Rope Climbing and its Aftermath

Knowing I’ve passed my exams, I could finally start focusing on my summer plans. This summer we decided to go rope climbing for a change. I used to do a lot of rope climbing in the past but for the last couple of years I’ve mainly been bouldering. So where better to go than to one of the most beautiful crags in the world? Céüse was amazing as ever with its beautiful scenery, the pretty campsite and of course the many world class routes located all on the same huge wall. I didn’t even mind the one hour hike over a 500m difference in altitude, because it’s not only totally worth it but I believe it also gets you pretty fit. In the beginning I struggled a bit to get at least some tiny bit of endurance but after the first couple of days, I already felt way better and even managed to slowly recover within the route. Wisely I still chose some rather bouldery projects with good rest positions in between. With Bourinator (8a) I finally climbed my first route in the 8th grade and a few days later I managed to finish up Carte Blanche (8a), my project from last time. I also did one of the probably rather few female ascents of Sans peur et sanglier (7c+), the really fun dyno to the right of Carte Blanche. The next day I had the honor of belaying Matthi on the send of his project Mr. Hyde (8c+), so happy for him! Conditions were perfectly windy and after doing the bouldery start he looked super solid all the way to the top. Towards the end, I started trying longer, more technical routes and I also enjoyed lots of „easier“ climbs, whereas easy probably isn’t the word I was looking for. Almost every 7a felt hard and was physically as well as mentally challenging, not last due to some rather far spread out bolts. I’m not actually afraid of falling but I’m sometimes not completely comfortable with it either. Yet I realized that to keep on climbing is usually the best option you’ve got, let alone that it often ends with also finishing the route ;) I think these experiences helped me not only to get a better climber but they also taught me once more why I love this sport so much. It’s the diversity of movement, the feeling of freedom being far off the ground, the adrenaline that comes with going beyond your limits and finally the satisfaction when you’ve accomplished your goal, knowing you’ve demanded whatever you could from your body. For me climbing on a rope however is very different from bouldering, especially when considering the mental aspects. I relearned how to really fight your way up over more than just a few moves, to keep climbing even if you feel completely exhausted, knowing that there are still some hard moves and a big runout lying ahead of you. You don’t just step down on your crashpad, work out every single move from the ground and then try again after a good rest. You just have to keep going, even though your feet might hurt and your forearms feel like they might burst. Sometimes it’s simply frustrating when you keep falling on that very same move you could do so easily on its own. I find the process from working a route to finally climbing it very tiring, especially in your head. Yet it was a welcome challenge and it definitely got me motivated to climb on a rope a bit more often in the future.

Nevertheless, I was also psyched to get back to bouldering. I missed the creative and more playful aspect of solving a problem rather than fighting my way up through (more or less) obvious moves I already did individually. Yes, I know I could also try harder routes to resolve that problem but that would also require a whole lot of endurance which I don’t have at the time, but I might work on that eventually… Anyway, I only had two weeks left to transfer back to bouldering and plastic before the World Championships in Munich. The Olympic Park is always a fantastic venue with a great crowd and I was really excited to compete in my first World Championships. First day it was the male qualifiers and we got a first impression of the wall and the very cool looking boulders. Unfortunately nobody of our team made it to the next round. Next day it was our turn and I was really psyched to climb. Sadly it didn’t seem to be my day. I ran out of time on my best attempt on the first problem and I felt really weak on some of the more powerful problems, including a dyno I initially thought was supposed to suit me well. Standing in front of the last problem, I knew I had to do it fast to not end up with a VERY poor result. Thankfully the rather balancy moves over volumes felt more solid than I’d expected and I was happy to get at least one top in two tries, which made me end up on place 33. Foto: davidschweizer.ch

Looking back, three weeks of rope climbing probably wasn’t the ideal preparation for this competition but I’ll never know how it had turned out otherwise. All in all, I had a great time and I guess that’s what counts in the end. Of course I’m a bit disappointed because I know I could’ve done better but it was great to be part of this fantastic event and I also improved quite a bit compared to last year. Right now, I’m glad that the pressure is over and I can focus more on rock, maybe even clipping some quickdraws… ;) Petra put on a great performance and was very close on making finals but in the end missed it by just one try. Finals were amazing to watch and probably even more amazing to climb, the boulders looked great and the crowd was simply overwhelming. It all came down to the very last problem where Jule Wurm and Adam Ondra finally took the win, congratulations! Plus I’m really happy for Alex Puccio and Jernej Kruder who both got 2nd, they looked super strong and for Jernej it was his first podium ever, what an effort! Watching the finals was truly inspiring and it is my biggest dream to once be up there myself. Overall, this was one of the best competitions I’ve ever attended, the organisation was completely flawless, the route setting was fantastic and I could hardly imagine a better crowd or a more perfect venue, I really hope to be there again next year!

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