This past week I traveled to Stockholm, Sweden for the Tierra Boulder Battle and to climb some Swedish Granite. I could not have anticipated how cool and friendly all the Swedish people are and how great of a time I had! I was staying with one of my best friends, Mathilda Soderlund, who I have known previously through competitions. She is a great competitor and climber, but she also knows how to have fun. It was easy to have a lot of fun because we have very similar interests and hobbies… shopping, baking, watching movies, painting our nails pink… I suppose the typical “girly” stuff but hey, that’s what we are! =]
Life is just so SWEDE! - Sasha DiGiulian
The Tierra Boulder Battle was an invitational bouldering event that was unlike anything else I have done. Five men; Nalle (Finand), Nacho (Spain), Magnus (Norway), Robert (Sweden), Guillaume (France), and five women: Shauna (UK), Mathilda (Sweden), Tina (Norway), Melanie (France), ME (USA) were invited. The first day of the event we were each given a section of the bouldering wall and a batch of holds to set with. We had 5 hours to set a boulder problem that was ideally stylistically unique, challenging, and entertaining to watch. Afterwards, we had two hours to try each other’s boulder problems and to make slight changes depending on the others’ suggestions. I had never set a boulder problem before, so this was a new challenge for me! Nalle and I both had the white/green/black holds to work with and conveniently he wanted to use all of the biggest slopers/pinches and I wanted to use all of the small little crimpers, so my problem was comprised of a lot of bad little holds. Although it took a lot of time to set, I was quite satisfied with my boulder by the end of the day. I made it decently long and technical with a foot-first gymnastic move in the middle while transitioning from the roof section to the more vertical section of the wall. The other girls’ problems were well set. Melanie’s problem was the hardest for me, though, because she decided to put a running-jump start to 2 double-dynos in a row. As many of you know, dynoing.. especially double dynoing.. is NOT one of my fortes and I struggled to reach the start holds from the running-jump position. Maybe some of you can help me with this weakness!
The following day I went shopping and exploring downtown Stockholm with Mathilda, Daniela, Shauna, and Tina. We also climbed a little with the sponsor-representatives of the event at the K2 Climbing Center.
Saturday was a really fun day because before the event me, Mathilda, Daniela, and Shauna made and decorated pretty cupcakes. There’s nothing better than fresh baked sweets to snack on J
Afterwards we went to the Bouldering Event at K2. The gym sold-out tickets and the show was great! There were cool effects including a smoke-maker for the athlete presentation, an enthusiastic commentator, and full-blown live streaming. Overall it was a very interactive, newly formatted event with great energy and a fun crowd.
For the duration of my trip I got to enjoy some of the Stockholm nightlife, hang out downtown, experience typical Swedish culture – like making “Swedish Meatballs” from scratch, and climb outside on Swedish Granite.
My last day I did the first female ascent of “Crystalbanditt” in Svarttjarn – a very short sport climbing area just outside the city with bouldery routes about 8 meters tall..! It was very sharp and powerful, but fun climbing and good rock quality.
Now I am in transit – in London currently actually – connecting for a flight home. It’s kind of ironic because just the other day I mentioned my desire to go to London, and here I am at the airport! Unfortunately, my lay over is not long enough to leave the airport, but hopefully I’ll be back again soon for a longer journey!
I will be home for a few days, then I am flying out to Boulder, Colorado for USA SPORT CLIMBING NATIONALS!
Time to get in some last-minute training before the competition! And some relaxation downtime at home is always nice … =]