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European Youth Bouldering Championships
In the previous weekend, on the 25th and 26th of May, the European youth bouldering championships were held in Switzerland. The competition was located amongst mountains in the city called Grindelwald.
Right after I finished my exam on friday the 24th I drove directly to Aalborg airport, flew to Copenhagen from where I continued to Zürich with my friend, Alexander. We arrived in Zürich at 19:35 (pm), and we had to continue our travel by train to Bern and afterwards to Interlaken Ost (in danish that sounds exactly like the translation of “a plate of cheese”, and after having had a very long day with both exams and long flights, we were both so exhausted and tired, that we were overly amused every single time the name of our destination was called up on the speaker. People must have thought we were completely retarded.) From “Interlaken Ost” we had to go by bus, to finally arrive at Grindelwald. At that time it was almost midnight. However, we were lucky that we lived only 150 metres away from the place of the competition, so we did not have to get up too early.
The bouldering problems were really well built. We, the contestants, got tested in about every single way one could imagine. Specific techniques, balance, strength, flexibility, dynamics, power, reading ability. I have never been part of such a multi-faceted and varied bouldering competition in my life. Props and credit and all sorts of respect to the route setters.
After the qualifications I were not so satisfied with my performance. Beforehand I knew that I was not at all in my best shape. Too much time spend on the last part of my time in school since I wanted to maintain my grades and average mark before the exams. It is so hard to be spending so much time on something that feels so artificial, affected and forced, and when in reality I just want to climb.
Having topped the two most technical problems, one being on the slab, I knew that I had the opportunity to be placed well if I could just get rid of the annoying and disastrous thought that kept flickering through the back of my mind every time I had to believe in myself during some crucial moves on the more powerful problems. The idea that I had not trained enough and I therefore should not be able to do the problems flickered unwillingly through my mind each time I had to make a crucial move or a move for the top hold. In addition to that the stress of having only 5 tries on each problem which meant “no-screw-ups-allowed”, just made it impossible for me to pick myself up and believe enough in my climbing ability that day. After being really unsatisfied and almost unhappy with my performance after the qualifications, it actually cheered me up a bit when I saw the results; I came in 14th out of nearly 30 which actually was not so bad after all. I mean, this was my first international bouldering competition and I was not even in my best shape at all. However, had I just done one more problem it would have changed my placement in the ranking drastically and I would have been placed 8th or 9th. Which, in my opinion, is not that bad after all.
Right now I am in the middle of the last exam race: Reading, writing, training, eating, sleeping, repeating. Before I get a chance to grasp it (I hope!), school will be over, exams will be long forgotten and I will be on my way to Chamonix, Briançon and Imst for some big international competitions. Soon after that I will be on my way to Ardèche to have myself a little bit of a rock climbing trip and vacation.
Enjoy the summer everyone, peacee ooouuttt from Denmark!