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    Notes and advice from Sean McColl.

5 countries in a week!

During the past week, I’ve travelled to 5 countries. The day after finals in Vienna, I broke the underside of my exhaust system. The second picture is what I drove over to break it… it’s maybe 3 inches high so I was pretty upset. As you can see below, I wasnt sure if they could just weld it back together or if they’d have to buy a new one. I left my car at the gym and went back to Innsbruck. [singlepic id=56 w=320 h=240 float=][singlepic id=55 w=320 h=240 float=] A full week later, the day before I was supposed to drive up to Eindhoven, we finally got the car to a garage and they fixed it. To get my car, I woke up at 5 in the morning, took the 5 hour train ride into Vienna, picked up my car from the garage and then drove 5 hours back to Innsbruck. On June 11th, we drove up to Eindhoven. The drive was supposed to take 8 hours but after 3 hours, we stopped at a huge stoppage in traffic. The highway wasnt even moving. We took the exit and took a little detour. That was when I notice my engine light had come on. This light isn’t the ”check engine” light that everyone ignores. This was the yellow light that means there’s something very wrong with your engine. I stopped and checked under the hood. Everything was ok that I knew how to fix, oil being the most important. I had two choices, I could wait a whole day, miss the world cup and fix my car, or I could keep driving slowly and hope for the best. I chose the latter. I had the same problem last year and the problem only happened when I stopped the car. The RPM would fall below 1000 and the car would stall itself. Anyways, 7 hours later we arrived in Eindhoven. The World Cup was a little bit different that ones I had done before. I climbed terribly and I didnt even make finals. My ultimate downfall was just the first problem, it was super easy but somehow it took me 3 tries to stick the dyno. I just wasn’t on my game. Turns out that if I had only taken 2 tries to do the first problem, I’d have made semis. [singlepic id=52 w=320 h=240 float=] Problem 2 also turned out to be one of my worst weaknesses which probably added to my bad performance. [singlepic id=53 w=320 h=240 float=] Problem 5 was pretty cool though, kind of campusing up a cool little volume to a sort of mantle for the last move. I really like how creative they are during World Cups. It inspires me to set a lot better when I return home. [singlepic id=54 w=320 h=240 float=] Oh well, you cant do well at every competition… Semi finals and finals were super fun to watch and eventually Akiyo Noguchi and Kilian Fischhuber won the World Cup and the overall rankings as well. After Eindhoven, we made our way to Amsterdam. It was my first time in Amsterdam and I thought it was quite a unique experience. First of all, Marijuana isn’t legal in Amsterdam, it’s just tolerated… If you have less than 10 grams on your person, the police won’t blink an eye. Also a ”coffee shop” in Amsterdam means a shop where you can buy all kinds of pot. Also, in the red light district, there is literally dozens of women just standing behind glass doors, waiting for someone to pick them up. Again, prostitution isn’t legal, it’s just tolerated. The weird thing is that the girls are usually quite young and even attractive. There’s of course the parts of the district that are for more adventurous types of people but for most part, they looked like pretty normal women. Next on our list was Paris and Fontainebleau. We drove straight to Fontainebleau after Amsterdam and spent the day getting some groceries, and finding the gite. A friend of mine from Magic Wood gave me the address of a place he stayed while he was in Font. It is run by a guy named Neil. He’s English so don’t worry about not speaking French. At his house, he has 4 different ”gites”. They range from 2 to 4 people but it’s pretty much like an apartment. For the small gite, you can rent by day, and for the larger ones, you rent them by week. A 4 person gite for a week during the low season is only 250€ which comes out to 9€ a person/day. Thats pretty good considering you get a bed, showers, stove, fridge, everything! It’s super mellow there, and if anyone is in Font and looking for a place to stay, I highly recomment this place. The website is MaisonBleau. Our first day in Font, we climbed in Franchard secter. Neil lent us a little guidebook with the 4 star problems. It was super hot that day, and I mostly just flailed on some of the harder problems. When it’s hot in Font, it’s ridiculous for climbing, I was struggling on V7’s and 8’s. Our second day in Font, we decided to drive up to Paris. Mathilde is from France and she had never been. We parked in a garage, spend a couple of hours in the Louvre then made our way close to the Arc de Triomphe and then the Eiffel Tower. Our third day in Font, we returned to the Franchard secter although we went straight to the boulder ”Karma”. I had found it on the last day we came climbing but it was the end of the day and too hot to try it. It was the only boulder above V9 that I could find so I figured I’d try it. I warmed up in the surrounding problems and went to work. When I was 14, at my second Junior World Championships, I had come to Font with my dad and I remember working this problem with Peter Woods. Back then, I was no where strong enough to do the problem and couldn’t even do the first move. This time, it took me about 30 minutes per move. The problem is only about 3 moves but it feels like your hugging your way up the problem. You deadpoint with your right hand to a big sloper with a little indent for your fingers. [singlepic id=46 w=320 h=240 float=] For the second move, you have to put in a high hand foot match hell hook and rock really hard on your foot. When you can get the second hold which a super bad sloper, you have to try to take out your right foot which should be still on the starting foot. [singlepic id=47 w=320 h=240 float=] All in all, the problem took me about 1.5 hours. The hard part that it was really hot again, around 20 degrees the whole day. After I did the problem, my leg hurt from the moves so we called it a day. It was only about 3pm when we finished climbing so we decided to drive back to Toulouse. The drive took about 6.5 hours which was relatively easy. We got to Toulouse on the 19th and I’ve been here ever since. In a few days I’ll be driving to Millau for the Petzl RocTrip and then it’s off to World Championships in China!

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Comments (2)

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    matt

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    Nice job on Karma! I stayed at that same Gite last year. I bet if you would have asked Neil he would have told you where a bunch of hard problems were…

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    pete woods

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    nice work on Karma! i sent it too, on my return trip to Font a few years ago. well, by sent, i mean i almost stuck the first move, then walked around to the top and brushed the holds, then called it a day… 🙂

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