For my family July always means celebrating birthdays, but this year it also meant the start of a new lead world cup season.

The first worldcup was held in Chamonix and counted as the European Championship as well. Just as the previous years, my father’s birthday was on a competition day. So I hoped to make him a nice present by climbing well.
In the first qualification route my foot slipped off a foothold. In a reflex I tried grabbing something in order not to fall, but what I took was not a hold, but a quickdraw. So… I had to let go. Thankfully I was already quite high up when I slipped. So after a tough second route, I was qualified for the  semis.
The next morning I climbed the semi final. In the beginning of that route I was close to falling. I made a move to a big hold, but I didn’t take it far enough. Thankfully I could correct it, and managed to reach the last part of the wall. I fell a few moves from the top. Many climbers reached the top part of the route, so when I heard that I was in the finals, I was really thankful and relieved.
In the semi final route I had made a high heelhook. When I put all my weight on it, I heard a little ‘crack’ in my left knee.
After a long afternoon rest, my parents and I headed back to the wall for the finals that night. While warming up I had a very painful knee, but I did my best to do what I could. In the final route I tried not to give up and fight as hard as I could. I finally became 4th. Congrats to my friend Jessi for taking the bronze and to Janja for her amazing performance and silver medal! 🙂

The first 2 days after the competition were filled with training in the gym and after that we drove on to the next competition city: Briançon. Just before the competition we had a relaxing day at one of my favourite places in France. A beautiful little lake which is perfect for swimming, camping and making campfires. A little holiday in between 2 not-so-relaxing weekends. 😉

In Briançon I topped both qualification routes. The semis were climbed that same evening, so after a few nap-shower-meal hours, I prepared myself for another route. As I was standing behind wall I suddenly thought: ‘Wipe off your heels’. I normally only do that just before climbing, but I did it anyway and then I noticed that the soles of both my climbing shoes were completely wet, even though I was wearing socks over them. Oh no. The carpet I was standing on was soaked because of the rain. I didn’t want to slip off very early, so I asked for my backback with spare shoes. When I got it, I hurried to put on change my shoes and then, phew, I was ready to climb.
After the first vertical part and the roof I managed to do a hard move. Then I hesitated about how to take a hold. When I finally managed to take it with my right hand and then match with left, I couldn’t put my left foot higher anymore and I fell. I was quite sure that it wasn’t enough for the final. But then I met Nikki from the Netherlands on the square who told me that I still was in the final. I almost couldn’t believe my ears! That night I went to bed very late, but I was oh so thankful for another final. 🙂
The presentation of the finalists the next evening was unique and very funny: they let us walk through the public, who were seated all over the big square in front of the wall. Quickly after the observation it was my turn to climb.
I was glad that I managed to do the tricky moves on the last vertical part of the wall. There were lots of small holds and I began feeling pumped. When I wanted to take a hold on a volume, I didn’t take it far enough and I fell.
After a few climbers, I realized that I was on the podium! I became 3rd, with Jessica 2nd, and Jain 1st. 🙂
Delaney from the USA had to stop right in beginning of the route, because she had skipped a quickdraw. 🙁 And Mina couldn’t compete in the final round because she had injured her heel during warming up for the semis. Competitions climbing can be really tough…

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