I arrived in Europe one week before the last round of the IFSC boulder world cup to get used the time difference and get a feel for the setting over here. The gyms are a lot different over here, you walk 10 minutes from one gym to the other and they are both packed and both huge. You could spend 5 hours in one gym trying every problem once and still wouldn’t have tried them all. One of the gyms in Munich ‘Boulderwelt’ has a really cool competition wall, and they got some of the setters that are setting for the world cup to set world cup style problems on the wall for us to try before the comp. It was nice to have these problems up to test and get used to the style we would be up against. Climbing every day here is really hard, not just psychically but the lack of skin. I had a session the other day on the rings because my finger tips would bleed as soon I started to climb.
I caught up with the other 5 Australians, 2 of them have been in Europe for much longer, competing in 3 lead world cups before hand. The boulder world cup started on a Friday, I took two days rest before the comp to grow some skin and relax my body. I am finding that I’m spending a lot of my spare time at the english garden, if you don’t know what that is, its the equivalent to a beach in Australia but replacing sand is really soft grass and replacing the ocean is the nicest flowing river/creek.
The day of qualifications:
As I’m competing in more and more of these I am feeling more relaxed each time. But in each one I haven’t climbed to my full potential, I feel locked up and just can’t move on the wall the way I normally move. Going into the Munich event I felt different, I remember last year when I was in Munich doing the same world cup I was so nervous the day before, let alone on the day. This year I was calm all the way until I was about to step onto the matt, and than I froze again. I climbed alright but still not to 100% of my ability. In the 5 problems, my first two felt better, I got up to the last move on both but the thought of topping it out got to me, maybe it’s because I’m not strong enough? I know if this was in the gym I wouldn’t have second thoughts. My third climb was a very tricky slab that I couldn’t figure out how to start. The fourth… lets move on. The fifth climb was also a tricky slab with big features you had to work around, I managed to nut my way to the bonus and yeah…didn’t really know what to do after that.
After the Munich Bouldering World Cup I decide to stay in Munich for 2 weeks. I wanted to stay back not just for the after party but to expose my self to many different gyms and practise the tricky feature style and slabs. I’ve rented this AirBnB apartment so I can get into routine of climbing and training. After the 2 weeks in Munich I have no plans except for the World Championships in Paris on the 14th of September. My idea is to travel around Germany to the famous gyms for just under two weeks than I am looking at getting to Paris around the 8th of September to catch up with the rest of the Australians and so I don’t celebrate my 18th by myself. In the end I’m flexible so anything can change I may go to Austria for a couple of days, not sure 🙂
After the Munich world cup I met up with the famous ‘Dicki Korb’ to get some ideas and to point me in the right direction for my training as coaches are hard to come by in Australia. If you don’t know Dicki is a legendary coach from café kraft. Dicki has coached Alex megos since he was a young boy and now he’s… yeah he doesn’t need explaining, so I thought he must be doing something right. We met up at boulder welt the day after finals, his main motto was ‘Train smart, Climb harder’. So anyone can train strength pretty easily if you have the patience and determination but if you don’t know what your doing, you’ll run into a injury at some point. I took Dicki through my training program, but what we focused on was how to keep training the way I do without getting injured. He showed me all these little muscles I didn’t even know existed that will help me train for longer without getting injured. I can go on for ages, I am really grateful I got in touch with him! It was really beneficial!
Now two weeks of climbing and training and then we’ll see what happens after that.
Ben Abel – Pulse Climbing Athlete