It’s been quiet on this blog for a while now. I have been going back and forth whether or not I should keep it alive. It seems the trend is going towards smaller Instagram and Facebook posts instead of the longer blog posts. I like the idea of shorter more consistent updates, though I have decided to keep this site for another year and then decide.
This year marked a decade of senior competitions for me. I have never celebrated a decade of anything in my life, but being Norwegian Senior Champion for 10 years straight, I feel is worth celebrating. I have had up and downs, some years have been harder than others. The most important thing have been to avoid injuries.
A lot has changed since the first senior comp in Ålesund in 2005. Being an up and coming youth I had zero pressure. Even though I was confident and thought I would win, I had nothing to prove to anyone but myself. As the years went by I have gradually felt the pressure increase, as I was expected to win. Looking back at the earlier years I used to want to show off more, by for example doing one arm pull ups in the middle of the route. Now I’m more conscious trying to minimize the chance of error. It’s not always been easy. Some years I have been less motivated, sick, made mistakes or just not been in great shape.
In all sports confidence is important, same goes for climbing. In order to gain confidence I might have seemed arrogant at times. But people who really know me, know it’s just a mask i put on in order to preform better and not get too nervous.
Some years the routes have had committing moves making it extra tough to deal with the pressure. Like in Sogndal in 2010 where the routesetters had sett a double dyno half way. Those times the mask have fallen and instincts taken over, which so far have worked.
So I guess the question now is how long I can keep this winning streak going. Is it going to be a question of motivation, or physical shape?
Here is a little overview of the last 10 championships:
On friday I had the worst start to a World Cup ever. Struggling with jet lag I fell a sleep really early the night before. I woke up 2am, watched some TV. Thought I wouldn’t be able to sleep again. But at 4:30 I felt tired and decided to get a little more sleep. I set my alarm for 6am. Woke up at 6am, and felt like I could sleep another hour. So I set another alarm for 7am and went back to sleep. What felt like a minute later I woke up with someone banging my door shouting my name. It was Jorg. The alarm had not woken me and I had missed the opening ceremony and the comp was starting in 15 mins. I got dressed, packed my bag and ran down to the bus that took me to the wall. Luckily it was a little delayed. Allowing me to warm up a little and get a few mouthfuls of coffee before it was my time to climb. It went relatively well. I got high on the first qualifier. On the second route I made a stupid decision. I got the top hold, which was a two finger pocket you grabbed on top. I got it, feeling pretty good. But decided I should adjust it so that I got the pocket right before clipping the anchor. As I was switching the top hold to a pocket I couldn’t hit the pocket right and fell. That cost me many places in the qualifiers, but then and there I was just happy not to be disqualified for not showing up on time. Little did I know it would cost me a place in the final.
Today (sunday) I climbed my semi final. I was tied with Adam, Sean and Akito. But because of my mistake I got 10th place on count back, instead of 8th, which would have secured me a place in tonights final. Had I only clipped the anchor before switching the top hold.
That said, I’m very happy that Sean made it through and very impressive seeing how he came second yesterday in the bouldering!
P.S. I though I had just ignored my alarm being too tired. But I later realized that when I set my alarm 6am on Friday I by accident turned off the sound. And that is why it didn’t wake me the following day either.
Comp season right around the corner. I have trained harder than ever before. Paying attention to my weaknesses, such as my left arm being weaker than my right. I have even been on a super healthy diet plan, custom made by the norwegian olympic organization. So lets hope this madness pays off!
Some of the comps I will be doing this year:
June 20-22 World Cup Haiyang, China
July 10-12 World Cup Chamonix, France
July 19-20 World Cup Briancon, France
August 1-2 World Cup Imst, Austria
September 8-14 World Championship Gijon, Spain
August 23rd Norwegian Championship (Bouldring) Bergen, Norway
October 11-12 World Cup Mokpo, South-Korea
October 18-19 World Cup Wujiang, China
October 25-26 World Cup Inzai, Japan
November 8th Nordic Championship (lead) Sogndal, Norway
November 15-16 World Cup Kranj, Slovenia
November 22 Norwegian Championships (lead) Ålesund, Norway
You can watch all semi-finals and finals on ifsc-climbing.org
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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 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!
Not much has changed in Santa Linya. Though the house has gotten some upgrades. New TV and sofa.
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.
The dishes I’m working so hard to avoid.
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!