Sunny autumn days in Berdorf!

Stephan working in Mike 

I had some awesome days in Berdorf together with Stephan, Ijan and Pascal. This small climbing crag in Luxembourg near Bitburg is really nice because of the beautiful woods and special features of the rock. The walls are very diverse, from powerful climbing in big overhanging walls to climbing on technical slabs. The sandstone rock exists of many ledges, pockets and a few crimp holds. These sandy ledges makes me pumped very quickly so I had to be aware of relaxing my hands and arms on these slippery holds.

Because the weekend might have been one of the last warm, sunny days of this year in Berdorf, the crag was crowded with happy climbers. There was an enthusiastic group Norwegian youngsters, with an instructor that was extremely happy when he climbed an overhanging route called ‘Voleur the Spits’. Several strong climbers take turns in a 8a+ route called ‘Hermann Buhl’, which was awesome to watch. We played a little bit in the route left of it, called ‘Bobby Brown’. A route with a very cool toe-hook in the beginning while reaching for a deep mono. Half-way there is a very nice shoulder movement while twisting for a sloper. The end of the route consists of small crimps and pockets.

A special note about this weekend has to do with lead-climbing. Since I have a back injury after my first fall three years ago, I never felt secure with lead-climbing. When I led routes, it was always without falling far below my maximum level. A few weeks ago I’ve drastically changed my mind about leading and forced myself to take falls. Guess what? I love falling! I get such a nice adrenaline rush! So in Berdorf I’ve got myself leading again. Instead of leading within my comfort zone, I climbed harder stuff. My goal was to take some falls at Berdorf, so I choose to climb ‘Voleur de Spits’ and hoped to experience a nice fall in an overhang. I was sure that I would get so pumped, that I had to fall. When I clipped the chain, I thought: ‘Shit! I didn’t fall!’. That was a bummer! But when I got the ground, I was happy to notice that I led a 7a+. Something I never dared, I was even blocking in 5th grade routes before! We went to the climbing gym THEA in Amsterdam, the day after Berdorf to do some more lead-climbing routes! I’m loving it! 

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