Two months on the road
Fontainebleau – Helsinki – Oslo – Trondheim – Fontainebleau – Siurana – Margalef
After hitting the wall again and again energy wise this fall I had to do something. I couldn’t keep showing up in the gym getting my face slapped every single time. I had to make a desicion – keep trying or do something else. After a year with mono it was time to do something other than wait.
I decided to skip the last world cup due to the fact that I couldn’t train. I had done my comps where I just focused on fun and enjoyment this year, and the voice in my head saying «it’s time to perform» was back. But truth is that I was in no place to perform. I struggled with a nasty cold for six weeks this fall in addition to still struggeling with mononucleosis, and decided I might as well continue the struggle in Fontainebleau rather than at home.
Two days later me and my boyfriend Thilo packed our car and drove down to the magic French forrest. Fointainebleau was everything I expected and yet so far from it. I expected tons of rocks laying around in the forrest, what I did not expect was the enormous amount of them. Thousands of boulders within a 30 minute car drive. The french food and atmosphere did not dissapoint either. It was the simple life; coffee and breakfast, climbing, dinner and rest. Repeat day after day. And I loved it. On my previous trips I often get restless. I feel like I don’t climb enough becuase the skin always says no before the head and the body, but now it was different. I wasn’t there to train, I was simply there to climb, relax and heal up. Thilo on the other hand had another plan; sending as many hard classics as possible. His tick list is impressive and it was truly inspiring to be there with him. Boulders like Partage 8a+, Ubik 8a+, Big Dragon 8a+, Tigre et Dragon 8a, Fata Morgana 8a, the historic Control Technique 7c+ and a flash of the legendary Big Boss 7c to mention a few. He has done a lot of harder graded boulders before, but sending these iconic boulders meant so much to him. The style in Fontainebleau is more complex than other places he has been to, and mixing up the physical and the technical aspects really shows how talented he is. For me the story was different. I had way more rest days than climbing days. I tried hard boulders and I tried easy ones. I usually spent some time on every boulder I tried and got spanked like most people do in Font. But I had a great lot of fun and climbed as much as my body allowed me to. But no big sends for me. After three weeks it was time to compete again, the Nordic Championship in bouldering. A great one for Thilo and a terrible one for me.
I was still sick, still not psyched and still in a holiday mood. That of course reflected in my climbing and I wasted what could have been a great weekend in Helsinki. Thilo on the other hand climbed superb, flashing three out of four boulders in the final and ended third on count-back. A couple of days at home, cleaning some clothes and trying to get psyched for the next one the following weekend; the national championship. Still sick, but very psyched and unfortunalty very tired. Once again a competition I did not enjoy and once again reflected in my climbing. I know how well I could have done, and maybe should have, but to be honest, the one thing that I have truly experienced this year is the importance of having energy. On the opposite side Thilo was superior in qualifiers winning it by being the only one to top as many boulders as he did. The final might not have been the best, but it was well deserved! Thilo became the first to beat Magnus and win the national championship in many many years. Two comps done and it was time to head back to the forrest.
Thilo had one project in mind; l’Illusion du Choix, a stunning 8b put up by Nalle Hukkataival a few years ago. It was wet the first day. The forecast said sun and 7 degrees as far as it reached, but the following days were foggy and wet. Day after day. I had a day at Megalithe, a 7c+ a Rocher Grau I tried once some weeks before, only this time I passed the crux and got to the top out. Wet. And I took a nasty fall on it. Scary. So only one thing to do; return! One more day and the forecast was too good to be true, and this day it was accurate. I sent Megalithe, my first 7c+ boulder and my first meeting with «the process» of bouldering. Thilo’s project was wet. All moves were done, but the rock was way too moist to ever link them together that day. The forecast now said rain as far as we could see, and Spain was calling.
Thilo had one route in mind; Bumbayé 8c+ in Margalef. I had plenty. It was time for me to get some meters in my body again. This past year I have not been able to train endurace or climb routes at all, except the four lead comps I did. I had no idea what to expect or what level I would climb at. Sending such an endurance route as El Fustigador 8a+ on my second day climbing was definitely not expected. After a week of hard work Thilo clipped the chains of Bumbayé, one of the coolest lines we both had seen. It was an epic prosess of work, and a really inspiring one for me to witness. The progress, the frustration, the failures and the enormous joy of success.
My plan for the weeks in Spain was to climb as much as possible, get as many meters in my body as I can and have fun. The thought was for it to be some kind of a transission period of a very relaxing year to a training year that I can hopefully start now in January, and with the trip passed I can say it was a successful one. I climbed a lot more than I thought I could, I climbed beautiful routes and I truly enjoyed spending the time outdoors. I sent my first 8b, Zona 0, in a veeery long time, my first and only was back in 2011, I sent El Fustigador which I never thought I could do after zero endurance training, and I think that it’s a very promising period coming up. Having the level I have now with as little effort as I have been able to put in can only mean that the future is bright.
Now that I’m back home I will try to experiment to see how my body responds to being home in a normal envoirment and to training. Hopefully, it can handle it well and I’ll start training properly within a few weeks. There is no doubt in where my focus should be; general fitness, maximum endurance and continue with power. Only thing I can say now is that I am very excited to get started and very happy to finally be living the life I dreamt of! A lot of plans for this year – training, competing, Ceuse, Flatanger and other places in Norway, Red River Gorge, Hueco…. But first training!