20 Oct 2010

Castillion & Le Loup

September: The heather covering the mountains turns red, the air is crystal clear, the forest yellow, the rock dry.

The competition season had finished. Sabby and myself packed the car and drove to France. First stop was Castillion to build some endurance and relax by the sea. Next stop was Gorges du Loup. This place is unbelievable. As you walk along the base of the crag the wave of limestone towering above is overwhelming. We had no idea where to begin until some locals pointed out some of the classics. At first it was a little unusual climbing on giant tufas but after one day we learnt how to move and started climbing some incredible routes. Some highlights include Super Tango (8a+), Deverse Santique (8a+), Hot chilli Beans (8b+) and Pas Vu, Pas Pris (7c).

Want to go back!

Back in Austria the weather has been amazing but time has been a little limited as we have started renovating our new flat....sometimes feels hardeer than climbing!

21 Sep 2010

European Championships Innsbruck (A)

The last event of the 2010 competition bouldering season was mega. As by previous events held in the Market Square of Innsbruck, there was a massive crowd supporting the climbers battle it out. Leading up to the event I didn't really realise what was about to happen in Innsbruck. I thought it was going to be just another competition but this event was a real break-through in competition climbing. I have never seen so many specatators fascinated in what they were witnessing. It is getting easier to understand how the competitions work thanks to people such as Tim Hatch and the interest in this sport in Tirol has boomed as a result of this event and I am very proud to of been part of it. The boulder setting was perfect with loads of different styles and interesting features, nice one Percy and the Innsbruck Team.

Performance-wise, I am satsified with my 8th place but again the final was possible.

More photos at www.euro-2010.at

(Elias Holzknecht)

28 Aug 2010

Water-Cum-Jolly and Cheedale

On Friday Sabby, Kathi, Mart and myself visited Water-Cum-Jolly. The conditions were perfect with a light breeze cooling the rock. We warmed up at Rubicon and went across to the Cornice. It was totally dry. We climbed some fantastic routes including Brachiation Dance (7b+), The Free Monster (8a) and Monsterosity (8b). I think Monsterosity is the best route I have ever climbed at that grade.

People were talking about how dry Cheedale's Cornice is and that one route was crying out to be climbed: Monumental Armblaster (8a+). I never saw the route in its previous condition but can imagine just how dirty it was. Thanks to the team who cleaned the route up and have made it a pleasure to climb, again one of the best.

Back in Austria now getting ready for the European Championships in Innsbruck, should be a mega event with the wall located in the central market square.

16 Aug 2010

Niederthai Weekend

The weather in Tirol has been atrocious over the past 3 weeks. Literally raining everyday. There was a short break in the bad weather over the weekend and the only place that seemed to be dry was Niederthai. My brother, Mart, is out in Austria at the moment and I pointed him towards the classic test piece "Glückshormon" Fr8b+. On Sunday he climbed the route after a good fight with bad skin, his first of the grade. The photo is of Mart setting up for the crux.

On Sunday I was able to climb the project to the left of Glückshormon. The line was originally bolted by the climbing legend Markus Haid sometime back. I tried the line last year with Sir Ennemoser and it was going well before we ripped a crucial crimp off leaving a big gap in the middle of the crux. The only way this section is now possible is with a really powerful dyno off two bad pinches. The dyno didn't feel possible last year and we declared the section impossible. I attempted the route on Saturday with Heiko and the move went. The route is named "7UP" and graded Fr8c.

7 Aug 2010

Boulder Worldcup Munich (D)

The final round of the 2010 bouldering worldcup was held at the Olympic Stadium in Munich. The location of the event was incredible with a huge glass roof sheltering the blocs and crowd from the thunderstorms. The qualification round went well and I was able to climb in the next round. I was really focused in the semi-final and wanted to secure a Top-10 overall position. I was very pleased with my 9th place but like in previous events the final felt close.

My overall position for the 2010 Boulder Worldcup is 6th- a result I could of never predicted.

(Heiko Wilhelm)

19 Jul 2010

Arco Rock Master 2010

The Arco Rock Master is and always will be one of the most prestigious climbing events and next year it will be the venue of the World Climbing Championships.

(Jack Geldard)

I battled through the nearly unbearable heat and finished in 12th. The legendary Rock Master was still a mega success with a massive crowd, a good atmosphere and good pizza, it was just a shame that it was held over the hottest weekend ever recorded in Arco.

(Elias Holzknecht)

7 Jul 2010

Boulder Worldcup Sheffield (UK)

Sheffield held the latest round of the 2010 Bouldering Worldcup at the successful Cliff Hanger event.

The competition was a mega success with perfect weather and a massive crowd creating one of the best atmospheres of the season. The competition was very successful for the British Bouldering Team where 7 team members were able to climb in the semi-final and ranked 2nd in the team rankings.

However, it was the first event of the season where I felt really nervous before climbed so I had to really concentrate and stay focused. I finished 13th but feel slightly disappointed with my performance in the semi-final.

(Heiko Wilhelm)

Next event is the Arco Rockmaster!

28 Jun 2010

Boulder Worldcup Eindhoven (NL)

The 2010 Bouldering Worldcup's next stop was in Eindhoven (NL). The event was a real highlight of the running season with good music, interesting blocs and a loud crowd.

I was very pleased to be able to climb in the semi-final again along with Dave Barrans. Dave put in a good performance and qualified for the final. I had some bad luck on the first semi-final bloc when on my flash attempt my foot went out-of-bounds meaning I had to jump off and climb the bloc again costing me one attempt more and a place in the final. Very disappointing but it was my own fault for not concentrating enough. I finished in 7th place and Dave 5th.

We now have a few days rest before the next round of the Worldcup in Sheffield at the Cliffhanger event.

(Heiko Wilhelm)

8 Jun 2010

Boulder Worldcup Vail (USA)

The third round of the 2010 Bouldering Worldcup was held in Vail, Colorado. We flew out to Denver on Sunday after the competition in Vienna and made our way to Boulder in two massive jeeps. After a few days of relaxing in Boulder it was time to compete. I managed to qualify in 5th place on Friday and in the semi-final I climbed the first two blocs and had a few good goes at the 3rd leaving me in 10th. I really enjoyed climbing infront of an American crowd, they really get behind the climbers and the energy is 'awesome'. The final was fantastic to watch with Daniel Woods pulling it out the bag to show an unbelievable amount of power.

The Austrian Team had some bad luck, Kili stubbed his toe the night before the Quali leaving him struggling to weight his right foot, he still finished 3rd though (incredible). Johanna was climbing so well during the quali when disater struck on the final bloc with a massive inversion injury rupturing all three ligaments in her ankle. Johanna has now got to decide whether surgical or conservative intervention is best.

(Heiko Wilhelm)

2 Jun 2010

Boulder Worldcup Vienna (AUT)

The bouldering World Cup in Vienna was very successful. I was able to climb in my first World Cup final and finished in 4th behind Fishhuber, Ondra and Rubtsov. Climbing in the final was an unforgettable experience, particularly on the third boulder where you had to perform a footless cross-over on small screw-ons...the crowd went wild.

Dave Barrans climbed very well finishing in 8th.

I am now in Boulder, Colorado, relaxing before heading up to Vail at the Weekend for the next round of the World Cup.

(Heiko Wilhelm)

21 May 2010

Boulder Worldcup Greifensee (SUI)

The 15th of May saw the start of the 2010 Bouldering Worldcup in Greifensee, Switzerland. The qualification round went well and I made it through to the semi-final finishing in 10th place. A real highlight of the event was watching the battle between Ondra and Fischhuber. Kilian demonstrating mega composure and winning the event.

Members of the 2010British bouldering Team climbed well with Mina and Diane finishing 25th and 27th respectively. John, Adam and Mason gained critical experience ready for the next event. The team will be flying out to Vienna next weekend where Barrans climbed very well last year making it through to the finals.

You can follow the British Team's performance at the BMC or the IFSC's website:


Wilhelm and British Bouldering Team

12 May 2010

Der Schwarzer Schwan

After Viktor and Tanja's wedding on Saturday we decided to head to Markus Haid's new climbing spot where he'd made the first ascent of an incredible route. 'Der Schwarzer Schwan' ≈Fr8c winds its way up a blank wall of pristine granite before a bouldery top out. We warmed up in a nearby area and headed up to the secret spot with Markus. The route reminds me of 'new baseline' at Averstal and I thought I might be able to do it in a day. I had a good flash attempt and on my 2nd attempt I made the 2nd ascent. The route is destined to be a mega classic in Tirol.

25 Apr 2010

kitzrock bouldercup'10

The 2010 kitz rock event was, as always, fantastic with a massive number of climbers participating. The qualification round on Friday night was very busy and had a great vibe with loads of strong climbers wanting to get through to the semi-final round. The semi-final and final were held on Saturday and were world cup modus. The competition was intense in the final with a battle between Lukas Ennemoser and Kilian, Luki looking like a mashine and pipping Kili to the title. Jonas Baumann took 3rd place and I took 4th. Highlight of the event has to be our 4th bloc in the final, a pocket problem involving a huge footless cross-over on 2 finger pockets followed by a one-arm pull up...I was loving it! Looking forward to some rock now before the next event in 3 weeks.

(Elias Holzknecht)

27 Mar 2010

CWIF 2010

When Graeme invited me and Sabby to climb for the Climbing Works Team at the 2010 CWIF alongside Gabri Moroni and Stéphane Julien I was a little suprised. Instead of worrying too much, I just used it as an incentive to climb really hard at the comp. The Qualification round involved climbing a circuit of 30 problems scattered around the Climbing Works. I got to work and started making my way through the blocs and was amazed by how good the quality was, every bloc had something special about. I qualified in 2nd place for the semi-final and the Climbing Works Team won the event ahead of some very strong teams including the beastmaker!

I made it through the semi-finals and was able to climb in the final with 4 other climbers. I slowly warmed up my aching muscles and enjoyed climbing infront of a cheering crowd. I finished in 4th.

16 Mar 2010

work, train, ski, work, train, ski.....

The past few months have been spent in the practice, at the wall and on the mountain. I was able to spend a weekend in Chironico last month but it was too cold to try really hard so we ended up just climbing lots of blocs to keep warm. On Thursday I will be returning to the UK for the Climbing Works competition and spending the following week with the Austrian Bouldering Team on the grit.

3 Feb 2010

next phase

The past month has been spent training strength at the gym and doing specific exercises at the wall. I have one more day of this training before I start the next phase which involves lots of exercises to improve my hand strength. I'm really missing climbing on the rock so we've planned a bouldering trip next weekend...can't wait.