dinsdag 1 december 2015

NK Lead 2015

Placed 2nd for the nationals comes with expectations. Not only from myself, but also from others. Dutch Climbing site Siked saw me a as the favorite for the 2nd place (reference)and friends also expected something of me... This made me pretty nervous the week before.

On the big day itself I wasn't nervous anymore. The route looked good and I felt strong, not just physisical but even more mentally. After waiting for some time in the isolation it was my time to climb. I didn't wanted to make any mistakes, but already in the very beginning I made a small mistake: I made an a little bit too small jump to the next hold, which almost made me fall. Luckily I recovered and the rest of the route I climbed on a very safe modus. All the holds were better than expected and without having troubles I climbed up to the upper part. Here was a small trick: on the wall was written in small letters "secret hold to the left" and after looking twice I found the secret hold. From on that point it was a small bouldery passage to the top, and with a huge crowd all encouraging me I clipped the topquickdraw!

Yihaa! Nikki topped as well, but faster which makes her Dutch Champion and me a very happy best of the losers :D

In case you missed it: hereby the livestream to look back. My moment is fame starts at 58:53

woensdag 11 november 2015

NJK 2015

Last Sunday the Dutch Youth Lead Championships were held in Rock Steady, Bussum. Because I am getting old, this would be my last youth competition, which I was willing to win!

But without a good warming up you don't get there, so the Friday evening before I started with a 21 hours long adventure race. In a team of 4 we runned, mountainbiked, kanoed, orientated and navigated our way through the surroundings of Wageningen. Despite all the rainfall we arrived Saterday evening at the finish. Tired, but satisfied. And in my case: with my feet hurting like hell. Because of all the rain, my feet were wet all 21 hours long, which resulted in awfully looking and hurting feet.

Trying to keep on smiling in the last hours of the race

Back home I felt like I could sleep for ages (untill a nice person kisses me awake), but luckily I woke up the Sunday morning already. I was impressed by how much better my body felt after just 7 hours of sleep. There wasn't more time to rest, because I had to defend my titel of Dutch Youth Champion!

After arriving in the gym it was time to wait for hours in a crowded and noisy isolation. Not really what you want after a 21 hours adventure race and with a sleepy body I had to climb the semi final. And the climbing went horrible! My feet were shaking the whole time, I didn't looked good at the route so that I clipped the quickdraws at the most energy demanding points and I felt like a potato bag. But even though the climbing went horrible, I was placed 1st for the finals!

Again, it was time to wait for hours. But this time the poffertjes plate was free and there was no one taking care of it. So together with Judith (Meskers) we made some delicious poffertjes. Besides that it was a good dinner, it was also warm and most of all a lot of fun. This made the time flying away and then the moment was there that I had to climb the final route. It wasn't that hard, until a certain point with a module where my hand slipped off. A little bit pissed on myself that I wasn't pumped yet I fell off the route. No reason to be pissed though, I became 1st!

I am now 3 times consecutively DUTCH YOUTH CHAMPION!

donderdag 5 november 2015

Lead 4 - I-VY Sittard

The last qualification round for the nationals was last Sunday, so it is clear now who are going to compete at the national championships.

The last qualification in I-VY was an good one. The routes looked cool and the participant list promised an exciting competition. A good last test for the nationals!

The first qualification was a not so hard route which was topped by almost everyone. The second route was harder, but even this route was topped by 8 participants (including me).

The final route was going straight through the roof, on big holds which looked better than they actually were. I fighted up untill the very last meter, where I didn't knew what to do next and fell off the route. Enough for the second place, which made me placed second for the National Championships, 28 November @ De Klimmuur Centraal Amsterdam :-D Make sure you are there to encourage me :-). Tickets could be bought via the NKBV.

At the end of the day a little girl came to me to ask my signature. Yeahhh I am getting famous :D

vrijdag 23 oktober 2015

Youth lead 3 - Monte Cervino

Already some time ago the youth lead 3 was held in Monte Cervino. Referring to the blogpost before this one about good combinations: the day before the competition Noël and me went to Spaarnwoude to enjoy the beautiful weather and the 'rocks'. In the beginning I had to get used to all the small crimpers and sharp pockets again and struggled in the 6b's. But ones I was used to it the 7c went down almost as easy as the 6a's earlier that day :)

In the evening we drove to Monte Cervino and slept there.

On Sunday it was very crowded around Monte Cervino. Beside the climbing competition there were several other competitions and there was a big outdoor event. The qualification routes weren't that hard and I topped both. Also the final route looked pretty easy, so my goal was to get for today the maximum score of 3 tops. After waiting a long, long time in the isolation, it was time for my 5 minutes of fame. The final routes appeared to be even easier than the second qualification and without any trouble I topped. Yihaa!

maandag 14 september 2015

Good combinations: Les 12 heures de Durnal & Youth lead 2

Some people know me for doing 'stupid' combinations. For example the National Youth Championships the day after the BOTS (a 21 hours long adventure race). I wouldn't call these combinations stupid, but rather: good working combinations. The hard activity on the first day makes me satisfied and the second day I am tired so that my expectations are low. This results in a competition with a low stress-factor and - as it turns - good results.

Last weekend was again a good example. On Saturday Eli and me accepted the challenge "Les 12 heures de Durnal", in which you have to climb for 12 hours (no shit) and try to make as many attitude meters as possible. Our goal was to make fun and to try to reach the 1000 meters. The first goal was definitely achieved, the second goal just missed by 30 meters.

After the BBQ we went to the climbing gym Yellow Stone in Roosendaal, where Sunday the Youth Lead 2 was hold. After asking if it was allowed to put our tent next to the gym the staff laughed at us and said that it was no problem at all (one of the guys also slept in his van next to the gym). Climbers are great people :-)

Sundaymorning everyone was jealous of us, not having to wake up early and not having to travel to the gym this morning. The qualification routes were looking fun and not too hard and without having too much trouble I topped both. In the afternoon I started to feel the day before and in the isolation I fell asleep. This turned out to be a perfect power nap and the final route went good although I didn't felt that strong. Thirst place!

12 Uren van Durnal

dinsdag 8 september 2015

Lead 3, Monte Cervino Bergschenhoek

Last weekend was the Lead 3 in Monte Cervino, Bergschenhoek. I was looking forward to this competition, not only because I like their routes most times, but even more to see everone again after the summer holiday.

The summer holiday was great. Not many hard routes were done, but the hikes, bouldering, multipitches and just being in the mountains for five weeks made it a perfect holiday. Other good news is that I got my propedeuse, which proves that it is possible to manage training, being a board member and university.

Back to the competition, after arriving in Monte Cervino I felt very excited, happy to see everyone and I was really looking forward to climb. It was a pity when I saw that the first qualification route was not overhanging, with lots of small crimpers. Completely not my style. I tried to think back to some of last summer's multipitches, in which were also many small crimps. I also climbed those, so why not this route? Still not really convinced, but having a bit more trust in myself, I stepped in the route. I was crawling on the wall very slowly, close to falling many times. With only 13 seconds (of 8 minutes) left on the clock I clipped the top quickdraw. Yihea!
The second route was more made for me, cruising through the overhang with positive holds and not too long moves. I fell in the end because I didn't really saw where to go. In the second place I went to the finals.
Ending in a high place after the qualifications always makes me nervous. I want to keep that high place but there is more to loose. This time was no exception. Being nervous makes me look at routes in a way that I only see problems. "Oh Noo! So long moves, I don't know if I can clip the quickdraw from there... What if that hold is bad?" This makes me way less motivated to climb the route. So when I stepped in the route I was scared of falling around the second quickdraw, where was a long move from two underclings to a hold on a module. Arriving at that point I decided that jumping is better that doubting and I suprised myself with a jump. After succesfully passing this point I felt more relaxed and I was way more confident. Climbing and jumping through the route I ended up pumped at the end of the overhanging part. With no more force to hold the grips, I fell. Enough to keep my second place!

I am very happy that it was possible to change my static climbing style into a more dynamic style and I am very psyched to get even more dynamic, faster and stronger :D

Training modus is on for the NK!

Lead 3 2015

dinsdag 9 juni 2015

Lead 2

After a intense period at the university I didn't had that much time to train, which made me feel quite insecure about the Lead 2. Am I still good enough to reach the finals? How is it with my strength and endurance? With all those questions in my head I went to Mountain Network Amsterdam, where the competition was hold.

I don't know what exactly happened there. Maybe it was magic, maybe I am just stronger than I thought I am, but suddenly the climbing went great! The first qualification wasn't that hard so - as most other girls - I topped that one. The second route looked way harder and more dynamic. Not really my style but I made the best of it and really enjoyed the route. Falling high up in the route made me secure for a place in the finals.
The final route was a long route through the overhang. No far moves, new very grippy holds and movements which fit me pretty good. Perfect! After the overhanging part my foothook slipped off which made me come back to the ground. But I felt really happy with my performance and the 2nd place!

1. Nikki van Bergen
2. Aniek Lith
3. Eva Vink

1. Tim Reuser
2. Mark Brand
3. Casper ten Slijthof

maandag 20 april 2015

NSK 2015

Last weekend the National Student Championships (NSK) sports climbing were hold in Eindhoven. The really nice routes, all the happy, enthousiastic students and the big prizes contributed something which was a great event!

In the qualification round there were 22 routes, from level 4 up to a 7b. For every route you got 1 try and your best 4 routes counts for the score. By onsighting the 7b I managed to get easily in first place to the semi-finals.
Besides climbing there were also some side-events. One of them was coloring a drawing, so at one moment you saw all the tough climbers painting :) Other side-events were figure of 8, dynamic quickdraw and climbing in pairs. Although I was pretty horrible in them, they were very funny.

The semi-final was a pink route through the roof, it didn't looked so difficult and without any trouble I climbed it, as 4 others did. Hopefully they made the finals a bit harder!

And they did! There were some nice shaped holds in the route which I didn't knew before. I thought they were quite OK, but it turned out to be horrible slopers. After dragging myself through that sloper section my right arm was so pumped that I fell off the next hold.

This was enough for the first place! They made an awesome podium with for numbers 2 and 3 a big ball to sit on and for the number 1 a hanging chair :)

Looking forward already to the next NSK!

maandag 13 april 2015

Lead 1, Nieuwegein

*English below*

De kop is eraf! Allereerst die van de (chocolade) paashaas in Odenwald, die een val van een rotsblok niet overleefde. Vervolgens ook die van het nationale lead seizoen, afgelopen zondag in Nieuwegein!

De paasdagen dus doorgebracht in Odenwald, Duitsland. Een prachtige omgeving met veel verschillende klimmogelijkheden. Helaas regende het de eerste dag maar de twee daaropvolgende dagen heerlijk geboulderd en trad geklommen. Conclusies die getrokken konden worden na dit weekend: een paashaas kan beter niet van een rots'glijbaan' naar beneden, van een oud matras kan je prima crashpads maken en van paaseitjes een standplaats!

Bij de eerste lead westrijd in Nieuwegein was het prachtig weer buiten, wat ik niet kon weerstaan. Op de fiets naar de klimhal dus! Na 50 km had ik een goede warming-up achter de rug en stond ik in de klimhal. De bouwers hadden mooie routes gebouwd en het klimmen ging lekker. In de finaleroute verloor ik halverwege echter mijn concentratie, waarna ik uit de route viel. Zonde maar tevreden over het algemene klimmen die dag.

The head is off! First the one of the (chocolate) easter bunny in Odenwald, who didn't survived a fall from a rock. Later also that of the national lead season, last sunday in Nieuwegein!
So we spent the easter days in Odenwald, Germany. A beautiful area with many different climbing opportunities. Unfortunately it rained the first day but the next two days where full of nice bouldering and trad climbing. Conclusions that could be drawn after this weekend: an easter bunny could better not been thrown down from a rock slide, from an old mattress you could make a nice crashpad and from easter eggs a anchor!
During the first lead competition in Nieuwegein the weather was beautiful outside, which I couldn't resist.So going by bike to the gym!After 50 km I've had a good warming-up and arrived in the gym. The routesetters did a really good job by making nice routes and my cimbing went well. Unfortunately I lost my concentration in the finals, which made me fall. That was a pitty, but I am satisfied about the general day :)

donderdag 26 februari 2015

Winter in Berdorf!

All the nice outdoor climbing in Turkey, Switserland and Spain made me hungry for more, but with no more holidays on the planning for the coming period, there is no time to go far away again. Luckily there are also nice rocks pretty close to The Netherlands.

One of the most beautiful climbing spots is Berdorf, in Luxembourg. The forest there is magical and the sandstone rocks are great for climbing. So last weekend José (one of the guys I met in Turkey) and me headed to Berdorf.
After all the limestone climbing in Turkey and Spain I had to get used to sandstone again, but suprisingly that went pretty fast. I was really happy to climb in the rock again, no matter the cold (which wasn't that bad, because it created perfect friction). The first day I managed to sent Daïwel (7b+) in my second go. The next day we tried Ywene Ywene, a nice 7c+ with a lot of small crimpers. Not really my style but it was a really nice line. Unfortunately I didn't manage to climb the crux. In the night it started snowing, so no climbing on our last day. José took the quickdraws out Ywene Ywene, we enjoyed the view of Berdorf covered under snow and we drove back to The Netherlands.

dinsdag 24 februari 2015

El Chorro - Spain

Two weeks after the worldcup adventure, a new trip started at the airport in Malaga. This time Noël and me exchanged the cold and wet ice for the sun, warmth and rocks of El Chorro. The first day we were not so lucky with the weather. It started raining so we decided to go to the famous cave Poema de roca. This cave has some really nice and classic routes, but unfortunately most of them are polished.

The next day we went to the sector Suizo. Also here nice routes, much less polished than in Poema de roca. After this day we were used to the rocks and ready for a multipitch. We chose Café con bourbon. Four lengths (5+, 6b+, 7a, 6c+) of beautiful climbing with huge tufa's. In the last pitch we had to fight hard against the wind, which was trying to blow us away. But we won!

Bruno likes it :)

Next day was supposed to be a rest day, but the rocks were begging to be climbed, something I couldn't resist. So in the end I did some running in the morning and some climbing in the afternoon, which made this my worst rest day ever.

Everybody told us that Makinodromo is a really nice crag with a beauty of an 8a. Exactly where I was looking for! So after my "rest" day, Noël and me made a beautiful but long walk to Makinodromo and I tried the 8a (Lourdes). It was a very long and nice route with lots of tufa's in it, lovely! Unfortunately I didn't felt strong enough to climb it.

Next day the weather was shit again, so we decided to go to the Poema de roca again to try some hard routes. In the end of the day Noël was working in a 7a+ when it got dark. In the complete darkness we had to find our way back through the forest full of owls. We left last and came back the next day as first to do a 12 pitches long multipitch (4, 6a, 6c, 6c+, 7a, 6a+, 5+, 6b, 6c+, 6a, 3, 3+), all the way up to the face of Frontales, starting right of the cave. On our way up we saw vultures making spectacular acrobatic moves in the air. As a reward we ate pancakes on the top and afterwards we started abseiling down until our rope got stuck, so I climbed the first 6c+ pitch again... This took us 40 minutes more time than expected, so in the end we were in the wall for 10 hours and we had to walk back in the dark again.

The next day our arms felt they had done something so we had a relax start of the day and climbed a little bit in the rocks above our campside (Los Encantados). Then it was time to leave again. We had a great time in El Chorro with lots of free food, meeting new people and absolutely amazing climbs!

zondag 1 februari 2015

Worldcup ice climbing Saas Fee

My first world cup where I was not cleening the holds but climbing myself was finally there! Not, like I had always thought, in a sportclimbing competition, but instead in an iceclimbing world cup. How comes?

The Dutch ice climbing team, existing of Marianne van der Steen and Dennis van Hoek, were searching for new members of the team. After becoming second at the Dutch Drytool event (De Scottish Anna Wells became first), they asked me if I would like to join them to the worldcup Ice climbing in Saas Fee. Because I'd never done any iceclimbing we would go the week before the world cup to Kandersteg for some iceclimbing,drytooling and mixed climbing.

Trainings week IWC Saas Fee met Aniek en Noël 2015 from Marianne van der Steen on Vimeo.

After this great training week we drove to Saas Fee. On our way we found a nice ice pillar next to the road, which we decided to climb (you're a climber or you're not).

In Saas Fee the NKBV arranged a luxurious 4 stars hotel for us, with wellness. So after arriving we enjoyed the wellness and in the evening we went to the registration and dinner for the worldcup.

The next day we had to be early in the isolation. After 2 hours in the isolation it was finally my time to climb. I was a bit nervous and stressed about the climbing time: only 4.30 minutes! So in the beginning I wanted to climb as fast as possible, but I didn't knew where to go: there where 2 possibilities: go to the right and climb through a big cube of ice, or go straight. The last option was quite a long move, but because it saved you a few movements (and time) I decided to go for that option. Fortunately I managed to make the long move. A few meters higher up in the route there was a steinpull (undercling) and again a long move. With not that much time on the clock left I managed to make a mantle over the steinpull but unfortunately (with no time left on the clock) my ice axe slipped off the next hold.
This brought me in a 20th place. Just missed the semi finals but still very happy with this result! Marianne did a very good job, ending in a 8th place.

But the worldcup wasn't finished yet: we also competed in speed climbing! Because I regularly run out of time in competitions and I don't have that much ice climbing experience, I was curious about how the speed climbing would go.
The first time was horrible, but every attempt I climbed almost 10 seconds faster so in the end it went pretty ok (for my standarts). Because all woman made it to the finals, I had to climb finals of speed climbing in the evening. Me in the finals of speed climbing! The biggest joke in propably my whole life! I became 18th, but it was a very nice experience though. It is also surprisingly how the speed climbing is dominated by the Russian. So in 2013 Dennis did excellent by winning the world cup speed climbing!

It was a very educational week, very much thanks to Dennis and Marianne for learning me everything and the coaching. They made me addicted to iceclimbing and I really hope I can climb more ice climbing competitions next year! :-D

dinsdag 13 januari 2015


2014 was een mooi wedstrijdseizoen met als hoogtepunten Nederlands Jeugd kampioen lead en boulder en hiernaast nog een 2de plaats bij het Dutch Drytool event. Na al dit geweld op plastic werd het tijd om de rots weer eens op te zoeken, en lekker te genieten van de zon, warmte, tufa's en al het andere wat Turkije te bieden heeft!

Het werden 2 weken met inderdaad de beloofde zon, warmte en tufa's maar helaas ook met wat regenachtige dagen. Gelukkig was het erg gezellig op de camping waardoor het een zeer geslaagde vakantie was, waarin ik ook nog aardig wat mooie routes heb kunnen intikken :)