Ticino is Calling

I haven’t been in much of a writing mood lately. Partly because I didn’t live up to my own expectations in the last few competitions and I had to sort it out in my head first before writing about it. Another part of me was just waiting for something terribly exciting to happen which would make me wanna write about it immediately. Last but not least, I was back at university which kept me pretty busy since September and I had to stop pretending my whole life is just about climbing. It wasn’t until sitting in a train back from Ticino after a great day of climbing outside that I felt the urge to write again.

Let’s start a few months back with the World Championships in Paris, a very special and emotional experience. Watching my team mate and good friend Petra become World Champion in front of thousands of spectators was an incredible moment I will never forget, so so proud of and happy for you, you’re AMAZING!! 14352310_1377042582324059_7534919903932367548_o Foto: SAC / davidschweizer.ch

As for me, qualifiers was one of those rounds where I felt satisfied with how I climbed, but not so much with the result. I felt in good shape and I really enjoyed competing but stupidly I couldn’t find the right sequence for one of the problems which was essential to get through to semis. After only three days back at university, I was already off to Stuttgart to compete in adidasROCKSTARS. It’s pretty safe to say this comp was the worst I’ve climbed all season and I kinda deserved to miss out on semis. Despite my poor performance, I really enjoyed being part of the event and it was still one of my absolute highlights of the year. Next up were the Swiss Championships in speed climbing, where I got 2nd with a new PR of 10.94s, pretty stoked to have gotten a time under 11 seconds!
SM speed Foto: SAC / davidschweizer.ch

After that I was glad to get a break from all the competitions and spend some time outside on real rock. I couldn’t quite decide if it’s still Magic Wood or already Ticino season, so why not check out both? It felt great to just spend some wonderful days outside, hang out with friends, chill in the sun and eat some of the best pizza. I finally finished my nemesis problem Höhenrausch (7B+), turned out all I needed were some good conditions and well recovered fingers.
magic wood Foto: Vladek Zumr

In November we had another competition at my home gym Minimum in Zurich. More than anything I was super excited to get a whole gym full of new problems, I felt like a child in a candy store! The final boulders were quite hard and I managed to take the win with just one top. After putting in some work the week after, I’m happy to say I could also finish the remaining problems, including some of the men’s which are super fun too, go check them out as long as they’re still on!
img_3509 Foto: Vladek Zumr

After a rainy couple of weeks in Ticino I was lucky to find Slimeline (7C), my project from earlier this year, quite dry and climbable. The first move felt a lot better than last time and the scary topout didn’t feel too bad either, so I gave it some serious tries from the start. It was quite a battle and my fingers went numb at the top but I managed to power my way through and I found myself on top of the boulder, completely exhausted but very happy.
mtnlines-33 Foto: David Tomlinson /mtnlines.ch

A few days later I finally got my heel to stay and I could also tick off Autopilot (7B/+). Right before the end of the year this terribly exciting thing I’ve been waiting for finally happend: I sent The Arete with the Pocket (8A), my first of the grade! It might not be the hardest for it’s grade but you gotta start somewhere right? :) On top of that, it was great to see some progress on several of my other projects, let’s just hope they don’t get covered in snow too soon.
the arete with the pocket Foto: Philipp Schädle

The Arete with the Pocket from nat on Vimeo.

Last but not least, it’s finally time to start training again. I’ve been working a lot on my shoulder strength and flexibility with my physio, not only to help my climbing but also to prevent injuries. My main goal, as always, will be to improve my finger strength and although it’s gotten significantly better, it’s still one of my biggest weaknesses. I’m extremly motivated and even though it might sound a bit strange I can’t wait to come home feeling completely exhausted with sore muscles all over, incredibly tired but happy :) Let’s make 2017 a year to remember!

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