Back in the Game

A lot of things happend since my last post. Tearing my outter collateral ligament and starting off the new season with an injury wasn’t what I had hoped for, obviously. Not being able to properly use my knee was extremly frustrating at first and I was devasted to miss out on this year’s Blacklight Boulder Challenge, one of my absolute favorite events! I’ve always been a bit skeptical about how people claim that injuries make them stronger, so far I couldn’t see the slightest benefit. I got bored of dead-hangs and pull-ups halfway through my first session but for the first week it was all I could do. Things turned around when I felt safe again campusing. Not only had my finger strength improved, my upper body in general felt quite strong and I started to enjoy training again. At the same time my recovery was going really well and I could climb again much sooner than expected. Now I’m happy to say that I’m almost back to normal (except for some twisted heel hooks) and guess what? I did come out stronger in the end, just like everyone told me :) This injury forced me to work on my weaknesses and my motivation is even higher than before!
My knee was even stable enough to try these boulders at the team competition in Winterthur :)

I got back to bouldering right in time to qualify for the team representing Blockfeld Winterthur at the Hardmoves Boulderleauge. Since there was only one swiss gym taking part in the competition, we had the advantage of being all on the same team, whereas the Germans where spread out over various different gyms. We won the regional battle in Tübingen and qualified for the final round in Wuppertal. Like all the other teams, our big goal was to make it to the superfinal taking place over a swimming pool at the famous Schwimmoper in Wuppertal. For that we had to make it among the best six teams during a very crowded final round: 5 hours, 35 problems and no less than 280 competitors! Almost all of the problems where challenging and rather technical but mostly just really fun. We exceeded our own expectations by going into finals first place with 224 ascents, 12 points ahead of the next team. Arriving at the Schwimmoper was breath-taking, the event was completely sold out and there was a huge crowd waiting for us. Now we had time to look at the problems and decide who’s about to tackle which one. Only when I sat down in front of my problem I realized I was the only girl there. We had misjudged the difficulty of the boulders and put Beni on the second girl’s problem instead. Although I could score some important points, I was the only one not to reach the top of my problem. Our little tactical mistake kept the superfinal exciting till the end and it wasn’t until the very last try of the evening where Baptiste secured our victory, being the only competitor to complete the final boulder. I still get sweaty hands thinking back but see for yourselves, you can find the replay here. I’m really proud of the whole team, everyone did a great job and it was nice to compete as a team for once. Plus I’ve never climbed in front of such an amazing audience, thank you Wuppertal! Huge props also to everyone who made this event possible, I’m already looking forward to next time!


Photos: Vertical-Axis

Barely a week later we were already on our way to Sheffield for the anual CWIF (Climbing Works International Festival). The routesetters didn’t disappoint and qualifiers were as tricky as always. I didn’t climb my best and wasted some unnecessary tries but it was enough to make it to semi-finals in 8th place. Highly motivated to show my best in semis, I started off with the first problem. Yet again it just wasn’t my day, I messed up some beta, my heel slipped and I couldn’t climb to the top on any of the problems. It was a little frustrating, especially since I’m feeling quite strong at the moment. However, the frustration didn’t last for long and I found myself cheering on the finalists a few hours later. The men’s problems where particularly spectacular, with Sean taking the victory after two very impressive tops on the last two problems. Shauna made it look quite easy and was the only one to complete all the female boulders, what a great performance! Congratulations also to my teammates Petra and Andrea for making finals and placing 4th and 6th! On Monday we were lucky enough to spend a short but really nice and sunny day out in the Peak District before leaving back home to Zurich.
Photo: Eddie Fowke

I just managed to squeeze in a short training session before leaving again to Germany, this time for the Blocmaster International at Studio Bloc in Pfungstadt. We were all overwhelmed by the size of the gym and the amount of cool looking boulders, I got incredibly psyched straight away! Qualifiers could’ve gone better but it was enough to make it to semis and I was glad to have saved some skin for the next day. It was a really tough semi-final round and things got very close. After falling on the last move on two of the problems I already feared to place just out of finals. However, my flash on the first problem and some bonus holds put me among the top six girls and therefore into finals, what a relief! Now I had nothing to loose, I was just really psyched to climb again. The problems suited me well and I had lots of fun climbing in front of a very supportive crowd, thank you all for cheering on me, also to those of you who watched the livestream, your support means a lot! This was exactly what I needed after my rather disappointing result in Sheffield and I’m incredibly happy with my 4th place :) Congratulations to Fanny Gibert and Aleksei Rubtsov on their superior victory and a big thank you to the organizers of this fantastic event, I hope it’ll take place again next year!

Photos: Tobias Goldzahn

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