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Little Russia in Romania

Just back in our shared room.

It was busy last night with 6 others grinding their iceaxes when we tried to sleep and the couple sleeping above us moving the bed in a good rythm (don’t want to know what that meant).
In the middle of the night I woke because of some alarm/phone. I noticed I felt pretty sick. Really sick and sore stomach and no idea why. Tried to toilet but nothing worked. Finally I got back to sleep feeling a bit better then during the night, luckily. At least I was able to eat my breakfast.
The isolation was packed. Steph explained it as being in the emergency hut on the Mont Blanc with Russians lying everywhere. I think it came pretty close to that.
It was first too cold and later too damp and warm. The warm-up was too small for all the climbers and the single toilet was occupied constantly.
I was 18th to climb (of 24) and warmed up okay-ish. The route looked quite strange with stone holds that we were not allowed to take as steinpulls because they might brake. The fourth hold was a sidepull that didn’t look too good. I asked the other girls about the hold and they said it should be fine as it was just qualifications and it was low in the rout. I trusted them thinking of my new climbing plan: faster climbing without hesitations on every move.
It was my turn, Catherine helped reminding me of my new plan in the isolation and wished me luck. Gordon was climbing on the mens route and fell off somewhere in the start, then Markus got a second turn next to me (after he popped off in the top with a twisting hold).
I climbed just a couple moves and found it hard to find the holes in the snow/ice (snice). Suddenly I hung in the air when my left axe ripped out of the snow. As it’s a qualification and haven’t clipped the first draw yet you’re allowed to start again. Losing precious time (we only had 5 mins for the whole route) I got really stressed. It slowed me down, stressing me even more. Two times more my axe almost ripped out forcing me to really hack in the ice, losing even more time and thus stressing me even more. I reached the top of the icewall and now had to get focused on the other style of climbing: drytooling. Focusing on the holds reminding what I told myself: move faster. The idea was to make a move in 3 steps. Preparation, movement and stabilisation. Only the movement to the next hold has to be steady and slow, in the other two parts I could speed up. And so I tried, realising I probably had just a minute left after the fall in the start. I came to the sidepull move, felt the hold, surprising myself that the hold was worse then I thought. I had no time, I had to move. As stable as possible I moved onto my axe, doubting the stability of it. I was getting onto it as my left axe popped off the not-so-good-hold before it. For two seconds I hung on the sidepull but as the hold stands sideways I slid off in seconds dangling in the air again. No second chances here, and just happy the belayer actually held me.
I was too astonished to even think of crying, being angry and having any feelings at all. How could this happen, how?
I instantly lost all faith in my new method. Wondering why I actually got all the way here to climb four moves on some crappy stones in glassfiber/epoxy.
They tricked me again, making me believe this worldcup would be better then last years here. “Yes, they changed”. Yes, they changed. And made it worse.
The Russian routesetters made some big (huge) mistakes. In the mens route they had the same problem with half of the men falling off the same hold (including Dennis) and loads of climbers ripping out off the ice, losing precious time just like me. The routesetters are old, heavy, one tiny one big and they don’t even test the routes making it a big gamble.
Dennis spoke to one of the routesetters after his disappointing climb. “And what do you think” Dennis asked the routesetter. “Not so happy I thought after 4 competitions people are strong, it’s too hard” he replied. At least he realised…
Hopefully better at the speed or maybe a second chance tomorrow…
Thanks for
Ow by the way, as I guessed the livestream isn’t working.
They sell crap in the stores here. The registration yesterday. Ursus beer, better then water and the menu, piept is chicken we figured after we ordered. The opening dinner, tables full of cold meat. The isolation warm-up wall still being build when we’re already trying to when we’re warming up (perfect timing…)
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