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This year has been a big roller-coaster for us. 
No job, no house, no money, and loads of unfortunate events. 

The biggest reason why we’re still here, have a website, train for climbing, get motivated, is because of our friends. 
And some of these friends need an extra special thank-you. 

Last weekend we organised a small housewarming to thank these friends: Vertical Life Housewarming. 

The garden shed

Since we’re back from all iceclimbing escapades we were ready to make a fresh start. We bought a wooden shed and re-build it into a cottage.
We have solar panels for the energy, there’s a sewage, water in Summer time and big tanks for the Winter period, a vegetable garden and the heating is provided by a lovely wood-stove. Just everything you need to live comfortably but then a lot smaller. The outer walls of the house are 20 sqm. The inner a little less.
It fits all we have and it really is ours.

Winter wood, part one. Still loads to go :)
Odinn loves our new home.


It took us a lot of painting, gardening, rearranging, woodworking and Dennis became a specialist in solar-energy.
We wanted to have all running on the solar panels, even the fridge and computer. Quite a challenge but it all works!

Now that we have a new basecamp in the Netherlands we have the freedom to live again.

The way how the switch an engine: on the driveway of your parents home.

Meanwhile Dennis did a huge fix after the Winter-breakdown of our van, so we still have our house-on-wheels to travel.
Though, the cottage is a huge size improvement compared to the van :)


Now that the shed has been transformed into a cottage it was time to update our closest friends to what we’ve done and what our new plans are.

Our friend Arvid (supported by Arie) cuts the Icelandic smoked lamb on our house-warming last weekend.

Our friends (read: our sponsors) help us so much, they make it possible for us to climb, to compete and to inspire others with our adventures.
And they financially support us.
Thanks to Arie, Bas, Bart, Edwin, Erik, Erik, Eric, Eveline, Frits, Gertrude, Harald, Hans, Johan, Katja, Martijn, Menno, Peter, Peter, Ralph, Ramses, Roos, Richard, Rutger, Sabine, Wim, Wolle, we were able to get through this year, to climb, to train, to live, to inspire, to achieve things that would have never been possible otherwise.

One of the messages we found in our bank account <3

And the smallest thing we could do was hold this little party to show them our new base-camp.

They know what it takes to live the live we have.
The understand what’s below the iceberg.

Special thanks

Of course, everyone, sponsoring us with the smallest things that can have the biggest impact; like good words, deserves a thank you.
This year Katja Staartjes and Rutger Elink Schuurman deserve an extra special word.

Rutger, is our greatest sponsor. At the moment when we needed support the most, in the middel of the Winter season, he was there for us. Rutger knows what we mean. And it means a lot to us.

Katja this year awarded me not just with a financial support but also with one of the most beautiful words I ever received including the Jenny Visser-Hooft troffee [award].

such a special moment - emotional too
Katja awarding me with the Jenny Visser-Hooft troffee

It meant so much to us to get the respect, the understanding, the love, the support, thanks again guys.
Love you all. Big kiss and hug :)

Jobs and the Vertical Life Experience active lectures

Of course we had to share a bit of our new plans for the upcoming year.
First of all we are happy to announce we have work!
Dennis has an amazing new job at the Safety Concepts group.
Designing and producing specialised climbing equipment.

I (Marianne) work a million smaller jobs that gave me the opportunity to finally be able to buy my own food again.
[As an unemployed freelancer in the Netherlands you don’t get any social benefits, meaning I just really had zero to spent.]

The bike I ride 3 times a week. It hardly pais but it’s better then a indoor fitness.

I work as bike messenger, climbing instructor, industrial climbing instructor and make money providing lectures about my life and experiences as climber to all kinds of audiences; from companies like Shanks to Teijin to the local climbers club.
It’s so great to share my experiences in a personal lecture.

During one of my most interesting lectures a few weeks ago at the IFAC, Bremen.

The new lecture concept I started is unique in the Netherlands: a personalised lecture, adapted to the audience combined with a climbing experience and professional pictures of your climbs. We call it “Vertical Life Experience”.
We thrive have the audience not just to listen but to feel the passion and learn on the way.
> interested? Sent us a mail on

The big five – Winter plans

We also presented our newest plans to our friends.

The plans are a little undefined still as it all depends on our finances.

1. South Africa
We want to do something weird: iceclimbing in South Africa this August.
Not sure if all will work out as we planned it as it will cost quite a bit.

2. Malta
Thanks to Rutger we are able to visit the beautiful Island of Malta again and climb on the amazing sea-cliffs.

3. Worldcup wall
Thanks to Sportscentre Olympos and the NKBV we’re able to build our winter climbing wall again. As we hopefully have enough money to live through the Winter we will have time to train full-time from August onwards.

4. Russia
If we have the finances we want to go on a training stage to Moscow, Russia. But that only works out when we are able to find some funding

5. Worldcup
This December the season will start again. I wish we really will have the opportunity to train full-time from August onwards and really get so super fit! Not like last year, no, just really fit, like never before. Imagine… :D
The Worldcups will take place throughout the whole Winter meaning we’ll be on the road again till the beginning of March and hopefully climb some awesome stuff in between. Not just D13+ but also Alpine lines, mixed lines, trad mixed lines… Show our full love for the sports.

The list sounds like a dream. We have one month to make our dream come true :)

Just keep on following us to see what will happen next.

Following means quite a bit to us and to our sponsors, please like our Facebook pages, Twitter, Instagram, add us on LinkedIn, and share our adventures < Thnx

One thought on “Friends

  1. Thanks Marianne, for your words and friendship. You and Dennis are really toppers! Good luck for realising your next dreams! And a real pity we could not attend last saturday at your house warming! *Katja

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