It has been too long ago since I wrote my last blog post. This spring I trained indoor, studied a lot (I achieved my Bachelor degree in sociology) and did some comps. Due to finger injuries and study stress I messed up the boulder Worldcups in Log Dragomer and Vienna, because of that I decided to skip the Innsbruck comp to give my fingers some rest. In that period I still went to the gym but I didn't do any rock climbing. That changed in August, the plan was to go to Targasonne for a month! On the third of August we left to the Pyrenees, I felt physical fit and, with my Bachelor degree in the pocket, mentally strong. My goals where high, I wanted to send three 8b's (in perspective, I only did one 8b boulder before this trip).
One Month of Chaos, and Some Comps - Michiel Nieuwenhuijsen
Targasonne is positioned in the middle of the beautiful Pyrenees on the French side of French/Spanish border. Because of its high altitude (approximately 1500m) it is suitable for summer bouldering. It is still hot on midday but the mornings and evenings are cool enough to climb, the nights can be pretty chilly but I like that. The climbing is on granite, not the Swiss kind of granite but a more sharp and rough type. The shapes of the boulders and holds reminds me of Fontainebleau, with the type of the rock being the big difference . The Another thing that reminds me of Font are the wide diversity of grades, from 3 to 8b(+) with a lot of fives and sixes. This in contrast to Magic Wood (another summer destination) which favors the stronger climbers. I would like to recommend Targasonne as an A-class boulder destination! (and no I didn't received any money from the French tourist council, I just had a good time).
I said that the conditions are ideal on the morning and evening, but to be honest I only know the evening friction. We never got up out of bed early (I hate that) to try out the (supposedly superior) morning conditions. This resulted in a relaxed boulder vacation, the only downside was that I simply couldn't so some of the problems I had on my ticklist (Theory du Chaos 8b and 21 Grammes 8b). That didn't really bother me because I could do a lot of other very good problems. In total I did 8 7c's, 2 7c+, 6 8a's, 2 8a+ and 2 8b's. The boulder I liked the most was Psoas Mole 8b (and its neighboring Psoas Hole direct 8a+), that style suited me perfect; steep, dynamic, edges and heel hooks. The hardest boulder (for me) was I shot Sarconazy assis 8b, the pure physical (body tension) style didn't suit me well. I shot Sarconazy took me about 5 sessions, all of the other boulders I did in one or two sessions. This feels promising for the future, my goal is climbing an 8b+ this winter.
August the thirthiest we drove home. September the first was the last comp for the Dutch bouldering competition and I had to qualify for the Dutch Championship, I couldn't miss out on this year's Championship as it is organized in the city center of Rotterdam (my hometown). One moth of pulling on granite edges was good for my physical shape (and my finger injury was totally gone), and I easily qualified for the Championships. A few weeks later I was able to compete in the World Championships boulder. I didn't train indoors all summer but I felt I was well prepared for this comp after Targa. I felt good both mentally and physically and I wanted to climb good to finish this international season with a nice feeling. First boulder flash. The second one was a tricky mantel like move, with my height it was hard and I didn't feel the move. Third boulder dynamic pulling on edges, second try. The problems came on the fourth boulder (a power draining roof), I wasn't fit enough. I tried very hard and gave it all I had, got to the last move two times but was out of breath every time. It is hard to recover in the isolation as you only have 5 minutes, coming to the fifth boulder I was still exhausted from the fourth. It was a dyno which took me a few tries to stick (normally I should have flashed the dyno, especially with my length). I fell three times after the dyno (which I think was the crux move) because I was too tired (one time with my hand on the finishing hold). I ended 39th, the lack of fitness costed me a few places but I was happy with my climbing and the result. I feel ready now for this weekend, the Dutch Boulder Championships!