Alpine Bouldering, Deep Water Soloing and Semi Finals

So where do I start? About three months ago during the weeks leading up to the worldcup in Innsbruck, my finger finally started feeling better again and the competition itself didn’t go too badly – I was probably closer to making semis than in any other of this year’s worldcups. Still not quite satisfied with my performance, but feeling back on track, I continued my training schedule to get in shape for our upcoming trip to Colorado. Unfortunately, I didn’t get spared another injury and what felt like a sore shoulder at first turned out to be a partial rupture of my subscapularis tendon. So I spent the remaining weeks with lots of physio and no climbing. I’m immensely grateful to my chiropractor and my physio for fixing me up in time, right before leaving I was ready to start climbing again. Arriving in Colorado the first thing we had to deal with was the altitude, not only hiking but also climbing feels so much harder on 3000m of elevation! After about a week, we slowly started getting used to the thin air and the lack of oxygen. We spent most of our time climbing at RMNP and Lincoln Lake, the latter being a lot less crowded and in my opinion just as good. The scenery in both areas is breathtaking and we even enjoyed a short swim in the freezing cold alpine lakes from time to time. I prepared for the bouldering being my complete anti-style, crimpy and powerful, imagining most holds being painfully sharp. Yet the climbing turned out to be really diverse, offering not only crimps but also slopers, compression and burly roof climbing. The only thing missing were slabs, but honestly we get enough of those at home. Even the crimpy problems went better than expected and I could feel my finger strength improving with every day spent outside. Here’s a list of my top 5 problems:

Tomahawk V10
My first double digit problem which actually felt as if it deserves the grade. Perfect compression climbing with tricky footwork and a spicy topout. Sent on my last day up at Lincoln Lake, can’t get much better than this.

Full Chaos V10
This one felt like the endless hike adds an extra point on the grade but nonetheless a beautiful problem and definitely worth the long approach. Burly moves in the beginning followed by a commiting but easy topout.

Dreamsnatcher V9
An endless seam of crimps and definitely not my style but I guess that’s what made it so special. After getting shut down by the „girl beta“ matching on the tiniest of crimps, I went big and suprised myself by sticking the huge span move. Quite long for a boulder problem but climbs exceptionally well.

The Anvil V8
Probably the problem that took me the most effort to finish. Didn’t look too hard at first glance but the last move turned out to be a lot further than I thought. Not the nicest boulder, quite sharp and only two moves long but very satisfying send.

Tangerine Man V8
Balancy beginning, tension climbing through the roof and a mantle to finish, granite bouldering at its finest. Perfect!

There’s still a ton of problems left on my to-do-list and I can’t wait to come back some day, but overall I’m more than happy with how things went for me, especially after dealing with all those minor but still annoying injuries. Looking back, this trip was exactly what I needed, it finally gave my injuries time to heal, I worked on some of my biggest weaknesses and excercising on such high altitude definitely improved my general fitness. I simply enjoyed being outside, not having to worry about a thing (except the probability of an upcoming thunderstorm) and having a great time with friends.

Colorado Alpine Bouldering from nat on Vimeo.

Hanging Arête (V6), Moraine Park

Overcling Traverse (V12), Lincoln Lake

The Cube Boulder (V6), Emerald Lake

Fotos: David Tomlinson/ mtnlines.ch

Another highlight of our trip was being part of the Psicobloc competition, one of the coolest climbing events I’ve ever attended. In the beginning even the thought of climbing on a 15m wall over water got my adrenaline rushing. To my big relief it wasn’t nearly as bad as I expected it to be and I felt more comfortable with every try. Not having to clip any draws helped cover up my poor endurance and I got faster on each run. To my own surprise I made it through until the semi final round where I lost to Sydney Trinidad, damn that girl is fast! The final run was really exciting for both the girls and the guys with Michaela Kiersch and Jan Hojer taking home gold, congratulations! I’m incredibly happy with my 3rd place finish and it was an amazing experience, thanks again to everyone who made this happen!


After that it was already time to leave but for me that didn’t mean going home but flying straight to Munich for the last IFSC Bouldering Worldcup of the season. I was a little worried about the jetlag and not climbing on plastic for the past six weeks but I felt strong and my head was in a much better place than in the beginning of the year. Already during my warm up I felt really confident and my hands would just stick to the holds like I had never experienced before. I started off wasting an unnecessary try on the first boulder but managed to flash the next two problems. After watching the guys in the morning, I was afraid that the boulders might be a little too easy, but by then I didn’t know how close of a call it would be. After needing two tries on number four I knew I had to make quick work of the last one. I nearly fell on the balancy start but amazingly I managed to walk away with another flash. This was the first time that I’ve completed all of the problems in a worldcup round and regardless of the result I was already happy with my performance. When my team mates told me I made it through to semis I was completely overwhelmed with joy. This season hasn’t been easy for me so far and it was incredibly satisfying to make semis at the biggest event of the year. I really enjoyed climbing again the next day and by topping the first problem on my 2nd try I finished in 14th place, my best worldcup result so far!


Foto: Vladek Zumr/ vladekzumr.com

At home, I barely had time to unpack my things before leaving to Céüse for another week. Even after staying in Colorado for six weeks, the hike was still exhausting and the climbing was just as good but hard as I remembered. Yet I had bigger issues than just pumped forearms, for the first time in quite a while I was terrified of falling. I couldn’t explain myself why or what had changed but the bolts being pretty far apart obviously didn’t help. It got a little better when I tried steeper and harder routes where I had less time to think but even then I felt like something was holding me back. On our last day I could finally pull myself together and managed to finish Minette à la plage (7c) and Les colonettes (7c+), both demanding quite a fight physically and mentally. This experience hasn’t been easy for me but I think facing your fears and trying to deal with it teaches you a lot. I’m definitely motivated to do more roped climbing again and get out of my comfort zone but first of all I’ll make the best use of the remaining few weeks and train hard for the upcoming World Championships in Paris – bring it on!

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