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!
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!
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.
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;)
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.
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.
The list of the lucky 26 who made it through the semis on Sunday.
More to come on Saturday…
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.
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.
On the last day of my one and a half month long trip to Spain, I decided to leave the Neanderthal project for some on-sighting in Rodellar.
Rodellar is a place I have spent a lot of time in over the years. Usually it offers cooler temperatures than other climbing crags in the area, due to the altitude. The sector Piscineta is one of the newest sectors in Rodellar, yet in my opinion the best one. I had been there only once before. Back then I took the one hour long trail over the mountain, this time we wanted to try going up the river with a little inflatable boat we bought at a supermarket.
I didn’t know when the sun would hit Piscineta, but I knew it was a morning crag, the sun would hit sometime during the day, so time was of the essence. We got up relatively early for what we thought would be a 1,5 hour drive from Santa Linya, but roughly 5 kilometers before Rodellar we had to wait an hour due to roadwork on the narrow mountain road. Not a good start. Getting up the river proved to be a cold affair. After 10 minutes on a trail alongside the river, it suddenly stopped. There were 20-meter cliffs on both sides of the river and we could not see the end of it. The little rubber boat could only hold one person and our bags, and the rest of us would have to swim, for how long we did not know. As I was the one to suggest Piscineta, I felt it was my responsibility to swim first. It proved to be only 200 hundred meters, but felt like ages. I had to grab on to some holds I could find on the way just to catch my breath and get my body above water for a few seconds. The fact that we swam against the stream made it even worse.
After getting to the other side, I could only wait for the boat to come with my warm clothes, hoping that this was it, and that there would be no more swimming. Luckily there wasn’t, but on several occasions we had to walk up the river with water above our waists. When we finally reached the 55 meter long cliff of Piscineta two hours later I was both freezing and sunburned at the same time. We sat around for almost an hour to dry our clothes and gain energy to climb. Surprisingly enough my body actually felt pretty energized and awake after the cold swim. I started warming up by onsighting the first pitch of Black Pearl 8a+. Things felt good, despite the epic journey we had getting there.
As usual I went there without any plan but as I was feeling strong and psyched I wanted to give something really hard a good insight burn. My eye was set on Cosi fan tutte. In my opinion the best line on the wall; 55 meters of overhanging climbing.
The first part of it is 8a+, which I managed to climb without any difficulties. I got through a wet part of it without hesitation. The first part was followed by some easy climbing before I got up to what I thought was the physical crux; a section of some small, but positive holds. Again I didn’t hesitate. I got through the part, by looking at it, choosing a sequence and sticking to it. I started getting pretty pumped, but got it back on some jugs higher up. I was now on the very top of the route, all that remained was getting around the lip and a few meters of slab. I stalled as I couldn’t see any obvious holds. From a good undercut, where I could rest, I grabbed a two-finger pocket and reached as high as I could in hopes on finding something to pull on. Many times I retreated to the undercut. The sun was shining directly on the slab and in my eyes, making it even harder to see where I was supposed to go. After repeating the process of searching for holds and resting I knew I had to do something before getting too tired to have any chance. So I grabbed the pocket, reached as far as I could. I only got two fingers on a sloppy edge, and thought I was going to fall. I then bumped to get my remaining fingers on the hold, before I jumped to a dice looking hold. My feet cut, and I desperately got them above the lip. I grabbed some sloppy crimpers without any chalk. Then reached out to the top hold, thinking I could fall at any moment. Not until I had clipped the chain I was safe.
It was truely satisfying to for once win a desperate on-sight battle!
While waiting for Neanderthal to dry up I did another hard route in the cave. Ciudad de Dios 9a/+. It was captured by Henning Wang, who agreed to release the footage as a teaser for his film project; The Santa Linya collective.
Time is passing by quicker than ever before. I feel like I have fallen into a routine. Two days of climbing one day off, with an occasional double restday. I try to climb on Neanderthal as much as possible. Though it looks like the route is not yet ready to be climbed. The weather keeps preventing me, testing my patience over and over again. I’m not exactly known for my patience, though I haven’t had a single day of restlessness. That is most likely because my stubborn side has taken over. I have come to ease with this lifestyle and pattern of days being very alike, yet interesting in their own way. I will do everything I can to do this route before the season here is over. If that doesn’t happen I will come back next year. Though I really hope to get this done now that I’m so close. I have stayed strong even during some of the most wet days and doing good links, so that I’m prepared when the window of good conditions open for what might be the last time this season.
Neanderthal. Photo: Henning Wang
The tufa I keep complaining about is the only good resting point and has been wet for a week straight now. Photo: Henning Wang
Putting up a new bolt that was sticking out. Hanger fell off it when I pulled the rope one day. You climb 8 meter above the bolt and it is pretty far down to the next, so that could have been bad. Photo: Henning Wang
Margalef, Terrence hill 8b+ Onsight Photo: Henning Wang
Some days we go climbing easier routes other places, mostly for the change of scenery. The picture above is from one of our adventurous days, having to cross a flooded river. All the time spent in the cave climbing on wet holds payed off even here in Margalef. The top crux of Terrence Hill was wet. Having to do a big move off of a one finger pocket proved to be no problem. I have found out that the key when it comes to wet holds is not to hesitate and not chalking up, as it only makes the rock more slippery.
Crossing the flooded river Photo: Henning Wang
The restdays are usually spent on the world wide web at the local cafe. Ordering countless numbers of “cafe con leche” to justify spending so much time there and slowing down their already very slow internet.
Due to some heavy work being done to the street we live on we are woken every morning by a very large machine digging up the 600 year old street. Who said the Spaniards were lazy? They start working at 7am, and rain don’t seem to be any excuse to give us some quiet.
Our very efficient alarm clock. Photo: Henning Wang
Just like last year the rain came at the worst possible time. The psyche was hight and the body felt strong after two restdays, however the cave is completely wet. All I can do now is wait it out, climb somewhere else while the cave is drying up. Fingers crossed it won’t start raining again.
I got a one way ticket to Spain this time. The plan is to spend this whole month here. I want to finish Neanderthal. Norrøna joined me the first days to document the life down here. The gypsy lifestyle. Now they have left and it’s time to get back into sending mode. But first I need two restdays, starting today. Yesterday it started raining and I’m a little worried it will seep through. The game plan is to do one day on my project, one day climbing on easier routes and one rest day. That way I can maintain the level of skin, fitness and psyche.
I’m finally reunited with the route that has been haunting me in my dreams ever since I had to leave it one year ago. I had to man up to get back on it. It’s a very humbling experience to try something so hard. Every move is a fight. Today will the 4th day of working it. The progress so far has extended all my expectations. It feels like I immediately was able to pick up right where I left it, almost a year ago. I got two new high-points right away, and yesterday I fell on the last dyno crux. However it still feels like I have a way to go before conquering this wild beast. Although Neanderthal makes me feel clumsy and weak, I know it will be a rewarding experience in so many ways. For me it’s not about being in good or bad shape, it’s about improving as a climber.
On wednesday I leave to go back to Norway for a week. Mainly to rest. Then it’s back to Spain for some serious business. My main goal for this short little trip was just to wreck myself on Neanderthal. So far it doesn’t look like I will have any problems with that part.
2012 Photo: Henning Wang
The Frictionboard is finally ready for launch. During the past two years I have worked with the company frictionwalls to create a brand new training wall that allows us to share problems and circuits with each other. We have made a little video of the process. As our main target was Norwegian costumers, which is why the video is in Norwegian. However we do except orders from abroad.
3,036 wide, 3,200 high
15 square meters
310 kilos (with holds)
On the 31st I did a new route in the Santa Linya cave. Analogia Natural was an already established route rated 8c+/9a with a weird anchor placed 8 meters or so from the top of the cave. However there was a bolted line going up left and to the very top of the cave, which gave the route a very nice obvious end. So I decided that instead of clipping the old anchor I wanted to go for the very top. I fell once after the first anchor, on some dynamic moves on the new end, before I finally clipped the anchor of what I think should be the new end to this route. The 8 meters adds another top crux. That’s why I think this route deserves the 9a grade.
Having spent so much time in Santa Linya over the years I don’t have many routes left. I only have a few 9a’s and harder. So all my time is spent on working the really hard routes that I yet haven’t done. Some of which don’t suit my style of climbing. It can be mentally hard sometimes, but I think it’s necessary for me to evolve as a climber.
As you might have noticed I changed sponsors from 2013. I will tell you more about it soon.
About 10 days ago I jumped on a plain to Barcelona to avoid the cold brutal weather that was heading towards Norway. With no ambitions of climbing anything specific, but to chill in Spain relaxing after some brutal months of globetrotting and competing. I decided it was better to take it easy in Spain than being snowed in, in my apartment in Oslo. I have had some relaxing days here. In a couple of days I fly back to Oslo for a week to take care of some business. Then it’s back to laid back Spain with some of my good friends. Mario and Jakob from Austria. And Jorg from Holland, soon to be Austrian too. The next weeks I refuse to project anything really hard. I need to take it easy and have some childish fun for a while. It will get serious soon enough. Peace out!
The World Cup season is officially over. Life goes back to “normal”. The after party was pretty rough and I’ve been feeling sick up until now. Though I’m starting to feel better and finally have the energy to give you a little post on the event.
Kranj has long traditions when it comes to competition climbing. The city has hosted the final WC event for 17 years now. Over the years I have competed there around the same time of year, both as a youth and as a senior. The good think about Kranj is that you know what to expect and you always get exactly that. The comp run on tracks. The final is sent on national TV and has to run according to a tight schedule of two hours.
Since this was the last comp of the year I decided to rest more than usual, to let all the hours in the gym kick in for full. Normally it would feel like a gamble, because it means you might not be in shape for the next, however since this was the last one I really had nothing to loose and it felt like a safe bet.
The qualification was a little easier than usual. Whenever that happens the better climbers with more to loose pull harder on the holds, as if they are trying to break them. Can’t afford a foot-slip. 13 climbers topped out both routes. And the better climbers looked the shakiest.
The semi final was the same day, in the evening. I managed to climb without too much tension in my body. I felt pretty good up until a red little volume. I grabbed it the wrong way and felt with juice to spare. It put me in 5th place and good to go for finals. I knew I had good chances of improving my result as I hadn’t gotten too pumped in semis.
The final was the next day. Which gave me plenty of time to relax and sleep in. Though it also gave me time to think and thinking usually gets me in trouble. Fortunately not this time. I really wanted to go out in style. There was no point for me to play it safe. I have had plenty of 4th and 5th places this season. The final route proved to be like a long never ending boulder problem. It suites my style of climbing, especially since it leaves me no time to over think things. Climb on instinct is always better. Half way up I messed up a sequence on two eye looking volumes. I missed a hold that was meant for the thumb. Because of that it felt like the crux for me. Though instead of hesitating I went for it immediately and I don’t think it cost me too much power.
The roof section didn’t feel too hard for me. The pockets in the roof were not as good as they looked from the
ground, which forced you to just keep climbing. Just before where I fell I had a big blue pinch, but bad footholds. For the first time I was able to shake out and think about the next moves. I looked at the next hold which looked like a small, but positive
crimp. Because I had a good right foot hold high up my plan was to go right hand and match. The hold was pretty far up and I had to do a dynamic move to it. It turned out it wasn’t a good crimp, but a sloopy one. Jorg fell on the same move, but because I had a better semi final result I got third and he fourth. There was not much seperating me from being second. In retrospect I wish I hadn’t spent so much time at the green hold but just gone for it straight away.
Really happy with my third place! Glad to end the season with that result.
Now after some days of rest I will start climbing a little bit in the gym preparing for some Spanish rock. No time to waste, fun times ahead!
These videos made by Kieran Kolle have been out there on the World Wide Web for a while. Though I forgot to link to them. Matre is such an amazing place for bouldering. I would recommend it to anyone!
Hey hey hello. Second to last comp this year is over with. This time on Norwegian soil – Stavanger to be more specific. The competition was well organized, though an eyeopener for many. How can a daddy of two, having tied into a rope three times the past year come second at a national championship? Jan Eivind Danielsen (Yatzi) has competed at a national level earlier and probably trained a lot harder back then, yet this is his best result to this date. What does this tell us? Either that Yatzi has gotten stronger, the level has decreased, or simply that the comps are not attracting the best anymore. In my opinion there are a lot of strong climbers out there, who used to compete in the past, but for some reason are not interested in competing anymore. The same goes for the women. The goal for a national championship should be to attract the best. It’s not an easy task and I don’t have the answers. But I hope Yatzi’s effort in the future can inspire more members of the older generation to show up and give us a more realistic picture on where we are at.
Big congrats to Yatzi! This was not a matter of luck, you earned it!
Here you have the results (top 8):
1 Magnus Midtbø Tyrili klatreklubb
2 Jan Eivind Danielsen Bratte Rogalands venner
3 John Henry Nilssen Kolsås klatreklubb
4 Joakim Louis Sæther Bø klatreklubb
5 Endre Sandø Evensen Bergen klatreklubb
6 Jarle Kalland Bergen klatreklubb
7 Kristoffer Thorbjørnsen Bergen klatreklubb
8 Christer Raugland Oslo klatreklubb
1 Tina Johnsen Hafsaas Kolsås klatreklubb
2 Maria Sandbu Trondheim klatreklubb
3 Ragnhild Eriksrud Sogndal klatreklubb
4 Anine Pernille Eriksen Oslo klatreklubb
5 Marie Helen Sunde Bergen klatreklubb
6 Sissel Nordland Uburhedleren
7 Sofie Vervaet Bergen klatreklubb
8 Helene Lund Valdres klatreklubb
Korea and Japan proved to be a lot of fun. Honestly I was pretty fed up with travelling and competing. Especially after the whole visa issue. Climbing felt like work, which it obviously never should. But travelling with the Austrians – the strongest climbing team out there. As well as Jorg Verhoeven and Sean McColl. It reminded me how much fun comps can be. It’s impossible to climb well if you don’t have fun with it. Satisfying results at both comps. 7th in Korea and 5th in Japan. Not my best results, but after my cold-streak earlier this fall, I’m happy to be back in finals.
I promised to do some small backstage videos, so here is another one. I’m not able to film during the comp, but hope most of you are watching the live feed over at ifsc.tv. And in case you missed it you always have the opportunity of watching the replays on their youtube channel.
A friend of mine has promised to give me a tutorial in final cut, which hopefully will bump my videos up a notch. But for now please enjoy my amateur work!
Hello all! I flew directly to Korea about a week ago after not being able to sort out the visa issue at the Chinese embassy. Now I’m united with my travelling companions – the Austrian team, Sean McColl and Jorg Verhoeven. I met up with them after an exhausting journey from Oslo to Seoul, Korea. The first few days I felt like a walking zombie. Now, a week later I have finally gotten used to the seven hour time difference. The World Cup in Mokpo, Korea went surprisingly well. On the day of qualifiers I was still pretty tired and decided there was no point of trying too hard. I did not want to end up climbing late in the semi final again. Day of the semis I felt a lot better and was tied for 5th place. But because of my qualifying result the climbers who I tied with got ranked in front of me. I still made it into finals in 8th place though. Close call. I was super psyched to be back in finals again. Observing the route I though it looked great. However it turned out to be awkwardly hard from the first move. Around half way up I fell on a vertical tricky part with tiny holds and uncomfortable feet. Falling off I had no idea if I sucked or if it was unusually hard. It turned out everyone struggled. Jakob Schubert (World Champion) fell on the same move and an Italian fell a couple holds lower. Jakob had better results from semis, which put me in 7th place. Not my best result, but I’m happy to be back in finals. Hopefully this will give me some much needed confidence in front of the last two world cups. Next one is here in Japan. Don’t know what to think of the wall though.
Another bad semi result. I don’t know how to break out of this bad habit of climbing poorly in semis. All the climbers have the same problem. One bad result never comes alone. After not qualifying for semis in Paris, I have been too nervous in front of the semi finals. It’s not a question of being fit, seeing how I always feel good in the qualification. I’m able to climb without being too nervous, because I know there is no way I won’t make it into semis. In the semi final however, I know I have to climb my best and that gets me stressed. Most climbers have the same problem. like Thomas Tauporn (GER) Mokhail Chernikov (RUS) who both made finals in Chamonix. After a bad result they have not been able to get back into finals. It’s like you have to work your way back into it. I was supposed to leave for China next weekend, but I did not get a visa. At first I was disappointed, but now I feel like it was maybe “meant to be”. It will be good with a little break. I will be able to take a step back and reflect on things. Get back into my training-routine and hopefully gain some confidence in front of South-Korea and Japan. Right now I feel like giving up on this season and leave to Spain to climb hard outside. But I’m not going to. Quitting because of some bad results would be a cowardly act.
Trying out my new Canon 7D a couple of days before the WC in Imst. Put some of the footage together for you too see what goes on behind the scenes. I might do more of these in the future. Shorter films though. I don’t expect anyone to watch the whole thing.
I just got back from my qualification here in Atlanta. I topped both routes as one of nine. The routes felt a little easier this time. There aren’t as many climbers as usual here, but making it into finals will be just as hard. All the good climbers are present.
Obviously very disappointed not making finals in Paris. One place separated me from being part of what looked like the best final in history of competition climbing. I’m asking myself what I can do to prevent this from happening in the future. But there isn’t much to do. The level is so high, there is no room for mistakes or bad days. Instead of over-analyzing I should instead focus on the next events. I’m in for a busy couple of months with many World Cups. Next weekend in Puurs, the weekend after in Atlanta and then the whole Asian trip to China, South Korea and Japan and the last World Cup of the year also this year in Kranj, Slovenia. It’s hard to find the right balance between training too much and not enough when there are so many comps. In my opinion the best solution is just to go with the flow and listen to the body. Confidence is important as well. Hopefully I didn’t loose too much of that, during what turned out do be a humbling week in France.
Great start today at the world championships in Paris. I topped out both qualifiers and I’m now tied for 1st place with six other climbers. Tomorrow I get another rest day, which I think will do me good. The semi final is on Saturday.
My sister did amazing in boulder and qualified for the semi final boulder also on Saturday. Stay tuned..
As I write this blog post on my iPhone I’m sitting at a cafe enjoying blue sky and french culture at its best!
The world Champs is just about to start. I have had to rest since the battle last weekend due to a crack in my finger and just being really sore in general. Hopefully I haven’t lost any endurance during that time, maybe the rest even had the oposite effect. That is what I’m hoping for. Mens qualifiers start on Thursday. My plan is to get to the comp venue early and do a little circuit session. Rest an hour or two, then warm up again like I normally do just before the comp starts. There are 102 climbers on the start list for male lead in Paris. For things to run faster they have divided us into two groups according to the ranking: group A and group B. 13 climbers will advance from each group to semis. The groups are supposed to be equally strong based on the ranking. Though some strong climbers don’t have a ranking, so completely fair it won’t be.
Same goes for the girls, who start tomorrow. All the Norwegian girls are in group A. The mens qualifiers for bouldering will also take place tomorrow. Watch it live at ifsc.tv as always
12 days and two comps later it’s time to do some laundry again. I’m back in Oslo to recharge my batteries, train a little and do laundry, so that I can pack my bag with clean clothes for my upcoming adventures.
The World Championships in Paris in mid September is my next big comp. So I have plenty of time to train… and do laundry (usually takes time).
So far so good. 4th place in Imst is not a result I feel like I can complain about. However I feel like I still haven’t shown my full potential yet. I have put down more time and effort into training than ever before. So far this season has been one of my best, though I think it can keep getting better.
Last weekend I competed in what I think of more as a laid back comp. The Norwegian Rockmaster DWS (deep water solo) competition in Kristiansand. Those kind of events are fun, but since the World Cup is my main goal this year I have to keep those kind of comps to a bare minimum. I was invited to the Rock Master competition in Arco, which is just before Paris. I’m still uncertain whether I will go. In fear of sounding like a training obsessive freak, I think going to Arco will coast me valuable training time.
I just got a new camera, Canon 7D. The camera allows me to film in high quality. I have no experience filming, nor editing, so I brought the camera to Imst to practice. I was thinking of maybe uploading some of the footage here. Hopefully some of you will find it interesting to see what the days before Imst was like. Meanwhile, here are some photos:
Photos from the DWS was taken by Lars Verket. To see more photos click here
Mayan Smith Gobat
1 Magnus Midtbø
2 Jan Hojer
3 Daniel Jung
4 David Gambus
5 Endre Evensen
6 Hermann Nesse Trosby
7 Marcin Mloeck
8 Kjell Mørbech
9 Sverre Aakvaag
10 Atle Åndborgli
11 Izmael Nazari
This week has been a busy one in the city, with filming for something I’m not yet allowed to say what is. But no worries, it will be revealed with time. I was able to squeeze some climbing in, but not as much as I shold/could/would have. Hopefully it will just do me good – At least I’m well rested infront of the upcoming World Cup in Imst. Time will tell.
For those of you who didn’t get to watch the male finals at Briancon. Here it is again:
Now I’m back in Norway training for the upcoming WC event in Imst. Feeling good! My sister, a friend and I will leave for Imst three days before the comp starts, so that we can get one onsight session at Tivoli (the gym in Innsbruck) before the comp. Stay tuned…
Had an amazing time in Briancon. The event might even have been better than Chamonix. Absolutely packed with people! I’m pretty happy with my performance. I hesitated a little bit on the last part of the route, which got me pumped, but other than that I wouldn’t change much. It was great fun climbing in front of such a big loud French crowd.
After the first two World Cups I’m currently ranked 4th. So I’d say I’m off to a good start. If I manage to maintain the shape I’m in now, I think anything can happen for the next World Cups. But I get easily distracted, so I need to stay focused.
Now I’m about to start a long drive back home. 18 hours to the south of Denmark, 4 hours on a ferry, then another hour drive before I’m back home. Life on the road!
Today I did did my best semi final ever. I got tied for second place with last weeks WC winner Sachi Anma. But because he had a better result in qualification, he got second while I got third. My best result going into a final. The mens final start at 22:00. Watch it live at ifs.tv.
I didn’t really feel that strong warming up, and was a but demotivated. Sometimes it seems that helps in comps. Not caring too much help you climb more relaxed. Hopefully I can climb the same way in the final.
Last year they set a long 70-move route for the final, taking up the whole wall. I expect them to the same this year. That is probably the reason the women start so much earlier.
Yesterday I went with the Austrian team to a crag called Tetto di Sarre, just across the border to Italy. We left Chamonix in the rain, and after one very expensive 11 kilometer long tunnel, we were in sunny Italy. It was a small crag mainly chipped. But for training it was okay. Everything I got on felt very soft. I did two 8b’s and one 8a+ onsight, including some easier routes. On the end of the day I fell after all the hard climbing on my second go on a 8c+/9a. So a pretty good day of climbing. It’s always hard to say if something is soft or if you are just in good shape. I think a combination of both.
5th place is not as good as last year, but I’m still happy with the result. My climbing however could have been a lot better. I have been feeling in great shape during my stay in Innsbruck, though I don’t feel like it showed at this WC. Both in the semi final and the final, I fell before the point of being really pumped. So obviously I’m not happy with how I climbed. Sometimes when I feel in good shape infront of a comp, I get nervous. Nervous that all the time spent on getting in shape won’t pay off. And that is exactly how it felt like yesterday. This was only the first World Cup, and I’m off to a good start, seeing how I’ll do all of them this year. Next one is in Briancon in only a few days. Meanwhile I will stay here in Chamonix climbing and hanging out with the Austrian team. Tomorrow we will most likely go to some local crag and the day after to a gym in Geneva.
The level at Extremsportveko, Voss was unusually high this year, when Adam Ondra decided to show up. This was my fourth time taking part at the event. The atmosphere was laid back as always despite the unexpected competition. Every year some strong foreign climber shows up, and in front of the comp I was joking about Ondra showing up this year, as I knew he was doing a Nordic tour. A couple of days before the comp the organizers called me and said he had signed up – The joke turned real! I was shocked, but stoked I would get hard competition. The World Cup season is just around the corner, so this meant I would get some idea of where I’m at and whether or not the training has payed off. It seemed it has. The format in the final eliminated one climber on each boulder. Both Adam and I flashed the three first boulders, pretty easily. The fourth problem was a lot harder. We were only three climbers left (Jaran, Adam and me) and had 20 minutes to work it. A steep boulder on small holds. Probably around 8A+. I managed to send it on my second go, while Ondra was struggling getting a small undercling from a crimpy pinch. After some tries he stuck that move, but fell on the next hard move. The time ran out and Adam and I advanced to the last problem, which was just ridiculously hard. Maybe 8B+?? The second move was the hardest, going from a small pinch to another in a roof. On my best go I managed to hold the second small pinch for maybe two seconds, which secured me the win. The last problem was just too hard, but I was super happy I sent the fourth problem! Felt really strong at the comp. But this was a boulder comp, so I still have no idea where I’m at endurance wise. But I’m soon about to find out. As I’m writing this post I’m on the ferry over to Denmark. From there it’s a 12 hour drive on the Danish and German (Autobahn) highway to Innsbruck. In less than two weeks I have my first World Cup this year in Chamonix.
You can see all the WC events at ifsc.tv
Just got home from a national DWS comp in Bergen. Now it’s back to training for the a packed World Cup season soon to come. This year I’m planning to do all the World Cups, which will be the first time ever for me. It will involve a lot of travelling, different time zones and lonely time spent on airports all over the world. As usual, the season will kick off in Chamonix and finals will be helt on their national day – July 14th. So I have about a month of hard training ahead of me. A week prior to the event I will spend some quality time in Innsbruck like I did last year. Between the hard training I hope to get some outdoor climbing done here in Norway. I will try to do a better job updating my blog as well.
Here is a video of the final route from last weekend.
I’m at a major crossroad. Neanderthal has gotten gradually more wet, until yesterday when it all of a sudden got hot. It seems like at this time of year it’s either wet, but good temps or dry and too hot to climb. I still have my ticket back to Norway the day after tomorrow. Right now I don’t see any point of extending my stay, as it seems it will only lead to me getting out of shape. My skin has also taken a beating, leaving me with a new blood blister every day. By tonight I have to decide what to do. The choice won’t be easy.
Here is the link to the NRK article and film. I was not able to see it here in Spain, so it might only be available from Norway.
Yesterday NRK was here to film, so I had no choice but to get on Neanderthal again, even though some of the holds were still wet. I was surprised by how well it went. I managed to link up to the wet holds from the ground, and continue through the crux after pulling the draw to get through the wet. Where I used to feel like a bag of potatoes it now felt effortless. I finally feel like the route is within my grasp. If the wet holds only could dry up, im ready to give it ground-up tries. My only problem now is that everyone is leaving. I desperately need someone to climb with! But I will do what it takes. I’m not leaving empty handed this time. I said “no retreat no surrender” and Im gonna stick to that statement. I’ll camp out in the cave for weeks if I have to.
While waiting for the route to dry up, I have been going to different crags repeating routes, onsighting and redpointing easier stuff. Obviously it has done wonders!
For you norwegians NRK will most likely show the footage on “Sportsrevyen” sunday. It will be on their webiste as well, and I will post the link as soon as it’s out.
Spain is calling once again. On thursday I head south with Kiffen and Jarle. We will meet up with Hannah (my sister) and Henning in Santa Linya, where they have a house. My goal has not changed, Neanderthal is still haunting me in my dreams. I consider my chances of sending to be pretty unlikely, but that is not gonna stop me from trying my best. No retreat no surrender!
On this trip I also want to try other climbs. Now that the days are longer I hope we can do two sessions a day, with a rest in between when it’s at its hottest. Trying other routes will get me in better shape as well.
NRK is coming down to Spain to film for a couple of days. I’m really excited about that, but I also guess that means the pressure is on. Preform monkey!
My week in Santa Linya was drastically shortened due to a nasty cut in my finger on the first day on Neanderthal. I tried taking three rest days for it to heal, however it didn’t help much. On the last days I got to work the route one or two times, before the blood and pain took over.
Though this trip didn’t quite turn out the way I had hoped I’m still optimistic. If I can get back to Santa Linya in top shape, before it gets too hot I think I have a fair chance of sending. All I can do now is take a few days off in hopes of my finger to heal completely, before starting to train.
Today Jarle and I decided to book tickets to Spain. Could only get away for a week – six days of climbing. I’m planning to spend all my time working the Neanderthal route in Santa Linya. By the end of the trip I will hopefully get a feeling of the route, and whether or not I think it can go. On my last trip I went through it once and did all the hard moves. Linking it however will be a completely different story. I hope to be back in Spain beginning of April for a longer amount of time, in sending mode!
This was the first deep water solo competition on the international calendar. This year we are planning to repeat the success, not only in Arendal. More info to come…
It’s been a hectic, yet productive week. Shooting for the new Bama (a big Norwegian fruit company) show that will help launch their new website proved to be a real disappointment. Though I haven’t seen the result, I can say with absolute certainty it will not be good. I find it bizarre a company of Bama’s size can’t come up with something better.
Working for Frictionwalls and our new concept has been great! Everything is more or less ready. All that remains is a custom made order of holds from the States and we are ready to roll!
Here is a little peek of our new concept:
Here is a film from Directa open your mind 9a in Santa Linya. Thanks to Kristoffer Thorbjørnsen for film and edit! This film is only filmed from the ground, though Henning Wang has footage from above that will be used in a bigger production later on.
Before I left Spain I got to try Neanderthal 9b, which Chris Sharma put up back in 2009 and hasn’t seen an ascent since. It’s a super intimidating line going straight through the Santa Linya cave. I went through it one time, and could do all the moves. Though, putting all the moves together is a different story on this 50 meter long route. 9a into a hard boulder problem without any rest, followed by an 8b.
Photo: Henning Wang
This 9a took me slightly longer than expected. I got really close some days ago, but underestimated the top section and fell there a couple of times before I sent the route yesterday in the sun. The day before that I did what people tell me is the first on sight of Codigo Norte 8b. Really nice route! Tomorrow we are climbing at Oliana. Psyched to try some hard on sights.
Pictures and video will be posted soon…
Today I surprised myself by sending fuck the system 9a. I tried the route briefly when I was here two weeks ago, and then it felt like it would take me a lot longer. The time I spent at home resting seems to have helped. Now I’m ready to try something harder! And congrats to my sister for doing Fabelita, her first 8c!
Here are some video stills taken by Henning Wang:
Hello all and my apologies for not writing in a while. I tend to loose motivation for writing when my climbing isn’t going well. Though that is perhaps exactly when I should write. This competition season started off amazing, but ended terrible. I have been reflecting on what I could have done wrong and I am afraid I don’t have an answer. Normally at this time of year I like to take a break, but because I feel like I haven’t preformed, I’m feeling restless. So I will not take a break yet.
After the World Cup in Barcelona I stayed there with some good friends of mine; Jakob Shubert (Austria), Daisuke Konishi and Sachi Anma (Japan). I tred a few hard routes, which confirmed my lack of endurance, though made me really psyched to get in shape again. Therefore I’m flying back to Spain in only a week from now!
We spend some time in Oliana and Santa Linya. Being back in Santa Linya brought back a lot of good memories. In 2008 I slept in the cave for a week, to do La Novena Enmienda, which was my first 9a+. Since then a lot of hard routes has been put up. And when I go back to Spain now, that is where I want to climb the most. I just pray the weather will be good. At this time of year I have experienced weeks of nonstop rain in Spain.
After the world cup I managed to do couple of pretty hard routes, as well as many easier routes:
- Maroncita 8b On Sight
- Picos Pardos 8b Flash
Both of which used to be 8b+.
Here is the short version of the La Novena Enmienda Video from 2008.