It's great to be back but I'm swamped with school work at uni. My sister and I returned from our Europe trip about a month ago an now I'm back in Waterloo for another term of Civil Engineering before I head off to another co-op job. The trip was amazing! At the beginning of the trip I was just beginning to make a recovery from a nasty finger injury. However, we started the trip off with a European youth series competition in Vienna, Austria. Just off the plane from Canada and we are already competing the next day! The comp was a great experience, it was crazy to see the ability of some of these European athletes. They have unlimited endurance!! The routes were classic European style; fully endurance based and no power moves. But the great part was that we were able to stick around the gym for a few days and try all the comp routes. Great for training!
Eric Sethna Reports From Canada
After the few days at the gym we took the train to Switzerland where we had a day in a really really really nice indoor gym. Apparently it was the largest in Europe...? I wish we had more time in the gym, but I was willing to leave because we had a plane to Mallorca, Spain to catch! We spent the next 2 weeks in a house we rented just driving to beaches to Deep water Solo and crags to sport climb. Of course we had to fit in some relaxing beach time as well. The Deep water soloing was great on the extremely hot days and the water was not extremely cold so it was great to just lounge around in the water.
The climbing was interesting... Nothing like I've ever done before. It was a unique feeling to be soaked when starting to attempt a climb. Something that I didn't exactly enjoy, however we managed to find some areas where you could start a climb from a ledge where you could dry off and prepare before climbing. The rock in Spain was amazing. Huge tufas and stalactites to maneuver around, and an interesting mix of thin crimps with huge bucket ledges.
Overall, I found the sport climbing to be much more interesting than the deep water solos. The routes were great onsighting practice for the world championships in Scotland. They were all so fun and my style. Most routes were long endurancy tufa climbs with a few really hard sections to make the grade. The hardest sections usually ended up being the ends, where the tufas would run out and you'd finish the routes desperately on thin crimps and fight the pump.
Next we headed to Scotland for the World Youth Climbing Championships! The wall was amazingly huge. The main comp wall was articulating and when Elise and I arrived early we climbed on the wall when it was at full tilt. The wall was massively overhung where you spent most of the 19 metres climbing out instead of up! They had some nice routes set up in the gym and Elise and I had a chance to try most of them during the 3 days we had at the gym. We even had our chance to try out the massive 15 metre speed wall.
For the competition they rotated the wall to 1/2 tilt so it seemed even bigger than it did before. The routes in the comp were again heavily based on pure endurance and the Europeans once again dominated the world podiums. I didn't place as well as I have in previous years but I am happy with my preformance considering that amount of competition and that I was making a come back from an injury. I'm gonna say that the finger is pretty much completely healed and I'm ramping up the training for all the local comps to come in the new comp season! Going to the season opener for youth tomorrow and Tour de Bloc in mid November.
Thanks again for your years of support!