Around the world
This past year I’ve been focusing on training rather than competing, simply because I had so much work to do after being injured and sick. I used this oppotunity to go on more trips and climb outside. Rocklands, Flatanger, Red River Gorge, Margalef and Ticino. And I thought, since I have seen some of the world’s best climbing areas I might as well write a few words about them.
Rocklands – June
Rocklands is a paradise. Beautiful rock, beautiful landscape and so many boulders to choose from. I was ambitious on this trip. I had just sent my first 8A and 8A+ boulder, and I wanted to see if this was my new level. Unfortunatly I hurt my finger on my send of Steinbukken, the 8A+ boulder I sent and this ruined my preperation for Rocklands. But, I had a long list of boulders I wanted to try, and if one didn’t work I just went for the next one. Choosing boulders carefully is something I don’t like much, but when the alternative is that the injury gets worse or rest, it’s an easy choice.
Hatchling has been a dream boulder ever since I saw a photo of it, and I was happy to send it and climb to the top of this boulder. Another beauty I sent was the Rhino and this thing surprised me. I thought it was only the rock that was spectacular, but it climbs really well too.
Tea with Elmarie and Out of Balance were two boulders that had high priority, but never got to see a top. I was close on both, but I had to leave empty handed regarding these two boulders, but I had such a wonderful trip. Rocklands is one of the most beautiful and interessting places I have been, and even though my wasn’t the best climbing wise, I had three amazing weeks. And definitely a place to return to!
Flatanger – August
A Norwegian paradise. I’ve spent time in Fosen before, but never had the chance to see Flatanger. Camping life, steep climbing, musquitos and morning swims pretty much sums up this trip.
For Flatanger I expected hard and steep routes, not the best for my finger that was still injured, luckily the left part of the wall that I had heard had easier routes was huge. Steep and technical climbing, everyting from easy to 8b+. I was surprised by how good these routes were – the rock quality, how technical the routes were and how good they climb. I was really surprised by the quality of the routes on this easier wall, because honestly, when you hear Flatanger, you think of the cave, which is enormous. And impressive. But truth is that I was in no shape to try the harder routes the cave had to offer, and I was happy to check out the left part of the wall.
My favorite route of this trip was Poltergeist, a 7c+ with some tricky sequenses. And a pretty long one too. I also did Flaggermusmannen 8a, the first route boltet in the cave, with some real funky beta. What I wanted to try was Muy Verdes, pictured above, but it felt too hard at the time. Definitely something I want to try next time. This rail looks like the best sequense the whole cave has to offer.
Red River Gorge – Ocotober/November
.. is an edurance paradise. If you have edurance, this is the place to be! I went there to get better endurace. I had three goals in mind, onsight 8a+, send something pretty hard, and try something really hard.
I onsighted Angry Birds, an 8a+ at Drive By, I sent Transworld Depravity, an 8b+ at the Motherload, and yes it is loong. 30 meters+. And I tried and got really psyched on Pure Imagination 8c+.
I spent three weeks in the Red climbing a lot in different areas. My favorite crag might be the Chocolate Factory, even though it’s really sharp. One of the best routes I did was Buttercup, an 8a+ at Chocolate Factory. This is also the sector with Pure Imagination and Golden Ticket, which my friend Michaela sent on my last day. Probably the highlight of the trip.
Red River Gorge was the perfect place to work on my endurance and fitness. The routes are long, fingery, powerful, but the best of all, you get all kind of styles from vertical to really steep. I plan on return in the fall.
Margalef/Montsant – December
Another paradise. For this trip I really wanted to try the two 8b+ at Finestra, Aitzol and Vie del Quim, but it was too cold. Last year we climbed in the shade in December, but this year we had to search the sun. On our last day I climbed Vie del Quim from bolt to bolt, and it climbs as well as I had heard. Unfortunatly it was way too cold to do more than a few moves at the time. Need to go back for this and the neighboor route Aitzol.
We spent most of our time at Espadelles, the big crown at the top of the hill. In the sun all day. I surprised my self with a quick send of El bal de Triceps 8b, which I think is the best line of the cliff. A beautiful blue streak up the wall. Another good one was Toni Kaneloni, an 8a+ a few routes to the right. After messing up my onsight I checked out the top and found it pretty hard, low percentage move all the way at the top. Luckily I didn’t fall there and sent it next try.
I also got to check out Montsant for the first time, and this was a true paradise to me. It reminded me of Ceuse with the beautiful scenery and long routes. I sent a stunning 8a+ called Falconetti, but I was dreaming of the longer and harder ones. Definitely at the top of my list next winter! The approch is longer than the usual in Spain, but worth it! To me, better than Siurana and Margalef.
Ticino – March
A trip with a lot of training in mind. Six weeks in the Swiss alps combing bouldering in Brione, Chironico and Cresciano and lead climbing in a lot of different gyms. We spent the majaority of our time in Brione, but unfortunatly only two weeks with good conditions. Summer came early, but luckily we had very little rain. Which is very unusual for Swiss. Dry rock is always better than wet 🙂
Not everything worked out like I wanted it to this trip. A painful finger put a stopper to my trip sending wise. It was difficult to find boulders that didn’t have painful holds and be able to send my projects. But I found a few I really want to return for and I managed to get up two really cool ones. Molunk, a 7c in Brione is one of the best I’ve done, and with a real funky beta too, and Arete with a pocket, an 8a in Chironico, that climbs amazingly.
My main goal of the trip was to work on my finger strenght and onsight/flash hard routes in the gym. I managed to do both very well and now that I’m home I’m feeling stronger than ever. Another trip with lack of ascents, but Thilo took some responsebility and crushed more or less everything he touched. This guy always impresse and inspire me to try harder. Highlight of the trip was his send of Ninja Skills 8B+ which is to me one of the coolest looking boulders I’ve seen.
A year of rock climbing and training has passed. I chose my trips depending on what I needed to work on to get back into competition shape, and my main weakness after 1,5 year with mono was naturally endurance and fitness. Now my general endurance and fitness is as good as it was, if not better, and now I have a body that is strong enough to train specific and to get my maximum endurance back on track.
This year I am doing the whole World Cup except two in China and with two months to go I’m starting to get really really excited.