I came to Argentière not necessarily with high expectations but definitely with a lot of pressure on me, mainly put on me by myself. This was the second of only two EYC events in bouldering and after messing up the first one in Grindelwald this somehow felt like a last chance to me. I felt I was in good shape but so is everybody else and it’s never easy, especially with bouldering you never really know what you’ll get, no matter how strong you’re feeling. The starting list already told me there’ll be a lot of strong competitors which made me even more unsure what to expect.
The format for qualifiers in these youth events is quite different to other comps, you get 1.5 hours to try 8 different problems and only 6 make it into finals. The route setters did a great job and set up really cool problems with lots of volumes and crazy holds. I did the 3 easier problems pretty quickly, 2 of them in my first attempt. Next was a fun jump to an undercling where it was essential to bring your feet up fast to be able to hold on. It took me 4 tries to complete the problem but I knew I was among a few who had done it at all, which made me positive for finals. I needed another 4 tries to complete the fifth boulder, a quite tricky problem with rather small and crimpy holds which isn’t exactly my strong point, yet this showed me I had really made some progress in the last couple of months. In the end I wasn’t sure if 5 tops would be enough for finals but I was satisfied with my climbing since I could try hard and did what felt possible for me. After waiting anxiously for what felt like forever, I had certainty: I had just made my first EYC finals!! (except for speed but that’s something different)
Foto: Rogier van Rijn Photography
So happy and still a bit unbelieving if this had just happend for real, I was totally psyched for finals the next day. I was a bit tired and everything hurt from qualifiers but I already felt a lot better after warm-up. The first problem was more or less just volumes and it took me a few tries to figure out the start. I reached the bonus hold in my fourth attempt and fell at the last move just like everyone else after me except for Fanny Gibert (FRA) who topped it second try. I was really looking forward to problem number 2 which was a jump start. Unfortunately it took me several tries to do the start and after falling once more with the top hold in reach I only had a few seconds left. I got on again quickly and to my own surprise I this time managed to climb the whole boulder. I lost track of count how many tries I needed but definitely too many. When it came to the last problem, I was already feeling pretty exhausted from all the previous attempts. I still got the bonus hold second try but was unable to do the last few moves. Only Fanny figured out her way to the top and therewith got well deserved first placed.
Foto: Pirmin Scheuber
Although I climbed well, I thought everyone had done the second problem and it took me so many tries I expected another sixth place. So I was completely caught by surprise when the results came out and I realized I was placed 4th!! It turned out that Berit Schwaiger (AUT) hadn’t done the jump start and Anna Borella (ITA) needed more tries than me. Pleased with this unexpected outcome I can say I’m incredibly happy, although podium would’ve been in reach if I had just needed less tries. However, it was already overwhelming to make finals and I’m more than happy with my placing.
It was incredibly hot the whole time but nevertheless it was a great competition with amazing problems, a fantastic crowd and my own personal happy ending :) Congratulations to Kevin Heiniger (SUI) who not only won the competition in Argentière but also the overall EYC boulder ranking of 2012!