My Yosemite trip is coming to an end, or it has already since the park is closed for about a week now due tot the US government shutdown.
I can’t complain though, since I was able to do a whole bunch of climbs, from very relaxed and enjoyable to incredibly adventurous and horribly exhausting.
Continue reading Yosemite: El Capitan
- El Nino 5.13c
- Ben in the Dolphin Chimney, 5.12
- El Nino, belay after the crux
- El Nino, Ben cleaning the Black Cave
- El Nino, Bivy 2
- El Nino, high up
- El Nino, top :)
- The Nose in a day, with Ben and Max, passing a swiss team
- El Cap, 'The big Stone'
A dream come true, I’ve climbed El Capitan. Once within a day on the ultra classic ‘Nose’, and once free on ‘El Nino’ 5.13c (8a+) in 3 days. The ‘Big Stone’ is truely amazing and I can’t wait to get back on it. I’ve been in Yosemite for almost two weeks now, and I have about the same amount of time left. Next up is a bit of schooling into aid climbing, and then if everything works out another free blast on the other side of the Captain.
Thanks to my buddies Max and ‘no pants Ben’ for a great time out there!
Zillertaler Hauptkamm from jorg verhoeven on Vimeo.
For those who haven’t seen it on the web before (Facebook, Planetmountain), here’s the video of my traverse of the ‘Zillertaler Hauptkamm’ I did the week after the European Championships in July. This pure ridge traverse is around 50 km long and covers some spicy terrain up to fifth class climbing, mostly remaining on rock without touching the shallow glaciers beneath too often. I spent 7 days to complete this ridge, out of which one restday on the sole hut, the Schwarzensteinhütte (2900m).
People have continuously asked me for my motivation, and I keep answering I just needed a change. I’ve been pondering on this project for a while now, and after the Euro Champs in Chamonix, where I ended up with a surprising 3d place, I decided to call it good for this season’s lead comps, and give the mountains a go.
After a total of 60+ hours of hiking/scrambling/climbing with a 15 kilo backpack I was truely destroyed and took a week recovering. Now I’ve restarted my boulder training for the last 4 comps of the season: WC Munich, Euro Champs Eindhoven, Arco Rockmaster and Adidas Rockstars Stuttgart.
pic by H. Wilhelm
Ten Years of lead worldcup climbing is quite a long time, and the last few seasons it’s gotten harder and harder for me to find the motivation for a good preparation. Most climbers of ‘my generation’ have already quit competition climbing, and being called ‘The oldie’ all the time proved even more that a change was asked for. Since I still enjoy competitions in general, and since my speed climbing abilities haven’t improved, I’ve decided to switch to bouldering.
This year’s season started off in April already, so that didn’t leave me a lot of time recovering from the last season, which ended in November. Five comps have taken place already, out of which I could reach the finals twice and the podium once. There’s two comps coming up very soon in North America, and the season will finish of with the last cup Munich and the Euro Championships nowhere else than in the Netherlands!
Continue reading Bouldering comps
Ticino – Part 1 HD from jorg verhoeven on Vimeo.
Our two week trip to Switzerland’s bouldering Mecca is over. A short bad weather spell left us with quite a bit of snow, but armed with broom and brush nothing could stop us from ticking a few projects on the last sunny days. After Katha setting the bar quite high with her flash of ‘Tricky’ 8A, I managed to rebound that by flashing the ultra classic ‘La Proue’ 8B…
Katha showed some more biceps on ‘Frank’s Wild Years’ 8A+ and the not to be underestimated classic ‘Arcadia sit’ 7C+, and I ticked off an old nemesis of mine: ‘The Dagger’ 8B/+. This problem has been in the media lately with quite a few ascents, and a proposed lower grade (not only by climbers but internet voices as well…), I still found it hard, especially to figure out a beta that suited me.
The video I’ve posted above is the first of two parts, and as you will see, we still have some problems filming with our new lens :)
Katha and I have been in Ticino for a bit more than a week now, and have had both splendid weather in the beginning of our trip, and a couple of snowy days just now. We’ve got another week left, and it looks like it’ll be sunny, so our efforts to clean the boulders from snow were not in vain.
Conditions have been nearly perfect before, which resulted in a lot of hard problems for the both of us, e.g. Katha flashing ‘Tricky’ 8A, and some 8B boulders for me, one of which a FA.
I was a bit sceptic about coming here for a longer period (it’s only 4 hours from home), but I couldn’t be more motivated, if only those 10 cm of snow would melt…
I’ll keep up to date with some pictures and some not so professional video footage.
Another year has gone by, and like I previously wrote 2012 was climbing wise not much different from the years before. I did a lot of competitions, a bit too many, but I only realized this towards the end of the season. I travelled even more, with an all-time-record of 14 inter-continental flights, hence a lot of jetlags and a Star Alliance Frequent Traveller status…
All those competitions stole most of my time to climb outside, and I will definitely change this in 2013. I’m catching up with my studies again, which is far from easy when you miss 50% of the courses, but I’m quite used to this, and so are my professors.
After a two week trip to Spain around new year’s eve, which was exactly what I needed (nice weather and good rock) I’ve already started my training for the next season. I will mainly do bouldering, and fewer lead cups, since that means a summer and fall with time to do other stuff. It keeps surprising me how high my motivation is, especially since lately a lot of things actually tempt me to quit competition climbing for good. I really hope that this motivation will stay with me, since it’s the only thing that’s keeping me going… Continue reading 2012 – 2013
It isn’t called the Pampa for nothing. Endless steppes of volcanic wastelands offer nothing but dust and (chossy) rock. Only the clear blue water of the Chubut river creates a little change by chiseling its way through the desert, accompanied by some lone trees and plants. In the middle of this scenery a giant monolith, the solidified vent of an ancient volcano, stands 250 meter tall, ready to be attacked by a 1300 climbers attending the tenth Petzl Rocktrip. Also the Buitrera Canyon – visible on the background of the picture above – is the playground for all these people, armed with mate cups and helmets against the loose rock.
A couple of hard sports routes were bolted by the Petzl team, but I was more tempted by the endless 200 meter high faces the canyon has to offer, especially a route called Balroc bolted in good style by belgian Sean Villenueva in sector Mordor. Six pitches up to 8b+ varying in good to pretty bad rock with incredible movements and features were just begging to be freed, so I spent most of my time working on this fantastic route, eventually freeing it on my very last day. Major thanks to Sean to letting my play on this masterwork, getting so close himself already, I’m quite sure he’s playing a victory song on his flute at the top as I’m typing this.
Now winterbreak has finally come…
Oh my, I almost forgot how to log in to this blog :) Let’s see if this old thing still worked.
To be honest, I’ve had no inspiration whatsoever to write anything for a long time now. What should I write about? Constantly writing about yourself is not that fun at all, especially when not much new stuff is going down. I’ve been climbing comps for over ten years, and now, and big surprise: I’m still in the game! Good old university is still asking for some hours learning how rocks form deep down below surface and then beg to be climbed. My life, except for a slight quarter life crisis that is of no interest to the world wide web, is kind of what it used to be.
Then one fine day I was surfing around, trying to regain a bit of motivation to train for the last comps – that keep on coming in spite of a feeling that my season ’12 has already ended – and was quite surprised what the climbing websites had to offer. Of course a lot of it was about numbers – and superlatives as always – which logically involves the great Wizard (mr Ondra that is), and then the casual people screaming around in loud electronical voices, to let everybody know their opinions, often based on very thick air.
So, training motivation had te be found elsewhere (on a snowy mountain, where else), but it got me in a mood to put in my tuppence worth to several themes swirling around the planet in bits and bytes, maybe more terabytes thesedays… Continue reading Test test test