The climbing page
16 March 2006 - As an avid rock climber, how could I resist posting a link on rocks and balance? I will definitely try this at home!
05 December 2005 - The last entry on climbing here on wimdows.nl dates back to June 21, 2005 (as you can see on the climbing page); 3 days after I had broken my ankle whilst slipping down a slab at the Sloterdijk gym. Did this deter me from climbing, and is this where the cause for this hiatus is to be found? On the contrary, I'd say. It's just that I always seem to prefer actual climbing to writing about climbing. Hence the early demise of my attempt at the Old Git Climbers Log - the remnant of which you find further down this page.
The cast came of on August 11, and I've been climbing myself back to my old level ever since. I'm nearly there, it's just that slabs still give me the creeps. But since I always found them a bit of a hassle, there is not much love lost anyway. As soon as I start scratching my way back into that weird and wonderful territory beyond the far side of 6+ again, I'll let you know.
The actual subject of this post takes us yet further up the hardness scale, or acutally nearly off it, into another dimension way beyond the reaches of modern day gravity theory into the realm where there are it's no longer boulder problems you are dealing with, but outright singularities. One of my bouldering companions, Jurriaan Zwier, went out and did an interview with Dutch climbing and bouldering phenomenon Jorg Verhoeven, who at the start of his adult climbing carreer already knows how it feels to be a world champion (twice).
That should give them something to talk about! It's a good read, so check it out! (And Freakclimbing.com has been added to the linkslist on my climbing page.)

21 June 2005 - Although autobiography wasn't a goal I had in mind when I started this site, I do owe you an explanation regarding the Pic of the Day of June 19th.
In the picture you can make out my feet being rusched into hospital. Main reason for all this haste is my lower left extremity. A mere three quarters

of an hour before the foot, all of a sudden, was attached to the rest of me in a rather onconventional angle. Although a bit harder than a ball-and-socket joint like the shoulder, it is possible to dislocate the ankle. Strangest thing, to see a foot simply ignoring to the signal to bloody well behave and straighten out. Thanks to the ambulance guy who did the first aid, in the photograph the foot is already back in it's proper position - and I am as high as a kite thanks to the painkillers. What exactly is wrong with the foot isn't clear yet.
I managed to damage myself this inventfull way by sliding down a slab during the A5-series bouldering event in Klimhal Amsterdam in Amsterdam-Sloterdijk. For non-climbers: a 'slab' is a rather smooth bit of climbing wall that usually is not quite upright. So, if you fall on a slab, chances are you gonna hit something hard before you are saved by a mat or a rope. In this case my left foot went straight for the gap between the mat and the wall, where it got stuck while my body kept on falling backward. Thus, my ankle bone got disconnected from my leg bone; and I can assure you the Word of the Lord was heard in the gym shortly after!
Except for the pulling and overstretching of all kinds of ligaments that is tradional in these cases, it apears the only real damage that has been done is a fracture in the talus bone. Guess I wont be doing much climbing the coming day or two. The only comfort, besides me being back in time for barbeque and beers, I find in the fact that this isn't some old geezers injury, but a tough, young, active, adventureous sort of injury!
Friday they will do a scan. I will, no doubt, keep you posted..

07 June 2005 - I kept you waiting for a bit, but i'm done with the photo's I made in Fontainebleau the weekend before. The series consists of some boulder pics aswell as some unashamedly touristical snap shots...
Enjoy!

19 May 2005 - There is a good chance I will be adding more Amsterdam urbanning photo's this summer. Those of you who can't wait, I would like to refer to Otto's ever increasing bouldering photo-archives...

17 May 2005 - More urbanning in Amsterdam! This time at the new tram station along the Piet Hein kade. Otto Jongerius does de the boulder of the ladybird and the little spider...
It's not a very difficult boulder if you do it straight up, but if you can stop yourself from grabbing the edge at the back of the concrete ledge, it's quite a decent mantle training. Up top you have a choice between 'walrussing' it (you

will understand this once you get there), or doing it in proper style and push out those arms till full stretch before you place a foot. Start sitting and do a two-handed dyno for some extra credits.
12 May 2005 - As the self-declared guru of Amsterdam's outdoor bouldering, I can't get around giving you some good examples of how it's done. As it happens, I have come up with some bad little problems over the years! Heaps of 'm!
Here's something you might like to try on what we call, admittedly somewhat denigrating, the junky wall (you'll find this little stretch of basalt opposite the entrance of the Scheepvaartmuseum).

There are two doors there (a wide one and a narrow one), and you can do these moves facing both ways. Loads of chimney fun to you all!

The photographs are by Yolande van der Sande.

By the way: if you are visiting from abroad, packing some rock shoes and eager to do some urbanning, don't hesitate to contact me... I'd be more than happy to show you around!

14 February 2005 - Because it still is the most inspiring bouldering clip (not in the least because of that wicked soundtrack), I ones more put on offer, this golden oldie as brought to you by the best climbing site ever (climbXmedia.com of course!): Bring the Ruckus!
05 December 2004 - Two photo's of the Dutch sport climbing championships in Amsterdam...

on the left Casper ten Sijthoff, on the right Ima Nahumury

20 November 2004 - Turns out I'm not that injured. Been to the 12th Felsfreunde Bouldercup in the attick of the Ex-Haus in Trier (Germany). Here are the photo's...

04 November 2004 - Remember that picture in John Sherman's Better bouldering in which he shows off his collection of injuries? Well, i think i found one he hasn't got yet!
While hanging from the bouldering roof in my local climbing gym with both my arms stretched out wide perpendicular from my body - Jezus style - with the middle two fingers of my right hand in a hold, i heard a tearing sound as i pulled on that hold. I said 'auw' (as we do in the Netherlands), but actually felt no pain whatsoever. Much to my surprise, i might add.
Today i'm still not completely sure about what is is that tore. Hardly anything seems to hurt. I'm pretty sure it's not a ligament. More likely the damage is in a part that attaches the ligament to the rest of the hand. It doesn't seem too serious... But it scares the shit out of me!
AAARGH!
Question is, how injured am I?

01 November 2004 - Well, the old git is back. Bleau (stop calling it 'Font' will ya!) was tres enjoyable. As always, the weather was great. (I saw Dave Graham in a clip complaining about how bad the weather was treating him during his stays in Bleau. Nature is cruel in more ways than one, it seems Dave, you awfully-skinny-yet-horendously-strong, superligamented freak, you!) And i finally did P'tit toit - probably just in time before they downgrade it

ones more. I almost did it last year; i was absolutely sure it would be a doddle this time, and it was. Only thing was, i was so psyched when i got there, it still took me about five times to do the whole bloody thing! I kept racing through the first bit like the 5b it is, but i kept falling off the 6c moves at the end, because they of course don't allow for that kind of exhuberance.
On the one hand doing P'tit toit is good riddance! I had been trying to climb this l'ttle roof since my first visit to Bleau. And although it isn't all that hard a problem, it had become sort of a gauge for my progress in bouldering. The first time i tried it, three years ago, i wasn't ready for it, last year i was nearly ready, this time i knew i would send it easily. Hence my psyched uppedness.
On the other hand i will miss it, because it sure was a good reason for coming to the top of the beautifull hill that is 95.2.
Luckily Bleau connaisseur Jurriaan Zwier pointed it out Rudeboy, a creative 7a+ a bit down hill from 95.2.
In the picture I'm doing the knee thing in the early part of the boulder...
(Hopefully this will shut up the few people that complain about there hardly being any pictures of me on this site for a while.) By the time we linked it up until the last move it was too dark to finish it off altogether. I'm pretty sure it wil go next time.
photo: Yolande van der Sande

29 October 2004 - I'm off to a realy slow start, i do realize. But that's not going to deter me from continuing the journal. My Picture of the Day had a slow start too, but it's progressing nicely by now: i haven't missed a day since the early beginnings, now almost two years ago.
Off to Bleau for the weekend. Finally! Thought it wasn't going to happen this year. Weather seems nice enough. Hotel has been booked. There a couple of boulders i wanna do. Bleau has a way of humbling people, so i don't try and be too optimistic.
Already finished packing. And i didn't forget the sixpack. Hate arriving somewhere to find there isn't a beer to be had anywhere!
Hope i can bring you back a story and a photo or two.

18 October 2004 - Jeez! I had completely forgotten about my old geezer climbing log. No wonder, considering i've been climbing every day! Too friggin' busy doing it to be writingabout it. My last installment tells me i was on a climbing literature trip. Let's cut that one short. Among my favourite books are two collections of short stories by several authors: The High Lonesome; epic solo climbing stories and The best of Rock & Ice; an anthology. But topping them all is Sherman exposed; slightly censored bouldering stories, by John Sherman.
The book I realy hate. Or should I say the couple of pages i really learned to hate before i chucked away the book because i couldn't stomach the selfobsessed prose contained in it, are in Op zoek naar evenwicht (which translates as 'looking for balance') by Ronald Naar. Naar is the Dutch alpine climber who says he summitted Everest but probably didn't. To write about your own childhood as if you were some sort of historical figure, must be the pinnacle of arrogance - well, at least he summitted that one!

18 October 2004 - ..sentence. I apologize for this, and do hope it didn't cause you any inconvenience.
Since you might have guessed i am aiming for humour here, this might be the right moment to inform you on some of my likes and dislikes in climbing literature. I do like the funny stories best. I have nothing against the icy suspense of great books like, say, Touching the Void. Which is a very funny in places too, i hasten to add. But i really love the works of guys like John Long and John Sherman. (I even forgive the latter his habbit of going for the easy, adolescent laugh.)

07 October 2004 - Since i've always wanted to write something in English, I'll start this in that language and not in Dutch. I never intended this website to be fully bilingual anyway, and most of it is in Dutch at the moment; so i don't feel to bad about doing something fully and only in English for a change.
It is my intention to start keeping you people out there informed in my pro- and - unquestionably - ultimate regress in the sport of climbing. i've been at it for four years now, mainly finding my kicks in bouldering, but not minding having to do (short) routes aswell. Am i doing anything that is remarkable for someone having spent four years training pretty fanaticaly? No, not really. I'm guessing i move quite nicely, but i'm still pretty mediocre as it is. The only remarkable thing about me, is that I started climbing when i was 37, going on 38, and that i'm 42 as i write this. (Click here, if you want to check this against information i provide elsewhere...) Now everybody out there familiar with the the works of the late Douglas Adams (the bugger died when at 49 when he was working out in a bloody gym - one reason not to go near the bastards!) knows 42 is a very significant number indeed, it being the answer to the question of life, the universe and everything (as given in his classic The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy).

I sort of had the idea i should mark this year in my life by doing something that has some relevance, somehow. Well, this is it: i'm going to write about climbing and my part in it. (Actually, i already started doing this in February of this year, when i wrote a story on my trip to Hampi. The story is in Dutch, but if you are not able to read it, you can still have a look at the pictures i took.) But that was such a great experience, the story almost forced itself upon me and wrote itself. In part this was due to the Southern Indian atmos and the feeling of retreat that clung to the whole affair. It was also and largley due to the quality of the rock and problems. I've only been in three real bouldering areas in my time, but i hazzard a guess Hampi must be among the top three bouldering areas in the world. In my version of the lingo: it def. ruleZ okay, mate!

Since this is sort of a weblog, don't expect nicely rounce stories all the time. I will write this in between other things. So be warned! It can and will get sketchy at times. I might have to hurry off mid...

September 2004 - Our climbing gym in Amsterdam has a new bouldering roof. I put a small dyno on there. And we made some pictures...

 
August 2004 - Here are some new photo's from Hampi! I should have made many more, but one can't be working all the time, can one now? Still here are some portraits of climbers and friends in and around Goan Cormer in Hampi...
July 2004 - New! Urbanning wall in Amsterdam-Oost - I did my first straight ups on July 18,
2004 (undoubtedly a first). Train your fingers and feet in a wonderfully peacefull environment.
Extra dimension: in some places the bricks break off when you put pressure on them. Talking about ripping the grips off the wall!
March 2004 - Here's the pictures that accompany the article (in Dutch) on bouldering in Hampi and Badami (India) as a slide show... Enjoy!
Summer 2003 - Here's a clip we made ourselves. All about urbaning in Amsterdam! It's a clip with two (watch what happens in the background) problems on the (basal) wall near the Amstel Hotel.

The problem being done in the foreground is to the right end of the wall. It starts on a reasonable crimper for the left hand and a pretty tricky bonus hold (that's what we call holds that are genuine features on the rock instead of being edges of the basal blocks). There's a drill hole (we didn't drill them, they are just there) for hte left foot and a good edge for the left. Stepping into the problem (left toe in the hole) is a not all that easy.
Then, high up, there is a nice and lumpy bonus hold for the right hand, the left hand can go to a pointy hold. To get to the edge, stand with your right foot on the hold (recognizable by the bit of cement on it) in front of your crotch. (Schatting niveau: Fb5+)

Meanwhile in the background two guys (Denny and I) are doing the Screw Boulder (I saw it first!). Match your hands on the screw, walk up to the good edges on the corner of on of the stones - and reach for the edge (no intermediates!) Easy!. (Fb4)

My climbing shoes
Boreal Zen. Lightweight slipper, well suited for people with a somewhat broader fore foot. The heel is bit baggy and the (mid)sole quite stiff, so these are shoes for routes rather than bouldering. Long lasting shoe. And hey, Fusion 3-rubber really does have some friction and it lasts. La Sportiva Katana. Super lightweight slipper. Prety sturdy mid middsole. Will stretch a lot, and seems equaly suited for wide and narrow feet; mind you, it will force your toes into a pointy shape though. Just to make sure: undersize, undersize, undersize! Bend inward, nor downward. Be warned: the rubber is gone in no-time - not suited for first time climbers with a negative cash flow problem. 5.10 Anasazi Velcro. Lichtgewicht edgingslofje van kunststof. Rechte schoen met stevig middenzooltje. Hak zit matig. Meer geschikt voor een smalle voet: het blijft proppen, zelfs als je je ze in je normale schoenmaat koopt. En denk erom: ze lopen veel minder uit dan leren schoenen. Red Chili xCube. Really nice velcro slipper for bouldering and steep stuff. Damn shame the (Vibram) rubber wears away quicker than an eraser! Mad Rock Flash
Mammut Psycho. Slap sloffie. La Sportiva Mythos. De klassieker onder de klassiekers, inmiddels. Rechte platte schoen met een (inmidddels) uniek vetersysteem (ja, het kan wel: met een veiligheisspeld door de nieuwe veter en rijgen maar). Als je achten wilt klimmen, dan kan dat heus heel goed met de Mythos (het is gedaan). Red Chili Torro. Scherp veterschoentje voor de smalle, dunne, lange voet - het punt kan haast niet genoeg worden benadrukt. De Torro is een stevige leren schoen, die zo gebouwd is dat hij weinig uitloopt. Als de leest niet bij je voet past, wordt je daar gegarandeerd niet blij van. Hak is okÚ. Geen klachten over het rubber (Vibram). Kleurstelling: love it, or hate it! (Mooi!) 5.10 Rock Socks Lace-up. Rare slof: vooraan geheel van rubber voorzien. Dit is de vetervariant; ik had liever die met klittenband gehad (ach, alleen strikken als het echt nodig is kan ook). Absoluut geen middenzool; sterke tenen vereist! Superstrak kopen lijkt niet nodig. De mijn zijn een halve maat onder m'n straatschoenen, maar ze zitten als gegoten. Zijn ook zowel sterk naar binnen als naar beneden gebogen, dat verklaard een en ander. Algemeen gevoel is dat van een glacÚ handschoentje voor je voeten. Typische overhang- en voetenwerkschoen. Hak doet het prima. Wordt niet meer gemaakt en is inmiddels alleen nog als 'restanten' verkrijgbaar, maar dan vaak wel in de aanbieding. Als je ze te pakken kunt krijgen... Decathlon Qechua Vuarde Tech