1. Changes - Asking the right questions by Eliot Stephens

    Changes - Asking the right questions by Eliot Stephens

    One of the interesting things about being able to return to bouldering areas year on year, is the ability to see change. Change in the climbing environment. Change in the boulders. Change in the community, and of course change in yourself. For me, seeing the changes in myself, and the climbing areas often provide the most reflective moments of any trip. Ultimately this is what keeps me coming back to climbing for more.

    From a performance standpoint, returning to boulders you have tried through the years and not done is always a chance to learn. It can be a satisfying moment, seeing a move which was once simply too hard, brought into possibility in a matter of moments. This realisation is without doubt one of my favourite aspects of climbing. It’s also a feeling which is only given with hard work, and an attention to the detail of the move itself. Sometimes it’s a simple thing; “I need to be stronger on pinches”. Other times it’s more subtle; “my body needs to be strong in this quite specific position which only uses this tiny muscle”. But there is always something to learn. When you return to the boulder for the 5th year, and it’s still not possible, you begin to ask more questions; “is this a technical thing?”, “do I need to spend more time on this style of hold or move?”. Finding ways to improve for these problems is what keeps me going, and brings me back to these areas. The broader problem solving aspect of how to improve can be very addictive. You constantly want to know if you’ve improved, addressed weaknesses and created new strengths. Vecchio Leone in Brione was the problem that gave me this experience on this trip to Switzerland. My ability on pinches relative to my last attempts years prior is night and day, and I suppose I have the School Room's famous problem ‘Milk It’ to thank for this. Cheers Malc.

    Seeing changes in your mentality is perhaps even more satisfying than changes in physicality. Being content with spending several days on a pr

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  2. Five Strategies For Sending Your Project by Kyle Knapp

    Five Strategies For Sending Your Project by Kyle Knapp

    As 2021 begins, what better time to talk about sending your ‘project’ than now. Some of us will be heading back to our home walls for another round of lockdown training. While some of us, especially those who are lucky enough to live in an area close to real rock, might be just enjoying another typical climbing day. ‘Projects’ are everywhere. Both inside the gym or outside on the rock. Either way, the points that follow hopefully will help you on your own personal stone crusade. Most of them are common knowledge, but often overlooked in the plethora of training advice that gets repeated time and time again. So, let’s begin.

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  3. A Summer of ups and downs Michiel Nieuwenhuijsen

    In mid-June I was in Font, the season was over and I had no expectations. Just a week chilling in the forest, one of the nicest places I know. But despite the heat I was able to send my ‘summer’ project Chaos (8b). I felt really strong and confident about the summer to come, 3 weeks sending in Silvretta. But things turned out different. The day after we returned from Font I dislocated my kneecap, never go to the beach, what does a climber have to do on the beach anyway ;) I couldn’t walk, couldn’t drive, couldn’t stretch my leg, nothing. Straight away I knew that Silvretta was off the table and I was worried that the whole summer would be a big (climbing) deception. I know I shouldn’t whine too much, because I hardly ever have injuries. Recuperation still was boring, went way too slow and my mood was (occasionally) poor during it. Big thanks to my good friend and colleague Mathieu who helped me with this as a physiotherapist. The knee was slowly doing better and I was still motivated for climbing. The alternative destination was Sustenpass, the high altitude and short approach made it ideal. Things couldn’t worked out better. Sustenpass really fits my style and despite the knee (which was feeling better every day) I might have been in my best shape ever. Every day I could send whatever I wanted, a great feeling. The only downside of Sustenpass is that it gets pretty cold in the evening, good for climbing but not the best for that summer holiday feeling. After a good ten days of sitting every evening in down jackets we decided to drive to Italy. We ended up in Val di Mello, weather wise the opposite of Sustenpass. Not the best for climbing but really nice for a summer holiday: sun, ice cream, pizza, and espresso, I will definitely go back to Mello one day when conditions are better. In the end I ticked fifteen 8th degree boulders, including my first 8a flash. I also want to highlight Dulcifer (8a+) because of its beauty, maybe the best line I ever did on gra

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  4. Weekend in Val Daone

    I finally got a chance to escape for a weekend and go climbing! Bouldering in Val Daone and a quick stop in Arco, that was our plan and I only wish we had more time. Icecream, cappuccino, little shopping and saying hello to our youth team who are crushing there at the World Championships.
    Then we were off.  Up in the Valley, the air was so much cooler and the fine granite boulders were waiting for us. I'm slowly getting back in shape after my finger injury and a busy summer, so I just wanted to enjoy it and climb a lot.
    We spent the night up in the upper sector and the next day while we were having breakfast all those horses came and apparently they didn't like the idea of us camping there. They ate our tent! I still can't believe it. It was crazy! Anyway, I felt so sore the next day so I was kind of trying to climb but everything felt so hard. Time to get some fitness back for the upcoming fall season! image4   image1  

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  5. Summer is here...

    ...and so are the hot temps. We've been trying to handle all that with climbing on some river bed spots where it gets a bit cooler. I only wish I had more time to go climbing but we're in the middle of the world cup season and for me it means many days spent in the gym or going from one comp to another. We're just back from Toronto and Vail where we had some time in between the two comps and we went to the beautiful RMNP. I remember the last time I was in Colorado it was raining all the time and this time it was just blue sky. Amazing. Now we're back home and I did some routesetting and coaching for the team trainings and I went out bouldering a few times with Gasper and our french bulldog Mr. Truffe. I did a few FA's which is really cool but I must admit that usually the guys do all the hard work with brushing and searching and all that. Establishing new boulders or area's takes a lots of time and dedication but it is also the best feeling climbing something that's never been done before. Now it looks like a few rainy days are ahead of us. We'll see what the rest of the summer will bring. Here are two photos by Gasper Bratina from Hydroponics, FA in Hubelj:



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