When I was younger I had always looked forward to the world cups in Puurs because it was so much fun watching the strong climbers and being there with other kids. But this time I was going to take part in the competition!
The qualifications were on Friday and I had no idea how well it would go. In the first route I was very happy that I managed to climb high. The second route went well and I fell some moves from the top. It was very nice that I was qualified for the semifinal. Ana Tiripa (GER) who is my age was also qualified!
My first qualification route (Photo: http://www.worldcuppuurs.com)
On Saturday I read the semifinal route with Ana. The climbing went well but at a certain point I hesitated a bit and I was too pumped to do the next move. I ended up 15th and I was really satisfied! It was so great that all the people from the club cheered me on!
In the semifinal route (Photo: www.worldcuppuurs.com)
The finals later that evening were amazing! Jain Kim (KOR) and Ramón Julian Puigblanque (ESP) became the winners!
My first adult World Championship and my first time in Paris! We arrived on Tuesday 11 September and the qualifications were on Wednesday. The qualifications went very well and I was really happy that I placed for the semifinal (tied 13th place). Julia Chanourdie (FRA) from my age category was also qualified! On Thursday we had a rest day and time to visit Paris!
On Thursday Loïc Timmermans (37th place) and Jurgen Lis (71st place) climbed there lead qualifications. Chloé Caulier climbed really well in the boulder qualification (29th place).
Somehow I didn’t manage to warm up properly for the semifinal on Friday. When I started climbing the route I got pumped very fast. I think I did not climb so well and I ended up 22nd. I was a bit disappointed but the route was quite hard and the top climbers are super strong!
The World Champions lead are Angela Eiter (AUT) and Jacob Schubert (AUT)! In boulder Mélanie Sandoz (FRA) and Dmitrii Sharafutdinov (RUS) and in speed Yuliya Levochkina (RUS) and Qixin Zhong (CHN)!
I was grateful that I could go to Asia for the first time! The competitors in the Belgian team were Chloé Caulier (female youth A), Loïc Timmermans (male youth A) and Sébastien Berthe (male Juniors) and me. Tijl Smitz and Christophe Depotter were our coaches. We travelled from Belgium to Zurich on Monday August 29 and then on to Singapore where we took the metro and a train early in the morning to Sentosa island. In the evening the opening ceremony took place at the climbing wall which was on the beach.
The climbing wall looked special because the panels were made of plywood without any friction.
The climbing wall (Picture: teamspore.com/global-sports)
The next day all the competitors climbed their first qualification route. All the routes were very hard. I could pass a super difficult part in the beginning and I fell in the overhang near the top.
On Thursday I had to climb 2nd after Salomé Romain (FRA). She climbed super and topped the route! I could top it too and so did Jessica Pilz (AUT) and Ana Tiripa (GER). In the middle of the day it began to rain very hard and the competition had to be stopped. It felt really sorry for those who still had to climb and the qualifications ended late in the evening.
Everyone of our team was qualified for the semifinal!
The next morning there was again heavy rainfall so the semifinal was delayed by a few hours. It was a great experience to be in an isolation zone on a beach with palm trees.
Photo: Garick Bay
In my semifinal route there were some long moves in the beginning and also a technical part on slopers. I was really thankful that it went well and that I could top the route.
The semifinal (Photo: Garick Bay)
I heard that Chloé had climbed very well and fell at hold 25+ (a crux move where 10 girls fell). She placed 16th. Loïc had a semifinal route which was not nice and unfortunately he placed 13th. It’s a pity because we are used to see him in the finals. Sébastien placed 24th in male juniors.
In the finals I had to climb just after Jessica Pilz (AUT) and in the call zone I knew that she had topped the route because of the speaker and the public. I knew I had to top too, so I was quite nervous. The beginning went well although I was not so confident. At a given moment I made a mistake and I hesitated a bit. I became pumped and fell some moves later. Jessica had climbed super well and won gold! Congratulations Jessy! I was still very happy with a silver medal! Salomé Romain (FRA) won bronze, she did exactly the same as me in the final but I was better placed in the semifinal. Ana Tiripa (GER) was very strong and placed 4th!
Podium female youth A (Photo: Garick Bay)
The next day we visited Marina Bay and on Sunday we grouped up with Belgian families to make a nice walk through the jungle. They also showed us China Town and Little India! I am really happy that I could go to Singapore!
On Saturday 4 August the qualifications started with sunny weather. Chloé Caulier (female Youth A) from Belgium climbed super in the first route and explained me how it was. I was a bit nervous for the difficult, technical beginning but I could climb on to the overhanging part. I fell at the last move, but I was still happy that it had gone well.
The first qualification route (Photo:Timmermans)
In the second route there were some hard moves at the end (a big donut) where a lot of girls fell. The beginning went well and I could do the hard moves. But while making a heelhook to go to the tophold I hesitated and fell.
I got to the finals and so did Celine Cuypers (female Youth B), Chloé Caulier, Émilie Guérit (female Juniors), Loïc Timmermans (male Youth A) and Sébastien Berthe (male Juniors). We were with 6 Belgians in the finals! That is a record! 1 out of 10 finalists was a Belgian!
All the girls had the same final route. It looked difficult and the beginning of the overhanging part was hard to read. When it was our turn we were taken from the isolation to the climbing wall in a van. The final route went well and I could climb through the overhang. I fell in the last part (hold 58). I was super happy that it had gone so well. Jessica Pilz (AUT) climbed fantastic and topped the route! She was 1st, I became 2nd and Hannah Baehr (GER) 3rd. Chloé was 9th.
Celine climbed really well! She was tied on the 6th place, but because of the new European rule of time she became 7th because she was 2 seconds slower than Amoros Solène (FRA). It was Émilie’s first final! She climbed super well and became 5th! Loïc was 6th and Sébastien 8th. Belgium finished 4th on the teamranking!
My parents and I left on Wednesday 4 July. We drove to La Chambotte in France.
La Chambotte (July 5th and 6th)
In Easter holidays my friend Julia Chanourdie and her family showed us this beautiful climbing area. They also showed me an 8b named ‘Tartine’. I did not succeed in doing it in Easter holidays so I wanted to try it again. On Thursday I worked it out again and I did some attempts. In the last attempt I fell really at the end. That evening we went swimming in the lake ‘Lac du Bourget’.
Lac du Bourget
The next day I first warmed up and than I did an attempt. I fell again just at the end. Then I did another attempt and I could top it! I was so happy and thankful!
Col de Marocaz (July 8th and 9th)
The Chanourdie family also told us about a climbing area called ‘Col de Marocaz’. On the rest day we drove to this place and we discovered a very nice lake called ‘Lac de la Thuile’.
Lac de la Thuile
The next day we first went swimming because ‘Col de Marocaz’ is an afternoon crag. I worked out ‘Ta mère sur un spit de 8’ 8a. I could climb it in the second attempt.
A big bird we saw
On Monday we also climbed there and I tried ‘Une émeraude en or ‘ 8a+. It begins with a 7b and then there are some very hard moves on small holds. I fell 2 times there and it started to get late. I did one more attempt and I was really happy that I could top it!
A little mouse who was 'stealing' our bread
On Tuesday and Wednesday we had rest days in preparation for the worldcup in Chamonix. We drove to a climbing area called ‘Les Garins’. In the guidebook was written that you had to drive up on a dirt road until you see a parking place. It was really funny (and quite dangerous) because the road was very bad. Luckily my father made it up to the parking place which was maybe good for 2 cars. Then we searched for the rocks and finally we found a path. It was quite adventurous.
On Wednesday we had a look at ‘Grotte de Banches’ which is a nice climbing area for Summer. We also went swimming in ‘Lac d’Annecy’ and then we drove to Chamonix.
Worldcup Chamonix (July 12th and 13th)
On the Thursday I could do my first worldcup in Chamonix! See: news Chamonix!
The competition wall at the WC in Chamonix
On Saturday we went again to ‘Col de Marocaz’. I could climb ‘Tête de bite’ 7c. My father climbed this 7c too! I also tried ‘Une bite sur ma tête’ 8a+. It is quite short with small holds. I could climb it in the first attempt.
Col de Marocaz
The next day it was by birthday! In the morning we searched for a nice French market and we found one! Watermelon, olives, earrings, dresses, bread, … I really like this! We also bought some artisanal nougat which tasted very well. We drove on to a lake where my parents gave me presents and we took a fresh dive. At the end of the day we ate pizza which was made in a small chalet in the centre of Gab. Then we drove on to Céuse.
The lake at my birthday
Céuse (July 16th and 17th)
On Monday we climbed in Céuse. I had never been there before and it was very nice! We met a lot of competition climbers like Ana Tiripa from Germany, Sasha Digiulian, Jacquelyn Wu and Sarah from the USA, Tina Johnsen Hafsaas from Norway, Rebekka Stotz, Katherine Choong and Franz Krakenberger from Switzerland, Matilda Söderlund from Sweden, …! It was great to see so many people there! I climbed ‘Lapinerie’ 7b with Ana (she is in my age group) and together we worked out ‘Sueurs froides’ 8a+ which was very hard. I did a lot of attempts and I always fell in the beginning of the route. At the last attempt I was very tired but I could top it and it was so nice that Sasha and the others cheered me on!
In 'Sueurs Froides' 8a+
The view from Céuse
We climbed in Céuse for another day. I tried to work out ‘Dures Limites’ an 8c Sasha was doing but this was too hard for me! I worked out ‘Bourinator’ 8a. I did some attempts and I could climb it in the last attempt of that day!
The next day we took a rest day and we drove to a small lake near ‘Ailefroide’ in ‘Les Écrins’. We already knew this place which is fantastic for swimming and campfire!
At the lake
Tournoux (July 19th and 20th)
On Thursday 19 July we drove to a climbing area called ‘Tournoux’. There are crags which are near the road, but also ones which are higher up. We walked up but it was a bit dangerous and not very easy to reach. I worked out ‘Clin d’oeil au paradis d’en face’ 8c but there were 3 moves I couldn’t do. I decided to leave the quickdraws and try again the next day. I also climbed ‘Into the wild’ 7b+.
Friday we went to this crag again and I tried the 8c again but the moves were not possible for me so I took the quickdraws down. I worked out an 8a+ but the weather changed and it started raining very hard. I did another 7c and when we walked back to our van the rain had stopped.
Rue des Masques (July 21st)
In Tournoux we had heard from climbers about ‘Rue des Masques’ (conglomerate). The next day we went there and we met Christophe Depotter from Belgium with his family. It is a beautiful climbing area also for kids! Then I worked out ‘Racing in the street’ 8b with the
help of French climbers. I liked the route and I did 3 attempts.
Racing in the street 8b
On Sunday we had a nice day with the climbing family Lemière from Belgium at the lake! We had lunch together and played a lot in the water.
Swimming in the lake
On Monday 23 July we climbed again at Rue des Masques. We met a climbing team from Germany with David Firnenburgh, Mia and Laura! My mother climbed a 7b on sight! I climbed ‘La Truite’ 7c. I did an attempt in the 8b and I managed to do it! I worked out ‘L’age en décomposition’ 8a+ which was really great. I could climb it in the second attempt and I was very happy! I had never climbed an 8b and an 8a+ on the same day.
Rue des Masques
The next day I could climb ‘Le druide en goguette’ 7c on sight and I worked out ‘Carosse et citrouilles’ 8a. I climbed it in the first attempt.
Wednesday was a rest day for me, but my parents climbed in Rue des Masques. We also went supporting the Youth A girls who were competing at the boulder EYC in l’Argentière. In the afternoon we drove to Italy because my father had to be jury president in Val Daone for a speed worldcup.
Climbing in Arco Terra Promessa and Massone (July 26th-29th)
We went to ‘Terra Promessa’ and I climbed ‘Progetto Caty ‘ 7c in the first attempt. I also worked out an 8a+ but it was not so nice and I could not do all the moves. We left the climbing area because the sun was coming and we passed ‘Massone’. We decided to climb there and I worked out ‘Fuego’ 8b with the help of 2 climbers from Switzerland. I did an attempt not being sure I would be able to do it the first go. I could do the first part and also the dyno. Then I started thinking that I could do it after all. I climbed on and managed to do the top part. I topped the route and I was so happy and thankful!
The Swiss guys had also told us that you can walk from the campsite to this climbing area. That was great for when my father would be at the competition so that my mother and I could easily come to this crag!
On Friday we had a rest day and we visited the beautiful town of Arco. It was very nice and, of course, we ate pizza and ‘gelatti’! We also brought my father to the competition in Val Daone.
The castle of Arco
The next day my mother and I climbed again in ‘Massone’. We had a nice walk from the campsite to the crag among the olive trees. I climbed ‘Fly Trap’ 7a+ and ‘Big spender’ 7b+. I tried to work out an 8c but it was too hard. On Wednesday I worked out ‘Super Maratona’ 8b. I could do all the moves but I found it very difficult. I did an attempt and I fell in the crux.
On the rest day we drove to a climbing hall in Bolzano/Bozen (Salewa Cube). We climbed there 2 days to train for the EYC in Imst. It is a great climbing hall which is half outside! We met Stefano Ghisolfi, his girlfriend Frederica Mingolla and his sister Claudia Ghisolfi who is in my age group!
The climbing hall 'Salewa Cube'
After the competition in Imst we drove back home to our little cat and her kittens!
I was very happy that I could compete in an adult worldcup for the first time! On Wednesday 11 July there was a nice opening ceremony with a presentation of all the climbers in Chamonix.
On Thursday it was the qualification round and also my father’s birthday! When I was warmed up my father and I walked from the warming up zone to the climbed wall which was on a square in the centre of Chamonix. Suddenly we saw that the girl before me was already climbing! It went really fast! So we ran to the wall and I quickly put on my climbing shoes. We were just on time so that I could climb. I am so happy that the first route went really well and I could top it.
The second route was really hard and I climbed the first part which was already very difficult. I fell at a move where a lot of climbers fell.
I was just in the semi-finals! This was a nice birthday present for my father! Unfortunately my friend Julia Chanourdie from France just missed the semi-finals.
The semi-final route was super hard and it was quite difficult to know how to take the holds. I became 24th and I am very thankful because there were 55 girls and apart from Akiyo from Japan, all the top climbers were present.
The worldcup was won by Mina Markovic (SLO). Jain Kim (KOR) was 2nd and Momoka Oda (JPN) 3rd. Sachi Amma (JPN) was 1st in the men category. Ramón Julian Puigblanque (ESP) was 2nd and Sean McColl (CAN) 3rd.
On Friday 29 June we went with the team to Linz in Austria for the 4th European Youth Cup of 2012.
The competition wall (Photo: Timmermans)
The next day the qualifications went well and I could top the first route. I topped the second route as well although the technical part at the end was very difficult. Celine Cuypers from Belgium climbed super in female youth B and got into the finals. So did Sébastien Berthe (male Juniors) en Loïc Timmermans (male Youth A).
In the first qualification route (Photo: Timmermans)
In the finals I could climb the first technical part and also a difficult move in the overhang. My feet came off twice at a certain point and I started hesitating because I thought I would not be able to clip if I moved on. I got pumped and fell. I ended up 4th. Jessica Pilz (AUT) climbed very well and won! Hannah Baehr (GER) became 2nd and Karoline Sinnhuber (AUT) 3rd.
The final route (Photo: Yves Guérrit)
Sébastien became 7th and Celine 10th. Loïc climb really strong en won the competition! It was a nice competition with very high temperatures!