The year started great! In 2017 LOWA will be on my side as a sponsoring partner, more important they will provide me with climbing shoes, after hands it's the most important tools of a climber! In january I was able to go to one of the most famous bouldering areas in switzerland, and beeing honest one of the most beautiful too. Due to the freezing temperatures Ticino valley wasn’t as comfortable as we are used to in our climbing gyms, but it was just perfect for rockclimbing. I went there with Robin Henon, a well known routesetter from Chamonix, who has known this area for years.
In the beginning it’s always hard to climb precisely and do the hard and crimpy moves on boulders, so we needed some hours to be calibrated for this action. The first day was quite succesfull and I had some fun exploring the sector of Schattental, Chironico and some others. During our stay temperature was rising so we got the chance to do some harder lines like „Boogalagga“ 8b or „happy birthday toto“ 8a+, „Schule des Lebens“ 8b and „Rah Plat Plat“ 8a. Reflecting this trip it was totally worth persisting the cold and wet conditions, unfortunately also one of us was hurt by a bad fall.
In this month I also did some interviews with Jürgen Reis from Powerquest.cc and I had some intentions to write down „the perfect day of training“. My goal is to compare it to last year and also beeing able to criticize myself after a year has passed. So enjoy reading and in april next interview is coming out (it‘s also published in climbing.de)
I’m sure I‘m a bit late with my monthly report, but reflecting competitions after such a long time has its benfits too. As we all
know climbing is now an olympic sport, I'll have to say some words about it.
To begin with the world championship in Paris. There was some of my best and most motivating moments of this years season. First of all, I had to fight for beeing one of two austrian lead-climbers in the event, otherwise there would have been only one or several, like almost every year, who didn’t fullfill the austrian limits, so in the end I could succeed. Luckily i reach the limit within the last worldcup in Arco. And when we are talking about limits, there was one comrade who would have earned it too, because he won the last youth championship, but finally he was rejected from our team. It‘ clear that I will always point out for those deficiencies, even when some people hate you therefor. Without us climbers all the coaches and managers simply have no job, that’s the reason why we have the duty to speak up, and the more success climbers have the more money the federations gets for their future. So sometimes I’m asking myself if someone is even able to make an easy calculation like that.
Secondly I never climbed so easy into semifinals with one hundred Lead-starters! With a small mistake in Semifinal the 26th was an unsatisfying result. You can imagine how i felt afterwards, but most important for me now is, the feeling how i was able to compete.
After some weeks of hard training, China was the next stage. It was quite a busy week, not knowing if I’m allowed to compete in the Chinese Worldcup, although University Worldchampionship was fixed the same date and nearly the same location. So the booking process and getting a Visa by the climbing federation was really a last minute action. I got the Visa one day before my flight.
After a promising 5th place in the University Championships and a great time in Shanghai, I could also reach a 5th place at the Master event in Wujing. With nearly no space between the Master Event and the Worldcup I was full of expectations and motivation for Xiamen. Then I did some good runs but messed up in Semis, I also felt a little exhaustion from the last travelling days, it was definitly time for me to come home.
Before the last event in Kranj I enjoyed some good weeks training at home, and I had the chance of starting a new training with weight additions. I could totally feel the difference and pushed myself very hard, so I felt very strong at the national bouldering competition in Innsbruck. Sadly the final was set so poor that it was a pity even competing. I noticed less routesetters in 2016 were able to make good competions, at this point I’m not claiming to know everything or determine that I was the the only one who recogniced, but one look at national and international results in qualifications and in finals says more than a hundred words.
To the last competition in Kranj: Again I was able to make an outstanding result (for myself). And with a 12th place I could secure my position as the second best austrian lead-climber and also came over the fear of this very short and traditional climbing wall. So I’m determined to continue my new training and make it even better for 2017.
Climbing as an Olympic sport:
We all know sport is something that is used for entertainment and fullfill people with enthusiasm for thousands of years. So in every age you can find some sport-like events with the same purpose. To connect it with climbing, we have one problem, if the desciplines stay like they are now, for example a bouldering final with a duration of 3 hours, we will be retired from the olympic games very fast. No one is interested in watching something for 3 hours, people like to be entertained! In my opinion even the speed climbing needs some changes, the best one would be to reset a route every competition. For me it’s clear why there is less climbers in speed, than in other disciplines, but are these alarming numbers also recognized by the ifsc? It has nothing to do with a world record, you can also make a 15 meter world record on the same wall with changed holds. So I can just hope for the best and shout out that there is less than 4 years and the IFSC still has no clear solution for competition format.
Honestly a report about my last months wasn't really easy for me. That's also why I just update when there's some memorable successes.
Let's begin with my last national competition in Dornbirn. That day I climbed to the second place and there has been a strong starter field too, so I felt very confident about myself. But in my last final-route i knew, if I want to be good in France, I'll have to be more accurate, but at that point I didn't know head problems will be quite a mission.
Arriving in France, everything went perfectly, till I came to my first route, from then on some things weren't what they should be. Pressure felt really bad and i even got the more difficult route in the beginning, so pressure was even more in the second, but I did well there so it wasn't that bad. So in the end I was 31. in Chamonix.
Next worldcup in Villars were very short routes and it was just hard to get into semifinal, same in Briancon. What I can say about all three competitions: Wide moves, short routes, big holds typical for bouldering and two routes were far to easy; and as a spectator, semifinal and final gets more boring every competion , because of heavy mistakes of the routesetters. Hope for this sport there will be some development
Imst was my first good competition this season, but also this time it was so much different to the last times here. One very easy qualification-route (at least 80% of the route) made it
undeserved. One move decides the result of 30 people. Luckily in semifinal I was one move away from the final, so i could reach 16.th place!
Now it was time for Arco: With good feelings and new self-confidence I
had to start qualification round very late, but I made it in very well. Due to the hot climate, I thought, that's what I trained for all year long. It was time for a necessary needed 10th place, that's how I was invited to start the legendary rockmaster-duel next day!
Very happy about beeing ably to start this event, I gave everything I could, and ended up 3rd positition behind big Adam Ondra and Jakob Schubert. So if there is anything I could learn from my passed half year, I would say: Trust your feelings and never stop fighting. Vivere militare est
Link from Rockmaster-duel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qzJ2JVjF-uk
or just press the buttons below
Every year this training
camp is organized by the Austrian National Team and it was the second time we went here to Andalusia. I admit, for sportsman this particular time,
is not the best, because of all the competitions already running, for example the Austrian championship or the worldcup in Meiringen. Unfortunately this lies not in my hands yet, but soon I hope to change that in a more professional way. So just see the positive aspects in it, this week was a little rest for my body, because of less work, I'd normaly do, I had a reminder of
my goals 2016. Some recovery for the body
also opens your mind, while watching others (a rare chance during training
season), you see, it's always the same every year. And that's what less people (even coaches) don't see, the only thing that counts are international
The trainingcamp itself was really successful, the whole time I could climb extremely hard routes, and there where even some good ascents.
3rd place at Austrian Bouldering Nationals! Again and again it shows how easy it can be, but defeat
would have been fatal. In bouldering, it often shows that it's never easy to
maintain your position, only the cold-headed prevail. This phenomenon is most apparent at high points in a competition, like getting a
problem done, and aggressiveness, that comes with it, certainly caused by the adrenalin, influences your opponents.
So this result is like a guarantee for the first bouldering Worldcup in Meiringen (Sui)! Best of it, your personal performance is the the only thing that counts in this game, if you don't get it right in competition, you will not succeed.
Of course I felt the pain from yesterday, and of course I trained today very hard, therefore motivation was even bigger with the success of this little competition. I also met some friends and teammembers, especially those I have biggest respect for, so this gave me a lot more motivation.
Vivere militare est!
2016 is moving ahead rapidly, a good sign, because it means good training is in progress. Last year had been very succesfull, looking at the years before, first joining the Austrian army, then finding out, with these perfect conditions and possibilities as a human beeing, there must be more than just waiting for the next day to come (knowing there will be no challenges at all). So this was the main question I asked myself after the first exciting months. I mean they were really cool and exactly what I expected, when beeing at the military, but from that time the normal service we had to do was just not liveable. I thought a long time about it, finally it took me a year before I made my decision.
The outstanding support of my family was great, perhaps I wouldn't be that far, so after two years of hard training, with all that downs and ups, belonging to the game, I made it into a Worldcup Final! Actually no big deal, someone could say, and this would be my personal answer to this question, but taking the risk of quitting a save job, knowing you could possibly get to the top, that's something else. It took me way longer, than I thought, to get more professional, and there is still so many things to do. At least I can say, last year I wasn't sure if i could get so high, this year feels so much stronger and more confident, so I feel climbing harder from day to day!