This post is about two weeks late…oops!
And so my climbing adventures continue! On April 18th I competed in the Swiss Cup Competition in Pratteln, a town near Basel.
The qualifiers format was a little different than I’ve ever seen before: 8 problems and only one hour. No, that was not a typo. One hour to complete 8 problems. Yep, it was pretty intense. The other difference from national level competitions elsewhere in the world is the number of spots in finals are fixed at 6, not 6 Swiss competitors. That meant that any international competitors (i.e. me) could potentially knock a Swiss competitor out of a finals spot. In qualifiers, I topped 6/8 along with 8 other girls. Petra Klingler was the only one to do more, topping all 8. That meant that last 5 spots in finals were down to attempts to top. Luckily I managed to make it into finals sitting in 4th place with 9 attempts to get 6 tops. It was set up to be an interesting finals too, with almost all of the girls training on the same team in Zürich (myself included).
I climbed fairly well in finals, with the exception of one move – I got to the final move on problem 2 twice, and unfortunately never managed to stick it. A flash of problem 1 and a 3rd attempt top of problem 3 (a huge dyno!) landed me in 5th place. It was a close race though – I was 5th by one attempt to top, and the top 2 were separated by one attempt to a bonus hold. In fact, had I stuck the final move of problem 2 the first time I got there, I would have won. Congrats to all the other finalists, especially Petra Klingler, Natalie Bärtschi, and Rebekka Stotz for making the podium. And of course thank you to the routesetters and comp organizers for a great comp!
Directly after the comp, the Zürich team, plus a few extras, set out on the 5 hour drive to Fontainebleau for our team training camp with high spirits and lots of energy (or not). Spirits and energy levels were perhaps not quite as high when we arrived at our gîte around 3am… I slept in quite a bit the next morning, and the rest of the house was already up and having breakfast outside in the sun when I stumbled downstairs and sat in the first chair that I saw. It took me a few seconds, but I eventually realized that I was sitting next to none other than Fred Nicole…and also that I was wearing polar bear print pyjamas. I’m sure he didn’t care, or even notice, but it was still a slightly embarrassing moment for me.
The goal of the team training camp was to learn to boulder Font-style, i.e. technical rather than powerful. And also to meet, learn from, and climb with, bouldering legend Fred Nicole. So no, he was not at our breakfast table by accident 🙂
One of my favourite problems that I did on the trip was a very tricksy 6a+/V3 that Fred showed me in Franchard Isatis called Beurre Margarine. It was pretty much my anti-style: tricky, tensiony, and balancy. After about 15 tries, nearly giving up, and then watching my teammate Miro Fischer do it fairly easily, I was able to send it. I think this one definitely tops La Marie Rose 6a for most difficult “easy” problem I have ever done!
And a photo interlude of our rest day in Paris:
The next two days we returned to Petit Bois and Buthiers, two areas I had visited on my last trip to Font. I was able to finish up all of my open projects in these areas: La Baleine 7a+, La Rampe 7a, and Magic Bus 7b+. And also I was able to meet up with Jelisa Dunbar, a fellow Canadian climber. Once upon a time in Canada we competed together, but I haven’t seen her for quite some time, so it was nice to catch up!
On our last day in Font, we were lucky enough to get the opportunity to do a mock World Cup semi-final with the French boulder team. In the end our Swiss/Canadian team was only 3 people: Petra Klingler, Beni Blaser, and I. It was a lot of fun, but the boulders were so hard. I was able to get only one bonus hold out of all 4 boulders (it was a difficult coordination jump so I was very proud of that!).