the day after I went to Squamish by bus and I used the hitchhike possibility. After I fell asleep in the bus to Squamish and had hitchhiked back I arrived at The Chief campground under the big Chief wall. It is a self-registration campground and cost $ 5 a night. The campground is equipped with some toilets and bear lockers for the food.
In Squamish you have the possibility to do trad-climbing, bouldering and sport climbing. I first chose to do some bouldering to meet some new people, this worked out very well and after 5 minutes I was bouldering with a nice group of people and I found some climbing partners to do some trad-climbing.

I had the luck to meet Fabian Schillings (Germany) and Martin Clarluna (Swiss) who taught me the trad-climbing skills because this was the first time I ever touched trad gear. I loved it from the beginning, it was like I learned climbing again. I started easy and increased the level after a while! I’m sport climbing for almost 11 years and I’m glad I finally learned trad-climbing. This is more natural and the mentality you have for climbing is different. The goal is to reach the top safe with your climbing partner. The feeling while I climb trad is for me totally different with sport climbing. There are more factors you need to take care of, placing the gear on the right place and at the right time is so important.
I also climbed for the first time some cracks, this is just amazing. Just climb on in a crack for a long time while using every part of your body!
I did some classic longer routes: The Grand Wall, Freeway and MilkRun.

After my first trad-climbing experiences I started with some bouldering in Squamish. Before that trip I hadn’t bouldered that much on rock yet. First I did a lot easy boulders and some classics in Squamish in the grade V4 and V5. After some days I did on a short period of time my first V7, V8 and V9.

This was some great quality bouldering on beautiful granite rock. A lot of slopers and tension moves. The problems ask a lot of technique skills from the climbers. Those problems combine the complicated technical moves with hard lock offs and lots of power.

I also tried the famous sport climbing route of Chris Sharma, “Dreamcatcher”. This is the most impressing line I ever saw and tried. I made it to the crux but I couldn’t do those moves 'yet'. This route follows one clear line on a huge boulder at the Chief boulders. In this route you follow a nice line instead of bolts!

The 2th of august my trip in Squamish was over. I took a plane to Denver Colorado and went to the city of climbing: Boulder! The climbing looked awesome but I didn’t stay that long. I found really fast a ride to Rifle Mountain Park where I stayed for the rest of my trip in the US.
In Rifle I did some sport climbing again, it took me a while to get used to the style. It is a limestone crack with a very blocky climbing style! It is very hard to on sight or flash routes, I saw this as a challenge and tried a lot of routes on sight. Rifle is famous because of his style and the hard grade in America.
The first two weeks weren’t great because I was sick. When my body was healthy and strong again I could climb some harder routes. I did my 3th 8b+ ‘Roadside Prophet’ after not too much tries.

This season Rifle was really busy and a lot of strong American climbers where there. This was really motivated for me. It really helps to climb with some stronger climbers than me, it pushes me to try some harder stuff.

Traveling alone was an awesome experience. I’ve met a lot of nice people and I learned the vertical world of the trad-climbing. A special thing is that you really meet yourself on a trip like that, I learned a lot! This trip was the first big trip I made on my own and not the last. Now I’m back in Belgium and I take a year off of school what means that I’ve a lot of time to climb. I’m going to work until February 2011 to earn some money, after that I go back to the US where I’ll buy a van to travel around!
The areas I’ll go to are Hueco Tanks, Indian Creek, Bishop, Red and New River Gorge, Yosemite and Squamish.

This is a goodby picture of me and my flexing friends for the Rifle bord!

zaterdag 4 september 2010

Close to the end

I'm getting really close to the end of my trip right now. After I did Roadside Prophet I couldn't do that much anymore because of my destroyed fingertips! It is getting really frustrating after a while. I even took a couple of rest days but the cuts in my fingertips are opening immediately after one route climbing.

But my climbing life is gonna change! I found a guy who uses a creme called 'Anti-hydration'. I have really wet skin and after a while my fingertips are getting pink and then I get dead white skin that is really soft. If I'm climbing more the soft skin start splitting open. You can see this really clear on the pictures. This creme is made for the table Fussball sport in Germany and its makes calluses on your fingers really fast. It drys out your skin, that's what I need!

Last days I tried two 8b's that I normally can do. But the mummy taped fingers are holding me from doing it, but I'm not giving up! One route is called 'Living in Fear', it supposed to be the hardest 8b in the canyon. It is a really sustained climb without many rests and without any knee-bars, this is really rare for Rifle climbing.
The other 8b is an awesome long route and a really classic one in Rifle, it's called Huge and is next to Roadside Prophet.

The last 10 days I'm climbing in a really nice group of climbers, everybody of that group is on his own here in Rifle and we're just all climbing together. The last days where some amazing funny days. Especially when I tried to translate a french expression to English. I year ago I learn the expression you say when some route is really easy. The expression in french: Je peux le faire avec une carrotte dans le cul!
So when I told this expression to one of the guys I'm climbing with, he took this really literally. So to prove climbing is easy, Ryan Palo did Spray-a-thon (8a+) onsight WITH a carrot in his ass! (Don't take it to seriously, in his pants somewhere)

This is 'RIN', the tough dog who is responsible for the safety of the climbers!

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