I was awake. It was around 5-ish. “Marianne…” The voice next to me said. Yeah, I’m awake too I answered. And before we knew it we started discussing the routes for the upcoming day: Dutch Championships Iceclimbing. Two qualification routes (flash) and one Grande finale.
Should I take my other axes I wondered? That wood is so hard, almost impossible to hit right. Yeah, it is Dennis agreed.
And we continued our conversation, thinking about what if we’d lose…till we fell asleep again.
The day was windy, force 5, sometimes 6. And the temperature just below zero making it all feel like -20°C. Downjackets, two of them, down pants, hat, thick gloves, snowboots wit woolen liners and still I was cold. Gosh, how the others must have been utterly frozen!
A little insecure but not totally nervous I moved through the quali’s. The temperature dropped. It got dark… With just four girls we climbed the finals. What if I’d make a mistake? What if I’d slip off…? The route turned out to be easy, just what I hoped for, so everyone could at least get off the ground and climb some moves. But all the little moves didn’t warm me up. I actually got colder along the way…the higher I got the stronger the wind…till my hands were just numb…I did the hot-aches method before my climb but it clearly didn’t work. I was getting those cold hands again…just moving my hands became harder and harder in every move. My arms still strong, not pumped…but my hands…just two moves before the end I timed out.
I lost, or that’s what it felt like as I didn’t top the route. But it was by far enough for the first place. For the fourth time I just became Dutch Champion. And there I stood, next to the man that did climb to the final move, Dennis van Hoek did so well, managed through the wood, and topped the route! Though everyone was a winner, for having the courage to compete here in the cold on this impressive wall! See you again!
Thanks a lot for making this possible once again Sportcentrum Olympos and Koninklijke Nederlandse Klim- en Bergsport Vereniging NKBV with all volunteers and sponsors!