Thursday, 24 January 2013

Tour de Suisse.......

I'm currently at home in the Peak sat in front of the fire feeling slightly less than on tip top form. I'm supposed to be back out in the alps already and cranking some more routes before heading down to Rabenstein in northern Itlay for the next round of the Ice World Cup, but unable to move from my bed for the last 3 days meant a change in flights and heading straight out to Italy tomorrow. They are pretty impressive those Swiss germs - Ruth is less than impressed as I've obviously managed to pass them onto her.

Matt getting ready to crank.
So how was my little tour of Switzerland? Well the journey out was long and exhausting and I wasn't even driving - thanks Matt! We stopped at Eptingen  (http://www.ukclimbing.com/news/item.php?id=66882) but everything was soaking wet and dripping so we kept heading on and got to Usechinen. I visited Usechinen a few years ago and climbed Pink Panther which at the time I was really pleased with, so I had a good idea what the crag was like and what to expect. Quite a lot of walking and some chilly temperatures!

Day 1 After travelling down, I jumped straight onto Twin Towers (M10) after a bit of warming up, I was keen to give it my best shot, but I soon found that there was a whole lot of ice choking the cracks and holds which needed a bit of gentle persuasion to move. Once that was cleared I managed to get it first red point - happy with that. I then spent a little bit of time looking at Matador (M11).

Day 2 Back on Matador and managed to send - psyched!

Day 3 Rest Day

Day 4 Onsighting mission - getting some competition psyche. Managed a rack of M7, M8 and M9's so felt more confident heading down to Saas Fee

Si, finally making it to the ice curtain of Pink Panther

We arrived in Saas Fee and checked into our hotel in Saas Grund - all was looking good. Arrived at the competition venue to register only to find out our licences hadn't been sorted out, a few frantic phone calls later and with some help from the lovely people at the competition we were in, numbers issued and able to enjoy the free feed!

Oh dear, the beginning of the end!


Maxim Tomilov  wish I was as strong as him!
Last time I competed at Saas Fee in 2008 it was nothing short of a disaster! I was rubbish, I got totally stressed out and nervous and didn't perform to anything like the best of my ability. This year I was determined to do better. Unfortunately the gods were rather against me, after hardly any sleep (some nerves some snoring roommates) I was feeling a bit dizzy. I put it down to the lack of sleep. I got myself warmed up but could feel the lack of power in the arms, even doing pull ups felt like hard work. Hmmmm, well all I could do was give it a go. I eventually got called to climb and set off, definitely feeling more relaxed than last time I'd been there and more confident. I made pretty good progress but just felt really pumped way too early. I battled with what I had but eventually popped off. What I hadn't realised was that I'd also been judged to have used an out of bounds heel hook a couple of clips lower down from where I'd fallen off and that was my official high point.
As soon as I finished climbing it was like I had permission to pass out and had a few moments over the next couple of hours where I had to sit down before I fell down.
The next couple of days with the journey home were absolute torture, and I apologise to Matt and Si for being a less than fun travelling companion! Not only was I feeling awful but we then drove into loads of snow, took hours, snapped the snow chains,  missed our ferry, got on another one (thank you P&O), drove through more snow to get home - epic by anyones standards!
I finally arrived home, fell through the front door and went to bed where I stayed for the next 3 days.


Looking back I am pretty happy with how I climbed and where I got too, I was not far from qualification to the semi finals which before I went I'd assumed was impossible.  So despite the setback of illness this week I'm hoping that by Saturday I'll be back firing on all cylinders and ready to give it my best in Rabenstien.......http://eisklettern.it/?lang=en


1 comment:

Arran in Focus said...

Hi Andy, Love the blog - not that I do much climbing nowadays as I'm living on Arran. Remember me (a clue you dropped rory my son!)? I'm now living on Arran and running my own business with a blog - would be good if you followed me back, Jackie :0)