Geyik bayiri

A trip to a new area was just what I needed to snap out of the funk I have been in lately. I was invited to come on this trip to Turkey, by Tyrili Klatring, who has been an important partner for over three years now. My role on this trip was slightly different though. Tyrili klatring has a program for young climbers combining high school and training. As part of the program they take time off of school to go on climbing trips. There were three teachers, eight students and me tagging along as somewhat of a coach.

For once everything was planned down to every little detail, which felt nice. All we had to think about was climbing. I knew very little about climbing in Turkey before going on this trip. Looking through the guide-book on the flight to Antalya, it did not look like there were a lot of hard routes.

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Arriving at the camp.

After returning from Spain I only had a couple of days at home before leaving for Turkey. The weather forecast looked bad for the whole week predicting around 200 mm of rain. So I decided to do two hard gym sessions before the trip, so that I wouldn’t feel so bad if the weather prevented us from climbing as much as we wanted. Despite it raining most of the days, we got to climb as much as we wanted, not taking a single rest-day.

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Working the lower crux of Devers Royale and breaking off another hold. Photo: Bjørn H. Rønning

The first days I spent onsighting a lot of easier routes, getting used to the climbing. After getting in to the flow of the Turkish climbing I decided to get on something harder – Devers Royale, which was the hardest route I could find in the guide-book. The bottom crux felt pretty hard, and I though all in all it was pretty stiff for 8c+, which it was rated as. At the camp I started asking around about the route, and people told me that several holds had broken since the FA was made and that it now could be more like 9a.

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Resting before the last crux. Photo: Bjørn H. Rønning

On the last day I was committed to do everything I could to finish the route. Having climbed 9 days in a row it took me a little longer than usual to get ready. It took me a couple of tries to link through the bottom part. On the third go I fell on the first move on the upper crux. Doing a big move from an undercut to a slopy pocket. I fell there another time, and thought that was it. Decided to try one last time. Got the slopy pocket and the tiny left twofinger-pocket. Came into the mono undercut and got my feet up, but as soon as I got ready to do the big move to the good hold my finger popped out of the mono pocket. It was getting dark, but I had to try again, even though it was my seventh try on my ninth day climbing. For once I managed to pull it together and send under pressure. Perfect ending to a great trip!

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Even though this was far from my hardest send, it felt great to get a little lucky and do a short term project on the last day, last try. Photo: Bjørn H. Rønning

Something different

Flying from Spain to Norway for an award-show you know for a fact you’re not gonna win, might sound weird to some people. But the award show for athletics in Norway is a great chance to meet new people, see old friends and make new connections. I was up against the World chess Champion, Magnus Carlsen in the open category. There was a big debate prior to the awards, whether chess is a sport or not. Personally I’m not sure what to think about it, but regardless I think Carlsen is one of the most inspiring people and honored to be nominated with him.

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Suzann Pettersen and Magnus Carlsen receiving a price together. Well deserved!
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At the table with the other nominees.

From hanging out in a deserted cave in sweaty and chalked down climbing clothes to be wearing a suit surrounded by celebrities and even royalties. You gotta love the diversity! It started off with a lunch arranged by Norsk Tipping (Norwegian Lottery) at Oslo Placa Hotel. From there we were escorted to the red carpet in front of Oslo Spectrum. I was seated with the other nominees just in front of the stage. The show lasted almost two hours with a 30 minute break half way through. As expected Magnus Carlsen got the open category award, as well as another two awards. After the show ended we were invited to the VIP lounge, where we all got to meet the King of Norway as well as the prime minister of Norway. The king was not up for pictures. I was not the one to ask. I heard him turn down Suzann Pettersen, so I didn’t bother asking. But at least I got a picture with the prime minister.
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The prime minster and me.

This might not be the most interesting blog post to , but I had time to kill on my flight to Barcelona, so I thought why not write something about this very surrealistic weekend. It might be the only time I ever get to be part of these awards.

 

Even though I had fun, it’s not something I could do too often. Right now I’m so stoked to change into my sweaty and chalked down climbing clothes, spending my days focused on climbing and nothing else!

 

 

Feliz Navidad

Feliz Navidad and Happy New Years (don’t know how to say it in Spanish)!

After the last competition I decided to take a break from climbing. It was only supposed to last a couple of weeks, but turned out to be more like a month. I was not motivated to climb in the gym. And I had to do some work before my annual escape to Spain. I did a slideshow and some lectures in Sweden, and 10 days of route setting in Bergen.

But now I’m here reunited with my project, which brings back a lot of memories and the mixed feelings that comes with them – First and foremost frustration and disappointment. Having rested for such a long time prior to this trip didn’t exactly make it easier to get back on it. But I knew I had to go through it the first day, just to see how it would feel. Surprisingly enough the sequences felt easy, though my endurance was just as bad as I had anticipated. So I got on easier routes for a couple of days, in hopes of building more endurance. Yesterday I got on Neanderthal again, this time trying to link as much as possible. I got through the whole first section and fell one move before the crux. Pumped out of my mind, dizzy and nauseous. But the psyche is high and I don’t think it will take long for my endurance to be back to where it was. Motivation is higher than ever before!

 

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Not much has changed in Santa Linya. Though the house has gotten some upgrades. New TV and sofa. 

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Playing poker for the dishes. The looser obviously has to do them. The winner gets a free pass the next day as well. The photo is from the only time I actually won, though I have not had to do the dishes so far. My game plan has been to play safe until one has lost, then take more chances. 

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The dishes I’m working so hard to avoid.

Norrøna trad trip

This fall I went to Bohuslan, Sweden for one day of trad climbing. Last time I trad climbed was in England a couple of years ago. Forgot how much fun it can be. Scared myself a on a poorly secured 7a+ Onsight, as well as some other routes. Of course without rappelling down looking at the holds from above or anything like that. Very pure form of climbing. See for yourself!

” A day out” – Bohuslän from Norrona on Vimeo.

Die Deutschen Meister

In July I was contacted by a researcher who was looking for a candidate for Die Deutschen Meister (The German Champion) a live TV show on the biggest TV channel in Germany. Throughout three qualifying shows, they would crown a german Champion in many unusual disciplines. The 9 disciplines who received the most votes would be part of a live show where the German contestants would be up against an international contender.  I had to go through some interviews before they finally choose me as the international candidate for the discipline they called “Reckstangen-Klettern”. A discipline all about arm and upper body strength. Jonas Baumann, a good friend of mine and one of the best boulderers in the World won the German competition against Marcel Nguyen, a gymnast who won two silver medals in the Olympics in London. So Jonas was my competition. It was pretty close between us. I did a couple of mistakes costing me some time. During practice I was 10 seconds faster.

It’s hard to explain all of this, but I got the link so you can see for yourselves. I’m in the third discipline, in case you want to fast forward. Click on the photo to watch the replay!

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World Games

When I got the invitation from the IFSC to the World Games, I was super stoked and honored. The most important comp on the IFSC calendar, held every fourth year, like the Olympics of none olympic sports.
I booked my ticket with the Austrians and shared hotel room with Jakob. So happy not to travel alone!
From Munich we flew to Madrid and from there 11 hours straight to Cali. We emediately fell in love with Colombia and the friendly people.

We did a little session on the warmup-wall the day before the comp. I used to like haveing two days off in front of comps, but I think I’ll change my routine. I’ll still do two days off, but only rest one or none at all just in front. That way I feel more ready yet not sore.

In Cali there was no qualifying round, since all the climbers there were already qualified. The semis were really early, but for once that was not a problem. We were still in European time and got up before 5am without any alarm.
The semis had a technical cruxy section down low. Luckily got past that part and fell only a couple moves from the top. Advanced from semis in 4th place.
The finals went down only a few hours later on a tight TV schedule. The security was crazy! Police with machine guns, on horses and with shields.
The atmosphere during the final was amazing and as anticipated the temperatures were high. Our route went through the steepest part of the wall. I messed up a sequence down low. Didn’t see a hold around the edge and had to semi-dyno for a pinch. Luckily I did the selfmade crux. From there it was endurance climbing until a right travers on some tiny holds with a hard clip. I clipped from the best hold possible and got two holds further. From there I decided to dyno for the next hold, just to prevent a repetition of Chamonix, where I missed the podium because of a plus. Only Ramon passed me and Jakob beat me on countback. Two guys I’m proud to be on the podium with.

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I used my phone for this blog, so please excuse any mistakes or bad layout. As I write this I’m at my temporary home away from home – the sports hotel in Innsbruck. The next WC starts on friday. Will do a little climbing sesion at tivoli with Jakob and Mario tomorrow according to my new routine;)

Here we go!

The European Championship qualification went down today in Chamonix, a town with long traditions of big climbing competitions. As many of you know there are two qualification routes, both of which are flash. On the first one I felt pretty bad. Think it had something to do with yesterdays drive from Innsbruck. Did not want to put on the AC in the car, which I had to pay for by sweating like a pig the whole way. Though I topped out the first route I felt pretty shaky the whole way. Changed from water to gatorade between the two routes. And on the second one I felt a lot better, topping it out in better style.

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Me the second qualifying route. 

All in all, seven out of 49 climbers topped both routes. So I can’t not be happy with my performance, though I hope to step it up for semi finals, which I’m sure many of the other climbers will do as well. The semi and final takes place the day after tomorrow (Saturday). The finals will go down as usual with a spectacular show in the middle of Chamonix, followed by fireworks and a big party celebrating the French national day. Want to be among those top 8 and earn my place in the finals so bad. But once again I need to not think too much about that, and focus on climbing well instead.

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The list of the lucky 26 who made it through the semis on Sunday.

More to come on Saturday…

Two days in Flatanger

Before I left to central-Europe where I’m currently stationed, I got to spend a couple of days in Flatanger with my sister and her boyfriend, Kenneth. Though it was short, it was sure worth the it. Being able to briefly take my mind off plastic training felt like a smart move.
I did not try anything very hard. My goal was to be able to finish what I got on in the short amount of time I had. First I got on Eye of Odin 8c+, which I had tried last year. Beautiful route consisting of four very different types of climbing. First there is a steep powerful part, followed by a more technical traverse to the right, into a powerful undercling part where the eye is and a last awkward part getting into the last crack which you layback all the way to the top.

After sending Eye of Odin I went through Muy Verdes, also 8c+. The draws on the route would not open after having spent the winter in the harsh remote area. So I put up my own draws, so that everything was ready for the next day.

The evenings were spent fishing to 4am (midnight sun), drinking whiskey and whine and eating steak. Clumsy me managed to splash fat all over my left forearm that one day I was helping out with cooking. Never doing that again! Beside that we watched Ted, a movie I had already watched, but was just as hilarious the second time.

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Fun days are often tiering days though, and I did not feel like a happy camper on the last day. On Muy Verdes I needed quite a few tries to stick the big move down low by the 3rd draw going up to the crimp. Though once I stuck that I managed to pull it together all the way through.

Explanation: If you hear me saying freestyle, I mean finding new beta as I’m sending. I found one new kneebar on each route as I was sending. Helped me a lot, especially on Eye of Odin!

All in all, a great trip!

Now I’m in Innsbruck, where I have climbed plastic with Jakob and Mario. Tomorrow I will do my last session before the European Championship in Chamonix. After that all I can do is rest and hope I have done enough to be as good or better than last year. The first comps of the season always bring out more nerves. I have been feeling strong lately, hopefully my head will cooperate so that I can get a good start.

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